HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (ABC4) – Hearing a boom at night through the month of January? It could be fighter wings from Hill Air Force Base.
Active duty 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wings will begin conducting night-flying operations beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 3, and will be running operations through most weekdays in January.
The flying operations are reportedly expected to be completed by about 11:30 p.m., however, exact days and times could vary depending on weather, airspace availability on the Utah Test and Training Range and other factors.
The fighter wings have to train at night in order to maintain combat readiness and all-weather capabilities. Hill Air Force Base officials say night flying is limited to only what is required for pilots to remain proficient in those skills for deployments.
Fighter squadrons will reportedly be flying the F-35 Lightning II, which Hill Air Force Base said is the nation’s most advanced fifth-generation fighter aircraft. Hill Air Force Base has 78 F-35A Lightning IIs and the 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wings are the Air Force’s first combat-capable F-35A units.
All the wing’s fighter squadrons have deployed in support of combat operations in the Middle East and reportedly remain ready when called upon.
“Early last year, the 34th Fighter Squadron deployed to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, in support of NATO’s defense posture, and the 421st Fighter Squadron deployed to Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, and throughout the Pacific region, conducting agile combat exercises over the summer,” said Hill Air Force Base officials.