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  • F-35A maintainers at Hill training for more combat flexibility

    As the first active-duty, combat-coded F-35A unit in the Air Force with multiple European, Pacific and Middle East deployments under its belt, the 388th Fighter Wing, from Hill Air Force Base, is taking that experience and refining training processes to create more multi-capable Airmen who can support agile combat operations.
  • Maintainers, training squadron collaborate on new F-35 hydraulics course

    A new 40-hour course, developed by the 372nd Training Squadron Detachment 3, in conjunction with the 388th Maintenance Group, is providing hands-on hydraulic systems experience to both new and experienced flight line maintainers at Hill Air Force Base.
  • 388th Maintenance Group reorganizes, stands up four new squadrons

    The 388th Maintenance Group held a joint ceremony here, provisionally standing up four new squadrons as part of a wing-wide reorganization effort aimed to streamline administrative and operational control over hundreds of maintainers and their mission, making them more agile and responsive as they maintain, sustain and employ the F-35A Lightning II.
  • Course developed at Hill AFB speeds training for new F-35 crew chiefs

    Crew chiefs newly-assigned to the F-35 have direct access to professional development thanks to a course recently created at Hill Air Force Base, which may be implemented throughout the Air Force. The first class of Airmen graduated Friday from the F-35 Crew Chief Upgrade Training course, which was developed jointly by the 372nd Training Squadron Detachment 3, and the 388th Maintenance Group, to help alleviate the training backlog for new maintainers.
  • Hill AFB F-35 maintainers speed egress inspection and servicing

    Maintainers here are helping aircraft availability numbers by decreasing downtime in the process for inspecting and servicing F-35A Lightning II seats.
  • 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-35 maintainers at Hill shaping future with BOLT

    After several months, an innovative program in the 388th Fighter Wing is proving it has the potential to deliver combat power more efficiently and may shape how the Air Force determines future requirements to sustain F-35A Lightning II operations. The Blended Operational Lightning Technician program could be described as an Air Force version of a start-up company. BOLT combines six maintenance-specific Air Force Specialty Codes, essentially job descriptions, into two “tracks.” Currently there are more than 30 Airmen in the BOLT program. “Blended” maintainers in the Air Vehicle track are crew chiefs, fuels and low observable technicians. Airmen in the Mission Systems track focus on avionics, weapons, and egress.
  • 388th Maintenance Group eying future time, cost savings with 3-D printing

    The 388th Maintenance Group’s Air Force Repair and Enhancement Program shop recently acquired a 3-D printer with the hope of increasing availability and driving down costs for certain F-35 replacement parts. 3-D printing, also called additive manufacturing, uses a computer-controlled machine to form automatically-fed material into a three dimensional object. In this case, aircraft parts.
  • F-35A deployment brings advanced airpower capability to Europe

    This weekend’s deployment of an initial six F-35A Lightning II fighters and several hundred Airmen to Europe demonstrates the aircraft’s readiness to conduct operations with America’s European partners, according to Air Force leaders. The April 15 arrival at Royal Air Force Base Lakenheath, U.K., marks the first major overseas training deployment for the aircraft and begins several weeks of training for F-35 pilots, maintainers and support personnel with allied and partner nations.
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