USAF’s 34th Fighter Squadron receives final F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft


The US Air Force’s (USAF) 34th Fighter Squadron (FS) and 34th Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU) at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, US, (AFB) have received the last two F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft.

The latest addition to the units’ fleet shows that they have their full component of operational jets.

388th Maintenance Group commander colonel Michael Miles said: "Having the full number of aircraft in one FS/AMU means we'll soon receive our full personnel and equipment.

“This allows us to meet all potential combat taskings."

The 388th Fighter Wing at the base received its first F-35A in November 2015.

388th Operations Group commander colonel Jason Rueschhoff said: "This allows both operations and maintenance to fine-tune our tactics, techniques and procedures with a focus on maximising our combat lethality.”

Two more F-35A squadrons in the 388th FW will receive a total of 78 fighter jets through 2019.

"This allows both operations and maintenance to fine-tune our tactics, techniques and procedures with a focus on maximising our combat lethality."

The 4th FS and 4th AMU would receive the next F-35A this summer, the USAF stated.

The 34th FS, known as the ‘Rude Rams’, became the first operational USAF F-35 squadron when the F-35A achieved initial operational capability last year.

In 2015, pilots at Hill AFB started practising with four full mission simulators linked together to hone their tactical employment of the F-35 against ground and airborne threats, Lockheed Martin stated.

The base also houses Ogden Air Logistics Complex, which provides logistics, support, maintenance and distribution of the F-35 and other USAF aircraft.


Image: 34th Aircraft Maintenance Unit Airman 1st Class Matthew Clark marshals the newest F-35A Lightning II aircraft. Photo: courtesy of the USAF photo/Donovan K Potter.