HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Residents in Davis County can expect to see a lot more air traffic throughout the course of the week. That’s because the United States Air Force 388th Fighter Wing’s new F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team will be practicing at Hill AFB for their upcoming 2020 air show season.
Capt. Kip Sumner says that members of the local community can expect to see the precision aerial maneuvers two times a day over the course of the next week, which will last between 15-30 minutes.
Sumner says that the team will be practicing new launch and recovery procedures for the airshows and will be doing most of that practicing over the runway.
After four years, we’re at full strength. Our Airmen, along with the @419fw are planning a combat power exercise tomorrow at @HAFB where we will launch dozens of F-35A Lightning IIs within a condensed period of time. pic.twitter.com/aLoVAvbwn0
— 388th Fighter Wing (@388fw) January 6, 2020
“The team needs to practice over our runway to be able to ensure proper orientation and flight safety while performing these precise maneuvers,” Col. Joshua Wood, 388th Operations Group Commander, said. “Since a majority of airshows are centered on a runway at an airfield, our practice provides realistic training to ensure audience and pilot safety.”
The demonstration team, previously located at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, recently moved its operations to Hill. It could mean more frequent aerial spectacles for local residents.
“As the first Airmen to fly the F-35A operationally every day, we know what it can do,” Col. Steven Behmer, 388th Fighter Wing commander, said. “We’re excited to show off its power, speed and maneuverability to audiences around the world.”
Between the two fighter wings, the active-duty 388th and reserve 419th, Hill AFB now has three fighter squadrons with more than 70 jets.
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