Business

September 11, 2012

First F-35 training commander: ‘this jet is our future’

Tags:
SrA. Christina Brownlow
Elgin AFB, Fla.

Lt. Col. Lee Kloos, 58th Fighter Squadron commander, prepares to exit an F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighter, after a successful sortie May 31, 2012. Kloos is the first non-developmental test pilot to fly the JSF, and now trains other 33rd Fighter Wing initial cadre pilots to fly the F-35.

Five months of flying the Air Force’s newest fighter jet has left one airman convinced of the aircraft’s substantial combat capability.

Lt. Col. Lee Kloos is the commander of the 58th Fighter Squadron, the Defense Department’s first F-35 Lightning II training squadron, located at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Kloos, who spent more than 2,100 hours flying F-16 Fighting Falcons, said many of America’s fighter jets are aging and the costs associated with maintaining and upgrading them increases with each passing year.

The F-35 is the world’s first multi-role stealth fighter that is designed to replace aging stalwarts such as the Air Force’s F-16 Fighting Falcon, the Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet and the Marine Corps’ AV-8B Harrier II.

As an aircraft that meets the mission needs of multiple services in addition to those of international partner nations, the F-35 provides a support network that enables many opportunities for cost sharing and savings, Kloos said.

But long-term savings are just one of the benefits to training with pilots from other services and other countries.

Kloos said fighter pilots from different services use different terms even for things as basic as flying in formation.

When he participates in large training exercises that involve a variety of aircraft from multiple services and countries, a lot of time is spent discussing one another’s capabilities and how to best work together.

Future large-scale exercises may still see many participant nations, but the variety of aircraft will decrease as F-35s cover the flight line, though many will not have an American Flag painted on the fuselage.

Kloos said the common frame of reference within the F-35 flying community will have a real impact on air combat.

“We’ll speak the same language when it comes to executing tactics,” he said.

He also said the impact extends all the way to the top Airman in the fight, the combined forces air component commander.

Much like in large-scale exercises, the extensive variety of aircraft under the air commander’s purview requires an encyclopedia’s worth of knowledge in order to assign the aircraft to the various day-to-day combat taskings in the most efficient manner.

As more and more of the multi-role F-35s are added to the inventories of the U.S. and its allies, a commander will be able to shift his focus to other war fighting priorities.

While Kloos said the F-35 provides substantial value, it also a joy to fly.

“It’s really an easy airplane to fly,” said Kloos. “It’s very stable and well balanced and it feels very light on its feet compared to how it appears.”

Kloos said the aircraft was designed for the new generation of cadets who grew up playing video games.

Compared to the fighters it will replace, the F-35 has a very clean cockpit. The walls of switches common to many aircraft have been moved to two touch screens, which have interfaces that operate like many smart phones.

And its combination of superior range, cutting-edge avionics and next-generation sensor package gives the F-35 much more combat effectiveness than its predecessors.

He said the technology allows pilots to be more survivable and more lethal than they were in previous aircraft while performing the same missions.

“The F-35 is here, it’s real and for the Air Force, this jet is our future,” said Kloos. “It will continue to provide air dominance for America and our allies, and most importantly, over our troops no matter where they are in the world.”




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


 
 

 

Headlines July 21, 2014

News: IDF releases Iron Dome interception rate - Israel’s Iron Dome system has successfully intercepted 86 percent of the Palestinian rockets that it has engaged during Operation ‘Protective Edge’, according to the Israel Defense Forces.   Business: The turnaround of France’s defense giant Thales - Within seconds of meeting Jean-Bernard Levy it becomes apparent that h...
 
 

News Briefs July 21, 2014

Corruption investigated in Kansas National Guard The Kansas Adjutant General’s office says federal authorities are investigating possible corruption involving outside medical companies’ contracts with the Kansas Army National Guard. Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for the adjutant general’s office, confirmed the investigation Friday to The Lawrence Journal-World but declined to rel...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

B61 undergoes testing in AEDC wind tunnel

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend Arnold Engineering Development Complex engineers recently joined researchers with Sandia National Laboratories to perform a wind tunnel test on a full-scale mock-up B61. Pictured with the...
 

 
Army photograph by Charles Kennedy

New CT scanner finds diverse, important uses for researchers

Army photograph by Charles Kennedy Turning a now-standard tool for medical diagnostics and therapeutics to a host of new applications, the U. S. Army Research Laboratory’s Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate rece...
 
 

Ingalls Shipbuilding awarded $23.5 million LHA 8 affordability contract

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division has been awarded an affordability design contract for $23.5 million for early industry involvement to reduce the construction and life-cycle cost for the amphibious assault ship LHA 8. “Ingalls Shipbuilding has been constructing large-deck amphibious ships for nearly 50 years, and this contract will build on our company...
 
 
Marine Corps photograph

DOD identifies missing World War II Marine

Marine Corps photograph Marines wounded during the landing on Tarawa in November 1943 are towed out on rubber boats to larger vessels that will take them to base hospitals. The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office...
 




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>