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.


 
 

 

News Briefs August 18, 2014

New U.S. strikes in Iraq include land-based bombers The latest round of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State extremist group includes the first reported use of land-based bombers in the military campaign. U.S. Central Command says a combination of bombers, fighter jets, attack planes and unmanned drones hit targets near Iraq’s largest dam...
 
 

Headlines August 18, 2014

News NATO would respond militarily to Crimea-style infiltration: general If Russia tries to infiltrate troops into a NATO country, even out of official military uniform as it did before it annexed Ukraine’s Crimea, NATO will respond militarily, the alliance’s top commander said in an interview published Aug. 17. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/17/us-ukraine-crisis-breedlove-i...
 
 

U.S. Navy to test, evaluate Lockheed Martin industrial exoskeletons

Lockheed Martin has received a contract through the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences for the U.S. Navy to evaluate and test two FORTIS exoskeletons. This marks the first procurement of Lockheed Martin’s exoskeletons for industrial use. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The FORTIS exoskeleton is an unpowered, lightweight exoskeleton that increases an operator’s...
 

 

Orbital completes third cargo delivery mission to ISS

Orbital Sciences Corporation, one of the world’s leading space technology companies, announced Aug. 18 the successful completion of its third cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station in the past 10 months, including the initial demonstration flight completed in October 2013 and the first two operational missions under the company’s $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply...
 
 

Brown extends tax credit to Northrop Grumman

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation that extends a $420 million state tax credit to aerospace giant Northrop Grumman after approving a similar deal for its competitor, Lockheed Martin. Brown’s office announced Aug. 15 that he signed SB718 by Sens. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, and Sen. Stephen Knight, R-Palmdale. It expands an aerospace tax credit...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Sean Martin

Bomber crews showcase take-off talents

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_8qr7ojpWg&feature=player_embedded Air Force photograph by SSgt. Sean Martin A B-52H Stratofortress starts its engines during a Minimum Interval Takeoff on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Au...
 




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>