100th F-35 sortie at Hill

100th F-35 sortie at Hill

ALEX R. LLOYD/U.S. Air Force

Maj. Jayson Rickard, a reservist in the 466th Fighter Squadron, takes off for his first local sortie in the F-35 Lightning II at Hill Air Force Base on Dec. 11. Rickard’s flight marks the 100th sortie in the F-35 at Hill since the first combat-coded aircraft arrived in September. In the three months since the first F-35s arrived at Hill, only two of 129 scheduled sorties were lost due to maintenance issues. Initially, the 34th Aircraft Maintenance Unit went 33 sorties without losing a line for maintenance. Together, the active-duty 388th Fighter Wing and Air Force Reserve 419th Fighter Wing are working toward F-35 initial operational capability, or IOC, by fall of 2016. 

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