PALMDALE – The U.S. Air Force has announced plans to shift all F-22 depot level maintenance to Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah.
The depot maintenance work is currently split between the Ogden ALC and the Lockheed facility in Palmdale.
“Palmdale has made a storied contribution to aviation and while this move makes sense, we are certain this important workforce will continue strongly supporting the Air Force at Palmdale for many years to come,” said Lt. Gen. C.D. Moore II, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commander.
The Air Force conducted a comprehensive business case analysis and determined a consolidation of all F-22 work at Ogden ALC would reduce costs while realizing greater efficiencies, a minimum cost savings of more than $16 million per year, according to an Air Force press release.
“The facts show this will be a great efficiency for the F-22 program and the warfighter,” Moore said. “It will allow us to more quickly maintain the F-22 keeping this vital front-line fighter ready to meet any challenge, while at the same time allow us to strengthen the robust and capable Palmdale workforce on other critical programs within the local area.”
Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon responded to the Air Force’s plan to consolidate Palmdale F-22 depot maintenance at Hill AFB . In a press release issued Thursday, McKeon stated:
“While I am saddened to see much of the F-22 work leave, I am pleased that Air Force leadership has continued to recognize the critical role played by the Palmdale workforce. This decision was made in order to reduce cost to the American taxpayer and to increase capacity at Plant 42. As the local community is well aware, Plant 42’s primary mission has always been to research and develop the tools necessary to meet future threats. I believe this shift represents a renewed commitment to that goal, and I am confident that Plant 42’s workforce is bettered postured to meet the coming demand. As Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, I will continue to monitor this transition and ensure that all decisions positively impact both the warfighter and our local community.”
The Air Force has developed a 31-month incremental transition plan to complete the F-22 depot maintenance consolidation activities.