The first two Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning IIs assigned to the 388th Fighter Wing were officially delivered to the base on the 2nd of September.
Col. David Lyons, 388th Fighter Wing Commander, and Lt. Col. Yosef Morris, 34th Fighter Squadron Director of Operations, were greeted by Airmen and civic leaders after delivering the first two F-35As to Hill AFB today. (AF photo courtesy of Hill AFB Public Affairs)
Hill AFB, Utah, Sept. 2, 2015 – The first two Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning IIs assigned to the 388th Fighter Wing were officially delivered to the base today. The two F-35A Conventional Takeoff and Landing variants, known as AF-77 and AF-78, are the first of 72 F-35As scheduled for delivery to the base.
“The F-35A Lightning II represents the future of tactical aviation for the United States and our allies,” said Col. David Lyons, 388th Fighter Wing Commander. “Alongside our 419th Fighter Wing counterparts, we’re excited to usher in a new era of combat capability for the Air Force.”
Today’s delivery marks the stand-up of the 10th F-35 base – with Hill the fifth U.S. Air Force base – to receive the F-35 Lightning II. During the next several months, Hill will receive additional F-35As, pilots and maintenance personnel in order to meet requirements to declare Initial Operational Capability in 2016.
“The F-35A Lightning II provides the USAF and international partners a decisive edge over its adversaries,” said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin F-35 Program General Manager. "The exceptional capabilities of this 5th generation stealth fighter are now in the hands of the Hill team and we couldn’t be prouder of our warfighters at the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings.”
The F-35A Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least nine other countries.