Defense

April 30, 2014

Hill’s F-16s take first flights alongside F-35s

Tags:
SSgt. Christina Judd
Eglin AFB, Fla.

Hill’s F-16 flies with the F-35 Lightning II, in a training mission at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., today. Hill sent 235 active and reserve personnel to train alongside the Air Forceís newest fighter jet.

F-16 pilots from Hill Air Force Base’s 419th and 388th Fighter Wings took to the skies at Elgin Air Force Base, Fla., April 30 for their first training missions alongside the F-35A Lightning II, the Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft.

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

“This was a great opportunity for our F-16s to operate with the F-35. 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,” said Lt. Col. David Castaneda, the 419 FW’s 466th Fighter Squadron commander.

In December 2013, Hill 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’s 33rd Fighter Wing mirrors their real-world mission.

“We are a Total Force Integration operation,” said Maj. Jayson Rickard, 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, 388th FW pilot.

On Friday, F-16 maintainers from Hill 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’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 AF 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, 419th FW crew chief. “It will provide flexibility both for maintenance and air crews. 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, 388 FW crew chief. “I love working on the F-16, so I’m anxious to apply that knowledge to the F-35 at Hill.”

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 Hill 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.


 
 

 

Headlines April 24, 2015

News: More than $1 billion in U.S. emergency reconstruction aid goes missing in Afghanistan - A total of $1.3 billion that the Pentagon shipped to its force commanders in Afghanistan between 2004 and 2014 for the most critical reconstruction projects can’t be accounted for by the Defense Department, 60 percent of all such spending under an...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

German defense minister: widely used rifle has no future A widely used assault rifle has “no future” with the German military in its current form, Germany’s defense minister said April 22, escalating a dispute over the weapon’s alleged shortcomings. Ursula von der Leyen said last month that a study showed the G36 rifle has a...
 
 
Army photograph

Composites key to tougher, lighter armaments

Army photograph XM-360 test firing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2007, is shown. The Army is on the cusp of revolutionizing materials that go into armament construction, making for stronger, lighter and more durable weapo...
 

 

Northrop Grumman signs long-term agreement with Raytheon

Northrop Grumman has entered a long-term agreement with Raytheon to supply its LN-200 Inertial Measurement Unit for Raytheon optical targeting systems. The long-term agreement with Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business extends through 2018. The LN-200 provides camera stabilization on optical targeting systems that conduct long-range surveillance and target acquisition for various...
 
 

NTTR supports first F-35B integration into USMC’s weapons school exercise

The Nevada Test and Training Range was part of history April 21, when four U.S. Marine Corps-assigned F-35B Lightning IIs participated in its first Marine Corps’ Final Exercise of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course on the NTTR’s ranges. The Final Exercise, or FINEX, is the capstone event to the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Aviation...
 
 
AAR-Textron

AAR awarded new contract from Bell Helicopter Textron to support T64 engines

AAR announced April 22 that Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. awarded its Defense Systems & Logistics business unit a contract providing warehouse and logistics services in support of upgrading T64 engines for the Bell V-280 Val...
 




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>