HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Residents around Hill may notice an increase in aircraft arrivals and departures Aug. 6-24 as the Hill’s active duty 388th Fighter Wing, the Reserve 419th FW and 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron conduct the U.S. Air Force air-to-ground exercise known as Combat Hammer and air-to-air exercise known as Combat Archer.
During this time, local residents may also notice aircraft flying during the night hours as pilots continue to sharpen their night-time combat flying skills. On days when night flying occurs, operations are scheduled to end around 10 p.m.
The goal of Combat Hammer is to evaluate the effectiveness, maintainability, suitability, and accuracy of precision guided air-to-ground munitions. Combat Archer evaluates air-to-air weapons systems in live-fire, combat-like environments to improve training, readiness, and effectiveness.
During the weapons evaluations, aircraft travel to the Utah Test and Training Range in Utah’s west desert to drop munitions in realistic combat scenarios. With support from the 388th FW, 419th FW, 75th Air Base Wing, Airmen from the 86th FWS will collect and analyze data on how these precision weapons perform and their suitability for use in combat.
Aircraft participating in the Air Force Weapons System Evaluation Program include: F-35As from Hill AFB; F-15s from Mountain Home AFB, Idaho; F-16s from Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., and Nellis AFB, Nev.