Eagles vs. Falcons in air combat training exercise

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, August 12 2014 at 4:37 PM, Updated: Tue, August 12 2014 at 5:05 PM

Klamath Falls, Ore. - The Eagles are taking on the Falcons this week...but it has nothing to do with Sunday Night Football on NBC.

Kingsley Field is the nation's only school house for training F-15 'Eagle' crews.

But this week, there are several F-16 'Falcons' from Arizona on base for air combat training.

The twin-engine F-15 eagle can fly faster, higher, and farther than the F-16 falcon.  However, the F-16 does have a few tricks up it's sleeve.

"It's a lot more agile."  Notes Master Sergeant John Lambert of the Arizona Air National Guard.  "Especially at higher speeds.  A lot more maneuverable at lower speeds, it can maneuver around and F-15 better."

"The F-16 specifically is a newer fighter."  Adds Major Adam Gaudinski of the Oregon Air National Guard.  "It's got more avionics, newer computers."

the 162nd Fighter Wing is based in Tucson. 

Master Sergeant Lambert says crew members like what they've seen so far...

"Klamath Falls has been really good here, been really good to us - the weather's a lot nicer, it's not as hot.  So it's been great."

While there's a competitive feel to the combat training...both sides will benefit from the lessons learned.

Major Gaudinski:  "The one thing that the 173rd Fighter Wing does extremely well is host assets that come to our base."

The combat exercises will take place in airspace over eastern Oregon.

The F-16's will be in Klamath Falls through the 22nd.

F-16 fighters aren't new to Kingsley Field.

Pilots learned how to fly F-16's at Kingsley from 1988 to 1998, when the base converted to F-15's.

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About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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