HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Evaluation exercises Combat Hammer and Combat Archer ended August 18 at Hill AFB and the Utah Test and Training Range. Both are part of the Weapons System Evaluation Program or WSEP.
WSEP tested the performance of crews, pilots, and their technology while deploying air-to-ground and air-to-air precision-guided munitions. The goal of Combat Hammer is to evaluate the effectiveness, maintainability, suitability, and accuracy of precision guided air-to-ground munitions. Combat Archer evaluates operational Department of Defense and partner nations’ total air-to-air weapons system actions in live-fire, combat representative environments to improve Combat Air Force training and readiness as well as weapons effectiveness.
The exercises featured the first-ever participation for operational F-35A Lighting II aircraft assigned to the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings at Hill AFB.
In addition to the F-35s, the following aircraft participated: F-15E Strike Eagles from Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina; B-1B Lancers from Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota; B-52 Stratfortresses from Barksdale AFB, Louisiana; and Air National Guard F-16 Fighting Falcons from Kelly Field, Texas.
The 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron, a Hill tenant unit, conducted Combat Hammer while the 83rd FWS from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, hosted Combat Archer.