Pokemon Go Might Be Affected by Major US Military Exercise

Pokemon Go players in some western parts of the United States may have spotty service thanks to a major military operation.

The US Air Force has launched its largest-ever version of the annual aerial war games known as "Red Flag." The war games are based out of the Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas, but most of the tests will take place over the huge Nevada Test and Training Range, a huge 4,500 square foot track of land in the Nevada desert.

As part of the war games, the US Air Force will be shutting off GPS to test how pilots and their crews react when they don't have advanced technology to rely on. However, the Air Force warns that these outages will affect huge parts of the United States, including parts of New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, California, Arizona, Wyoming, Oregon, Utah, and Montana.

This means that Pokemon Go players may not have consistent GPS service for up to three weeks, as the exercises will run from now through the middle of February. There's no word on how long the outages will last, or whether multiple areas will be affected at one time.

The Air Force didn't give specific areas that the outages were going to take place in, but they did provide a list of several airports that could be affected. Airports in Albuquerque, Denver, Los Angeles, Salt Lake, Oakland, and Seattle could see disruptions, which means that Pokemon Go players living in those urban centers could see periodic outages as well.

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Of course, GPS is a government service, so the Air Force has every right to shut down the tracking system for security reasons. While anyone with a GPS receiver can use GPS for free, the drawback is that they have to live with any shutdowns based on the government's whim.

The easiest way for Pokemon Go players to get around these temporary shutdowns is to connect to a WiFi signal while playing in one location. That might not help while playing at parks, but it should at least help guarantee service while playing at a fixed location like a gym.