Fighter jets to soar around Utah skies for training exercise

Northern Utah News

An F-35 Lightning II aircraft takes off from Hill Air Force Base. in Utah. (Courtesy of Todd Cromar / U.S. Air Force)

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HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (ABC4) – If you spot or hear any fighter jets in the skies, don’t worry, you’re not under attack! It’s only the Air Force conducting a weapons evaluation exercise.

The testing program, also known as the Weapons Systems Evaluation Program (WESP), will run from August 16 through 27 and will affect the neighborhoods surrounding Hill Force Air Base.

Residents in nearby Clearfield, Layton, Syracuse, West Haven, Ogden, and more may notice noise and movement from the skies during the aviation exercises.

Active testing times will run from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every weekday. Aircrafts participating in the test runs include F-35s, F-35As, and B-52s.

The actual exercise is called “Combat Archer and Combat Hammer” and it will evaluate, “all aspects of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons employment, from building and loading munitions, to aircraft and pilot performance hitting targets on the Utah Test and Training Range,” says Hill Air Force Base.

Hosted by the 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron, the group is looking to analyze “predictive battle-damage analysis of precision-guided munitions using operational weapons, aircraft, maintenance personnel, and aircrew,” according to Hill Air Force Base.

So if you’re at home and you spot fighter jets zipping around the sky, no need to fret — it’s only your local neighborhood Air Force.

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