Hill fighter wings continue flying operations amid COVID-19 crisis

Airmen continue to fly and train with the F-35A Lightning II at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, despite the current Coronavirus crisis. (Air Force photograph by Todd Cromar)

The active duty 388th Fighter Wing and Reserve 419th Fighter Wing are continuing to train and fly the F-35A Lightning II at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, despite the current global Coronavirus outbreak.

There has been one confirmed case on Hill AFB.

As cases continue to spread in America and more and more local and national guidelines and restrictions are put in place to prevent the spread of the disease, the wings implemented their own measures two weeks ago. The largest was, “segmented” flying operations. 

During segmented operations, the 421st Fighter Squadron and 4th Fighter Squadron and aircraft maintenance units are being rotated on a weekly basis. When not flying, Airmen are being asked to stay at home to the maximum extent possible – only going out for essentials: grocery shopping, medical appointments, physical-fitness activities (with social distancing). 

With the 34th Fighter Squadron already deployed, this work/restricted-movement schedule allows separation between groups of Airmen who may be needed to deploy at any time. 
Common areas and shared equipment are also being routinely disinfected and new plane-side preparation procedures between pilots and crew chiefs have been implemented to follow social distancing guidelines. 

The active duty 388th FW and Air Force Reserve 419th FW are the Air Force’s first combat-capable F-35A units. They fly and maintain the jet in a Total Force partnership, which capitalizes on the strength of both components. 

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