Hill fighter wings will fly F-35s over Utah on July 3


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A US Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, flies over Afghanistan, September 27, 2018. Photo by Corey Hook / US Air Force

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah, July 1, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) – A 33-year holiday tradition continues as pilots from the 419th Air Reserve Fighter Wing and the 388th Fighter Wing on active duty fly overflights of 12 Utah cities this fourth of the weekend in July.

Spectators can see four F-35A Lightning II jets in formation between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., a press release from Hill Air Force Base said. The jets will fly over Clearfield, Henefer, Millcreek, Morgan, Murray, North Salt Lake, Park City, Riverton, Salt Lake City, Vernal, West Jordan and West Point.

“It’s a real honor to fly this plane over Utah,” said Major Michael “Bambi” Oldenborg, pilot of the 466th Fighter Squadron. “We look forward to flying over the Salt Lake Valley in support of America’s celebration, and we are proud to represent the Air Force Reserve.”

The pilots of the morning jets will be piloted by reserve pilots of the 466th FS led by Oldenborg. He will be joined by Major Kyle “Moose” Crosby, Major Casey “Shotgun” Smergut and Major Justin “Loco” Cleveland.

Another flyby will take place in the evening, with two jets flying over the Stadium of Fire event in Provo, the press release said. Known for hosting the largest stadium fireworks display in the United States, the event will celebrate its 40th anniversary after being canceled last year due to COVID-19.

The evening flyby will be piloted by Captain Kenneth “Bone” Skelton and Captain Brendan “Nada” Moran of the 34th Fighter Squadron.

F-35 maintenance managers from the 388th and 419th Maintenance Groups are also working on the overflights.

“We never have a problem bringing in airmen on their vacation weekend to work on these overflights,” said the Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Hartman, 419th Maintenance Group superintendent. “They understand the patriotism of it all, so there is a lot of enthusiasm for this event.”

Chief Master Sgt. Ben Carson, 388th MXG superintendent, said he was proud to see the jets in the air every Independence Day.

“I want the community to know that they can be sure that we are there for them and always will be,” said Carson. “Our job is to fly these jets, and we’re ready to do it anytime, anywhere.

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