The first F-35A Lightning II to land at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, arrives Sept. 13. The multirole, fifth-generation fighter arrived from the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nev., and is scheduled to undergo post-production modifications at the Ogden Air Logistics Complex in Utah. (Alex R. Lloyd / Air Force)
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, UTAH — Military and political leaders held a ceremony marking the start of Hill Air Force Base’s new assignment to maintain F-35 stealth fighter jets.
U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch was among those who officially welcomed the first F-35A Lightning II to the base on Friday.
The fighter jet arrived at Hill on Sept. 13 from the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.
It will undergo modification work under a public-private partnership with Lockheed Martin and the Ogden Air Logistics Complex.
The Standard-Examiner of Ogden reports Hill also is listed as the Air Force’s preferred alternative for the location of the first two operational squadrons of the jet.
It will eventually replace the A-10 and F-16 for the Air Force, the F/A-18 for the Navy and the F/A-18 and the AV-8B Harrier for the Marine Corps.
Speakers said the F-35 will make Hill viable for decades to come.