Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes
HILL AIR FORCE BASE — If you see something unusual flying through the Utah night sky between now and Dec. 21, chances are it's combat aircraft from Hill Air Force Base.
The active duty 388th and reserve 419th fighter wings will conduct local night flying operations with the F-35A Lightning II on most weekdays through Dec. 21. During this period, flying is scheduled to be completed by 10 p.m., but these times may change based on a number of factors including weather, airspace availability on the Utah Test and Training Range, and other support elements.
Hill's fighter wings must train at night to maintain their combat readiness and all-weather capabilities, and maintainers work around the clock to prepare jets for flight, inspect them after flight and get them ready for the next day of flying. 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 been deployed in support of combat operations in the Middle East and remain ready when they are called upon.
Hill Air Force Base is home to 78 F-35A Lightning IIs. The 388th and 419th fighter wings are the Air Force's first combat-capable F-35A units and fly and maintain the jet in a Total Force partnership, which capitalizes on the strength of both components.