Hill's fighter wings begin night flying

  • Published
  • By 388th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah, -- The active duty 388th and reserve 419th Fighter Wings will conduct increased flying operations over the next month, including night-flying missions with the F-35A Lightning II.

Local residents may notice increased activity during the evening hours as pilots continue to sharpen their night-time combat flying skills.

Night operations are limited to what is required for Airmen to remain proficient.  The current schedule calls for night flying through early April with normal pauses on the weekends as well as a brief pause from March 26-April 1.

The wings share a fleet of more than 50 F-35A aircraft and are required to train at night to maintain their readiness and all weather capabilities. Increased flying also provides a valuable opportunity to evaluate aircraft maintenance resiliency and operational agility.

The wings now have three fighter squadrons and more F-35A aircraft and pilots than at any point since receiving the first jets in 2015, which also factors into the increased activity. This includes many new pilots who need specific training.

Most residents around Hill AFB are familiar with the base’s flight patterns and night flying hours. However, due to runway construction currently underway, the flight patterns will change and communities not accustomed to seeing and hearing aircraft may notice an increase in activity throughout the construction period, including cities as far south as Salt Lake City and Bountiful. Construction will continue throughout the spring and early summer.  

The 388th and 419th are the Air Force first combat-capable F-35 units. The first operational F-35As arrived at Hill in October 2015. The active duty 388th FW and Air Force Reserve 419th FW fly and maintain the jet in a Total Force partnership, which capitalizes on the strength of both components. By the end of this year, Hill AFB will be home to 78 F-35s.

For more information, reference the Frequently asked Questions on noise.