Defense

November 6, 2017
 

Hill F-35s deploy overseas for second time

Team Hill Airmen load bags into a commercial aircraft, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Oct. 30, 2017. Nearly 300 Airmen and twelve F-35A Lightning II stealth fighters departed Hill AFB for a six-month deployment to Okinawa.

Twelve F-35A Lightning II aircraft and approximately 300 Airmen from the active-duty 388th Fighter Wing and Reserve 419th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, departed Oct. 30, 2017, for a six-month deployment to Japan.

The Hill AFB F-35s, assigned to the 34th Fighter Squadron (388th FW) and 419th FW, deployed as part of a preplanned theater security package. While this represents the first operational tasking of the F-35A in the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility, TSPs have been an integral part of the combatant command’s force posture since March 2004 and are meant to demonstrate the continuing U.S. commitment to stability and security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Airman 1st Class Dakota Zimmer, a crew chief assigned to 4th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, launches an F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Oct. 30, 2017. Twelve jets and nearly 300 Airmen were deployed to Okinawa as part of Pacific Command’s “theater security” program. The deployment is designed to demonstrate U.S. commitment to stability and security in the region.

This marks the Air Force’s second overseas deployment of the F-35A. The first was to RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom, in April 2017.

While a first in-theater for the F-35A, the U.S. Marine Corps F-35B variant has been stationed in the PACOM AOR at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, since January 2017.
Regionally, the air forces of Australia, Japan, and the Republic of Korea have invested in the F-35 program, but none are operational in theater.
 

Total Force 388th and 419th Fighter Wing F-35A Lightning II aircraft taxi before departing Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Oct. 30, 2017. Twelve jets and approximately 300 Team Hill Airmen deployed to Japan for six months. The F-35A deployment is the first for the aircraft in the region after its participation in the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition.

 

Team Hill Airmen load bags into a commercial aircraft, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Oct. 30, 2017. Nearly 300 Airmen and twelve F-35A Lightning II stealth fighters departed Hill AFB for a six-month deployment to Okinawa.

 

Airman 1st Class Dakota Zimmer, a crew chief assigned to 4th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, launches an F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Oct. 30, 2017. Twelve jets and nearly 300 Airmen were deployed to Okinawa as part of Pacific Command’s theater security program. The deployment is designed to demonstrate U.S. commitment to stability and security in the region.

 

Total Force 388th and 419th Fighter Wing F-35A Lightning II aircraft taxi before departing Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Oct. 30, 2017. Twelve jets and approximately 300 Team Hill Airmen deployed to Japan for six months. The F-35A deployment is the first for the aircraft in the region after its participation in the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition.




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