HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Residents around Hill may notice an increase in aircraft arrivals and departures Aug. 3-21 as the 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron conducts the U.S. Air Force air-to-ground exercise known as Combat Hammer and air-to-air exercise known as Combat Archer.
During the next few weeks, seven units from around the Air Force will drop munitions and fire air-to-air missiles in realistic combat scenarios at the Utah Test and Training Range in Utah’s West Desert. With support from the 388th Fighter Wing and 75th Air Base Wing, 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron Airmen will collect and analyze data on the reliability, maintainability, suitability and accuracy of precision-guided munitions. Additionally, the 83rd Fighter Weapons Squadron will evaluate the capability of each squadron’s Airmen, aircraft and weapons in simulated air-to-air combat.
“This exercise showcases the synergy created between the 53rd Wing, the 388th Fighter Wing, the 419th Fighter Wing, and the 75th Air Base Wing,” said Lt. Col. Sean Neitzke, 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron commander. “We are executing the largest combined weapons system evaluation seen to date, a feat not possible without the outstanding support of the local community, the Utah Test and Training Range, and the participating squadrons. This teamwork allows us to evaluate Airmen and their equipment in a realistic combat environment, better preparing our nation’s combat air power.”
Aircraft participating in the Air Force Weapons System Evaluation Program include: F-16s from Hill AFB, Eglin AFB, Florida, and Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany; F-15Es from Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina; and A-10s from Moody AFB, Georgia. Additionally, MQ-1s and MQ-9s will be participating from Creech AFB, Nevada, and B-1s will be participating from Dyess AFB, Texas.