On Saturday, a large formation of Air Force aircraft took to the skies for an annual drill called the Joint Forcible Entry Exercise (JFEX).
The Drive reports that the training exercise is to “simulate prying open the enemy’s back door and setting up combat shop on their lawn.”
Once the aircraft began their conga line formation over the weekend, plane trackers took notice.
Conga line of 18 USAF Hercs over Texas… ? pic.twitter.com/GGL5DOZ594
— CivMilAir ✈ (@CivMilAir) December 9, 2018
— Eric Rosenwald (@rosenwald_eric) December 9, 2018
— Aircraft Spots (@AircraftSpots) December 9, 2018
The Drive notes that the JFEX is becoming extremely relevant in this point in America’s history.
Tyler Rogoway says, “Anti-access and area-denial strategies have left the services scrambling to adapt to having to fight an enemy over long distances and breaking open new avenues into their increasingly expansive and fortified domain.”
In essence, the military is looking for ways to expeditiously set up shop in a contested territory from a long distance.
Additionally, the complex exercise features a wide array of USAF assets including fighters, ground troops, surveillance aircraft, as well as platforms to conduct electronic warfare.
Last year, many civilians were unaware of the exercise and went to social media to report the strange lights in the night sky.
@WLTX @wachfox Did anyone else see this in the sky tonight over Lexington? Didn’t make a sound and about 20 lights in a row flying through the sky. Forgive the poor camera work. pic.twitter.com/qLUloZ1zzc
— Jonathan Reynolds (@SportsReynolds) December 10, 2017
Lights in the sky over Denver. Moving west with no sound. Creepy! pic.twitter.com/7N4eGTFuBz
— Tony Gonzales (@Tony_Gonzales_) December 10, 2017
According to The Drive, reports of the formation came in from the east coast all the way to Colorado and Utah as the night sky was flooded with C-17s and C-130s making their way to Nellis Test and Training Range in Southern Nevada.
Additionally, a local news station said they had “received several messages” from its viewers regarding the eerie formation.
Officials with the Joint Base Charleston at the time confirmed that the formation was a military drill and said that the drill was a “realistic training scenario simulating a high-end fight against a near-peer adversary.”
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