HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah, April 18, 2006 – A new era for members of the 309th Maintenance Group here is under way as they modify an F-22 Raptor for the first time.
The aircraft is the first of 12 to 14 scheduled to visit Hill this calendar year for minor modifications. A total of 18 are contracted to undergo work here.
"We're excited," said Guy Phillips, F-22 maintenance squadron director for the 309th Maintenance Group, about its new customer. "Most of us are a little apprehensive, but are well prepared and have lots of experience on aircraft."
"We're also confident that, with the experienced Lockheed contractors training us, we'll establish our comfort zone and reduce our training curve quickly," he noted.
U.S. Air Force Maj. Evan Dertien, flying out of Langley Air Force Base, Va., ferried the aircraft to Hill, exiting its cockpit to a warm mix of local maintainers and media representatives, and then fielded questions about the 21st century aircraft for nearly 20 minutes.