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Sustaining the Ogden ALC, F-16 relationship

Six F-16 Fighting Falcons sit on the 514th Flight Test Squadron ramp at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, on Nov. 15, 2017. The aircraft are awaiting test flight or to be returned to their assigned units after completion of depot maintenance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

Six F-16 Fighting Falcons sit on the 514th Flight Test Squadron ramp at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, on Nov. 15, 2017. The aircraft are awaiting test flight or to be returned to their assigned units after completion of depot maintenance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

Mike Hughes, 573rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, sands down the inside of an air intake on a Colorado National Guard F-16 on Jan. 9, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

Mike Hughes, 573rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, sands down the inside of an air intake on a Colorado National Guard F-16 on Jan. 9, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

An Indonesian F-16 sits on the tarmac at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, with the sun rising over Diamond Head and downtown Honolulu on Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7, 2017. U.S. Air Force Air National Guard pilots along with maintainers from the Ogden Air Logistics Complex spent several days getting six regenerated F-16s from Utah to Indonesia.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

An Indonesian F-16 sits on the tarmac at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, with the sun rising over Diamond Head and downtown Honolulu on Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7, 2017. U.S. Air Force Air National Guard pilots along with maintainers from the Ogden Air Logistics Complex spent several days getting six regenerated F-16s from Utah to Indonesia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

Bret Hadley, 573rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, performs an electronic check out on an F-16 undergoing service life extension program modification on Dec. 20, 2017, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The SLEP is a series of inspections and modifications taking place at one time to extend the aircraft flying service life to 2046. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

Bret Hadley, 573rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, performs an electronic check out on an F-16 undergoing service life extension program modification on Dec. 20, 2017, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The SLEP is a series of inspections and modifications taking place at one time to extend the aircraft flying service life to 2046. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

Over Sun Valley, Nevada, Arizona National Guard pilot, Lt. Col. Gregory “Ajax” Gaff, positions his Indonesian F-16C behind a KC-10 Extender aerial refueling aircraft in preparation to receive fuel during a ferry flight from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, to Hickam AFB, Hawaii, on Dec. 6, 2017. The aircraft was fitted with three external tanks and be refueled several times during the six-and-a-half hour flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

Over Sun Valley, Nevada, Arizona National Guard pilot, Lt. Col. Gregory “Ajax” Gaff, positions his Indonesian F-16C behind a KC-10 Extender aerial refueling aircraft in preparation to receive fuel during a ferry flight from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, to Hickam AFB, Hawaii, on Dec. 6, 2017. The aircraft was fitted with three external tanks and be refueled several times during the six-and-a-half hour flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

J. C. Robinson (far right), 576th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, turns the wheel on a special jig to separate the fuselage on F-16D, 90-0783, on Aug. 03, 2017, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The aircraft was involved in a bird strike and during its post-flight inspection the crew chief discovered the 243 bulkhead had a large crack. It was determined that the only possible way of repairing the airframe was to separate it into two sections. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

J. C. Robinson (far right), 576th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, turns the wheel on a special jig to separate the fuselage on F-16D, 90-0783, on Aug. 03, 2017, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The aircraft was involved in a bird strike and during its post-flight inspection the crew chief discovered the 243 bulkhead had a large crack. It was determined that the only possible way of repairing the airframe was to separate it into two sections. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

Lt. Col. Beau “Strap” Wilkins, 514th Flight Test Squadron pilot, pulls up in a high-G climb in an Indonesian F-16C Fighting Falcon during a functional check flight Nov. 21, 2017, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The jet was the last of 24 F-16s to be delivered to the Indonesian Air Force as part of an acquisition agreement approved by the U.S. government. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

Lt. Col. Beau “Strap” Wilkins, 514th Flight Test Squadron pilot, pulls up in a high-G climb in an Indonesian F-16C Fighting Falcon during a functional check flight Nov. 21, 2017, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The jet was the last of 24 F-16s to be delivered to the Indonesian Air Force as part of an acquisition agreement approved by the U.S. government. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

Cory Yambor, contrator supporting the Ogden Air Logistics Complex Engineer Directorate, watches over the controls of the robotic laser depainting equipment on Aug. 29, 2016, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The system reduces the time it takes to strip old paint off F-16s and completes the task without use of harmful chemicals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

Cory Yambor, contrator supporting the Ogden Air Logistics Complex Engineer Directorate, watches over the controls of the robotic laser depainting equipment on Aug. 29, 2016, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The system reduces the time it takes to strip old paint off F-16s and completes the task without use of harmful chemicals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

Several F-16s are seen in different stages of depot level maintenance on Jan. 9, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. F-16 maintenance workloads are scheduled to increase at Hill over the next few years and last well into the 2040s. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

Several F-16s are seen in different stages of depot level maintenance on Jan. 9, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. F-16 maintenance workloads are scheduled to increase at Hill over the next few years and last well into the 2040s. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

Using his brute strength, Brian Grose, 533rd Commodities Maintenance Squadron, torques down screws that hold wing attach fittings to a reconditioned F-16 wing on Jan. 9, 2018 at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Wing overhauls are one of many forms of maintenance performed by different Ogden Air Logistics Complex Complex organizations that keep F-16s flying in the skies of northern Utah and around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)
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Using his brute strength, Brian Grose, 533rd Commodities Maintenance Squadron, torques down screws that hold wing attach fittings to a reconditioned F-16 wing on Jan. 9, 2018 at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Wing overhauls are one of many forms of maintenance performed by different Ogden Air Logistics Complex Complex organizations that keep F-16s flying in the skies of northern Utah and around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon, tail no. 78-0038, one of the oldest remaining F-16A aircraft and still wearing markings from its time with the Diamondbacks of the 419th Fighter Wing, sits in the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group open-air storage yard, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, on June 7, 2016. Retired F-16s are stored here for an indefinite time and are often used for spare parts, regenerated for foriegn military sales, or put back into flying status and used as QF-16 full-scale aerial targets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)
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An F-16 Fighting Falcon, tail no. 78-0038, one of the oldest remaining F-16A aircraft and still wearing markings from its time with the Diamondbacks of the 419th Fighter Wing, sits in the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group open-air storage yard, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, on June 7, 2016. Retired F-16s are stored here for an indefinite time and are often used for spare parts, regenerated for foriegn military sales, or put back into flying status and used as QF-16 full-scale aerial targets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

