Hill Airmen set for F-35 deployment to Japan

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HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — About 100 reservists from the 419th Fighter Wing will join their active duty counterparts in the 388th Fighter Wing for the first F-35A operational deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region next month.

In total, approximately 300 Airmen and 12 F-35s from Hill AFB will deploy for a six-month rotation to Kadena Air Base, Japan. The aircraft and supporting personnel are scheduled to arrive in early November.

The deployment builds upon the U.S. Air Force fifth-generation stealth fighter’s successful debut at the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition earlier this month.

“The F-35A gives the joint warfighter unprecedented global precision attack capability against current and emerging threats while complementing our air superiority fleet,” said Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander. “The airframe is ideally suited to meet our command’s obligations, and we look forward to integrating it into our training and operations.”

The F-35A is being deployed under U.S. PACOM’s theater security package program, which has been in operation since 2004. Through the TSP program, Air Combat Command routinely deploys aircraft to the region in support of Pacific Air Forces and U.S. PACOM to deepen ties with allies and build relationships with the international community.

This long-planned deployment is designed to demonstrate the continuing U.S. commitment to stability and security in the region.

While a first in-theater for the F-35A, the U.S. Marine Corps F-35B variant has been stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, since January 2017.