Defense

February 15, 2013

Nellis prepares for F-35 arrival

The F-35 Lightning II is scheduled to begin arriving at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 28. The F-35 will be used for developmental test support, force development evaluation and supporting operational test aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

The 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., is preparing for the arrival of four F-35 Lighting IIs Feb. 28.

Arrival of the F-35s at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., will mark the first time in the aircraft’s history operational tests will be performed on the aircraft.

“It’s the largest [Department of Defense] acquisition project in history,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Wilson, 53rd Wing chief of joint strike fighter integration. “The Air Force’s piece of that is the F-35 A model. It’s the conventional takeoff and landing model often referred to as the CTOL model. That is what we’ll be getting here at Nellis very shortly.”

Once on station, the F-35s will initially be used for operational test purposes. Their primary use will be for developmental test support, force development evaluation and supporting operational test aircraft at Edwards AFB, Calif., in support of the initial operational test and evaluation program.

“I think everyone is ready to get the jets here and to get them flying in an operational test mode,” Wilson said. “Nowhere else in the DOD F-35 program, the Marine Corps, the Navy, or the Air Force, is anyone doing any kind of operational test yet. It’s all on the developmental test side, which is, ‘hey how does this stuff actually work’ instead of ‘How are we going to actually use this?’ This is the first chance for us to use that.”

Nellis is initially scheduled to receive four F-35A models.

“They’ll be joined by a couple more in a couple of years and eventually there will be 12 operational test F-35s here and 24 F-35s for the [U.S. Air Force] Weapons School,” Wilson said.

A majority of the F-35As developmental test objectives will be accomplished at Edwards AFB.

“The major part of what Nellis’ F-35 operational test jets are going to do is what’s called force development evaluation.”

Force development evaluation is the continuous process of evaluating how a standard issued F-35 will be utilized to best execute the mission.

“That’s the biggest piece of force development evaluation is the tactics development part,” Wilson said.

The 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron will design the tactics the F-35 is going to use in air-to-air and air-to surface combat. The squadron will also determine how to integrate the F-35 with other aircraft in the Air Force inventory.

Nellis does operational testing over Nevada Test and Training Range.

The NTTR provides a flexible, realistic and multidimensional battle-space to conduct testing, training and tactics development in the support of U.S. national interests. The pilots aren’t limited to how fast they can fly, how low they can fly, and they face a lot of simulated threats on the NTTR providing them with a realistic training environment, Wilson said.

“That is what the operational test world needs to come as close as possible to the perfect environment as far as developing those tactics,” Wilson said.

“The environment and the people involved are sure to make the F-35s time at Nellis a successful one”, Wilson said.

The F-35 is the newest fifth generation fighter aircraft in the DOD.

 




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


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox

Kunsan AB hosts Exercise Max Thunder 14-2

Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox A South Korean air force F-15 Strike Eagle lands Nov. 17, 2014, during Max Thunder 14-2 at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy personnel and aircraft...
 
 

Three bases identified as F-16 aggressor candidate bases

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Jr. A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron lands at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6 during RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1. RF-A is a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation...
 
 
Air Force photograph

Arc-heated facilities at AEDC offer unique test capabilities for hypersonic programs

Air Force photograph This photo shows the arc heater H3 being test fired prior to the installation of a model injection system. The AEDC High Temperature Materials Characterization and Evaluation is unique in capability and is ...
 

 
Navy photograph

U.S. Navy commemorates C-2 Greyhound’s 50th anniversary of first flight

Navy photograph Nov. 18 marked the 50th anniversary of the first flight of the Navy’s C-2A Greyhound. The “workhorse” of the fleet took to the skies Nov. 18, 1964, from Bethpage, N.Y.   For nearly 50 years, the C-2A ...
 
 

Air Force announces criteria for KC-46A Reserve basing

After extensive internal review, the Air Force on Nov. 9, released the basing criteria that will be used to select candidate bases for the first Reserve-led KC-46A main operating base. The KC-46As will begin arriving at the first Air Force Reserve-led global mobility wing in fiscal year 2019. The basing criteria under consideration include mission...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin R. Babis

The footprint of the Jolly Green Giant

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin R. Babis Airmen from the 56th Rescue Squadron tackle Capt. Robert Smith, 56th Rescue Squadron executive officer, after his fini-flight, or final flight, at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, N...
 




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>