A Busy and Fun Week on the Radios – Sentry Savannah 2022 Week 1 Recap

The first week of Sentry Savannah has come to a close. This week has been a lot of fun even though on four of the five days I listened in I didn’t have a lot of time to do it. This is one of the biggest if not the biggest Sentry Savannah I’ve monitored: there are two squadrons of F-22As, a squadron of F-35As, part of a squadron of F-16CMs, some T-38s, and our special visitor, the F-117A at the Savannah Air Dominance Center at Savannah-Hilton Head IAP. Years ago, I got to see an F-117 at an airshow but this week was the first time I’ve been able to catch one on the radios. For more about the visit to Savannah by one of these supposedly retired birds, read this article from the Aviationist. If you’ve never heard an F-117 before, here’s what one sounds like in a clip of KNIGHT 11 asking ADC Ops to have someone ready to assist with its chute.

KNIGHT 11 (F-117A, USAF) asking ADC Ops for assistance with its chute when it lands

Most of the working frequencies, like check-in, fighter control, and aerial refueling are the same as those used in previous iterations of Sentry Savannah, but most of the air-to-air and ops frequencies have been new. That meant that there has been a lot to find, but my Airspy R2 has been an indispensable tool for searching them out. It’s ultra quick search capability made it much easier to find activity than searching the same chunks of spectrum with a scanner’s search function. An Airspy R2 is an excellent tool to add to your radio shack whether you’re a scanner hobbyist or an amateur radio operator. The lists below are the frequencies and callsigns used during the exercise this week. Keep in mind that this list is not all my work, it is the collective effort of a group of radio hobbyists in the southeast, some of whom prefer to remain anonymous.

I don’t think the Air-to-Air and Ops frequencies are unit assigned frequencies. I think they’re either frequencies assigned to the ADC or the Exercise. With the exception of 237.000 and 138.625, which are known ADC Ops frequencies. 363.775 and 234.800, which are known 157th FS and 159th FS frequencies respectively, and 228.800, which is used by the 20th FW at Shaw AFB, the air-to-air and Ops frequencies in use for this Sentry Savannah are new.

Frequencies

119.100/257.800 – Savannah Tower
124.975/279.575 – Hunter AAF Tower
120.400/353.775 – Savannah TRACON
125.300/371.875 – Savannah TRACON
277.400/126.750 – Jax Center Brunswick Low
282.200/124.675 – Jax Center Jekyll Low
285.650/126.125 – Jax Center Statesboro High
363.200/132.925 – Jax Center Allendale/Savannah Low

237.000 – ADC Ops
138.625 – ADC Ops
226.475 – ADC?; 2nd FTS Ops
256.325 – ADC?; 43rd FS/192nd FW Ops
318.775 – ADC?; 157th FS Ops
228.000 – ADC?; 43rd FS Air-to-Air
231.000 – ADC?; 43rd FS Air-to-Air
233.200 – ADC?; 43rd FS Air-to-Air
234.200 – ADC?; 43rd FS Air-to-Air
242.100 – ADC?; 157th FS Air-to-Air
242.200 – ADC?; 157th FS Air-to-Air
242.400 – ADC?; 157th FS Air-to-Air
257.250 – ADC?; 157th FS Air-to-Air
242.600 – ADC?; 192nd FW Air-to-Air
245.200 – ADC?; 192nd FW Air-to-Air
335.750 – ADC?; 192nd FW Air-to-Air
244.250 – ADC?; 419th FW Air-to-Air
320.600 – 2nd FTS Air-to-Air
363.775 – 157th FS Air-to-Air
234.800 – 159th FS Air-to-Air
141.675 – 117th ARW Air-to-Air

120.950/284.500 – Sealord North Primary
313.700 – Sealord North Secondary
133.950/267.500 – Sealord South Primary
376.900 – W-137 Discrete
270.600 – SEALORD Discrete

288.400 – NORAD Discrete; Primary Check-In
235.900 – NORAD Discrete; Secondary Check-In
293.600 – NORAD Discrete; Fighter Control
316.300 – NORAD Discrete; Fighter Control
254.200 – NORAD Discrete; Aerial Refueling
265.400 – NORAD Discrete; Aerial Refueling
274.400 – Aerial Refueling
278.000 – Aerial Refueling

Callsigns

STEALTH (117th ACS)
SHOWTIME (RTO)
HORNET ## (F-22A, 43rd FS)
STINGER ## (F-22A, 43rd FS)
HELLCAT ## (F-22A, 43rd FS)
SATAN ## (F-22A, 192nd FW)
DEMON ## (F-16CM, 157th FS)
SNAKE ## (F-16CM, 157th FS)
WEASEL ## (F-16CM, 157th FS)
FANG ## (F-15C, 159th FS)
BASH ## (F-22A, 192nd FW)
SATAN ## (F-22A, 192nd FW)
ALTA ## (F-35, 419th FW)
BEAGLE ## (T-38, 2nd FTS)
DOG ## (T-38, 2nd FTS)
KNIGHT 11 (F-117A, 84-0828, USAF)
DIXIE ## (KC-135, 117th ARW)
PACK ## (KC-46A, 157th ARW)
WYLIE ## (KC-135R, 190th ARW)

Due to my work schedule, I wasn’t able to get out to Savannah-Hilton Head IAP to get some photos of the F-117. I did however borrow a photo from DVIDS of the Air Dominance Center ramp and @spotter.anderson on Instagram gave me permission to imbed a photo he took of the F-117 this week.

U.S. Air Force fourth and fifth generation fighter aircraft sit on the ramp May 1, 2022, at the Air Dominance Center, a Combat Readiness Training Center, in Savannah, Georgia. Sentry Savannah 2022 is the Air National Guard’s premier counter air exercise, encompassing 10 units of fourth and fifth generation fighter aircraft, which tests the capabilities of our warfighters in a simulated near-peer environment and trains the next generation of fighter pilots for tomorrow’s fight. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Hanna Smith) Photo from DVIDS

Unfortunately, the F-117 won’t be around for week two. When it took off this morning as KNIGHT 21, I never heard it check in with SEALORD after switching to 363.200 with Jax Center and I subsequently lost track of it due to how busy things were. Just before the fighters started launching this morning, an aircraft crashed just southeast of Wilmington Island in the Atlantic Ocean and that diverted some of my attention as I tried to monitor the SAR as well as Sentry Savannah. The exercise will continue next week, with most of the participants likely returning home on next Friday. The frequencies and callsigns above should put you in the position to enjoy listening to Sentry Savannah Week 2.

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