421st FS and AMU get first F-35A

421st FS and AMU get first F-35A

By Dario Leone
Dec 30 2018
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The arrival of the first jets in the 421st brings the total number of F-35As at Hill to 52 and is a big step toward the 388th Fighter Wing having a full complement of 78 F-35A Lightning IIs by the end of 2019

The 388th Fighter Wing’s 421st Fighter Squadron and Aircraft Maintenance Unit received its first pair of F-35As on Dec. 12, 2018.

The squadron is the last of three squadrons in Hill’s 388th Fighter Wing to take possession of combat-ready aircraft, bringing the 388th Fighter Wing closer to full strength Hill Air Force Base (AFB) said in a press release.

The United States Air Force’s first operational F-35As landed at Hill AFB in October 2015. Since then, the 34th and 4th Fighter Squadrons and Aircraft Maintenance Units stood up and generated nearly 10,000 sorties with more than 15,000 flying hours.

The arrival of the first jets in the 421st brings the total number of F-35As at Hill to 52 and is a big step toward the 388th Fighter Wing having a full complement of 78 F-35A Lightning IIs by the end of 2019.

The 421st Aircraft Maintenance Unit, which will support the 421st Fighter Squadron, has been preparing to receive the aircraft for some time by maintaining and launching jets loaned from the wings two other squadrons.

“The 421st has a proud history in the 388th Fighter Wing and we’re all excited to receive our first aircraft,” said Lt. Col. Richard Orzechowski, 421st Fighter Squadron commander. “Our pilots and maintainers have been working hard and we’re ready to fill the squadron out and fulfill the wing’s mission: to rapidly employ combat power.”

The active duty 388th FW and Air Force Reserve 419th FW fly and maintain the F-35A in a Total Force partnership, which capitalizes on the strength of both components.

421st FS and AMU get first F-35A
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-35A Lightning II 56th OG, 61st FS, LF/12-5050 / 2014

Photo credit: Todd Cromar / U.S. Air Force

Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com


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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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