Fighting Falcons Fly Alongside Lightning

F-16 pilots from Hill AFB, Fla., conducted the first air-to-air combat training missions alongside F-35 Lightning IIs since the fifth-generation fighters were assigned to the 33rd Fighter Wing at nearby Eglin AFB. “This mission allowed us to train seamless integration of the Air Force’s fourth and fifth generation fighters and provided invaluable insight into the future of fighter operations at Hill AFB,” said Lt. Col. David Castaneda, commander the 466th Fighter Squadron, which falls under the Air Force Reserve’s 419th Fighter Wing. Hill F-16 maintainers also got an “in-depth overview of ALIS,” the F-35’s Autonomic Logistics Information System, states an April 24 release. “The F-35 is going to be an important aircraft for the future of the Air Force,” said TSgt. David Sudak, 419th FW crew chief. “It will provide flexibility both for maintenance and air crews. The new computer system seems to be more integrated. It’s going to make our job a lot easier.”