After more than two weeks launching F-35A sorties at Red Flag 19-1, maintainers with the 388th Fighter Wing are impressed with the jet and the young airmen who help maintain it.
The 4th Fighter Squadron and 4th Aircraft maintenance unit brought 12 jets and more than 200 Airmen from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, to Red Flag for the three week exercise. Red Flag is the Air Force’s premier combat exercise and pits a friendly “blue” force against an enemy “red” force in challenging combat scenarios.
“This is about as close as you’re going to get to a deployed environment. We’ve been able to sustain a very aggressive schedule and keep the mission-capable rate high,” said Master Sgt. Paul DeGrechie, production superintendent with the 4th AMU. “The F-35 was designed to be maintenance friendly, and that’s been the case here.”