Defense

March 18, 2013

Nellis pilot first reservist to fly F-35

Maj. Joseph Scholtz, (right) 706th Fighter Squadron operational test pilot, salutes Col. Andrew Toth, 33rd Fighter Wing commander, upon completion of his first training sortie in the F-35 II Lightning here Oct. 30, 2012. Scholtz is a reservist assigned to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., as the installation’s first qualified F-35 pilot.

A reservist from the 706th Fighter Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., recently became the first to fly the F-35 Lightning II, Air Force’s newest aircraft.

Maj. Joseph Scholtz is an operational test pilot integrated into the active duty Air Force’s 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, and currently Nellis AFB’s only qualified F-35 pilot.

“It’s great to be on the ground floor,” said Scholtz. “The program gives us a chance to influence how the Air Force is going to operate.”

The 422nd TES is unique in that it is the Air Force’s only flying squadron to have all fighter aircraft with A-10s, F-15Cs, F-15Es, F-16s, F-22s, and now the nation’s newest airframe, the F-35.

Each flying platform in the 422nd TES is designated by a division, and each division generally takes several years of planning meetings, infrastructure expansion and dedicated maintenance support to build up. At least one reservist is integrated into each division to provide continuity over the years.

“Major Scholtz was a natural choice upon which to build our new F-35 division,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Suttlemyre, 422nd TES commander. “He is incredibly smart on the test process, a hard worker, and very detail oriented.”

Before joining the Reserve in 2009, Scholtz was an active duty Airman in the 422nd TES flying A-10s. His prior experience with the unit coupled with the potential to remain at Nellis for a longer duration, proved advantageous to the new program.

After board selection for the position, Scholtz trained for three months at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., to become qualified to fly the fifth generation, multi-role fighter.

As test director, Scholtz is responsible for organizing ways to explore tactics and learning how to integrate the aircraft with other airframes.

“Some of the tests we execute are planned and flown over a number of years, and the ability to have Major Scholtz in place as the test director and long-term continuity for the program is invaluable,” Suttlemyre said.

“We depend on having key relationships with the contractors and engineers that develop new hardware, software and weapons, so having the same person interact with them provides unique benefits,” he said.

Just as the Reserve-active duty partnership is significant to the division at Nellis, interaction with the operational test community is essential for the program’s overall success.

“While the long-term continuity of reservists is key, it’s also important to balance that with a continuing influx of active duty aircrew entering the operational test community,” said Suttlemyre.

“Our RegAF aircrews, most of whom are arriving from operational tours, guarantee we remain connected to the current challenges of combat-coded squadrons and what is happening in the combat theaters,” he said.

The F-35 is a single-engine, single-seat fighter made for air-to-air and air-to-surface operations. It was designed with international compatibility and integration in mind, with Nellis receiving the Conventional-Takeoff-and-Landing variant specified for the Air Force.

 




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


 
 

 

Headlines April 14, 2014

Business: U.S. Navy looks to leverage submarine work to keep costs down - The U.S. Navy hopes to save money and time by leveraging industry investments as it replaces its Ohio-class nuclear-armed submarines with the Virginia-class attack submarines now built by General Dynamics Corp and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc.  Study raises red flags on California aerospace...
 
 

News Briefs April 14, 2014

U.S. Navy destroyer Zumwalt christened in Maine The U.S. Navy has christened the first ship of its newest class of destroyers, a 610-foot (186-meter)-long warship with advanced technologies and a stealthy design that will reduce its visibility on enemy radars. The warship bears the name of the late Adm. Elmo ìBudî Zumwalt, who became the...
 
 
Navy photograph by Seamn Edward Guttierrez III

Russian aircraft flies near U.S. Navy ship in Black Sea

Navy photograph by Seamn Edward Guttierrez III Sailors man the rails as the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook arrives at Naval Station Rota, Spain, Feb. 11, 2014. Donald Cook is the first of four Arle...
 

 

45th Space Wing launches NRO Satellite on board Atlas V

The 45th Space Wing successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 1:45 p.m. April 10 carrying a classified national security payload. The payload was designed and built by the National Reconnaissance Office. “I am proud of the persistence and focus of the...
 
 

U.S. Air Force selects Cubic for Moroccan P5 air combat training system

Cubic Defense Systems, a subsidiary of Cubic Corporation announced April 11 it has been awarded a contract valued at more than $5 million from the U.S. Air Force to supply its P5 Combat Training System to the Moroccan Air Force. Morocco will join the United States Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, along with a...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

NASA’s Orion Spacecraft powers through first integrated system testing

Lockheed Martin photograph Engineers in the Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, perform avionics testing on the Orion spacecraft being prepared for its first trip to space later this ye...
 




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>