Defense

April 25, 2014

F-16s train alongside F-35s

An F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off while two F-35 Lightning IIs taxi during a training mission April 24, 2014, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. F-16s from the 419th and 388th Fighter Wings from Hill AFB, Utah, conducted their first training missions alongside the Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft.

F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots from Hill Air Force Base’s 419th and 388th Fighter Wings took to the sky at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., April 24 for their first training missions alongside the F-35A Lightning II, the Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft.

Hill AFB’s F-16s flew air-to-air combat training missions with F-35As assigned to Eglin AFB’s 33rd Fighter Wing.

“This was a great opportunity for our F-16s to operate with the F-35,” said Lt. Col. David Castaneda, the 419 FW’s 466th Fighter Squadron commander. ”This mission allowed us to train for seamless integration of the Air Force’s fourth and fifth generation fighters and provided invaluable insight into the future of fighter operations at Hill AFB.”

In December 2013, Hill AFB was named the Air Force’s first operational basing location for the F-35A. The active-duty 388th FW and Air Force Reserve 419th FW will fly and maintain the aircraft in a total-force partnership. While the wings already work together at home station, training as one element alongside Eglin AFB’s 33rd Fighter Wing mirrors their real-world mission.

“We are a total-force integration operation,” said Maj. Jayson Rickard, the assistant director of operations in the 466th FS. “Everything we do back home and when we deploy is side-by-side with our active-duty counterparts. This is very representative of what we would do in combat.”

The F-35A combines advanced capabilities of stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully-fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.

“I really enjoyed flying with the F-35s here and it was great to see its impressive set of capabilities up close,” said Capt. Alex Turner, a 388th FW pilot.

April 25, F-16 maintainers from Hill AFB will also take part in an F-35A immersion to include an in-depth overview of ALIS – the Autonomic Logistics Information System, which is a one-stop shop for a broad range of integrated high-tech capabilities including maintenance prognostics, supply chain management and technical data for the aircraft.

The operational flying mission of the F-35A continues a long tradition of firsts for Hill AFB’s fighter wings. The 388th FW was the first operational unit to receive the F-16 in 1979, while the 419th FW was the first Reserve unit to receive the jet in 1983.

“The F-35 is going to be an important aircraft for the future of the Air Force,” said Tech. Sgt. David Sudak, a 419th FW crew chief. “It will provide flexibility both for maintenance and aircrews. The new computer system seems to be more integrated. It’s going to make our job a lot easier.”

“I look forward to seeing what similarities there are on the two jets,” said Senior Airman Kimber Kreamer, an 388th FW crew chief. “I love working on the F-16, so I’m anxious to apply that knowledge to the F-35 at Hill (AFB).”

Hill AFB is slated to receive its first operational F-35A in late 2015. Planning is currently underway for three operational F-35A squadrons at the base and aircraft deliveries are expected to be phased in over a three-year period with full conversion anticipated by March 2019.




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


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin OíShea

U.S. Forces display military might at Farnborough

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin O’Shea Capt. Tom Meyers discusses the F-15E Strike Eagle’s capabilities with spectators July 17, 2014, at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. Public access was granted ...
 
 
raptors4

Raptors, Falcons fuel up in desert skies

Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, Ju...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Sun sets on Red Flag 14-3

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler The sun sets behind a row of F-16 Fighting Falcons during Red Flag 14-3, July 16, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Red Flag provides a series of intense air-to-air combat scenario...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Siuta B. Ika

AOC integral to Red Flag 14-3 operations

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Siuta B. Ika Members of the Air and Space Operations Center work during Red Flag 14-3 operations July 22, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Armed with personnel from intelligence and communicati...
 
 
red-flag1

Red Flag night operations soar into darkness

Singapore air force aircraft maintainers walk down the flightline looking for foreign object debris before night operations begin during Red Flag 14-3, July 16 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Red Flag exercises involve air and g...
 
 
Air Force photo by Ken LaRock

First aviation mechanic display added to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

Air Force photo by Ken LaRock A bronze bust honoring the first aviation mechanic, Charles E. Taylor, is now on permanent display in the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force’s Early Years Gallery. The museum is located ne...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>