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Hill AFB's fighter wings to conduct night flying during combat exercise

A photo of an F-35A prior to flight.

An F-35A pilot from the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, conducts pre-flight preparations prior to taking off. (U.S. Air Force file photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Communities surrounding Hill Air Force Base will notice flying operations late into the evening Sept. 14-17 as the base’s fighter wings conduct a local combat exercise.

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.

The wings are required to train at night to maintain their combat readiness and all-weather capabilities. This exercise will also 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.

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 operate in a total force partnership, which capitalizes on the strength of both active duty and Reserve components.