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F-35 Demonstration Team completes its first year at Hill Air Force Base

An F-35A Lightning II performing a high-speed pass maneuver.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Kristin "BEO" Wolfe, F-35 Lightning II Demonstration Team commander and pilot, performs the "high-speed pass" maneuver at the 2020 Fort Lauderdale Air Show Nov. 22, 2020, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During this maneuver, the jet flies at approximately .95 mach, which is just below the speed of sound at approximately 728 miles per hour. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Kip Sumner)

The four Air Combat Command jet demonstration teams fly in formation over the Atlantic Ocean near Florida.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Cody "ShIV" Wilton, A-10 Thunderbolt ll Demonstration Team pilot and commander, U.S. Air Force Maj. Garret "Toro" Schmitz, F-16 Viper Demonstration Team pilot and commander, Maj. Joshua "Cabo" Gunderson, F-22 Raptor Demonstration team pilot and commander, and Capt. Kristin "BEO" Wolfe, F-35A Lightning ll Demonstration Team pilot and commander, fly in formation over the Atlantic Ocean, Nov. 20, 2020. All four of the Air Combat Command demonstration teams performed at the 2020 Fort Lauderdale Air Show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Codie Trimble)

An F-35A Lightning II from the F-35 Demonstration Team flies over the Atlantic Ocean.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Kristin "BEO" Wolfe, F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team commander and pilot flies over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Nov. 20, 2020. The F-35A Lightning II is the Air Force's most advanced multi-role stealth fighter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Kip Sumner)

An F-35A Demonstration Team Maintainer stands before two F-35A Lightning IIs prior to take-off.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Lance Murphy, F-35 Lightning II Demonstration Team superintendent, prepares to launch two F-35A Lightning IIs after the 2020 Stuart Air Show Nov. 8, 2020, Stuart, Florida. The F-35 Demo Team performed alongside the three other Air Force single-ship jet demonstration teams, to include the F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team, the F-16 Viper Demonstration Team, and the A-10 Warthog Demonstration Team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Kip Sumner)

An F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team crew chief prepares to launch out an F-35 for a flight.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Dipani, F-35 Lightning II Demonstration Team dedicated crew chief, prepares to launch out an F-35A Lightning II for an air show rehearsal at the 2020 Space and Air Show Oct. 29, 2020, Sanford, Florida. The F-35 Demo Team performed alongside the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, to include all four Air Force single-ship jet demonstration teams, to include the the F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team, the F-16 Viper Demonstration Team, and the A-10 Warthog Demonstration Team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Kip Sumner)

The F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team pilot and commander, Capt. Kristin "BEO" Wolfe speaks with a member of Washington State media.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Kristin "BEO" Wolfe, the F-35A Demonstration Team pilot, speaks with Cheyenne news media after landing in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for the "Wings over Warren" air show July 21, 2020. The "Wings over Warren" air show was done in a "drive-in" manner, allowing viewers to watch the air show while safely socially distancing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Kip Sumner)

The F-35A Lightning II Demonstration team pilot signals to a maintainer prior to takeoff.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Kristin "BEO" Wolfe, the F-35A Demonstration Team pilot, signals for launch for a demonstration practice, July 16, 2020, Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Air Combat Command's single-ship aerial demonstration teams are required to regularly practice in order to maintain flight currencies and stay performance-ready. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Kip Sumner)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – The F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team has officially completed its first year as an Air Combat Command Demonstration Team. 
 
The team’s performance at the “Sun N’ Fun Holiday Flying Festival” in Lakeland, Florida earlier this month marked the team’s 12th and final performance of the season.

The F-35 Demo Team is an aerial jet demonstration team, with a mission to inspire, engage and recruit the next generation of Airmen, as well as educate the global public on the capabilities of the Air Force’s newest 5th-generation stealth fighter. 
 
“We had a lot of unique obstacles and challenges this season that made our inaugural year at Hill a one-of-a-kind experience,” said Capt. Kristin “BEO” Wolfe, the F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team’s commander and pilot. “I’d like to give a huge ‘thank you’ to all of the air show coordinators across the country that hosted us and helped us find ways to safely showcase our jet and service.”
 
Originally scheduled to perform at approximately 20 shows across the country, the team had to reshape their operations in order to safely engage with the public and persevere through the COVID-19 pandemic. They performed at venues that allowed for social distancing (drive-in air shows, over-water performances, etc.), even working closely with Canadian officials to fly at the London, Ontario Air Show in Canada.
 
The team reinvented their community outreach, limiting in-person meetings and jet tours and opting for virtual calls with Civil Air Patrol squadrons and ROTC units across the country. Despite the in-person limitations, the team virtually met with almost a thousand cadets and aviation enthusiasts across over 20 online calls.
 
The team will spend the next few months recuperating, rehearsing and preparing for the 2021 show season, kicking off the official season start in March, 2021, at the Air Force Heritage Flight Training Conference, which is planned to take place at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.. They will begin flying a regular rehearsal schedule over the skies of Hill Air Force Base, beginning in early January 2021.
 
“We were the first wing to fly the F-35A operationally, the first to deploy it into combat, and now we’ve accomplished another unique milestone,” Col. Steven Behmer, 388th Fighter Wing commander, said. “We’re extremely proud to have the F-35 Demo Team here at Hill Air Force Base, showcasing the operational mission of our wing to the American public, and we can’t wait to show you what the team has in store for 2021.” 
 
Previously stationed at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., under Air Education and Training Command, the 2021 season will be the team’s third-year as a demonstration unit, as well as its second year as a combat jet demonstration team. 
 
The F-35 provides game-changing stealth, interoperability and lethality. It can penetrate dangerous airspace that other aircraft cannot and destroy high-threat targets both in the air and on the ground.
 
For more information, contact the F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team Public Affairs team at f35demopa@gmail.com

For more information on the 388th Fighter Wing, contact the 388th Fighter Wing Public Affairs at 807-777-3200 or via e-mail at 388FW.PA@us.af.mil
 
F-35 Demo Team B-roll and Photos available here:
https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/F35ADTPA

F-35 Demo Team Social Accounts:
https://www.instagram.com/f35demoteam

https://www.facebook.com/F35DEMOTEAM/

https://www.twitter.com/F35DEMOTEAM

As members of the first operational combat F-35A wing, the 388th Fighter Wing, the F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team at Hill AFB, UT, seeks to highlight the unique aerial capabilities of the Air Force’s newest 5th generation multi-role stealth fighter. The team also showcases the past and present of our service by flying with World War II, Korean, and Vietnam War-era aircraft during formation Heritage Flights.

The primary mission of the 388th Fighter Wing is to rapidly employ combat power with the F-35A Lightning II aircraft worldwide in support of the national defense. There are approximately 2,000 airmen and civilian professionals assigned to the 388th FW.  The 388th and 419th are the Air Force first combat-capable F-35A units. The active duty 388th FW and Air Force Reserve 419th FW fly and maintain the jet in a Total Force partnership, which capitalizes on the strength of both components. Hill AFB is now home to 78 F-35s.