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Hill fighter wings night-flying this week

An Airman from the 388th Fighter Wing’s 421st Aircraft Maintenance Unit marshals an F-35A Lightning II during night flying operations at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, March 26, 2019. Night flying is required for pilots to sharpen their combat skills and maintainers work around the clock to prepare jets for flight, inspect them after flight, and get them ready for the next flying day. The 388th Fighter Wing is the Air Force’s first combat-coded F-35A wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

An Airman from the 388th Fighter Wing’s 421st Aircraft Maintenance Unit marshals an F-35A Lightning II during night flying operations at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, March 26, 2019. Night flying is required for pilots to sharpen their combat skills and maintainers work around the clock to prepare jets for flight, inspect them after flight, and get them ready for the next flying day. The 388th Fighter Wing is the Air Force’s first combat-coded F-35A wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- The active duty 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wings will conduct local night-flying operations through April 18.

Local residents will notice increased activity during the evening hours as pilots continue to sharpen their night-time combat flying skills.

Night operations are limited to what is required for Airmen to remain proficient. During this period, most flying is scheduled to be completed by 10 p.m., but may change based on a number of factors including weather, airspace availability, and other support elements.

The wings are required to train at night to maintain their combat readiness and all-weather capabilities. Increased flying also provides a valuable opportunity to evaluate aircraft maintenance and operational agility.

Hill AFB is home to 78 F-35A Lightning IIs. The 388th and 419th are the Air Force's first combat-capable F-35A units, and fly and maintain the jet in a Total Force partnership, which capitalizes on the strength of both components.