Defense

September 7, 2012

F-35A reaches ‘huge milestone’ in program development

Chrissy Cuttita
Eglin AFB, Fla
Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr.
The Air Force looks to get a "thumbs up" of their training program as they undergo an Operational Utility Evaluation beginning Sept. 10. The evaluation is expected to last 65 days.

Air Force officials begin their F-35A Lightning II Operational Utility Evaluation Sept. 10, an instrumental step in beginning joint strike fighter pilot and maintenance training for the service.

Two 33rd Fighter Wing pilots from Elgin Air Force Base, Fla.; along with two Air Force test pilots, will conduct the review expected to last approximately 65 days.
“The start of the OUE is another huge milestone for the Air Force and the program as a whole,” said Col. Andrew Toth, 33rd Fighter Wing commander. “We’ve been preparing for this event since the arrival of our first aircraft in July last year. So far, the men and women of the 33rd Fighter Wing have proven we can successfully execute safe and effective flying operations in addition to academic training.”

Since February’s Military Flight Release, 11 experienced fighter pilots checked out in basic F-35A operations so they can be prepared to be the military’s first cadre for the fifth generation fighter.

Majors John Wilson and Matthew Johnston, the 33rd FW pilots going through the evaluation, are ready to be taken through a rigorous process where data will be collected from all facets of JSF training – maintenance, classroom, simulator and flights.

Leaders at the 33rd FW are confident their team of Airmen, Navy, Marines, contracted partners and civilians are ready for the next milestone in the nation’s next half-century of airpower dominance.

“We are ready for the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center to give us an outside look on the way we conduct our mission,” said Toth. “At the conclusion of the evaluation we should receive the Air Education and Training Command’s approval that states we are ‘ready for training’.”

This milestone for the Air Force will be a precursor to training other services and allies. The wing is responsible for F-35 pilot and maintainer training. Initially, 59 aircraft and three flying squadrons, one for each service/aircraft variant, will be established at Eglin.

The 33rd FW has flown more than 200 JSF sorties, both A and B variant, increasing pilot and maintainer familiarity with the aircraft, exercising the logistics infrastructure and continuing to develop aircraft maturity. These initial F-35A flights were limited, scripted and conducted within the restrictions and stipulations made in February’s military flight release.

Now that release has been updated for OUE, necessary joint program office and AFOTEC formal readiness reviews have been completed and the AETC local area operations metrics and safety reviews all support the Air Force readiness to execute OUE safely and effectively, service officials said.




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


 
 

 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 
 

TSgt promotion release delayed to allow system validation

Technical sergeant promotion selection results, originally scheduled for release May 28, will be delayed to enable the Air Force to continue to validate extensive system changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System, officials announced. The 15E6 technical sergeant promotion cycle is the first to incorporate recent changes in the enlisted evaluation and promotion system. Recent...
 

 

Freedom completes rough water trials

The littoral combat ship USS Freedom completed Seakeeping and Structural Loads Trials, commonly referred to as Rough Water Trials in late March the Navy reported May 21. The U.S. Navy must demonstrate the seaworthiness and structural integrity of each new ship class. One of the primary ways the Navy verifies these qualities is through a...
 
 

Air Force releases Strategic Master Plan

The Air Force officially released the Strategic Master Plan May 21, which is the latest in a series of strategic documents designed to guide the organizing, training and equipping of the force over the coming decades. The SMP builds on the strategic imperatives and vectors described in the capstone document, America’s Air Force: A Call...
 
 

HYT extension possible for SrA-MSgt in 35 career fields

Eligible senior airmen, staff sergeants, technical sergeants and master sergeants in 35 Air Force specialties will be able to apply for a high year of tenure extension and, if approved, will be able to extend between 12 and 24 months past their current HYT. The Air Force is introducing several personnel and manpower initiatives to...
 




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>