The 107th Airlift Wing went a night formation training mission, this time fully loaded with live flares and chaff to be used in a training scenario.
A “flare” is an aerial infrared countermeasure used to defeat infrared homing (heat seeking) surface-to air or air-to-air missile.
Chaff is composed of millions of tiny aluminum or zinc coated fibers stored on-board the aircraft in tubes. When an aircraft is threatened by radar tracking missiles, chaff is ejected into the turbulent wake of air behind the plane.
The two C-130 aircraft took off from the Niagara Falls Reserve Station and headed north over Lake Ontario to complete their live-fire flare training. Approaching the restricted airspace over the lake reserved for their use, the Navigator readied the defensive systems, the Loadmasters pulled the safety pins, and the Pilots positioned the aircraft in the proper formation position. Once in the area, the aircrew dispensed their countermeasures in reaction to simulated threats, lighting up the skies over Lake Ontario.