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Weapons evaluations begin next week at Hill AFB

A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II from the 104th Fighter Squadron of the 175th Wing, Maryland Air National Guard, flies over the Warren Grove Gunnery Range, Dec. 3, 2020, in Warren Grove, N.J.

A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II from the 104th Fighter Squadron of the 175th Wing, Maryland Air National Guard, flies over the Warren Grove Gunnery Range, Dec. 3, 2020, in Warren Grove, N.J. Joint Terminal Attack Controllers from Estonia and the 146th Air Support Operations Squadron, Oklahoma Air National Guard, conducted close air support training under the State Partnership Program. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman Hunter Hires)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Communities surrounding Hill Air Force Base will notice an increase in flying over the next two weeks as the Air Force conducts a weapons system evaluation here.

From March 9-18, A-10C Thunderbolt IIs from the Maryland Air National Guard’s 104th Fighter Squadron will be stationed at Hill for WSEP West, also known as Combat Hammer. Other units will also participate, but fly into the Utah Test and Training Range from off-station.

During the exercise, Airmen evaluate every aspect of air-to-ground weapons employment, from building and loading munitions, to aircraft and pilot performance hitting targets on the UTTR.

WSEP West is conducted by 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron at Hill, which is the single DOD agency charged with conducting predictive battle-damage analysis of precision guided air-to-ground munitions using operational weapons, aircraft, maintenance personnel and aircrew.

While F-35’s from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings are not participating in the exercise, they will be conducting normal flying operations later in the day, and the airfield will be active from 8 a.m. to approximately 10 p.m. each weekday.