HILL AIR FORCE BASE – Take a look back at some of the significant happenings at Hill AFB in 2022. Click the headline to read the full news story.
ABW leadership host Davis County School representatives for town hall
January– Hill AFB leadership hosted representatives from the Davis County School District Jan. 11 for a town hall meeting to address concerns of Hill’s service members, civilians, and families on racial discrimination, bullying, special needs, accountability, and the path forward for the district.
Following the U.S. Department of Justice’s findings of racial discrimination within the district last year, Col Jenise Carroll, 75th Air Base Wing commander, asked the representatives to speak with members of Team Hill, many with children in the district.
“We are going to make sure Airmen and their families are taken care of,” said Carroll. “A strong partnership has already started and will be made stronger from tonight. I count on Team Hill’s resiliency while we work through this issue as a community and make this right.”
388th Fighter Wing heads to Red Flag 22-1 as lead wing with F-35A
January – The 388th Fighter Wing is serving as the lead wing at Red Flag, the Air Force’s premier combat exercise, which takes place at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, several times throughout the year.
The 421st Fighter Squadron and 421st Fighter Generation Squadron, alongside Reservists from the 419th Fighter Wing, have deployed 12 F-35A Lightning IIs and approximately 200 Airmen to train alongside other Air Force, DOD, and allied nation units.
For the next three weeks, they will form a joint Air Expeditionary Wing, working together in a simulated deployed environment.
Hill fighter wings deploy Airmen, F-35’s to Germany
February – Pilots, maintainers and support personnel from the active duty 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wing deployed the F-35A Lightning II to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.
The jets arrived at Spangdahlem Feb. 16 to bolster readiness, enhance NATO's collective defense posture and further increase air integration capabilities with Allied and Partner nations. The deployment is with the full cooperation of the German government.
Nuclear weapons leader selected for first star
March – An Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center colonel has been nominated for the rank of brigadier general.
The president nominated Col. Jason Bartolomei for the promotion, which is pending Senate confirmation.
Since May 2020, Bartolomei has been the director of the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent Systems Directorate at Hill AFB.
Wing showcases mission during visit from 10th Air Force leaders
March – The 419th Fighter Wing hosted its former wing commander, Maj. Gen. Bryan Radliff, now serving as Commander of 10th Air Force at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas.
Radliff visited here alongside Chief Master Sgt. Jeremy Malcom, 10th AF command chief, during the wing’s monthly drill weekend.
The two-day visit gave 10th AF leaders a chance to speak with wing leadership and Airmen about their accomplishments and challenges over the past couple of years.
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force speaks to Hill Airmen
March – While on a visit to Hill Air Force Base, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass shared her goals and priorities with 300 Airmen during an all-call event.
Bass said one of her top priorities is taking care of Airmen and their families.
“What we as leaders have to get after, and specifically what I’m focused on the most, has to do with programs that help people,” she said. “Whatever is important to you and whatever is important to your families, that’s what I’m focused on. We have to do our part to take care of you so you can continue to do great things.”
She said although she is interested in retaining strong Airmen, she isn’t as concerned with length of an enlistment as she is with how an Airman serves his or her time.
Center places top beam on new nuclear missile facility
April – The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center held a “topping out” ceremony for its new Ground Based Strategic Deterrent facility here March 4, just over a year after breaking ground for it.
The Air Force also announced this week that the GBSD weapon system has officially been designated as the LGM-35A Sentinel.
The new Mission Integration Facility will host the center’s GBSD Systems Directorate, including more than 700 personnel, systems testing, an auditorium and the first covered parking structure at Hill Air Force Base.
ACE exercise helps prepare 775th CES Airmen for deployment
May – Airmen from the 775th Civil Engineer Squadron recently participated in a two-day Agile Combat Employment exercise.
The Airmen participated in a simulated deployment to a forward-operating base, training and operating with limited resources. They underwent one day of briefings and cross-discipline training, learning new skill sets from their peers in other career fields, and a second day at BORTA practicing what they learned.
75th ABW welcomes new commander
June – Col. Jeffrey Holland was introduced as Hill Air Force Base’s new 75th Air Base Wing commander following a change of command ceremony June 22.
In his welcome speech, Holland said he is excited for the opportunity to lead the wing.
“I am so excited to be here and humbled at the opportunity of commanding the air base wing,” he said. “Hill is a special installation with a growing population and unrivaled community support.”
419th CES hosts first-ever Total Force Operation Patriot Warrior exercise
June – Reserve and active-duty Civil Engineer Squadron Airmen from 13 units across the country tested their skills during an Operation Patriot Warrior Exercise hosted by the 419th Fighter Wing here June 6-12.
This year marked the first time active-duty and Reserve CES Airmen came together for a Total Force exercise to focus on the Emergency Management branch of the career field. During the exercise, the CES Airmen worked together participating in real-life scenarios designed to evaluate their skillset.
