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F-117 security procedures at the Tonopah Test Range

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posted on Jul, 31 2017 @ 07:18 PM
I ran into this old publication on a Tonopah Test Range search. Here is the relevant part pertaining to security.

Throughout the history of the F-117, the unit flying the aircraft (now the 49th Fighter Wing, formerly the 37th Fighter Wing and 4450th Tactical Group) has routinely operated in a mode conducive to covert or clandestine operations.  For over eight years, 1981 to 1989, the existence of the aircraft, and the unit function, was classified and not acknowledged by the Air Force or Department of Defense. The base of operations was classified and required special security clearance to get within 40 miles.  All operations were limited to night activities.  Hangar doors were not opened until complete darkness (30 minutes after civil twilight) and were never opened with interior lights on.  All vehicles operated without headlights or illumination devices around the aircraft.

Unlike most stateside military duties requiring a daily commute from home, unit members deployed to work on a weekly basis. The "standard" pilot would drive to Nellis AFB, Nevada, on Monday morning, commute to Tonopah Test Range via charter air, and return home on Friday afternoon. Families were accustomed to the military member being deployed without explanation and often being out of communication for extended periods.

The 40 mile limit is not true since you could drive much closer to the base. Otherwise I think the security procedures are probably similar to Groom Lake today, though Groom takes the extra precaution of avoiding moonlight.

I couldn't find the PDF link again, so I uploaded the PDF.

posted on Jul, 31 2017 @ 07:32 PM
When I was in the 94th I was able to drive right up to one and get within about 20 ft. Of course, I had a flightline badge and guards were there to stop my expediter truck immediately. Presenting my badge allowed me to walk up to the ropes and take a closer look.

It is one angular airframe, I'll give it that.

posted on Jul, 31 2017 @ 10:19 PM
Would have been a site to see up close for sure. I saw one at an airshow. Was pretty sweet. I am shocked I do not see more aircraft in the sky here in Colorado aside from an occasional F16

posted on Sep, 3 2017 @ 03:16 AM
a reply to: Cavrecon22

I got to walk into a hanger and be greeted to an F-117 that's under restoration at Edwards(the RAM paint had already been removed of course). No cameras allowed unfortunately, but it was pretty cool to see the little red scorpion decal on the left side of the cockpit
But being able stoop underneath a real one and inches away from it's underbelly was a moment I'll never forget.
The irony is, I never got to see one in flight

posted on Oct, 4 2017 @ 05:13 PM
a reply to: HomeyKXTA

You can see one now...there's currently an F-117 at National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, OH. I live ~90 minutes away and make a trip out once a year. It's buried in the back of I believe, hanger 3. I didn't even see it the first two trips I made.

National Museum of the United States Air Force

posted on Oct, 8 2017 @ 11:02 PM
a reply to: FarCrowd

That's definitely new. Thanks for the heads up!

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