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  • First metallic 3D printed part installed on F-22

    The use of 3D printing is not new to the Air Force. The service has routinely used 3D printing for legacy aircraft requiring parts that may be out of production due to manufacturing obsolescence. 3D printing is becoming more common place in the Air Force’s supply chain when it comes to its fifth-generation aircraft. In December, a metallic 3D printed part was installed by 574th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron maintainers on an operational F-22 Raptor during depot maintenance.
  • PHOTOS: 388th FW fires F-35A cannon for first time

    Pilots from the 388th Fighter Wing’s 4th Fighter Squadron were the first operational unit to fire the F-35A’s 25 mm cannon in a strafing run during training. The two-ship formation fired on two sets of ground targets on the Utah Test and Training range Aug. 13. Loading and firing the cannon was one of the few capabilities Airmen in the 388th and 419th FWs had yet to demonstrate. The F-35A’s internal cannon allows the aircraft to maintain stealth against air adversaries as well as fire more accurately on ground targets, giving pilots more tactical flexibility.
  • Hill F-35A maintainers passing the Pacific TSP test

    Five weeks into the first F-35A Pacific Theater Security Package deployment the 34th Aircraft Maintenance Unit team is at full stride. Maintainers in the Pacific location and in Utah, home of the 34th AMU under the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings are coming together to make the first TSP a success and to fulfill lofty expectations of themselves and of the Air Force’s newest stealth fighter. “Everyone associated with the 34th Fighter Squadron and AMU alike, make a really great team, and that’s good because we have a lot to accomplish while we’re here,” said Capt. Christina Merritt, 34th Expeditionary Maintenance Unit officer in charge. “I’m so happy to be here. We’re showing the world what we’re made of and what the F-35A can do.”
  • Hill’s F-35A and airmen mastering first Pacific deployment

    More than 300 men and women of the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings and 12 F-35As are conducting business for the next six months on the subtropical Japanese island of Okinawa during a deployment known as a Theater Security Package. Their business is to fly the F-35A, integrate with Kadena Air Base’s F-15Cs and other assets and demonstrate the continuing U.S. commitment to stability and security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region—and they’re excited to do it. “We were very excited to find out we were coming here,” said Lt. Col. “Scout” Johnston, 34th Fighter Squadron commander. “It’s a wonderful place with wonderful people and the facilities are excellent. The airspace is phenomenal. This allows us to have great training opportunities and integration with other Air Force assets as well as with the Navy and Marine Corps and hopefully with the Japanese Self-defense force. So, we are excited to be here.”
  • Gunfighters complete first F-35 transport

    An F-35A Lightning II belonging to Luke AFB, Airzona, was moved for repairs after being grounded here for the past year. The aircraft was moved to the F-35 Depot at Hill AFB, Utah, with the help of the 366th Equipment Maintenance Squadron crash and recovery team.
  • Hill’s 4th FS/AMU receives first F-35A

    Hundreds cheered the historic arrival of the 4th Fighter Squadron’s and 4th Aircraft Maintenance Unit’s first F-35A as tail number 5133 landed on base Wednesday and taxied into Hotel Row.
  • Hill AFB, UTTR evaluation exercises close

    Evaluation exercises Combat Hammer and Combat Archer ended August 18 at Hill AFB and the Utah Test and Training Range. Both are part of the Weapons System Evaluation Program, or WSEP.
  • F-35As fly in weapons evaluation

    Airmen from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings supported and flew their F-35A Lightning II aircraft during Combat Hammer, the first operational air-to-ground weapons evaluation for the Air Force’s newest fighter jets.
  • Final Hill AFB F-16 goes through phase

    As the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings transition from the F-16 Fighting Falcon to the F-35A Lightning II, milestones occur frequently. Another milestone is currently underway; the 388th Maintenance Squadron is performing its final phase inspection on a Hill AFB F-16.
  • External pylon training increases F-35A weapons payload capability

    Active duty and Reserve Airmen here recently initiated certification training to load external pylons on F-35A Lightning IIs assigned to the 388th Fighter Wing. The removable pylons are used to secure external munitions under the aircraft’s wings, greatly enhancing its combat capability. As a multi-role stealth fighter, the F-35A can be configured to suit a variety of missions. The jet is designed to carry up to 18,000 pounds of munitions on 11 internal and external weapons stations depending on mission requirements. Until now, maintainers and pilots have been training operationally here with internally-loaded munitions.
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