Brig. Gen. Stacey T. Hawkins, Ogden Air Logistics Complex commander, takes a few minutes to meet with a small group of F-16 maintainers from the 573rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron on Jan. 4, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. He expressed his thanks for all the hard work put in to completing the 24 Indonesian F-16 aircraft over the past five years and informed them of all the upcoming work needed to keep U.S. Air Force F-16s flying until 2046.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)
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Brig. Gen. Stacey T. Hawkins, Ogden Air Logistics Complex commander, takes a few minutes to meet with a small group of F-16 maintainers from the 573rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron on Jan. 4, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. He expressed his thanks for all the hard work put in to completing the 24 Indonesian F-16 aircraft over the past five years and informed them of all the upcoming work needed to keep U.S. Air Force F-16s flying until 2046. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

Ken Van Dyk, 531th Commodities Maintenance Squadron, watches close circuit monitors while performing a test fire of a M61 A1 Vulcan 20mm cannon on April 7, 2016, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The gun is used in F-16s and is a Gatling-type with six barrels capable of firing up to 6,000 rounds per minute. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)
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Ken Van Dyk, 531th Commodities Maintenance Squadron, watches close circuit monitors while performing a test fire of a M61 A1 Vulcan 20mm cannon on April 7, 2016, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The gun is used in F-16s and is a Gatling-type with six barrels capable of firing up to 6,000 rounds per minute. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd)

On Jan. 23, 1979, the first operational F-16A Fighting Falcon arrived at Hill AFB as part of the then, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, making Hill the first Air Force base to stand-up an operational F-16 unit.

For nearly 40 years, the iconic F-16 has been one of the most visible missions on the installation.

Over the past several months, however, sightings of F-16s in the skies of northern Utah has greatly diminished with the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings successful transition to F-35A Lightning II.

Though Hill’s operational F-16s have departed, the Ogden Air Logistics Complex continues to sustain and fly one of the world’s most widely recognized and widely used fighter aircraft ever to take to the skies, with ongoing regeneration, depot-level maintenance and modifications on C and D model F-16s.

Some of the oldest Falcons in the world are kept preserved in the hot, dry Arizona desert at Davis-Monthan AFB, in the massive long-term storage area overseen by the Ogden ALC’s 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group; a national level airpower reserve providing a service not found anywhere else within the Department of Defense.

The 309th AMARG is responsible for in-house regeneration of aircraft for the QF-16 full-scale aerial target program, along with withdrawing, disassembly, and shipment of airframes and associated parts to Hill AFB for foreign military sales and providing specific parts needed to extend the life expectancy of F-16s that are still in flying status.

Hill AFB is known as the Center of Excellence for F-16s worldwide and the Ogden ALC’s 573rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron is the lead organization responsible for all depot-level maintenance performed on the weapon system.

With the help of other organizations within the Ogden ALC, the 573rd AMXS is able to perform a wide range of inspections, modifications and maintenance on F-16s that arrive at Hill as often as twenty or more each month to have different types of work performed on them.

These organizations are responsible for performing sub-system maintenance on items that are both large and small to include aircraft wings, landing gear, the M61 A1 Vulcan 20mm cannon, heads-up display, auxiliary power units, and many different types of electronic and hydraulic parts.

This level of F-16 workload has no signs of slowing down and is expected to grow over the next few years, according to Ogden ALC officials.

“This year we will see five new workloads arrive, the biggest being the high speed data network, upper block flange modifications, which is a series of structural modifications along with electrical upgrades that is like changing out a phone line in your house to a network high speed data line,” said Joe Gardenhour, 573rd AMXS director.

Foreign F-16 workload

Twenty five Air Forces of countries around the world also fly F-16s and many of them have military members assigned to the F-16 Support Program Office International Branch worldwide headquarters, also located at Hill AFB.

One of those countries is Indonesia and over the past five years the Ogden ALC was employed in an unprecedented foreign military sales deal to deliver twenty-four Block-25 variant F-16s, all of which had been in long term open-air storage at AMARG for many years and was one of the most complex production efforts within the F-16 depot.

Each aircraft was carefully dismantled, prepared, and shipped in crates 800-miles north from Davis-Monthan AFB to Hill AFB. The final six aircraft were delivered to Indonesia in December 2017 and January 2018.

To help facilitate the delivery of all twenty-four aircraft, small cadres of maintainers from the ALC formed into Depot Field Teams and provided necessary maintenance on the aircraft during scheduled stopovers at Hickam AFB, Hawaii, and Anderson AFB, Guam.

While speaking to a small group of 573rd AMXS maintainers involved in the Indonesia workload, Brig. Gen. Stacey T. Hawkins, Ogden Air Logistics commander, recently praised them for their dedicated hard work.

“You were able to strengthen our industrial base by being able to regenerate, produce and deliver those aircraft so our industrial base partners will now be involved in sustaining them through contracts and partnerships with the Indonesian government,” Hawkins said. “Very few times in our business do we have that great of an affect. Your efforts directly contributed, not just in producing another jet, but actually strengthening the power of the United States.”

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