Hill Air Force Base bids farewell to F-16s

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- The F-16 Fighting Falcons are on their way out of Hill Air Force Base and the new F-35A Lighting II jets are coming in.

HAFB’s 388th and 419th Fighter Wings held a Farewell Ceremony on Friday for those airmen and women who worked on the F-16s and acknowledged their accomplishments.

Captain Tyler McBride said the F-16 was a phenomenal plane to fly, but these days he's loving the F-35.

“It’ll be nostalgic,” McBride said. “I got to have my last flight in the F-16. It’s bittersweet, but at the same time we got to keep moving forward because everyone else in the world is doing that.”

He said the difference between the two planes is not performance, it’s technology.

“To be honest, the two planes fly very similar, it’s just a jump in technology," he said. "I use this analogy a lot: it’s kind of like the flip-phones we originally had, that was the hotness, and now everyone has the smart phone. That is really the analogy we are making here.”

By the end of the F-35 transition, HAFB will house 78 F-35A Lighting II aircraft.