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HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Roughly 200 new military and civilian jobs in Utah were created Wednesday when the U.S. Air Force announced the consolidation of depot maintenance for the F-22 Raptor at Hill Air Force Base.
Air Force officials say a comprehensive business case analysis showed the potential for improved efficiency and a cost savings of at least $16 million per year by bringing the F-22 program office at the Lockheed Martin facility in Palmdale, Calif., to the Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill Air Force Base.
Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, said the report "further solidifies Hill AFB as the nation's pre-eminent ‘fighter’ depot.”
“Having total sustainment operations at Hill will be beneficial to the future of the base, and it means nearly 200 new high-paying jobs in the state," Bishop said. "Consolidating operations will also save taxpayer dollars and improve the efficiency of F-22 operations and maintenance."
The transition of all F-22 maintenance activities is expected to take about 2 ½ years, Air Force officials said.
“We look forward to working with our Palmdale partners as we anticipate a smooth transition,” said Maj. Gen. H. Brent Baker, a senior Ogden Air Logistics Complex commander. “The complex already has world-class facilities in place and a skilled workforce energized to accommodate the additional work.”
Having total sustainment operations at Hill will be beneficial to the future of the base, and it means nearly 200 new high-paying jobs in the state. Consolidating operations will also save taxpayer dollars.
–Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah
Baker said the Ogden Air Logistics Complex typically provides depot maintenance for about 12 F-22s per year. That number is expected to increase to 24 by 2015, he said.
Vanessa Sims, Air Force House Liaison Office deputy chief, said the business case analysis found the Air Force spends about $152 million a year on F-22 maintenance activities for both the Hill and Palmdale base locations, a “expensive and inefficient” split of operations.
Sims said the Ogden facility has the capacity required to conduct all F-22 activities with the potential of saving up to $41 million a year. Additionally, the consolidation will benefit the Palmdale region by opening up capacity for other missions and programs, she said.
Tage Flint, president of the Utah Defense Alliance, said the consolidation will not remove jobs from the Palmdale facility but instead open up more opportunities for different kinds of work.
“The facts show this will be a great efficiency for the F-22 program and the warfighter,” said Lt. Gen. C.D. Moore II, an Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commander. "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.”