HILL AIR FORCE BASE — With no planes in sight, the only thing with wings in Hangar 37 on Hill Air Force Base’s flightline was the turkey.
The men and women of Hill’s two fighter wings will get a pair of Thanksgiving feasts this year. As an added bonus to what they’ll eat today, Hill’s 388th and 419th Fighter Wings held a combined Thanksgiving feast in one of the base’s airplane hangars Wednesday afternoon.
The massive meal fed more than 1,500 people, including airmen and their families. The meal featured 48 turkeys, 30 hams, 140 boxes of stuffing, 70 boxes of potatoes and nearly every food item one could desire on Thanksgiving Day.
“It’s been a total team effort,” said Col. Bryan Radliff, the new commander of the 419th. “It’s been a huge undertaking for all of the people involved in the planning, and we’ve also had tremendous support from the community.”
Several area businesses donated food, supplies and money, and members of the two wings also chipped in.
Local mayors and other community leaders pitched in, too, serving food throughout the four-hour feast.
The food was mostly prepared on base, at Hill’s restaurant and dining facility.
Layton restaurant Moon Dog’s Cafe smoked the turkeys free of charge.
Master Sgt. Kelly Moudy, the lead organizer for the event, said it took 13 committee members about six weeks to prepare for the event.
“It’s quite a bit of work, but we feel like these men and women deserve it,” Moudy said. “A lot of people are away from their families, and this can be a tough time of year for people in the Air Force.”
There are currently about 250 airmen deployed between the two wings, many of them in Korea.
Col. Scott Long, commander of the 388th, is in Korea now, helping members of the two wings enjoy Thanksgiving overseas.
Tech. Sgt. Scott Jones was deployed last year for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.
He said he’s glad to be back with his family this year.
“When you’re gone for the holidays, you have to do a lot of preparation beforehand,” he said. “Like last year, we had Christmas early. It’s nice to be home this year.”