UTAH (ABC4) – If you notice something soaring across the skies this week, don’t worry — it’s only your local Utah air force.
The Hill Air Force Base will be conducting local night-flying operations starting this week. Operations will take place during most weekdays and will feature the F-35A Lightning II. The base is currently home to 78 F-35A Lightning IIs.
Flying operations will be completed by around 11:45 p.m. on testing days. Officials say exact times and days will vary based on several factors including weather, airspace availability on the Utah Test and Training Range, and other supporting elements.
“Hill’s fighter wings must train at night to maintain their combat readiness and all-weather capabilities,” officials say. “Night flying is limited to what is required for pilots to remain proficient in those skills for deployments.”
Hill Air Force says over the past two years, all three of the wing’s fighter squadrons have been deployed to combat operations in the Middle East.
“The 34th Fighter Squadron is currently deployed to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, in support of NATO’s defense posture,” officials confirm.
The active-duty 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base has a mission to “rapidly employ combat power with the F-35A Lightning II aircraft worldwide in support of the national defense.”
Currently, officials say there are around 2,000 airmen and civilian professionals assigned to the 388th Fighter Wings.