by George F. Jozens
75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
9/23/2013 - HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AFNS) -- Several
hundred people gathered today in hangar 237 to witness the first F-35A
Lightning II which arrived for depot level maintenance during a ceremony
hosted by the Ogden Air Logistics Complex commander, Maj. Gen. H. Brent
The ceremony addressed Hill's key role in the depot repair and the
F-35's role in national defense by several different speakers which
included Sen. Mike Lee; Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin's Executive
Vice President and General Manager of the F-35 Lightning II Program;
Rear Adm. Randolph Mahr, DoD F-35 Deputy Program Director; Lt. Gen.
Bruce Litchfield, Air Force Sustainment Center commander and Sen. Orrin
Baker was the final speaker and gave the order to open the doors and
unveil the aircraft to the capacity-packed hangar's attendees. Other
dignitaries at the ceremony included local mayors, Utah Lt. Gov. Greg
Bell and members of the Utah State House and Senate.
The first F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant is from the
422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev., and is in a
prototype configuration. The Ogden ALC will modify the aircraft with a
series of structural and systems modifications to enhance critical
capabilities needed during operational test and evaluation testing.
"For decades the shared partnership between Lockheed Martin the Ogden
ALC team has taken our legacy platforms, the F-16, C-130 and F-22, to
the next level, and the same will hold true for the F-35 Lightning II,"
said Lorraine Martin, F-35 vice president and general manager. "This
aircraft was designed from its inception to evolve through modifications
and upgrades so that our warfighters can continually outpace their
opposition. I look forward to what the future holds for the F-35 and am
excited to see that evolution unfold."
Litchfield also talked about this historic day in the history of the ALC.
"The F-35 found the right home for sustainment," he said. "Team Hill
will deliver cost effective modifications for this aircraft."
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