Air Force Apologizes for Waking up Oahu Residents with Jets

HONOLULU -- The Air Force apologized Tuesday for unexpected early morning noise from fighter jets roaring over Oahu.

Four F-16 Fighting Falcons and a KC-135 Stratotanker took off from Oahu at about 1 a.m. Tuesday, said Capt. Nicole White, chief of public affairs for the 15th Wing at Joint Base Pearl-Harbor Hickam. The aircraft are with the 180th Fighter Wing, an Ohio-based Air National Guard unit, she said. They needed to refuel before heading back to Ohio.

"We did not receive a head's up," she said. "We are good stewards and good neighbors and we would let you know if there was going to be noise. It was something that caught us off-guard."

Her office has been fielding inquiries from concerned Oahu residents.

"We are aware it was a disturbance," she said. "It is not our intention to wake up the public in the middle of the night."

White said she doesn't know where they were coming from and the 15th Wing is looking into why it was necessary for them to take off at that hour. The aircraft received a waiver to take off during "quiet hours," she said.

The aircraft were flying at their approved height, but four F-16s taking off at once intensifies the noise, White said.

Staff Sgt. Michael Hughes, of the 180th Fighter Wing's public affairs office, said that because of the late hour in Ohio, he couldn't immediately get details about what happened.

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