A formation of F-35A Lightning IIs, from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings, fly over the Utah Test and Training Range as part of a combat power exercise. Air Force photo by SSgt. Andrew Lee.
As many as 24 F-35 strike fighters and more than 250 airmen assigned to the Active Duty’s 388th Fighter Wing and the Air Force Reserve’s 419th FW—USAF’s only combat-coded F-35 wings—will relocate to Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, while the runway at Hill AFB, Utah, closes for construction, according to a base release.
The aircraft, which are assigned to the 34th Fighter Squadron, are expected to remain at their temporary home for more than two months while the $43.6-million construction project is completed.
The wing’s other two F-35 squadrons have recently deployed, marking the “first time all three squadrons have been gone since the wing received the F-35A in 2015,” according to a base release.
The 4th Fighter Squadron recently deployed to the Middle East and is supporting combat operations in Afghanistan as well as the anti-ISIS fight in Iraq and Syria, while the 421st FS deployed to Aviano AB, Italy, on May 24 as part of a European theater security package.
While at Mountain Home, the strike fighters will conduct normal flight operations on most weekdays, and also participate in exercises.