FAMILY

Military personnel from Hill Air Force Base returned home Monday night

May 10, 2022, 9:49 PM | Updated: 9:52 pm
An F-35A Lighting II taxis at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, May 20, 2020.  Military personnel from the...
An F-35A Lighting II taxis at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, May 20, 2020. Military personnel from the active duty 388th and reserve 419th Fighter Wings returned to Hill Force Base Monday, May 9, 2022 after deploying the F-35A Lightning II to Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)
(U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL FORCE BASE, Utah — Military personnel from the active duty 388th and reserve 419th Fighter Wings returned back to Utah on Monday after deploying the F-35A Lightning II to Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany.

In February, the 34th Fighter Squadron along with the 34th Fighter Generation Squadron were deployed to Spangdahlem to assist NATO‘s defense posture during the military conflict in Ukraine.

“We deployed rapidly and provided cutting-edge air power to defend NATO’s eastern flank,” said Col. Craig Andrle, 388th FW commander in a press release. “We’re proud of the work everyone put in to support that mission, and we’re glad to have them back home. Now, they’ll all get some much-deserved time off.”

While deployed, the squadron flew in several countries, including Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania and Romania.

Returning to Hill Air Force Base

The Vermont Air National Guard’s 158th Fighter Wings replaced the military personnel from Utah in Germany and will continue that mission.

“There’s nothing better than seeing our Airmen return home after a successful deployment, especially one as important as this,” said Col. Matthew Fritz, 419th Fighter Wing commander in a press release. “Hill’s team of active duty and Reserve personnel did a fantastic job alongside our NATO allies and partners. Now we’ll continue to do what we do best – train day in and day out to ensure the F-35A and our people are ready to respond to the next fight, wherever and whenever.”

Family support

As the military members returned to the base on Monday evening, they were greeted by family members.

“We talk a lot about the capabilities and strength of our military members,” said Andrle. “Our family members back at home have to be just as strong in a lot of ways. We could not do this without them.”

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Military personnel from Hill Air Force Base returned home Monday night