HomeNewsArticle Display

Hill AFB in midst of robust F-35 preparation

An F-35A Lightning II takes off March 25, 2014, from Hill Air Force Base, Utah en route to Nellis AFB, Nev. It was the first F-35 to receive organic modifications at the Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill AFB. The aircraft arrived at Hill AFB in September 2013 and received four structural modifications intended to strengthen areas of the aircraft and extends its service life. The Ogden ALC is expected to perform the series of modifications on a total of six F-35s during fiscal year 2014. Eight F-35s are expected to be inducted into the depot in fiscal year 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Alex R. Lloyd)

An F-35A Lightning II takes off March 25, 2014, from Hill Air Force Base, Utah en route to Nellis AFB, Nev. It was the first F-35 to receive organic modifications at the Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill AFB. The aircraft arrived at Hill AFB in September 2013 and received four structural modifications intended to strengthen areas of the aircraft and extends its service life. The Ogden ALC is expected to perform the series of modifications on a total of six F-35s during fiscal year 2014. Eight F-35s are expected to be inducted into the depot in fiscal year 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Alex R. Lloyd)

An F-35A Lightning II gets ready to land Sept. 13, 2013, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. This was the first F-35 to land at Hill AFB. The multirole, fifth-generation fighter arrived from the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, at Nellis AFB, Nev. to undergo post-production modifications at the Ogden Air Logistics Complex. (U.S. Air Force photo/Alex R. Lloyd)

An F-35A Lightning II gets ready to land Sept. 13, 2013, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. This was the first F-35 to land at Hill AFB. The multirole, fifth-generation fighter arrived from the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, at Nellis AFB, Nev. to undergo post-production modifications at the Ogden Air Logistics Complex. (U.S. Air Force photo/Alex R. Lloyd)

Construction crews rebuild Hangar 45, which will house the 388th Fighter Wing’s aircraft maintenance units. The hangar is currently undergoing modifications in order to meet F-35A Lightning II mission requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)

Construction crews rebuild Hangar 45, which will house the 388th Fighter Wing’s aircraft maintenance units. The hangar is currently undergoing modifications in order to meet F-35A Lightning II mission requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AFNS) -- Aggressive renovation and modification is in full swing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, in preparation for the military's newest multi-role fighter aircraft.

Hill AFB’s preparations for the F-35A Lightning II, totaling more than $100 million, with 23 projects to be completed between September 2014 and July 2015, and 36 total projects will be finished once construction concludes in 2019.

Hill's 388th Fighter Wing and the Air Force Reserve 419th Fighter Wing will become the Air Force's first operational units flying the F-35A, with the first jet projected to arrive in September 2015. The 388th FW became the first fully operational F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter wing in 1979, and was the first unit to fly the F-16 into conflict with the low-altitude navigation and targeting infrared for night system through the skies of Iraq and Kuwait during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Earlier this month, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program leader, Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, warned there is danger of missing deadlines if F-35 jets aren't flying regularly by the end of September.

"I need all of (the test airplanes) back to full envelope by the end of this month," Bogdan said at a recent conference in Washington D.C. "Otherwise we will start seeing some delays in future milestones."

Col. Lance Landrum, the 388th FW commander, said the challenges the F-35 program is facing aren't affecting how the 388th FW is preparing for the new fighter's arrival.

"We're currently in the most invasive phase of the construction, and our mission hasn't slowed down at all in the process -- we're still flying as many sorties as we can, maintaining our fleet of F-16s, and staying combat ready all while making huge adjustments in preparation for the F-35," Landrum said.

The 388th FW is scheduled to receive 72 F-35A jets in total. The wing will get an initial cadre of pilots from the F-35 test and training units at Eglin AFB, Florida, Luke AFB, Arizona, and Nellis AFB, Nevada, while also gaining F-35 qualified pilots from other fighter wings, and retraining some F-16 pilots currently in-house.

Hill AFB will likely receive 83 F-35 qualified maintainers by December 2015 and transition more than 100 legacy technicians to F-35 maintainers within the first year of operations. Hill AFB collectively will gain roughly 475 members, both active duty and civilian during the transition to the F-35.

