Hill fighter jets to soar across nighttime skies throughout September

Local News

Airman 1st Class Hunter McCanch, 388th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, prepares a GBU-12 laser-guided bomb for loading during a weapons evealution exercise at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Nov. 4, 2020. F-35A Lightning IIs assigned to the 34th Fighter Squadron, along with F-16s from Shaw AFB, South Carolina, AC-130 gunships from Hurlburt Field Florida, and B-2s flying from Whiteman AFB, Missouri, will participated in WSEP West, also known as Combat Hammer. During Combat Hammer Airmen evaluate every aspect of air-to-ground weapons employment, from building and loading munitions, to aircraft and pilot performance hitting targets on the Utah Test and Training Range. WSEP West is conducted by the 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron at Hill, which is the only DOD agency charged with conducting predictive battle damage analysis of precision guided air-to-ground munitions using operational weapons, aircraft, maintenance personnel and aircrew. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (ABC4) – If you spot something zipping through the nighttime skies this month, don’t worry – it’s only your local neighborhood Air Force.

Throughout the month of September, the Hill Air Force will be conducting nighttime flying operations on most weeknights until October 1st.

The reason operations are conducted during evenings is to prepare pilots for all-weather capabilities and overall combat readiness, according to Air Force officials.

Anyone spotting the evening drills will likely see an F-35A Lightning II soaring across the sky. The operations are being overseen by the active-duty 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wings.

“Over the past two years, all three of the wing’s fighter squadrons have deployed in support of combat operations in the Middle East and remain ready when they are called upon,” Air Force officials say.

Currently, Hill Air Force Base is home to 78 individual F-35A Lightning II fighter jets.

The flight routines will be active between 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. on most weeknights.

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