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.


 
 

 

Airmen encouraged to vote, obey AFI on political activities

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — As the political season approaches, we should all be encouraged to do our civic duty and go out and vote. However, as an Air Force member, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here is a short noninclusive list to help you determine what is or is...
 
 

Cyber Airmen create virtual help desk

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO – LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) — The Air Force Enterprise Service Desk is going virtual, and Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland will be the first to see it as it rolls out across the Air Force, starting the end of August. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh has challenged...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Johnny Saldivar)

Proper flag display honors nation’s history, ultimate sacrifices

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — From front yards to the top of the White House, people have flown U.S. flags as emblems for sacrifice and independence. But to honor Old Glory, they must display it with proper eti...
 

 

Avoid legal issues this political season

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — Election season is right around the corner and political campaigning is ramping up. It’s a good time to review campaigning restrictions placed on military members and civilian Department of Defense employees. Restrictions are imposed to avoid any inference that an individual’s political activities imply or appear to imply official...
 
 

AF Assistance Fund may not hit 2014 goal

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — In spite of persistent economic difficulties, active-duty and retired Airmen have contributed more than $6 million to the Air Force Assistance Fund, or AFAF, during this year’s fund drive. Although the annual AFAF drive has yet to garner this year’s $6.4 million goal, contributions continue to roll in from the 79 assistance...
 
 

Social media requires care, caution with political material

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) – Most Americans are born with a political rattle in their hands and learn to shake it early. While U.S. culture promotes opinions and debate, Airmen should be reminded that, while on active duty — and even for reservists who may be perceived as active military representatives, participating in politics...
 




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