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Night flying exercises to begin at Hill Air Force Base

A pilot with the 388th Fighter Wing waits prepares to taxi prior to launching on the F-35As first deployment to the Middle East. Airmen in the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings arrived at Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates this week to support the Air Force Central Command mission. (United States Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Residents around Hill Air Force Base can expect to hear more air traffic around the base this week as the fighter wings take to the skies for night combat exercises. 

Hill Air Force Base reports the training missions, starting on Monday and running through Thursday, could last until 1 a.m. depending on training objectives and airspace.

“The active duty 388th Fighter Wing and Reserve 419th Fighter Wing will fly roughly 80 sorties per day, with some lasting until 1 a.m. The flying schedule is based on a number of factors including exercise objectives, airspace availability on the Utah Test and Training Range, and the availability of other support elements.”

A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 4th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron takes off from Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, April 24, 2019. The F-35A is deployed to the U.S. Air Forces Central Command area of responsibility for the first time in the Air Force’s history. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Drzazgowski)

“Night operations are limited to what is required for Airmen to remain proficient and ready for combat,” Hill Air Force Base said in a statement

This week’s nightly flights are part of required training for the fighter wings that the Air Force says will  “provide combat scenarios created to evaluate aircraft maintenance and operational agility. Night operations are limited to what is required for Airmen to remain proficient and ready for combat.”

Airmen from both wings are currently deployed in the Middle East with the 421st Fighter Squadron and the base says that the other two squadrons are continuing operations here in Utah to ensure they are ready to deploy when needed.


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