JOINT BASE LANGELY-EUSTIS, Va. — Combat Air Forces units from multiple commands began flying again July 15 after many stopped flying in April of this year due to sequestration.The restored flying hour program represents congressional action on the $1.8 billion overseas contingency operations reprogramming action that made peacetime dollars available. The Air Force Council has approved the use of $423 million of those dollars to restore flying hours for affected units.
The impacts of government spending cuts continue to pile up in the Top of Utah as one of Hill Air Force Base’s F-16 squadrons will be grounded because of sequestration.
“It’s so good to be back. I feel like I’m back home,” said the commander of Air Combat Command to nearly 500 Airmen during an “all call” at Hill Air Force Base on April 20.
With an approximate wait time of 18 months required in the approval process for new software, the 367th Training Support Squadron took steps to shorten that with an invitation to Learning Tree International to teach its personnel the finer points of VMWare.
A large part of its mission as a training squadron is to develop training programs for the Air Combat Command and Air Mobility Command. Waiting 18 months for approval to use any type of new software application just didn't add up.
All indications were that the timeline for the next step in bringing two F-35 squadrons to Hill continued to move forward. Barbara Fisher, chief of environmental affairs, confirmed the environmental impact statement results were scheduled to be released sometime in January.
"We currently don't know when the public hearings will be held for Hill," she said, "but we anticipate there will be four (hearings)."
Gen. William M. Fraser III, the commander of Air Combat Command, visited Hill Air Force Base on Aug. 30 and 31 to meet with Airmen and gain a first-hand look at how Hill maintains operational readiness.
The 388th and 419th Fighter Wings, 4th Fighter Squadron and 421st Aircraft Maintenance Unit were just a few of the facilities Fraser toured while discussing topics of interest with Airmen.
One of the first topics addressed during his tour was Hill's selection as a preferred alternative location for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.