Hill AFB's fighter wings to conduct night flying during combat exercise Published Sept. 11, 2020 By Micah Garbarino 388th Fighter Wing Public Affairs HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Communities surrounding Hill Air Force Base will notice flying operations late into the evening Sept. 14-17 as the base’s fighter wings conduct a local combat exercise. The active duty 388th Fighter Wing and Reserve 419th Fighter Wing will fly roughly 80 sorties per day, with some lasting until 1 a.m. The flying schedule is based on a number of factors including exercise objectives, airspace availability on the Utah Test and Training Range, and the availability of other support elements. The wings are required to train at night to maintain their combat readiness and all-weather capabilities. This exercise will also provide combat scenarios created to evaluate aircraft maintenance and operational agility. Night operations are limited to what is required for Airmen to remain proficient and ready for combat. Airmen from both wings are currently deployed in the Middle East with the 421st Fighter Squadron. The other two squadrons are continuing to fly here, ensuring they are ready to deploy when needed. The primary mission of the 388th Fighter Wing is to rapidly employ combat power with the F-35A Lightning II aircraft worldwide in support of the national defense. There are approximately 2,000 airmen and civilian professionals assigned to the 388th FW. Hill AFB is home to 78 F-35A Lightning IIs. The 388th and 419th are the Air Force’s first combat-capable F-35A units and operate in a total force partnership, which capitalizes on the strength of both active duty and Reserve components.