Air Force

December 6, 2013

Hill selected to receive first operational F-35A aircraft

The Air Force announced Hill Air Force Base, Utah, will be home to the service’s first operational F-35A Lightning IIs. The first operational F-35As are scheduled to arrive at Hill in 2015. The base is projected to receive 72 F-35As, replacing the 48 F-16 Fighting Falcons currently assigned. The F-35A, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, is a fifth-generation fighter aircraft intended to be the Air Force’s premier strike fighter aircraft through the first half of the 21st Century. The multirole fighter is expected to eventually replace the service’s F-16 and A-10 fleets.

Hill Air Force Base, Utah,¬†was selected as the new home for the Air Force’s first operational F-35A Lightning IIs.

Air Force officials chose Hill AFB after a lengthy analysis of multiple locations’ operational considerations, installation attributes, economic and environmental factors.

“Hill AFB is ideally suited to assure a successful path to Initial Operational Capability,” said Timothy Bridges, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations. “The nearby Utah Test and Training Range provides access to one of the largest and most diverse airspace and range complexes in the Air Force. Access to high-quality airspace and ranges is essential for the first operational F-35A wing.”

The decision culminates a nearly four year process that included an extensive Environmental Impact Statement that examined impacts on such factors as air quality, noise, land use and socioeconomics.

Hill AFB is also home to the F-35 depot, which provides fleet maintenance support, a key factor to the long term sustainment and readiness of the F-35A fleet.

Another strength of Hill AFB is the already established classic association between the 388th Fighter Wing (active duty) and the 419th Fighter Wing (reserve). This Total Force Integrated unit is capable of providing accelerated seasoning of new personnel to maximize the F-35A’s advanced capabilities.

“This is great news for Hill AFB and we welcome the addition of the Air Force’s newest, next-generation fighter aircraft,” said Col. Lance Landrum, 388th Fighter Wing commander. “The F-35 is critical to ensuring our dominance over the battlefield in today and tomorrow’s advanced threat environment. Hill is the perfect place for this weapons system given the nearby Utah Test and Training Range, our existing infrastructure, and continued support from the local community. We look forward to paving the way for its arrival.”

“Flying F-35s alongside our active duty counterparts is a great example of the Air Force’s ‘Total Force’ vision, which seeks to increase capability from new technology while leveraging the experience, stability, continuity and cost effectiveness of our Reserve personnel,” said Col. Bryan Radliff, 419th Fighter Wing commander.

“Today’s announcement that the fighter wings will host operational beddown of the F-35 Lightning II is certainly great news for Team Hill and the state of Utah,” said Col. Kathryn Kolbe, 75th Air Base Wing commander. “Selecting Hill to host America’s newest fifth generation fighter is a tribute to the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings’ rich heritage. It is fitting the 388th Fighter Wing become the first fully operational F-35 unit, just as it was with the F-16 in January 1979. The selection to place it here speaks volumes to the viability of Team Hill’s commitment to our nation’s security.”

Construction on base to prepare for the aircraft is expected to start almost immediately in order to be ready to accept the first F-35As, which are scheduled to arrive in 2015. The base is projected to receive 72 F-35As, replacing the 48 F-16 Fighting Falcons currently assigned to Hill.

The F-35A, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, is a fifth-generation fighter aircraft intended to be the Air Force’s premier strike aircraft through the first half of the 21st century. It is a multirole fighter that is expected to eventually replace the service’s F-16 and A-10 fleets.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chrissy Best

Losing sleep: CSAF shares what keeps him up at night

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chrissy Best Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III speaks with 501st Combat Support Wing Airmen during an all call at Royal Air Force Croughton, England, July 16. Welsh explained the...
 
 

Final rule puts more teeth into Military Lending Act

The Defense Department July 21 closed loopholes to protect U.S. men and women in uniform from predatory lending practices, President Barack Obama said this morning at the 116th Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The heightened level of financial and consumer-rights protection against unscrupulous practices, called the final rule of the Military...
 
 

Northrop Grumman demonstrates open mission systems architecture across manned, unmanned systems

PALMDALE, Calif.–Northrop Grumman demonstrated in recent test flights that the U.S. Air Force’s Open Mission Systems architecture standards can be successfully integrated across multiple systems and platforms. These flights have paved the way for new capabilities to be integrated rapidly and affordably across advanced manned and unmanned aircraft. In June, at Edwards Air Force Base,...
 

 

AF continues to work with DOD, OPM on cybersecurity incident

The Air Force maintains its commitment to protect personal information from cyber threats by continuing efforts with the Defense Department and the Office of Personnel Management to assist those impacted by the recent cyber incident involving federal background investigation data. OPM and an interagency response team, including investigators from the FBI and the Department of...
 
 
Untitled-1

New AFMC mission, vision statements emphasize agility

New mission and vision statements are the foundation of a new command strategy designed to push Air Force Materiel Command to be more agile as it delivers war-winning support to the warfighter. The command’s new mission s...
 
 
Comm-CofC

New commander online with 412th Communications Squadron

Air Force photograph by Edward Cannon From left: Col. Eric Leshinsky, 412th Mission Support Group commander, and Lt. Col. J. Scott Fuller pose for a photo as Lt. Col. Christopher Budde looks on. Budde relinquished command of th...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>