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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)

A photo of the 421st Fighter Squadron deployment to the Middle East.

An F-35A Lightning II taxis at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, May 20, 2020. Airmen from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings have deployed F-35As into combat three times in 12 months. The group of deployed Airmen is made of pilots for the actvie duty 421st Fighter Squadron and the Reserve 466th Fighter Squadron, as well as active duty and Reserve Airmen in the 421st Aircraft Maintnenace Unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

A photo of the 421st Fighter Squadron deployment to the Middle East.

Deploying pilots with the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings prepare for launch at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, May 20, 2020. Airmen from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings have deployed F-35As into combat three times in 12 months. The group of deployed Airmen is made of pilots for the actvie duty 421st Fighter Squadron and the Reserve 466th Fighter Squadron, as well as active duty and Reserve Airmen in the 421st Aircraft Maintnenace Unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

A photo of an F-35A Lighting II.

A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 4th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron takes off from Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, April 24, 2019. The F-35A is deployed to the U.S. Air Forces Central Command area of responsibility for the first time in the Air Force’s history. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Drzazgowski)

Airmen in the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings arrived at Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates this week to support the Air Force Central Command mission. (United States Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

A pilot with the 388th Fighter Wing waits prepares to taxi prior to launching on the F-35As first deployment to the Middle East. Airmen in the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings arrived at Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates this week to support the Air Force Central Command mission. (United States Air Force 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 with the 421st Fighter Squadron. The other two squadrons are continuing to fly here, ensuring they are ready to deploy when needed.

The primary mission of the 388th Fighter Wing is to rapidly employ combat power with the F-35A Lightning II aircraft worldwide in support of the national defense. There are approximately 2,000 airmen and civilian professionals assigned to the 388th FW.

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.