While most of the media focus on the Joint Strike Fighter's progress has been on testing, pilot education, training sorties, and weapons tests, another vital aspect of the overall program has reached a milestone at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. An Air Force maintenance crew at Hill has completed mainteanance work on their first F-35A aircraft.
From coverage in Ogden, Utah's Standard-Examiner:
Maintainers from Hill's 309th Maintenance Wing wrapped up work this week on the first F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to receive depot level maintenance.
The jet arrived at Hill back in September, coming from the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. During its nearly six months at Hill, the jet underwent a number of post-production modifications.
"This is a huge program for us," said Maj. Gen H. Brent Baker Sr., commander of the Ogden Air Logistics Complex. "You are going to start to see a lot of F-35s in the sky around here."
The F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, the Air Force's version of the jet, is a multi-variant, multi-role 5th Generation Fighter, and all depot modification work will take place at Hill.