Defense

October 4, 2017
 

Hill’s 4th FS/AMU receives first F-35A

Tags:
Donovan K. Potter
Hill AFB, Utah

Hundreds filled the Hill Air Force Base ramp to welcome Lt. Col Yosef Morris, 4th Fighter Squadron Commander, as he flew the first F-35A assigned to the 4th FS/AMU to Hill from the Lockheed Martin factory Sept. 27, 2017.

Hundreds cheered the historic arrival of the 4th Fighter Squadron’s and 4th Aircraft Maintenance Unit’s first F-35A as tail number 5133 landed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Sept. 27 and taxied into Hotel Row. 

It was a big event as Staff Sgt. Timothy Ericksen, 4th Aircraft Maintenance Unit dedicated crew chief for Hill’s newest Lightning II, directed Lt. Col. Yosef Morris, 4th Fighter Squadron commander, to the designated parking spot. 

“It’s an absolute honor to brining this aircraft home,” Morris said. “We have hundreds of maintainers, pilots and support personnel who have been working diligently to transit on the 4th AMU and the 4th FS to F-35 operations. I’m incredibly excited to be a part of giving that transition its first tangible asset as we all build the next operation F-35 unit together.”

Currently the 4th AMU has maintenance control over six aircraft from the 388th Fighter Wing partner 34th, and Capt. Cheyenne Clement, 4th AMU officer in charge said he appreciates the F-35 training his people received from the 34th AMU, but nothing beats working on their own aircraft.

“In the last year and a half, we have prepared for this very moment,” Clement said. “This aircraft arrival symbolizes all our hard work finally coming together. It marks the beginning of the Fighting Fuujins coming back to the fight; delivering combat airpower around the world at a moment’s notice.”

Members of the 388th Fighter Wing’s 4th Aircraft Maintenance Unit drag chocks as Lt. Col Yosef Morris, 4th Fighter Squadron Commander prepared to deplane after he flew the jet to Hill Air Force Base from the Lockheed Martin factory Sept. 27, 2017. This is the 4th FS/AMU first F-35 assigned.

Ericksen, who has been working F-35s for the past two years and whose name will be on the side of the plane, said it’s a privilege to catch the 4th AMU’s first jet and looks forward to making sure all the maintenance is completed as he employs the skills he learned from the 34th AMU.

“This jet marks the end of an era and the start of the future for the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings,” Morris said. “Both wings are now one hundred percent F-35 units, with the last F-16s leaving the base last week. We established a long, proud history of F-16 operations, supporting our country around the world for four decades. The arrival of the first 4th Fighter Squadron F-35 is the beginning of the next 40-year chapter for the Fuujins.”

“If receiving a brand new jet, fresh off the production line, and preparing it to protect our nation isn’t every maintainer’s dream, I don’t know what is,” Clement said.

The first operational F-35As arrived at Hill AFB in October 2015. Hill currently has 27 F-35As and will eventually be home to 78 aircraft and three operational squadrons by the end of 2019. The 388th and 419th FWs fly and maintain the aircraft in a Total Force partnership, which capitalizes on the strength of the active duty and Reserve.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Navy photograph

USS Milwaukee fires missiles, kicks off LCS missile module development testing

The Freedom variant littoral combat ship USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) conducted a live-fire missile exercise off the coast of Virginia May 11. The Milwaukee fired four longbow hellfire missiles that successfully struck fast inshore at...
 
 
tbirds

Thunderbirds show season to resume at JBLE

Gen. Mike Holmes, Commander of Air Combat Command, has authorized the resumption of Thunderbird performances starting at Air Power over Hampton Roads at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., May 19-20, 2018. Holmes made this determin...
 
 
irwin-business

Fort Irwin small business outreach attracts outpouring response

Photograph by Maria T. Rodriguez Diane House briefs contract opportunities with the Army before a packed house of small and large industry representatives during an acquisition forecast open house May 1 in Barstow, California. ...