Show of Force
/ Published January 31, 2019
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 419th Fighter Wing and their active-duty counterparts from the 388th FW at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, conducted a combat power exercise recently and launched 35 F-35A Lightning IIs within about 11 minutes. Here are some of the best photos from the day.
As the Air Force’s only combat-ready F-35A units, the 388th and 419th FWs must be prepared to launch any number of aircraft to support the national defense mission at a moment’s notice.
The wings fly between 30-60 sorties per day from Hill’s flight line. During the exercise, they launched roughly the same number of sorties, and aircraft took off in 20- to 40-second intervals.
Launching aircraft from multiple squadrons simultaneously presents various challenges and allows the wings to evaluate the capabilities of maintenance professionals, as well as pilots and command and control teams.
Hill AFB is slated to be home to three F-35 fighter squadrons by the end of 2019. The 419th FW and 388th FW will fly and maintain the jets in a Total Force partnership, which capitalizes on the strength of both components.