HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- The Air Force will consolidate all maintenance work for the F-22 Raptor, and with it bring a slew of new high-paying jobs to Hill Air Force Base.
The Air Force announced Wednesday all depot maintenance work for the F-22, which is currently being split between the Ogden Air Logistics Complex and the contractor-run Lockheed facility in Palmdale, Calif., will all shift to Hill's Ogden ALC.
The move will eventually bring approximately 200 new long-term, high-paying jobs to Hill.
The base already has 266 jobs on base associated with the F-22.
As the Department of Defense continues with mandatory civilian furloughs as an attempt to save money under the federal government sequestration, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, said the F-22 announcement is a bright spot for the future of Hill and the Ogden ALC, further solidifying the base 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 in a statement sent to the Standard-Examiner. "Consolidating operations will also save taxpayer dollars and improve the efficiency of F-22 operations and maintenance."
Vanessa Bolin-Sims, an Air Force liaison in the House of Representatives, said the Air Force recently finished an internal business case analysis, which found that it would be most cost-effective and efficient to move all of the maintenance work to Hill.
The Air Force figures it can save a minimum of $16 million and a maximum of $41 million per year through the consolidation.
Gen. H. Brent Baker Sr., Ogden ALC commander, said base officials expect a smooth transition in consolidating the Raptor maintenance.
"(We) already have world-class facilities in place and a skilled workforce to accommodate the additional work," he said.
Baker said the Ogden ALC provides depot maintenance on approximately 12 F-22s annually. The additional workload will increase that number to about 24 by 2015.
The Air Force has developed a 31-month incremental transition plan to complete the F-22 depot maintenance consolidation activities.