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F-22 Experiences Landing Troubles during Exercise at Hill AFB

HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- An F-22 pilot from Florida is safe after an undisclosed landing mishap Saturday at Hill Air Force Base.

Base spokesman Micah Garbarino said an F-22 Raptor based out of Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., experienced "a ground emergency upon landing" at approximately 1:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6.

Garbarino said the pilot, who was visiting Hill for a large scale training exercise, exited the aircraft safely. The pilot did not have to eject from the plane, he said.

Emergency crews responded immediately after the incident, which is still under investigation. The Air Force did not release the pilot's name or disclose further details about what caused the mishap or how much damaged the aircraft suffered.

Garbarino said the pilot was participating in the U.S. Air Force's regular combat training and weapons testing programs, known as Combat Hammer and Combat Archer.

Combat Hammer -- which is lead by the 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron, a Hill tenant unit based at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. -- includes dropping bombs and other munitions in air-to-ground weapons testing at the Utah Test and Training Range. It's being conducted simultaneously with Combat Archer, which tests weapons in air-to-air combat scenarios, like firing missiles at enemy aircraft.

Both exercises include several fighter aircraft in the Air Force's combat fleet.

During the exercises, crews gather performance data to determine how fit the different weapons systems are for use in real-life combat scenarios. Analysis of the data is sent to leaders of the military's group of combatant commands, based at seven different strategic locations across the world. The reports are used for planning, funding and resource allocation

In a press release, base spokesman Rich Essary said the exercises are scheduled to conclude on Aug. 18. Until then, residents living around the base will notice an increase in aircraft arrivals and departures.

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