Sprawling Alaska Complex Becomes Newest Home For F-35A

F-35 unit & base selection, delivery, activation
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zhangmdev

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Unread post24 Apr 2020, 03:57

So the space beneath the seat is too small to fit a sleeping bag. The solution is a synthetic insulating fiber called Lamilite that "does not lose its ability to "re-loft" even after being vacuum packed".

https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... trial.html
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Unread post24 Apr 2020, 05:34

zhangmdev wrote:So the space beneath the seat is too small to fit a sleeping bag. The solution is a synthetic insulating fiber called Lamilite that "does not lose its ability to "re-loft" even after being vacuum packed". [quotes below]
https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... trial.html

8) Nice find - thanks muchly for it. :applause: https://www.wiggys.com/sleeping-bags/wa ... eping-bag/
Arctic Survival Kit for Air Force F-35 Pilots Surprises Developers During Way-Below-Zero Trial
20 Nov 2019 James Bolinger [BEST READ ALL DETAILS at SOURCE]

"A cold-weather survival kit under development at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, was designed to keep F-35A Lightning II pilots alive at 40 degrees below zero. Thanks to a thermometer glitch, the kit surprised its testers Nov. 5 by keeping subjects reasonably warm for six hours in temperatures that dropped below minus 65, said Tech. Sgt. Garrett Wright, operations noncommissioned officer for the Arctic Survival School, 66th Training Squadron, Detachment 1.

One of the four test subjects, Lt. Col. James Christensen, a pilot and commander of the 356th Fighter Squadron at Eielson, reviewed the kit in an email Wednesday to Stars and Stripes. "This would enable pilots to survive for hours while awaiting rescue," he wrote. "However, I was never really warm or comfortable in that environment with this gear. I still had cold legs, feet and face, and the hands were a problem throughout the test. It will keep you alive, but not comfortable. Don't touch anything metal at that temperature!"

The test was successful, but the Air Force has yet to decide whether to include the new survival kit on board the stealth fighters when they arrive at the reactivated 356th in 2020.

Airmen at the Eielson survival school created the kit after the Air Force discovered the equipment in older fighters like the F-16 Fighting Falcon would not fit underneath the F-35A's ejection seat, Wright said by phone Wednesday. He began working on the project 1½ half years ago. "I quickly realized that it was about two-thirds the size of the kit used for aircraft like the F-16," he said. "The sleeping bag would not fit under the ejection seat, so we needed something else that would fit and allow pilots to survive."...

...The team opted for a system by Wiggy Industries of Grand Junction, Colorado, that incorporates a synthetic insulating fiber called Lamilite into a poncho and pants that can be converted into a sleeping bag. According to the company website, Lamilite does not lose its ability to "re-loft" even after being vacuum packed.

The new kit also includes a raft that can be used as a shelter, wool mittens, six hand warmers that last 12 hours each, flares, a survival beacon, a space blanket and a Leatherman multitool, Wright said. The kit also includes a short saw and redesigned shovel that would fit the cramped space. The saw and shovel are used to build snow shelters....

...The system was designed for temperatures around minus 40, but a fluke at the test facility brought the temperature below minus 65, Wright said.

About five hours into the test, while taking digital temperature readings and checking on the test subjects, Wright said he felt something was off and asked the facility staff for a mercury thermometer. His digital thermometer indicated minus 40 in the colder chamber, but after five minutes the mercury thermometer dropped below minus 65. He said the team knew for sure the kit would function beyond its intended parameters."

Source: https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... trial.html
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Unread post29 Apr 2020, 15:34

Hill AFB to Eielson AFB: Cooperation between first, newest F-35A wing speeds stand-up, shapes future
29 Apr 2020 Micah Garbarino, 388th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

"HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AFNS) -- The Air Force’s first combat-coded F-35A Lightning II wing is sending aircraft to the Air Force’s newest F-35A wing to help speed their stand-up.

Four F-35A Lightning IIs from Hill Air Force Base’s 388th Fighter Wing took off on a four-hour flight across the Pacific Northwest for Eielson AFB, Alaska, April 27. They will become part of the 354th Fighter Wing’s inventory for the next two months. “From our experience here, we know that when you’re standing up a new program, every day is critical.” said Col. Steven Behmer, 388th Fighter Wing commander. “By loaning them these four airplanes, we hope it helps fast-forward their ability to train and bring more capability to the Air Force as a whole.”

