Air Force

April 17, 2017
 

F-35A deployment brings advanced airpower capability to Europe

F-35A Lightning IIs from the 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, land at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 15, 2017. The aircraft arrival marks the first F-35A fighter training deployment to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility or any overseas location as a flying training deployment.

This weekend’s deployment of an initial six F-35A Lightning II fighters and several hundred Airmen to Europe demonstrates the aircraft’s readiness to conduct operations with America’s European partners, according to Air Force leaders.

The April 15, 2017, arrival at Royal Air Force Base Lakenheath, England, marks the first major overseas training deployment for the aircraft and begins several weeks of training for F-35 pilots, maintainers and support personnel with allied and partner nations.

“Our Air Force delivers a broad range of combat airpower advantages to our partners,” said Gen. Mike Holmes, the commander of Air Combat Command, the major command responsible for organizing, training and equipping the F-35A fleet. “Thanks to our world-class Airmen, the F-35 is now part of the mix we bring to strengthening those partnerships and improving regional security.”

The leaders of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, the Air Force’s first operational F-35A unit, echoed those sentiments, expressing their excitement about the mission and admiration for the Airmen who made it happen.

“As the first operational F-35 unit in the Air Force, our Airmen have been working tirelessly—from the achievement of initial operational capability to our deployment to Red Flag,” said Col. David Lyons, the 388th Fighter Wing commander. “We continue to prove the unique capabilities of this revolutionary aircraft, and this first overseas deployment is a natural step in the program.

“A large part of ensuring air dominance in the future will involve integrating operations between platforms and across all coalition partners,” Lyons continued. “The F-35A is on the leading edge of that interoperability. We’re excited to demonstrate those capabilities as well as our commitment to our European allies and partners.”

Col. Michael Miles, the 388th Maintenance Group commander, noted that “any time we get a chance to mobilize and deploy, it sharpens our skills,” adding that it was an exciting to be a part of the F-35A program.

“The culmination of the combined efforts of the entire F-35 community have brought this to fruition,” Miles said. “I am extremely proud of all our Airmen, and I know they are honored to be a part of this important operational milestone.”

During the deployment, Hill Airmen will train in the U.K. and deploy to NATO states in Europe, providing an opportunity for the combat-ready aircraft to perform alongside allies and other types of Air Force aircraft in a realistic training environment.

“The Lightning’s European deployment is another great opportunity to exercise the capabilities of this aircraft and conduct valuable training alongside our allies,” Holmes said. “As we’ve proven with the F-22 Raptor and routinely with our fourth-generation fleet, our strength is the ability to project our power globally and rapidly.”

The F-35A is the latest addition to ACC’s deployable fifth-generation fleet. The aircraft offers air superiority, interdiction, suppression of enemy air defenses and close air support capabilities, as well as advanced tactical command and control functions through the use of fused sensors, which provide pilots with unprecedented situational awareness of the battlespace.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines – December 13, 2017

News Pentagon unleashes 2,400 auditors for unprecedented financial review – After decades of false starts, the Defense Department aims to issue its first audit report in November 2018.   Court refuses Trump request to delay Jan. 1 transgender enlistments – A federal court has knocked down the Trump administration’s latest request to delay any transgender...
 
 

News Briefs – December 13, 2017

Military fails to disclose criminal convictions to FBI A recent lapse by the U.S. Army to disclose a Texas veteran’s criminal record to the FBI is the latest example of the military failing to document criminal convictions, according to a newspaper’s review. Former Army 1st Sgt. Gregory McQueen pleaded guilty two years ago to more...
 
 
NG-army

Northrop Grumman, U.S. Army successfully demonstrate multi-domain, joint air, missile defense

The Northrop Grumman-developed Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System, the foundation of the U.S. Army IAMD, has successfully demonstrated extraordinary capabilities for improving joint force operational effec...