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The rattle of machine guns and rifle fire will be heard at Hill Air Force Base this week, but residents in neighboring communities need not throw their prepper "bug out bags" in their trucks or burrow into backyard bunkers.

It's just a drill, says Lt. Col. Darin Humiston, commander of the 729th Air Control Squadron. And the troops will be using blank ammunition.

"It is important we take every opportunity to ensure our unit is combat ready," Humiston stated. "I decided to conduct the training on a rural area of the base rather than convoy and set up operations in the [west desert] Utah Test and Training Range…because it is more fiscally responsible."

Surrounding communities, particularly South Ogden, will be able to hear the squadron's Airmen firing during the exercise, which was planned to begin Tuesday and run through Friday.

"We'll have 65 Airmen setting up a radar detachment on the north training area of the base," Humiston said. "Although the Airmen will be training as they do in combat, they will use blanks in their rifles, and no ground burst simulator or explosions simulating bombs will be used."

Twitter: @remims

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