Hill AFB and the Hill Aerospace Museum - Feb 2022
by Andrew Frasca

Every year I make one or two trips to Nellis AFB to catch the Red Flag exercises. This year I was able to tie the last week of RF 22-1 with a work trip to the Salt Lake City area. This was a great opportunity to check out the spots around Hill AFB and hopefully catch some F-35 action on their home turf. Turns out, action is not really a problem to findů they do multiple sorties a day. On multiple occasions I saw (10) F-35's lineup for takeoff in pairs. According to a local, taking off and landing to the North was a bit unusual. I watched from the South and could see them take the runway then head West to the UTTR. About an hour or so later they arrived back at base.

KC-135 tankers were also present and there was C-17 action as well. I heard some of the units were being deployed at the time I was there, so It was a bit of a precursor as we know now some of the Hill F-35's were deployed to the Baltic region as part of an increase in force near Ukraine.

I was able to visit the Hill Aerospace Museum at the North end of the base. This is an outstanding museum with an amazing collection from WWI to the present day. They had recently received an F-117 and it is on display while they restore to flight appearance. One of the volunteers shared with me that the classified parts were removed (he indicated most of the wing leading edge) and replacement replicas were being fabricated by some of the local schools. I work in composites and it was good to see they were attempting to make some of the replacement panels out of carbon fiber.

In the coming months I likely will be taking more trips to the area relating to my work project. I am glad for this because I also visited the area near Howell, UT and explored some of the ATK (now Northrop Grumman) rocket testing area. I made a rookie mistake and deleted the photos I took around there and the Rocket Garden display from my SD card. As a side note, this is also near the Golden Spike National Historic Site in Promontory, UT. This is where the final railroad spike was placed connecting the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad.

Here are a few shots to go with this report and some links to more pictures. If anyone feels so inclined, I have made an Instagram page - @foto_di_aviazione - where I somewhat reluctantly post pictures.

For those of you reading that have served in the military and helped keep us safe, thank you.

Photo Links:
Hill Aerospace Museum
Hill AFB


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