Before explaining the importance of the base's new F-22 heavy maintenance facility, which was unveiled Jan. 12, Rep. Rob Bishop wondered aloud how long it would take to fill the 96,000-square-foot area with foam.
According to Col. Allan Day, 309th Maintenance Wing Commander, the answer is close to 90 seconds.
"It wouldn't go all the way to the ceiling," Day said of foam that would be dispensed from nozzles near the ceiling, installed in case of a fire. "The foam would just rise above the level of the plane."
With Hill Air Force Base the top candidate for the new F-35 fighter mission, the Air Force has released a document detailing how the jet will likely impact the Top of Utah.
On April 13, the Air Force released its F-35 Operational Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which examines impacts the jet will have on noise, safety, land use, and air and water quality.
In July 2010, Hill was chosen as the Air Force's preferred alternative for the location of the first two operational squadrons of the advanced F-35 stealth fighter.
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)."
The next step to bring two F-35 squadrons to Hill Air Force Base will happen shortly after the new year.
After recent news for Hill, which included an Air Force restructuring plan that will result in the loss of 261 base civilian jobs, the draft environmental impact statement for the F-35 is scheduled to be released in January, base officials say.
Barbara Fisher, chief of environmental public affairs, said in a statement released to the Standard-Examiner there will be a 45-day period for public comments.
In 2010 the story of most importantace to the base was its inclusion in the selection process for the F-35 Lighting II. Otherwise, it was more of a business as usual theme as Team Hill went quietly about what it does best: Several facility upgrades and building completions, the last Common Configuration Implementation Program F-16 completion, humanitarian operations in Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake, the first commercial building project at Falcon Hill and various important inspections and reconfigurations.
Lighting flashed across northern Utah last week when the Air Force announced it selected Hill Air Force Base as a "preferred alternative" for operational basing of the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter.
If selected, the 388th Fighter Wing and 419th Fighter Wing at Hill AFB could expect to be the first operational units in the Air Force to fly the fighter as early as 2013.