Editor’s note: This feature is part of a Hill Air Force Base 80th anniversary series. These articles will feature the base’s historical innovations and achievements, and will highlight mission platforms that have been operated and supported throughout the decades.
HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the successful outcome of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the early 1990s, downsizing and reform condensed much of the U.S. Department of Defense throughout the mid- and late-1990s. Hill AFB was not immune from the effects of these DoD-wide initiatives. In particular, Defense Management Review Decision 908 tasked the Air Force to reduce depot capacity, use existing capacity more efficiently, and compete more work with private industry.
Part of this volatile issue included the determination of core work and work for competition. As this project, known as “privatization-in-place,” began to take effect, the U.S. Congress authorized the commencement of multiple Base Realignment and Closure commissions. According to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, BRAC is the process the DoD uses to reorganize its base structure to more efficiently and effectively support its armed forces, increase operational readiness, and facilitate new ways of doing business.
In 1995, Hill AFB found itself on the BRAC commission’s list of installations under consideration for closure. This list also included McClellan AFB, home of the Sacramento ALC, and Kelly AFB, home of the San Antonio ALC. The 1995 BRAC commission ultimately recommended the closure of 32 major U.S. military installations. Two of the five Air Force depots then in operation were on the “recommended for closure” list. Hill AFB was not one of them. The commission’s recommendation resulted in the closure of the Sacramento ALC at McClellan AFB, California, and the San Antonio ALC at Kelly AFB, Texas, while the Ogden ALC at Hill AFB remained in operation with the Oklahoma City and Warner Robins ALCs. This resulted in the need to redistribute the workloads from the two ALCs slated for closure to the three remaining in operation or open them to private industry.
The six-volume, 6,500-page proposal submitted by the Ogden ALC’s Bid Office in 1997 won the competition for Sacramento ALC’s core workload. Transitioning the workload required teams of experts from the Ogden ALC’s directorates to coordinate action items in the realms of personnel, material, facilities, equipment, cost, contracting, information systems and their management, environmental issues, legal, quality, safety, and training.
The Ogden ALC inducted its first A-10 aircraft on November 23, 1998, and returned it to the field on February 6, 1999. Planning to complete four A-10s a month, the work scheduled for the first four A-10 aircraft called for paint strip and repaint only. Soon after starting the A-10 workload, however, the requirement expanded to include Analytical Condition Inspection — meant to find and fix defects. The Ogden ALC inducted the first A-10 to undergo ACI on Jan. 21, 1999.
While the Ogden ALC was successful in transitioning the A-10 workload from the Sacramento ALC, McClellan AFB, to Hill AFB, the process was not seamless or without challenge. The Ogden ALC had to navigate delays due to inadequate access to technical data, support equipment, and facilities. Additionally, Operation Allied Force necessitated the reallocation of many of the needed commodities for the new workload. Despite the many challenges inherent in transitioning the A-10 workload to its new location, the Ogden ALC completed 18 A-10 aircraft on time or early during its first year of supporting the A-10.