This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
If you hear the roar of jet engines above the nighttime clouds of northern Utah over the next week and a half, have no fear: those F-16 fighters aren't looking to light up a sleigh-and-reindeer bogey.
Hill Air Force Base spokesman Richard Essary said the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings, beginning Monday night and extending through the evening of Dec. 19, will merely be trying to sharpen their nighttime flying skills.
"Nighttime presents many unique challenges for fighter pilots maneuvering in simulated combat scenarios and it is important the pilots get training repetitions before being called to action," Essary stated.
Specifically, pilots deployed in combat zones are frequently required to file missions in darkness using only night vision goggles along with their aircrafts' array of sensors and avionics.