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Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Col. Dave Smith, commander of the 419th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, talks Monday, April 17, 2017, about the F-35A fighter jets making their first overseas training deployment to Europe as part a joint air training exercise over the next several weeks.
HILL AIR FORCE BASE — For the first time, the U.S. Air Force has joined its European allies in military training exercises using its latest high-performance fighter jets.
Officials at Hill Air Force Base confirmed Monday that F-35As from the (active duty) 34th Fighter Squadron, 388th Fighter Wing and the Air Force Reserve’s 466th Fighter Squadron, 419th Fighter Wing will participate in joint air training with other Europe-based aircraft in support of the European Reassurance Initiative.
Much of the training will take place near Royal Air Force Lakenheath in the United Kingdom. The Utah airmen and crew members arrived on Saturday and are expected to participate in training exercises over the next several months.
“The exercise that we’re participating in is called “Iron Hand,” said 419th Fighter Wing commander Col. Dave Smith. “It’s a normal exercise that we participate in every year alongside our NATO partners.”