Meeting/Event Information

Desert Thunder

October 19, 2017 7:00 AM EDT to October 22, 2017 12:00 PM EDT

Jacqueline Cochrane Airport (TKRM)
86-400 Lightning Street
Thermal, CA 92274


OCTOBER 19th – OCTOBER 21ST, 2017


Desert Thunder Reimagined will be conducted from Jacqueline Cochrane Airport in Thermal, California. For those of you who have attended Desert Thunder or Mountain Mayhem, your prior experience will be of little help. We will have new routes, new targets and an entirely new construct.

It is anticipated that the TOC (Tactical Operations Center will assign strike packages to take out critical enemy assets deep within hostile territory, The strike package will consist of strike aircraft, fighter escort and support aircraft including tanker and AWACS assets. Target of opportunity within the strike zone will also be assigned by the SEAL team that has infiltrated into the heart of enemy territory. Fighter escorts may also be tasked to operate in a FLAK suppress role.

The strike package will be fiercely opposed by a near peer adversary force with unique capabilities. The package will need to possess extraordinary comm. discipline, lookout, tactical coordination and luck to survive in this environment. We may even employ real time kill removal to add realism to the scenario.

Participants will need to bring their A game. ‘The battle may be won or lost before you ever man the aircraft”…….Prepare in advance.

“Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men.” Gen. George Patton.

This scenario driven tactical event is closely controlled in order to optimize safety and ensure an even playing field. Participation is limited due to operational constraints. Non-RPA aircraft such as T-6, T-28, Extra and T-34 are welcome.  Aircraft with warbird heritage will be given priority for registration.  We reserve the right to deny participation to anyone. 

Be prepared for some “SERIOUS FLYING AND SERIOUS FUN” at Desert Thunder Reimagined!


Participation Requirements

SAFETY IS THE FIRST MISSION PRIORITY.  Participants must be FAST qualified and current in Tacform. You may participate as a GIB if you do not possess a FAST card or if you are new to this environment.  Participation in the area safety briefings, the tactical formation briefing, the close air support briefing and the mission scenario briefing is mandatory for anyone desiring to participate in the actual tactical event. 

Experienced pilots are available to work with qualified pilots not familiar with this environment.  Open back seats are usually available for first timers to gain experience and proficiency in the different skill sets required of participants. 


  1. Please use the RPA website ( Desert Thunder Event Page) for registration.   
  2. Pilots, GIBs and guests are required to complete a separate registration.
  3. Registration closes 10 days prior to the event.  Please register if you expect to be fed or included in the flight schedule. Our resources, budget and meal counts hinge on pilots and participants populating this registration form.
  4.  If there was an error or you have a change to your registration, please  e-mail Grins (
  5. The detailed event schedule, the Operational Brevity Code and other advanced material will be forwarded to you two weeks prior to the event. In the meantime, you should be working on your Tactical formation and defensive maneuvering.


  1.  Event fee is $175 for all pilots/GIBs and $125 for guests (non-flyers).
  2. Thursday evening dinner is on your own. The fee includes the Friday night BBQ at the ramp, Saturday night’s banquet, lunch both days (Friday and Saturday) and the event T-shirt. 


  1. We have a special room group rate $165/per night (King or 2Q) at the Embassy Suites, La Quinta, CA.

Note: The special room rate will be available until September 19th or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first.

  1. To reserve your room please click the link here to be directed to the Embassy Suites RPA Group reservation page.
  • Group Code: RSP
  • Check-in:19-OCT-2017
  • Check-out:22-OCT-2017
  • Phone Number: 760-238-9034

 Do not wait until the last minute and reserve your room now.

  1. Rental cars will be also available through GO rentals.  Go directly to GO rentals which will deliver and pick up the car for you at Ross Aviation. Please email or call (760) 219-0790 to make your reservation

Please direct any questions to Rachelle ‘Grins’ Gary  at and  operational questions can be directed to Darrell ‘Condor’ Gary at  or  (858) 357-6463. 


$175.00 PILOT/GIB - Desert Thunder Event Fee

$125.00 Guest (Non-Flyer) Desert Thunder Event Fee