HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — The 419th Operations Support Flight is home to nearly 40 Airmen who work behind the scenes of every flying mission and provide support to pilots before they suit up, after they takeoff, and once they return home.
The OSF is comprised of three major functional areas: air crew flight equipment, intelligence, and current operations. Each of these areas is integrated with the active duty 388th Operations Support Squadron as they support all four F-35 fighter squadrons at Hill.
AFE is responsible for all pilot flight suits, navigation equipment, aircraft ejection seats, and parachutes. Intel provides intelligence in support of all F-35 combat operations. Current operations leads and standardizes the fighter squadron’s sister shops in all its functional areas.
“The OSF functions a lot like a professional football team’s organization,” said Col. Mathew Miller, 419th Operations Group commander. “AFE are the equipment specialists who take care of our team’s gear, intel ‘watches film’ so we know what the other teams are doing and what they are capable of, and current ops makes sure each player and position are accounted for so the team can work together as one.”
The 419th OSF supports the wing’s mission by providing the foundation for F-35 combat power and enables its Airmen to deploy with the intelligence data and equipment they need to execute the mission at any deployed location.
“Our job is to gather as much information as possible, so our Airmen know what to expect when they get out there,” said Tech. Sgt. Peter Reichel, intel analyst and noncommissioned officer in charge of intel exercises and readiness. “We have to stay vigilant because, without us, our Airmen would be flying blind.”
Over the past five years, the 419th OSF has deployed to more than nine locations within the U.S. and around the world, including Europe and Japan, and has won multiple awards at the wing and command levels.
“The OSF is comprised of highly-skilled technicians who enable actual execution of the mission,” Miller said. “Without each facet of the OSF, successful F-35 missions would not happen.”