The Hill AFB aircraft join the first two F-35As Lockheed Martin delivered to Eielson AFB last week. Eielson AFB is scheduled to receive two or three F-35s per month from the factory until they reach a total of 54 aircraft in two squadrons by early 2022. The loan, which the operations and maintenance groups at both wings have been planning for a while, is a welcomed boost.

“We’re in the initial stages of F-35 operations here, and right now I’ve got more pilots than aircraft,” said Col. David Skalicky, 354th Operations Group commander. “We’ve been going TDY to get the sorties and hours we need, but COVID-19 put an end to that. So, the timing of this loan couldn’t be better.” While the pilots need the aircraft to fly four-ship combat training sorties, the maintainers also need hands-on training time. The extra aircraft will allow the groups to better prioritize those opportunities....

...Once Eielson AFB’s F-35A standup is complete, Alaska will be an even more robust training environment for the Air Force. “We’re getting the benefit in the short term from this aircraft loan, but in the long term, this is going to enable us to give back to Hill (AFB) and the rest of the F-35 community. We’ve got a rare training airspace and a range with some of the most high-tech threat emitters. We’ve got the space you need to have to be able to effectively train with fifth-generation aircraft,” Skalicky said. “We’ve got in-house aggressors here and Air National Guard tankers. At Elmendorf (AFB) we’ve got F-22s and AWACS. We’ve got everything you need in Alaska to train for that fight of the future.”..."

Source: https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display ... eeds-stan/
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Unread post13 May 2020, 01:30

Lotsa woids in this one so best read it at source if youse have all day and meanwhile: BACK TO THE EXCERPTS....
11 May 2020 Valerie Insinna

"WASHINGTON — The COVID-19 pandemic could make it more difficult for the U.S. Air Force’s newest F-35 squadron to organize its personnel and jets on schedule. On April 21, the 356th Fighter Squadron at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, became the service’s northernmost fighter squadron after receiving its first two F-35s. Pilots began flying those jets for training three days later, and another four F-35s on loan from Hill Air Force Base in Utah flew to Alaska on April 27.

But a couple key challenges could hamper the assemblage of the new squadron, said Col. Benjamin Bishop, commander of the base’s 354th Fighter Wing....

...Despite COVID-19 and the potential logistical challenges involved in sending people and F-35s to Eielson, day-to-day training operations have continued as normal, said Col. James Christensen, 356th Fighter Squadron commander. Having six F-35s on base allows maintainers to use the jets for training while also maximizing flight hours for the eight pilots currently in the 356th. “We still do the mission the way we always have. We have the masks and the wipe procedures and social distancing,” Christensen said. “So [we’re] being creative but still being able to get the mission done.”

There are strategic benefits to being the U.S. Air Force’s northernmost fighter squadron, starting with access. With support from an aerial refueling tanker, the F-35s at Eielson can reach and target any location in Europe or the Asia-Pacific, Bishop said. And even the harsh climate of Eielson has its perks. It’s a short flight away from the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, the Defense Department’s largest instrumented training range, with 77,000 square miles of airspace, according to the 354th Fighter Wing.

“The F-35 is going to be able to fly in that airspace, but they’re not going to be alone,” Bishop said. F-35s training in that area will regularly be joined by F-22s based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, as well as the F-16s in Eielson’s 18th Aggressor Squadron that simulate enemy combat jets. “You’re going to see amazing fifth-generation tactics and integration tactics emerge,” he said....

...An estimated $500 million will be spent on military construction to support the buildup at Eielson, including new operations buildings, a simulator building, heated hangars and other maintenance facilities, and a new cafeteria. A total of 41 facilities will be either built or refurbished with that funding, with 29 of those projects finished and others still under construction to support a second F-35 squadron, Bishop said.

And everything — from constructing new facilities to maintaining runways — is tougher in the subzero temperatures of the Arctic. “Early on in this job, I learned that there are two seasons in Alaska,” Bishop said. “There’s winter and construction season, with the former a lot longer than the latter. From a beddown perspective, how you put your construction plan together, you have to maneuver around that season.”

“In order to maintain efficiency of fighter operations up here, one of the things we did is we built walled weather shelters for our aircraft, so all of our aircraft are actually housed in weather shelters," he added. "That’s not necessarily for the aircraft. That’s more for the maintainers because having that insulated and heating facility, now you can do maintenance around the clock.”"

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/smr/frozen- ... -pandemic/
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