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Hill Air Force Base Launches Record Number Of F-35s


Officials say the Hill Air Force Base recently launched a record number of F-35 fighter jets to demonstrate military capabilities.

  Hill's 388th and 419th Fighter Wings conducted the combat power exercise Monday, launching 35 F-35A Lightning IIs over about an 11-minute period.

Col. Michael Ebner, 388th FW vice commander, says the operation was the most Lightning IIs simultaneously launched in the history of the Air Force's F-35A program.

Ebner says in addition to sharpening certain combat flying skills, the effort also was intended to demonstrate the wings' ability to conduct a large-scale combat deployment at a moment's notice.

Ebner says launching aircraft from multiple squadrons at the same time presented several challenges and allows the wings to evaluate the capabilities of pilots, maintainers and command and control teams.

Ebner says Hill currently has 47 F-35s.