HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Utahns will once again see and hear the F-35A Lightning II in the skies surrounding Hill Air Force Base as hundreds of Airmen and two squadrons returned to base this week after a two-month absence.
Airmen from the active duty 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wings with the 421st and 34th Fighter Squadrons have wrapped-up their recent deployed operations and resumed daily flying operations here Aug. 3.
The 421st Fighter Squadron is returning from a two-month European Theater Security Package. They were stationed at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, and participated in several combat exercises with allied and partner nations.
The squadron integrated with 19 different countries in Europe, including major exercises in Italy, Poland, Lithuania and Norway. The exercises were designed to further expand the F-35A’s combat capability, strengthen partner-nation relationships and integrate into flying operations with other U.S and allied aircraft.
The 34th Fighter Squadron operated out of Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, for two months while the main runway at Hill was closed for major repairs. It was the largest off-station F-35A operation ever. While there, they flew alongside F-15E Strike Eagles in daily training as well as the joint “Gunfighter Flag” exercise.
About a dozen jets from the 34th FS will remain at Mountain Home until late August to participate in the Combat Hammer and Combat Archer weapons evaluations.
The 4th Fighter Squadron remains deployed at Al Dahfra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, in support of the U.S. Central Command mission.