Air Force jet
combat practice provides a show for Hatteras islanders
Rosell, owner of Buxton Village Books, heard the roaring jets, which
are not unusual here on the Outer Banks. But last night, she
heard loud booms and after dark saw what she described as “red and
gold” flashes of light out over the ocean.
“I felt as though I was living ‘Taffy of Torpedo Junction,’” Rosell
“Taffy” is the beloved children’s book about a youngster living in
Buxton during World War II when German U-boats were attacking and
sinking Allied ships along the East Coast and thunderous booms,
rattling windows, and glowing fires out over the ocean became part of
the lives of islanders during the 1942 Battle of Torpedo Junction.
This was not, however, a repeat of Taffy’s story.
Last night, there were 20 F-15s from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base
practicing basic air combat maneuvering off Hatteras, according to
Senior Chief Petty Officer Jim Moore of U.S. Coast Guard Sector North
Seymour Johnson AFB is located near Goldsboro, N.C., southwest of
Hatteras, but Moore said that it’s not unusual for the jets to practice
maneuvers off the Outer Banks.
Moore said that the flashes of light were flares that the jets use to
divert heat-seeking missiles in actual combat, and the F-15 crews were
practicing this maneuver.
Although jet noise from military operations is not unusual on Hatteras
and Ocracoke, actually seeing the flashes of light is.
Moore said that the military has strict regulations on how close to the
coast these maneuvers can be conducted, and he speculated that perhaps
atmospheric conditions made the noise and flashes of light more
noticeable last night.
The jets are back this afternoon, but we may or may not see the
flashing lights from the flares tonight.
But if you do, remember that it is the United States military at work.
You can find more information on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and the