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  • F-35A crew swap provides flexibility for training, combat

    Maintainers and pilots in the 388th Fighter Wing recently completed the first operational rapid crew swap exercise with the F-35A Lightning II. Other aircraft like bombers, tankers, helicopters, and twin engine fighters have been doing ‘hot crew swaps’ for some time. Until now, it hasn’t been safe to do with a single engine fighter, but the F-35’s maintenance-friendly design provided Airmen here an opportunity to develop this capability.
  • F-35A maintainers, special ops team for forward refueling

    America’s most advanced aircraft integrated with a variant of one of its oldest and truest airframes this week to provide more combat flexibility to the Air Force. For the first time, Airmen from the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill AFB, Utah, and Airmen from the 26th Special Tactics Squadron and the 27th Special Operation Logistics Readiness Squadron here, trained and carried out a Forward Air Refueling Point (FARP) operation from the MC-130J to the F-35A. During this forward refueling scenario, an MC-130J lands at a remote airfield secured and managed by Air Force combat controllers. The C-130 crew, made up of loadmasters and fuels troops, or “Farpies,” quickly set up equipment and fuel lines, then transfer fuel from the MC-130J to other aircraft landing behind them – in this case, an F-35A.
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