The timeline to renovate facilities has been compressed significantly, as the start time to base the jet was pushed back by the delayed record of decision. However, base officials have full faith that Hill AFB will be ready for the F-35, when the base receives the first jet in September 2015.

"We're confident the construction will be on time for the first aircraft arrival, even with our late start after the record of decision was made," said Ron Stonebreaker, the chief of design and construction management in Hill AFB’s civil engineering sector.

Stonebreaker said the projects aren't steady state -- there is constant evolution in preparing for the F-35. His team developed a floor plan for one major hangar that will house the aircraft maintenance units, but then learned there were special requirements for communications rooms -- connectivity between the maintenance and operations teams built around the new jet's automatic logistics information system, which ties the two functions together. His team had to modify the contract and adjust the floor plan to accommodate the requirement.

F-35 sustainment is already in place at Hill AFB's Ogden Air Logistics Complex; the ALC is currently converting dock space used to modify the F-16 to depot maintenance space for F-35. Stonebreaker said post production modifications will likely be a critically important component, as the aircraft is still in development. The Ogden ALC completed the Air Force's first organic depot modifications on an F-35 earlier in 2014.

Engage

Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: Our Airmen, Guardians, and Civil Servants have much to be proud of—their actions saved lives in Afghanistan and our country…
Twitter
#Airmen from the 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load a Mk-62 Quickstrike naval mine onto a B-52 Stratofortress d… https://t.co/jaPVcg9tWa
Twitter
#DYK Today is not only Labor Day, but also #NationalReadABookDay? @GenCQBrownJr curates a Leadership Library contai… https://t.co/uITBg82KvC
Twitter
Today is #LaborDay. This holiday is an annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American worke… https://t.co/qijLG5cjBI
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: This Labor Day, I want to highlight a couple of our teammates at the Pentagon that help us accomplish our mission. Thank yo…
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Happy #LaborDay! Today, we celebrate both the achievements and resilience of America’s workers. https://t.co/3f8CBUkmqA
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Thank you for all you do for our great nation and Air Force. Happy Labor Day Weekend, stay safe. https://t.co/5L67tcVYcl
Twitter
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center plans to expand its Rapid Airfield Damage Repair training, by opening two more… https://t.co/fAKDYzIn0v
Twitter
Staff Sgt. Angela Martinez is an @EielsonAirForce operations manager by trade, but during a Base Resiliency Exercis… https://t.co/NEkZLjMRtY
Twitter
The Air Force Test Pilot School graduated its Enlisted Test Professional Course for the first time since 2018. The… https://t.co/fnDQKAtcQ0
Twitter
Within 24 hours, @RamsteinAirBase's Southside Fitness Center Annex was transformed into a field hospital, complete… https://t.co/VQwoIV29EU
Twitter
710th Security Forces Squadron Airmen stationed @Buckley_SFB, Colo., conducted heavy weapons training at Fort Carso… https://t.co/wbpjoAKXXo
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: As we begin our Labor Day weekend, remember to lookout for your wingman, spend some quality time with your family and fri…
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: As members of the nation’s Armed Forces, our Airmen and Guardians must be able to respond to situations around the globe—be…
Twitter
Slooooooow it down U.S. military members prepare for the beginning of Thracian Summer 2021 at Cheshnegirovo drop zo… https://t.co/OatiVE6j7F
Twitter
RT @AFSOUTH: #AFSOUTH vice commander, Brig. Gen. Sean Choquette, co-piloted a @FuerzaAereaCol AH-60L Arpia helicopter today as part of exer…
Twitter
Department of the Air Force announces mandatory COVID vaccine implementation guidelines for Airmen, Guardians. https://t.co/Arfo5d4yOe
Twitter
An @AFTestCenter engineer used his expertise in building drones to develop a system that brings the Benefield Anech… https://t.co/DKBVA8Isqa
Twitter
As technology swiftly evolves, so do #USAF cyber Airmen. Cyber leaders have embraced @GenCQBrownJr's vision of ac… https://t.co/cLaxcdvAeq
Twitter
The @AusAirForce joined forces with U.S. #Airmen to participate in RED FLAG-Alaska 21-3 at @EielsonAirForce, Alaska… https://t.co/lEHHU5OAst
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
1,373,164
Follow Us