Defense

May 20, 2013

F-35 instructor pilots qualify in aerial refueling

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Air Force photograph by MSgt. John Nimmo

F-35A Lightning II pilots navigate their aircraft toward a KC-135 Stratotanker to refuel May 13, 2013, near Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The initial cadre of Air Force F-35 instructor pilots at the 33rd Fighter Wing here trained with others to qualify in aerial refueling for the joint strike fighter. Their success will add another capability for student pilot training to the F-35 Integrated Training Center here. The 33rd FW is responsible for F-35 A/B/C Lightning II pilot and maintainer training for the Marine Corps, the Navy, the Air Force and, in the future, at least eight coalition partners. Initially, 59 aircraft and three flying squadrons, one for each service/aircraft variant, will be established at Eglin AFB. The KC-135 is assigned to the 336th Air Refueling Squadron, March AFB, Calif.




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