A big military exercise starts Monday and a lot of the aircraft and troops will be based out of the Yakima Air Terminal-McAllister Field. Airport Director Rob Peterson says "the military has advised me they will give way to any aircraft and commercial aircraft operations,” Peterson said. “If there are any delays with arriving and departing airlines, it will be due to other causes within the aviation industry not because of the exercise.”
Ground troops will also be participating and Peterson says the 80 to 100 troops will be using the second floor of the terminal and the old terminal building as offices. He says tents will be set up at the airport for sleeping quarters.
It is the Air Force’s first such exercise and Yakima is one of just three sites statewide to host it during the same two-week time frame. Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Moses Lake are the others.
Between the three sites combined, Air Force officials anticipate more than 2,000 people are expected, including members of the U.S. Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and others. It is also an international training exercise, as representatives from 11 countries will participate.