HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Lt. Col. Steven Engberg took command of the 388th Fighter Wing’s 4th Fighter Squadron during a change of command ceremony June 5.
Engberg took the reins from Lt. Col. Todd Robbins, who recently returned from a six-month deployment to Southeast Asia where he led a team of 290 Total Force Airmen, including 16 first-time combat pilots, through flying missions in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Freedom’s Sentinel. That effort culminated with over 2,100 combat sorties, 8,700 flight hours and around 50 weapons dropped supporting 141 troops in contact.
Engberg comes to Hill from Aviano Air Base, Italy, where he was the director of operations for the 510th Fighter Squadron. There, he directed the training of 38 combat-ready assigned and attached pilots and six enlisted Airmen in the USAF’s only nuclear high-readiness fighter squadron, executed a $38M flying hour program of 4,500 hours and 3,570 sorties, and ensured readiness to provide 24/7 conventional/nuclear airpower for NATO/EUCOM/AFRICOM directed tasks.
As commander, Engberg will be responsible for 24 F-16 aircraft and approximately 40 personnel.
The 4th Fighter Squadron will transition personnel early in order to free up additional maintenance manpower for the F-35, allowing the Airmen from the 4th FS to stand up the first F-35 squadron, the 34th Fighter Squadron. Transitioning personnel from one of the two F-16 squadrons early will allow the Air Force to retain critical maintenance personnel to support the F-35 reaching initial operational capability in August 2016. The 4th FS will be the second F-35 squadron to stand up at Hill AFB.
Timelines associated with these actions are still being determined.