HomeNewsArticle Display

F-35A crew swap provides flexibility for training

An F-35A Lightning II pilot from the 388th Fighter Wing goes through pre-flight checks. Pilots and maintainers here recently completed the first F-35A rapid crew swap exercise, which cuts hours off the time between sorties. (U.S. Air Force file photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

A 388th Fighter Wing F-35A Lightning II pilot from the goes through pre-flight checks. Pilots and maintainers at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, recently completed the first F-35A rapid crew swap exercise, which cuts hours off the time between sorties. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AFNS) -- Maintainers and pilots in the 388th Fighter Wing recently completed the first operational rapid crew swap exercise with the F-35A Lightning II.

"Other aircraft like bombers, tankers, helicopters, and twin engine fighters have been doing ‘hot crew swaps’ for some time. Until now, it hasn’t been safe to do with a single engine fighter, but the F-35’s maintenance-friendly design provided Airmen here an opportunity to develop this capability," said Col. Michael Miles, 388th Maintenance Group commander.

During a rapid crew swap, a pilot takes off, completes his mission, lands and takes on fuel while another pilot takes over the cockpit of the same fighter.

This cuts down on the number of required maintenance actions and reduces the time it takes to generate a new sortie by up to two hours, said 1st Lt. Ryan Naluai, 421st Aircraft Maintenance Unit assistant officer in charge.

“The jet’s systems report on the health of the aircraft as it is flying and after it lands. So, under these conditions, we can confidently put it back up in the air again immediately without doing a full post-operation inspection,” Naluai said. “It’s a testament to the reliability of the F-35 and the proficiency of our maintainers.”

"During home-station flying, rapid crew swaps will allow for more sorties in a condensed period of time, which will become increasingly important as three full squadrons begin flying here," said Maj. Caleb Guthmann, 388th Fighter Wing director of staff and 34th Fighter Squadron F-35 pilot.

During wartime, it allows aircraft to continually rotate into the fight, providing combat flexibility.

“Flying more sorties with less down-time proves the capability of the F-35 to fly sustained combat operations,” Guthmann said. “It gives us more time in the air to target bad guys and protect friendlies.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: A senior leader message prior to the @USAirForce's 74th birthday: "Our Airmen serve around the globe, always ready to de…
Twitter
Today is POW/MIA Recognition Day. We recognize the more than half-million service members who have, at one time, be… https://t.co/txZ2zTxlm0
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Innovation depends on both creativity and support to turn concepts into reality. It requires courage, and rewards tenacit…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Partnerships are fundamental to executing the mission. Working with and learning from our partner nations @NATO -- togeth…
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: The 2021 #ENJJPT Steering Committee is happening at @SheppardAFB this week! Excited to continue our partnership to deliver…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: This is Capt Eric Johnson. He was critical to the reception, care, feeding and bed down of more than 30,000 vulnerable Af…
Twitter
.@UnderSecAF Gina Ortiz Jones met with @USAFReserve Airmen to discuss the @DeptofDefense COVID-19 vaccination direc… https://t.co/9y28hmcMir
Twitter
Join Department of the Air Force senior leaders for a live, virtual town hall discussing the Racial Disparity Revie… https://t.co/6Z7N6QIuLP
Twitter
The U.S. Special Operations School, in collaboration with @HQUSAFEAFAF hosted the bi-annual European Partnership Fl… https://t.co/egAlljufL3
Twitter
Join Department of the Air Force senior leaders for a virtual town hall discussing the Racial Disparity Review tomo… https://t.co/s4XfTyCwEY
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: Polish Aviation Integration 🇵🇱 The U.S. and #Poland will conduct Agile Combat Employment training during the bilateral av…
Twitter
.@TeamTyndall's 325th Munitions Squadron has a unique capability - it's the only #AirForce Munitions Squadron certi… https://t.co/RMmTapKK3F
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Today marks the beginning of National #HispanicHeritageMonth! Visit our Spotlight page at https://t.co/Lhe9Hxc454 to lea…
Twitter
Hear why this #Airman chose to get vaccinated. @SecAFOfficial directed the COVID-19 vaccine implementation guideli… https://t.co/TFpjBtHUuq
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: U.S. Air Force and #Slovenian Armed Forces leaders met to discuss bilateral operations and interoperability during a visit…
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: Great visit with Airmen of the @459arw to discuss vaccination. The vaccine is the best tool we have to fight #COVID19. Our…
Twitter
Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole, the last of the Doolittle Raiders, was honored and posthumously promoted to the rank… https://t.co/ayQ88HVUQI
Twitter
The 55th Communications Squadron at Offutt AFB, Nebraska, was redesignated as the 55th Cyber Squadron recently. The… https://t.co/8DqPyZc8a6
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: I’m proud of Airmen like SrA DeQuire accelerating change in our #AirForce. Challenge the status quo and continue to be bo…
Twitter
#AirForce senior leaders will host a town hall to discuss Leadership and the Family during #ASC21. The session will… https://t.co/Fsn63QAWtY
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,375,861
Follow Us