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 July 28, 2014

News: U.S. has lost track of weapons given to Afghanistan - The United States supplied almost three quarter of a million weapons to Afghanistan’s army and police since 2004, but the military cannot track where many of those arms have gone, a new report found. Bill to improve VA has $17 billion price tag - A bipartisan...
 
 

News Briefs July 28, 2014

Marines seek authorization for dolphin deaths The Marine Corps is asking for a five-year authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service for incidental deaths of bottlenose dolphins during training exercises at a bombing and target range. The Sun Journal of New Bern, N.C., reports that Connie Barclay of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says...
 
 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 

 

Northrop Grumman awarded mission support services contract

The U.S. Army awarded Northrop Grumman a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, with a potential value of $205 million, to continue providing mission logistics services in support of combat brigades training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The contract covers one base year and two one-year options. Support will include the full range of mission...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 




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>