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F-35 lands at Hill Air Force Base

LAYTON, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Hill Air Force Base celebrated a new beginning Friday. One that will create jobs and help the base rise above the turbulence of military cut backs.
LAYTON, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Hill Air Force Base celebrated a new beginning Friday. One that will create jobs and help the base rise above the turbulence of military cut backs.

It's the next generation of protecting national security from above.

"The F-35 is the most lethal weapon of war, from an airplane standpoint, the world has ever seen. We've got eight countries that cooperate with us on this and frankly it gives us air superiority," says Utah Senator, Orrin Hatch.

Hill Air Force Base is one of a few locations to land long term deals to get and keep the F-35 off of the ground.

The plane is manufactured at a different location and comes to the Ogden Air Logistics Complex for maintenance and modifications.

"This will be our first of many we will repair here, so we're very excited today," says Commander Brent Baker, of the Ogden Air Logistics Complex.

The F-35 will go through 4000 service hours in about 140 days. Just in time for the next one to roll in. It’s just one step in the processes of getting it war ready.

"To date there are 9000 flight hours on this fleet, whether that's in training, operations or in our test environments. Putting the aircraft through its paces and proving its maturity," says Lorraine Martin, Vice President of F-35 Lockheed Martin.

The project will also pace Hill Air Force Base through some uncertain times. An increased work load and new jobs will make it more valuable in the event of military cuts down the road.

"The depot work we do here on base is second to none and it's absolutely essential to the maintenance of our aircraft throughout the entire air force," says Utah Senator, Mike Lee.

The first F-35 will be ready for combat in July, 2015. The maintenance project at Hill Air Force Base is expected to stick around for up to 50 years.

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