Weapons evaluation begins next week at Hill Air Force Base

Staff Sgt. Shaka Battle and Senior Airman Irvin Padilla, both 388th Fighter Wing, participate in Combat Hammer exercise, August 12, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base. Photo Courtesy: Hill AFB

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah, Nov. 1, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Communities surrounding Hill Air Force Base may notice an increase in flying over the next two weeks as the Air Force conducts a weapons evaluation.

Starting next week, F-35 aircraft from the 34th Fighter Squadron, along with F-16s from Shaw AFB, South Carolina, AC-130 gunships from Hurlburt Field, Florida, and B-2s flying from Whiteman AFB, Missouri, will participate in WSEP West, also known as Combat Hammer, said a news release from Hill Air Force Base.

The two-week evaluation runs from Nov. 2-13. Flying may begin as early as 7 a.m. the first week and wrap up as late as 8 p.m. during the second week.

“During Combat Hammer, airmen evaluate every aspect of air-to-ground weapons employment, from building and loading munitions, to aircraft and pilot performance hitting targets on the Utah Test and Training Range,” said the news release. “WSEP West is conducted by 86th FWS 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 WSEP West is ongoing at Hill, the 4th Fighter Squadron, along with Reserve Airmen from the 419th Fighter Wing, will deploy 12 aircraft to Tyndall AFB, Florida. They will join other Air Force units for WSEP East, an air-to-air weapons evaluation, and Checkered Flag, a large-force combat exercise.


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