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 December 22, 2014

News: Report: DOD bomb hunters pried into U.S. firms, citizens - During some of the bloodiest days of U.S. combat in Afghanistan and the roadside bomb threat there, the Pentagon’s Joint IED Defeat Organization “improperly collected” intelligence on U.S. citizens and corporations to try to stem the threat, a Pentagon Inspector General report has found.  ...
 
 

News Briefs December 22, 2014

U.K., Canadian military leaves to join Ebola fight Reservists and troops from Britain and Canada have left for Sierra Leone to help in the battle to contain the Ebola virus outbreak. British officials said Dec. 20 that 16 reservists and 100 regular military personnel left on a morning flight from the Brize Norton military airbase....
 
 
Boeing photograph

Boeing, Malaysia Airlines celebrate 100th 737 delivery

Boeing photograph Boeing and Malaysia Airlines celebrated the direct delivery of the airline’s 100th 737 aircraft at an event in Seattle. Shown here Aminuddin Zakaria, senior vice president, airline engineering group, Malaysi...
 

 

Navy helicopter crashes in Kuwait; all crewmembers ok

A U.S. Navy MH-60S helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26 (HSC 26) crashed at 11:22 a.m., EST, Dec.21, while on an overland training flight at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. All six personnel aboard the helicopter survived the crash and were transported to nearby medical facilities for evaluation. Three of the six crewmembers sustained minor...
 
 

AMC relocates KC-135 simulator

As Air Mobility Command fields the KC-46A Pegasus, displaced KC-135 Stratotanker pilot simulators will be relocated across the Total Force to maximize simulator access across the mobility enterprise. As a result, AMC, in coordination with the Air National Guard, recently identified four KC-135 pilot flight simulators and one KC-135 Boom Operator Weapons System Trainer to...
 
 

SpaceX completes first milestone for Commercial Crew Transportation System

NASA has approved the completion of SpaceX’s first milestone in the company’s path toward launching crews to the International Space Station from U.S. soil under a Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract with the agency. During the Certification Baseline Review, SpaceX described its current design baseline including how the company plans to manufacture its Crew Dragon spacecraft...
 




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>