First F-35s for Hill Air Force Base

Hill Air Force Base, Utah, took delivery of its first Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II jets on Wednesday 2 September. The two fighter aircraft are said to be the first ‘fully combat coded’ F-35s for the US Air Force. They are to fly with the based 388th Fighter Wing and are the first of 72 F-35As scheduled for delivery to the base.

Hill is the fifth US Air Force base to receive the lightning II, following Eglin, Luke, Edwards and Nellis. During the next several months, the airbase will receive additional F-35As, pilots and maintenance personnel in order to meet requirements for the declaration of Initial Operational Capability (IOC) next year.

Close to four decades ago, Hill was the very first airbase worldwide to receive the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The based wing has been flying the type ever since.

© 2015 editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: Captured arriving at Hill are the first two F-35s. (Image courtesy of Hill AFB Public Affairs)