An environmental assessment about an advanced-technology night flight system has been completed, allowing Hill Air Force's 388th Tactical Fighter Wing to use the system in training flights.

The system is LANTIRN, Low Altitude Navigation and Testing Infra-Red for Night. It gives pilots the ability to fly at low altitudes along the contour of the terrain, using mountains, valleys and darkness to help conceal a fighter from enemy detection.The system was effective during the war with Iraq. But until the assessment process is finished, Hill doesn't have authority to use it here.

Initial training in the use of LANTIRN is carried out at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. With the completion of the assessment process, LANTIRN pods can be installed on Hill's F-16 jets, and continued flights can take place in Utah at night.

"There will be some additional sorties," said Debbie Smith of the Ogden Air Logists Center, based at Hill.

"The 388th Tactical Fighter Wing is the first F-16 tactical fighter wing to have the LANTIRN capability," she said.

A 30-day period, during which comments are accepted from the public on the assessment, ends on May 26. A copy of the assessment is available at the Davis County Library, Layton.

Written comments on the system may be sent to: OO-ALC/EMX, attn: Kim Packard, Building 800/Bay 9B, Hill AFB, UT 84056.

For more information, members of the public may call Packard at 777-7651.