U.S.

July 18, 2013

Training for joint, U.K. F-35 programs heat up

Tags:
Maj. Karen Roganov
33rd Fighter Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Karen Roganov
The second U.S. Navy F-35 C variant arrives at Eglin AFB for training of future U.S. Navy pilots . The 33rd Fighter Wing is a joint graduate flying and maintenance training wing that trains Air Force, Marine, Navy and international partner operators and maintainers of the F-35 Lightning II.

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – The largest fleet of F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighters ramped up to 28 aircraft June 25, bringing in new capability for the F-35 Integrated Training Center as the team trains to provide combat operations capability in the years ahead.

The U.S. Navy’s Strike Fighter Squadron-101 received a second F-35C from Lockheed Martin, Fort. Worth, Texas. The Navy’s variant is designed to land on the decks of aircraft carriers.

“Receiving our jets is an almost indescribable milestone for us,” said Navy Capt. John Enfield, commanding officer of VFA-101. “We’re excited to be on the ground floor of introducing a generational step forward in combat lethality and battle space awareness for our worldwide deployed forces.”

Flying in formation with the Navy F-35C was the final compliment of the third F-35B for the United Kingdom based here as part of an Initial Operational Test & Evaluation Implementing Arrangement. The U.K. trains with the U.S. Marine Corps Fighter Attack Training Squadron-501 and fly each other’s jets interchangeably.

This latest United Kingdom F-35B has upgraded software, defined as Block 2A, making it the first such for the combined Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and United States Marine Corps assets at the VMFAT-501.

Having the enhanced software for both the Navy fighters here and now the VMFAT-501 means pilot training curriculum steadily grows as capabilities come on board.

“An increased use of the digital aperture system, one of the key sensors of the joint strike fighter, marks one such step forward for F-35 training,” said Col. Todd Canterbury, commander of the 33d Fighter Wing and overall spearhead for joint and international training here. The Air Force’s 58th Fighter Squadron here also trains with the enhanced software, he said.

The fleet continues to grow toward 59 aircraft scheduled to fly at the F-35 Integrated Training Center, part of Eglin’s 33rd Fighter Wing. By the end of this calendar year, the team is planning for 42 of those joint strike fighters to be here, he said.

To date, the three services and the United Kingdom have seen 53 pilots and 857 maintainers qualified to fly and maintain the F-35 as the training progresses. All training is geared toward F-35 initial operating capabilities, according to Canterbury.

The Marines expect to declare F-35B IOC late in 2015. The Air Force’s target date is by December 2016, and the U.S. Navy is looking at F-35C IOC in February 2019.

While target dates may adjust, a constant for all partners is training for the challenges of working on the 21st century battlefield taking advantage of the unprecedented F-35 with its increased survivability, including advanced information-sharing capabilities setting it to dominate airpower for the next 50 years.




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


 
 

 
DoD

DoD takes steps to aid absentee voters

WASHINGTON – As the Nov. 4 midterm election nears, Defense Department officials are taking steps to ensure absentee voting is even easier for service members, their families and overseas citizens via FVAP.gov. In coordination with the military services and State Department, Absentee Voting Week begins today, aiming to raise awareness and remind voters of important...
 
 

New EPR challenges status quo

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – The enlisted performance report is going to drastically change. These changes seek to combat inflated ratings, which have been a prevalent complaint from Airmen over the years. The change is right around the corner and many Airmen are asking themselves, “How will it affect future promotions, and what can I do...
 
 

55th Rescue Squadron returns home

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Camilla Elizeu) U.S. Air Force Maj. Stephanie Harley, 355th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Bio Engineering Flight commander, and son welcome home Capt. Colin Harley, 55th Rescue Squadron HH-60 Pavehawk pilot, at Davis-Monthan, Oct. 11. Capt. Harley has just returned from a five-month deployment to Afghanistan.
 

 

AF to implement TDY policy changes

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AFNS) — Recently, the Air Force started implementing two temporary duty policy changes that will impact travel reimbursements for Airmen. The first change, which took effect Oct. 1, made changes to the Joint Travel Regulations, Reimbursable and Incidental Expense Policy. The second will be a change in long-term TDY per...
 
 

OPSEC: Everyone’s responsibility

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Everyone who’s been around the military has heard the term Operations Security, or OPSEC, but do they really know what it means? Many people think OPSEC is all about classified information, when the opposite is true; OPSEC targets critical and sensitive unclassified information. OPSEC is a fundamental principle of the Air...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin