OGDEN — Residents in northern Utah were awoken to the sound of jet engines flying overhead two weeks ago. At the time, Hill Air Force Base said the flyover was “part of a scheduled military operation."
Now we know a little more about where the jets went.
According to a news release from the U.S. Air Force, the 421st Fighter Squadron left Hill Air Force Base on May 20 to assist U.S. Air Force Central Command at Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates.
“The 421st Fighter Squadron completed their stand up in December and now they’re our latest squadron heading into the fight,” said Col. Steven Behmer, 388th Fighter Wing commander.
“This demonstrates the readiness of our Airmen, our weapons system, and the importance of both to the Air Force and our national defense mission. On top of that, add in prepping and training in this challenging coronavirus environment. As leaders, we couldn’t be more proud of our Airmen.”
The squadron was made of active-duty pilots and maintainers from the 421st and Reserve 466th Fighter Squadrons and Aircraft Maintenance Units as well as personnel in other support functions.
Remember those early morning takeoffs from @hafb a while back? We can finally confirm that for the third time in approximately 12 months, Airmen from the @388fw and @419fw deployed F-35A Lighting IIs into combat. But you probably guessed that. ⚡️🇺🇸https://t.co/om8RbplaMKpic.twitter.com/Hg0HdFgcQ3— 388th Fighter Wing (@388fw) June 1, 2020
Col. Brian Silkey, the acting commander of the 419th, said he’s proud of what they’re doing.
“I’m extremely proud of our personnel for answering their nation’s call once again, and I’m certain they’ll do an exceptional job. As always, we truly appreciate the sacrifices of their families and civilian employers as our Citizen Airmen step away to serve, especially now, during these challenging and uncertain times.”