Laura Seitz, Deseret News
HILL AIR FORCE BASE — The base officially welcomed the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter during a ceremony on Friday, and government officials and ROTC students were on hand to see the Air Force outpost's newest tenant.
The F-35A is a multi-variant, multirole 5th Generation Fighter and will undergo organic depot modification work at Hill AFB. The work will be accomplished under a public-private partnership with Lockheed Martin aerospace company and the Ogden Air Logistics Complex.
The first F-35 arrived at Hill AFB from the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev., on Sept. 13.
The F-35 Lightning II combines advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will eventually replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least ten other countries.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, welcomed the first of many F-35 aircraft.
“I am honored to be at Hill Air Force Base today to celebrate the progress of our country’s next great weapon system, the F-35,” Hatch said. “Our enemies are working every day to threaten the freedoms we enjoy in our country, and this weapon system will be a deterrent to those who endanger our security. We need the capability this weapon system provides now more than ever. I want to commend the many people at Hill and others who have worked very hard to make this plane a reality."
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