Hill AFB Air Show thrills crowds
June – The 2022 Warriors Over the Wasatch Air and Space Show at Hill AFB came to an end this past weekend where hundreds of thousands of visitors converged on the base to see dozens of military and civilian aerial performers and exhibits.
Military performers featured this year included U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration squadron, the F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team, and the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team.
For the first time since being assigned to Hill Air Force Base in 2019, the F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team performed for its home crowd.
Base implements Trusted Traveler Plus
June – Hill Air Force implemented Trusted Traveler Plus. The new procedure will greatly reduce the numbers of visitors required to go to the Visitor Center for a background check and paper pass.
Government employees and military ID card holders are now allowed to vouch for their passengers, while the requirement for 100% ID checks for passengers will remain in place.
Passengers will need to provide an approved form of ID, such as a driver’s license, to confirm their identity prior to being allowed access to the base.
Hill NCO named top male Air Force athlete
July – Earning the title of Air Force Male Athlete of the Year “is truly surreal” for Staff Sgt. Justin Southichack, a production supervisor with the 649th Munitions Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
“I’m very certain the Air Force has numerous athletes who are truly inspiring and motivational at their craft,” Southichack said, “and I’m grateful for my leadership for nominating me and honored to represent the best Air Force in the world.”
Archaeologists discover more pieces of the ancient past on UTTR
August – Archaeologists working for the Air Force this month have discovered 88 human footprints preserved in the alkali flats on the Utah Test and Training Range that they believe date to more than 12,000 years ago.
Additional confirmation research is being done, but this would be only the second such discovery of footprints in the United States. White Sands National Park in New Mexico is the other place where Pleistocene-age human footprints have been identified.
New resilience program aims to assist struggling employees
August – Hill Air Force Base has officially rolled out the Community Resilience Program (CRP), a new initiative aimed at providing struggling civilian employees referrals and resources for improving quality of life.
The program replaces Wingman Advocates, 15-year program that began in 2007 in an effort to stem what was at the time a high suicide rate among civilian maintenance workers. Advocates are embedded within Ogden Air Logistics Complex to provide information and assistance to workers who might not know where to turn, especially in times of crisis.
COMACC praises Hill’s depot workforce
August – Gen. Mark D. Kelly, commander of Air Combat Command, visited with Ogden Air Logistics Complex and 388th Fighter Wing units at Hill Air Force Base.
During his visit, he met with the units’ military and civilian workforce while being updated on fighter aircraft maintenance, sustainment and operations.
“For decades, the depot workforce at Hill has sustained America’s fighter fleet to meet the needs of ACC and our warfighters,” said Kelly on his Facebook page after the visit. “Depot maintenance harnesses cutting-edge technology to meet the micro-tolerances required in our fifth-generation fighters and to modify all variants of the F-35A Lightning II and F-22 Raptor.
Hill Airmen hone combat skills during Phase 2 exercise
September – Airmen with the 75th Air Base Wing were tested on their ability to react, recover and operate under warlike conditions during a Phase 2 exercise here Sept. 14-15.
During the exercise, Airmen reacted to explosions, fires, chemical attacks, and medical emergencies.
The exercise tested the Airmen’s ability to survive and operate in wartime and contingency environments.
Hill Aerospace Museum opens new ICBM exhibit
October – The intercontinental ballistic missile has been part of Hill Air Force Base, the state of Utah and its private sector for more than 65 years and it now stands tall as Hill Aerospace Museum’s newest exhibit, called Keeping the Peace.
Phase one of the exhibit, currently open to visitors, includes various ICBM components including guidance systems and warheads, a fall-out shelter and a full-scale launch control center mock-up.
F-35 Crashes at Hill AFB
October – At approximately 6:15 p.m. Oct. 19, an F-35A Lightning II from the 388th Fighter Wing crashed at the north end of the runway. On and off-base emergency crews responded immediately.
The pilot ejected from the aircraft, was taken to a local hospital for observation and was treated and released later that night. The crash caused an 8-10-acre brush fire that was contained by fire crews from Hill AFB and the surrounding communities.
“Right now, we’re very thankful there were no serious injuries,” said Col. Craig Andrle, 388th Fighter Wing commander. “Our pilot is safe, everyone on the ground is safe and it doesn’t look like there was any other serious damage. We’re very thankful for our emergency responders and the support from the local communities.”
AFSC top leadership visits Hill AFB
November – Lt. Gen. Stacey Hawkins, Air Force Sustainment Center commander, his spouse, Natalie Hawkins, and Command Chief Master Sgt. Robert Schultz, visited Hill Air Force Base Nov. 14-17.
The command team visited with Airmen and Guardians in 75th Air Base Wing, Ogden Air Logistics Complex and other AFSC contracting and engineering units for an in-depth look into the mission, capabilities and facilities on the base.