The Air Force is expected to save millions of dollars by having its aircraft maintainers use hydraulic fluid purifiers. These devices will not only minimize hydraulic fluid usage and hazardous waste disposal needs, but are also expected to significantly reduce the cost of aircraft maintenance, improve aircraft availability, and enhance flight safety. Such purification systems have been allowed in the Air Force since June 2004, but did not become mandatory until April 2010. The 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., is one of the first units to use HFPs, in this case on its F-15Es. A 2009 business case analysis for the F-15 fleet predicted more than $352 million in basic maintenance savings over the next 20 years through HFP utilization. (Wright-Patterson report by Laura McGowan)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.