Hill Unit’s Early Transition

The Air Force will make an “early” transition of the 4th Fighter Squadron at Hill AFB, Utah, from the F-16 mission to the F-35A, according to a release. This move is one of the steps the Air Force is taking to free up maintenance manpower for the F-35A in order to support the schedule for standing up the service’s first combat-ready force of F-35As, which will be located at Hill. The service intends to have that force available for use around August 2016. The 4th FS is one of Hill’s two combat-coded F-16 units. In a related move in late February, the Air Force announced that it would shift 18 A-10s from combat-ready status to the service’s backup inventory in order to free up experienced maintainers for the F-35A mission. Nine of those A-10s will come from Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., six from Moody AFB, Ga., and three from Nellis AFB, Nev. (See also Looking at a Smaller Number.)