The USAF has performed an ‘Elephant Walk’ exercise with F35A Lightning IIs at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. A little more than four years after receiving their first combat-coded F35A Lightning II aircraft, Hill’s fighter wings have achieved full warfighting capability. The active duty 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wings conducted an at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Jan. 6, 2020. The drill, formally called a F-35A Combat Power Exercise, and which was planned for months, demonstrated their ability to employ a large force of F-35As – testing readiness in the areas of personnel accountability, aircraft generation, ground operations, flight operations, and combat capability against air and ground targets.
The final F-35A for the 388th Fighter Wing (FW) was handed over on December 17. The delivery brought the total number of aircraft at the base to 78. The 388th FW’s three squadrons, the 4th, 34th and 421st Fighter Squadrons (FS), now each have 24 primary assigned aircraft with six back-up jets. These are shared with the 419th FW’s 466th FS.