F-35's first "Elephant walk"

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usnimitz

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Unread post17 Dec 2019, 19:20

35 F-35 stealth fighter jets fly together after the elephant walk :D

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pron

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Unread post06 Jan 2020, 21:43

A new and bigger elephant walk with F-35A

The 388th and 419th Fighter Wings that call Hill Air Force Base in Utah home have just executed a massive readiness drill that included an 'elephant walk' of a whopping 52 F-35As.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... h-52-f-35s
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Corsair1963

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Unread post07 Jan 2020, 03:40

Possibly another message for Iran.... :wink:
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marsavian

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Unread post07 Jan 2020, 20:38

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/202 ... ran-threat

The US has conducted its first mass exercise of its new F-35A fighter jets, launching 52 of them from their base in Utah.

However, the air force insisted it was a coincidence that the number of aircraft used echoed Donald Trump’s threat to hit 52 Iranian targets, including cultural sites.

“Just like the timing, the number is a coincidence. This is the most we can get airborne,” Micah Garbarino, a spokesman at the Hill air force base, said.

The last F-35A Lightning was delivered in December, four years after the first was delivered, bringing the total force of the active duty 388th and reserve 419th fighter wings to 78 aircraft.

Of the three active duty squadrons, one is deployed in the Middle East, leaving two in Utah, which carried out the mass launch – known in the air force as an “elephant walk”.
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Unread post08 Jan 2020, 00:45

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spazsinbad

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Unread post08 Jan 2020, 05:08

F-35A Lightning II standup complete at Hill AFB’s 388th, 419th Fighter Wings
07 Jan 2020 Micah Garbarino, 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

"HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AFNS) -- A little more than four years after receiving their first combat-coded F-35A Lightning II aircraft, Hill Air Force Base's fighter wings have achieved full warfighting capability. The term describes a set of focus areas within the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings: fully trained pilots and maintainers, a full complement of 78 aircraft and the mission and support equipment needed to fly....

Fully-trained pilots
The first F-35As arrived at Hill AFB in September 2015 and the final aircraft arrived in December 2019. In the intervening years, Airmen at Hill AFB have been training and developing tactics as the aircraft systems and capabilities have matured.

Reaching the right balance of qualified manning can be a challenge when activating a brand-new weapon system. The first squadron to stand up, the 34th Fighter Squadron, started with a core of pilots who had some level of F-35A training and experience in other platforms. As the wing began to grow, that experience level was diluted, and each squadron has been through a period where a majority of pilots could be considered “inexperienced wingmen.”

“We didn’t have a majority of pilots who had been training and carrying out F-35A tactics for 15 or 20 years. So, the core experience is less,” Behmer said. “We’ve worked hard and achieved the right balance in the squadrons.” Through large exercises like Red Flag, local exercises, instructor pilot and flight-lead training, the squadrons have drastically increased that level of experience. Young pilots, some who have never flown any other aircraft, now have real-world combat experience.

Fully-trained maintainers
When the first jets arrived at Hill AFB, about 50% of the maintainers were fully-trained, seasoned F-35 maintainers from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. That number decreased due to PCS, retirements and separations. Since then, there has been an influx of new manning with less experience, and every other maintainer has been “homegrown.”...

All 78 aircraft delivered
When the first aircraft arrived in 2015, the goal was to fully equip each squadron with 24 primary assigned aircraft and six backups by the end of 2019. That was realized in December with the delivery of the 78th jet....

...In some cases, the delivery process became so streamlined that the aircraft were able to fly combat training missions within 24 hours of arriving at Hill AFB. This was more than just convenient. It meant that it was possible to deliver a jet from the factory straight into combat if necessary.

Mission and support equipment
Fifth-generation technology on the F-35A requires more specialized equipment than legacy aircraft. Every system on the F-35A has an associated piece of equipment to keep aircraft loaded, fueled and flying.

There are more than a dozen critical pieces of heavy equipment, from the standard – power generators and weapons loaders, to the unique – 13,000-pound air conditioners to cool the jet’s advanced avionics. There’s also other equipment – like the high-tech, personalized helmets that integrate with the jet’s mission systems – and computer and network systems to support flying and maintenance.'''...

Editor's note: Full Warfighting Capability for the 388th and 419th FW is a separate designation from F-35A Full Operational Capability. That designation will be made by the Air Force after several other service-wide requirements have been met."

Source: https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display ... ter-wings/
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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Unread post05 Mar 2020, 13:29

2 page PDF of article attached below.
F-35 ‘OPS ONE’ THE STORY BEHIND THE HILL AFB COMBAT POWER DEMONSTRATION
April 2020 Scott Wolff

"...The results are in
The goal was 60 aircraft airborne, and the final tally was 52. The time taken to launch the aircraft? From when the first released its brakes to when number 51 got airborne was just over 14 minutes. The last aircraft followed a short time later after dealing with a maintenance issue...."

Source: Combat Aircraft Journal April 2020 Vol.21 No.4
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F-35 OPS ONE Elephant Walk Hill AFB Combat Aircraft April 2020 pp2.pdf
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A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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Unread post06 Mar 2020, 05:47

Salute!

Thanks Spaz, et al.

We never had a massive elephant walk at Hill back in the early years of the Viper. But we had no-notice drills as part of an ORI. And we practiced and flew several with 24 jets.

I was the 388th Ops Plans weenie, so I had to write, coordinate and have various offices and Ogden ALC folks all agree and sign off on "the plan". When the drill kicked off I became the "battle staff commander", with a coupla other staff weenies taking turns at our 388th command venue - Fort Apache, named after the 388th's operations complex at Korat, Thailand.

The biggest task on the two ORI's I saw was the requirement to have a squadron generate all their planes and then takeoff for a forward operating base within 24 hours. This was no-notice, folks, although we had a grapevine that gave us a "feeling" something was headed our way the next week or so. The clock started when the ORI team hit the command post and the wing commander and I got the phone call at the same time. I had to brief the command staff plus any ALC folks that could make it exactly one hour from the start.

Our in-commission numbers were decent, but we always had three or four problem childs. Because we were rehearsing a WWIII scenario, they let us break open the WRSK and we didn't have to cannibalize parts and such from other squadrons. However...... in the real world ten years earlier....

In 1972 our A-7D wing got orders to deploy all three squadrons to Korat from The Beach in three weeks. 72 planes and associated maintenance and logistics folks and "stuff". And three weeks later a squadron of 24 Slufs took off each morning headed west. Three days, three squadrons. Four days later we had 72 jets at Korat!!!

So the gist of this post is I know what it takes to get a whole buncha jets up at one time, and have done it myself before I had to actually coordinate and plan something like it.

I have a good feeling about this new jet, warts and all.

Gums sends..
Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"

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