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F35 night flying exercises planned at Hill Air Force Base through mid-May

An Airman from the 388th Fighter Wing’s 421st Aircraft Maintenance unit marshals an F-35A Lightning II during night flying operations at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, March 26, 2019. Night flying is required for pilots to sharpen their combat skills and maintainers work around the clock to prepare jets for flight, inspect them after flight, and get them ready for the next flying day. The 388th Fighter Wing is the Air Force’s first combat-coded F-35A wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Hill Air Force Base will conduct F35 night flying exercises on most weekdays through May 21st.

The Air Force said that both the active duty 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wings will be out most weekdays and that F35 night flying might be heard between 10 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

Last September, some residents across the Wasatch Front heard a few sonic booms made by the jets while flying out around the Utah Test Range.

The Air Force said pilots engage in these types of practices in order to maintain their readiness to fly at a moment’s notice in any conditions.

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“Hill’s fighter wings must train at night to maintain their combat readiness and all-weather capabilities. Night flying is limited to what is required for pilots to remain proficient in those skills.

“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.”

Last year, the Wings deployed into active combat three times.


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