HomeNewsArticle Display

F-16s train alongside F-35s

An F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off while two F-35 Lightning IIs taxi on the flightline in 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 U.S. Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christina Judd)

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. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christina Judd)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots from Hill Air Force Base's 419th and 388th Fighter Wings took to the sky here 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.

On Friday, 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.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @thejointstaff: Watch today's change of responsibility ceremony, hosted by #GenMilley, live @ 10 a.m. EST on Twitter. @SEAC_Troxell wil…
RT @HQ_AFMC: 📽️We're back to the @Afresearchlab for Day 10 of #24DaysAFMC. This year they tested a state-of-the-art rocket #engine preburne…
RT @16AF_AFCYBER: The holiday season is a prime time for online thieves to take advantage of weaknesses in shoppers' devices to extract per…
RT @USAFCENT: ALWAYS READY | Members of the 823d Expeditionary Base Defense Squadron test their combat life-saving skills during a medical…
Nearly 10,000 participants from around the world took part in the 2019 Military World Games in Wuhan, China. And… https://t.co/CRYacyFtEJ
Ever heard of the rule of 0-0-1-3? No. Well it means to have zero alcohol if you're underage, zero drinks if you're… https://t.co/7bNRnhYuWS
RT @HQ_AFMC: #Readiness was on display by our @AFResearchLab teams during a live-virtual-constructive training simulation, enabling #Airmen
RT @AFWERX: We can't wait for 2020: The @USAirForce Advanced Manufacturing Olympics is slated for July 8-9 in Salt Lake City & will bring t…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “The Silver Flag training sites provide our Airmen with real-world scenarios to reinforce our Air Force Specialty Code sk…
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Watch a @usairforce KC-10A refuel, and be refueled during same mission in support of @CJTFOIR. #Togetherwdeliver #NKAWTG #…
RT @AETCommand: Transforming the way we learn with technology is one of our key priorities here in the First Command! Check out the photos…
RT @AirNatlGuard: This week, @ChiefNGB visited the @PRNationalGuard at Muñiz Air National Guard Base to meet with senior leaders and discus…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: YOU are the most important reason for our mission success. Take care of each other & preserve the connections & commun…
RT @AirmanMagazine: When it comes to acquisitions, the @usairforce has the need for speed. Equipping Airmen with the best technology start…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: A distinct privilege to help unveil the F-117 exhibit, establishing this remarkable aircraft in its rightful place in…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “For me personally, the CAP and Air Guard go hand in hand. When I look back at any state active duty or state support we…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Honored to participate on a panel with my fellow Service Chiefs at the @ReaganInstitute. May our leaders of today & th…
It was just a childhood dream but it crescendoed into this #Airman becoming the only woman in the #AirForce to both… https://t.co/vzGjPe7Vri