Defense

May 9, 2018
 

Airmen, jets return from Japan deployment

Airmen and F-35A aircraft from the active duty 388th Fighter Wing and Reserve 419th Fighter Wing returned to Hill Air Force Base, Utah, May 4-5 following a six-month deployment to Kadena Air Base, Japan.

Families gathered on the flightline to welcome the pilots, maintainers, and support personnel who had been working at Kadena and the surrounding region since October 2017. The deployment was part of a routine “theater security package” that demonstrates continuing U.S. commitment to stability and security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

This marks the first long-term overseas deployment for the F-35A, which first arrived at Hill AFB in 2015 and was deemed “combat ready” by the Air Force one year later. The 388th FW and 419th FW fly and maintain the jet in a Total Force partnership, which capitalizes on the strengths of both the active duty and Reserve components. 

“They accomplished a lot,” said Col. Regina Sabric, 419th FW commander. “The biggest thing with being the first operational F-35 theater security package, it sets the playbook for every other operational wing to follow.”

Airmen from the active duty 388th Fighter Wing and Reserve 419th Fighter Wing return to Hill Air Force Base, Utah, after a six-month deployment to Kadena Air Base, Japan. The pilots, maintainers, and support personnel served in the region as part of the first long-term overseas deployment for the F-35A.

While deployed, pilots flew 1,086 sorties and deployed an additional eight times from Kadena to other locations in the region. Personnel worked with other U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corp aircraft and the Japanese Self Defense Force and Republic of Korea Air Force.

Col. Lee Kloos, 388th FW commander, said F-35 pilots gained valuable training with their joint and coalition partners, and maintainers were able to get the jets back in the air quickly.

“This is the first [F-35] deployment of this magnitude and this duration,” Kloos said. “The jets performed great, it was an amazing performance.”

Hill’s fighter wings are home to 35 F-35s and will total 78 by the end of 2019.




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


 
 

 

Headlines – April 17, 2019

News Army secretary reveals weapons wish list for war with China, Russia – U.S. Army leaders revealed April 16 that they are briefing top military commanders about new weapons being built specifically for “high-intensity conflict” against China and Russia, in a new effort to assure that they could provide vital firepower for those potential battlefields...
 
 

News Briefs – April 17, 2019

U.S. airstrike kills top IS group leader in northern Somalia The U.S. military and a Somali official said April 15 that a U.S. airstrike killed a senior leader of the Islamic State in Somalia group that has led attacks in northern Somalia. The U.S. Africa Command said in statement that it carried out an airstrike...
 
 

The Raiders remembered

Courtesy photograph Lt. Col. Richard Cole, last of the Doolittle Raiders. Last week an airmen died, and with his passing so too comes the end of the journey of 80 men who, during World War II, did more to assure our victory and...