SPOKANE, Wash. -Skyfest may be over, but if you notice an increase in military aircraft over the Inland Northwest in the next two weeks, it's just an exercise.
Fairchild Air Force Base is participating in the largest air war exercise ever seen in the Pacific Northwest over the next couple of weeks. The exercise began on Monday with more than 3,700 military personnel from 30 countries also taking part.
The war game will take place across Washington, with Fairchild and Joint Base Lewis-McChord playing central roles in the Mobility Guardian exercise. It is described by the military as "the most realistic, real-world, scenario-driven exercise ever conducted," according to The Spokesman Review, and will utilize the many tools in the Air Force's arsenal including tankers, fighters, cargo and bombers. In all, about 90 aircraft will be used during the game.
30 countries will also participate in one way or another, including Canada, France, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Colombia, Brazil, Belgium, Australia and New Zealand. Observers of the exercise include Germany, Argentina and Kazakhstan.
Though the war game began on Monday, citizens in the Spokane area will notice an increase in air traffic beginning on Wednesday as fifty aircraft will be flying out of Fairchild a day.