Hill Air Force Base
F-35 Operations and Maintenance
In September of 2015, the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base received its first two F-35A Lightning IIs, the first of 72 scheduled to be delivered to the base. The 72 jets will be flown and maintained by members of both the 388th Fighter Wing and its reserve component, the 419th Fighter Wing. Hill is the 10th base to receive F-35s.
The 34th Fighter Squadron, known as the “Rude Rams," became the first operational U.S. Air Force F-35 squadron when the U.S. Air Force declared F-35A Initial Operational Capability in 2016. The Rams have a significant history dating back to 1944, when they flew P-47 Thunderbolts in combat operations during WWII.
In 2015, pilots at Hill Air Force Base began rehearsing missions with four Full Mission Simulators linked together to hone their tactical employment of the F-35 against ground and airborne threats. As a complement to live flights, the Full Mission Simulators present a secure, realistic environment for pilots to develop tactics and integrate the F-35 into the Air Force’s arsenal.
In addition to the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings, Hill AFB is also home to the Ogden Air Logistics Complex, which provides logistics, support, maintenance and distribution for the F-35, among other USAF aircraft. The 570th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, activated in June 2015, is responsible for depot-level maintenance, restoration and modification on the F-35 Lightning II, and works under a public-private partnership with Lockheed Martin.