Defense

June 2, 2014

Eglin welcomes final F-35A

Tags:
1st Lt. Hope R. Cronin
Eglin AFB, Fla.

An F-35A Lightning II taxis across the flightline on Eglin Air Force Base, May 28, 2014. The Air Force welcomed its first full F-35A joint strike fighter training squadron with the arrival of the 26th and final jet assigned to the 33rd Fighter Wing.

 
The 58th Fighter Squadron became the Air Force’s first complete F-35A Lightning II squadron after they welcomed their 26th and final F-35A May 28 at the 33rd Fighter Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Maj. Scott Charlton, 58th FS pilot, ferried the aircraft, AF-45, from Lockheed Martin’s F-35 production center in Fort Worth, Texas.

“We’ve been in a growth mindset for the last few years,” said Lt. Col. Matt Renbarger, the 58th FS commander. “We’ve been focused on adapting our training levels to the availability of aircraft as a growing squadron. It’s been exciting to see this mission develop, but we’re more excited to dial-in all of our attention to training our team.”

The arrival of the last Air Force joint strike fighter variant scheduled to be stationed at the wing marked a shift in priorities for the 58th FS and 58th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. Both units experienced a series of transitions and accomplishments since the arrival of the first F-35A here July 14, 2011.

Renbarger was trained in the initial cadre of F-35 instructor pilots. He witnessed the number of JSF pilots swell to 100 since the F-35 training mission was first established here in October 2009. Half of those pilots are Air Force.

“We are focusing now on refining our processes and training, improving our tactics, and really optimizing our overall program to meet the needs of the Air Force as our Airmen move out to other F-35 missions,” said Renbarger.

Airmen from the 58th Aircraft Maintenance Unit look over the 26th and final F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 33rd Fighter Wing on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., May 28, 2014. The arrival of the final F-35A marks a shift in priorities for the 58th Fighter Squadron and 58th AMU, since the first F-35A was delivered in July 2011.

The last F-35A delivered is more capable than the first F-35A delivered three years ago as a result of the F-35 program’s concurrency development model. The concurrency model executes testing, training and development simultaneously and incorporates feedback from each area into subsequent Low Rate Initial Production blocks produced at Lockheed Martin’s mile-long factory in Fort Worth.

Renbarger highlighted that AF-45 arrived with Block 2A software and upgrades, including the use of simulated weapons, datalinks, and night and Instrument Meteorological Conditions flight capabilities.

“The arrival of AF-45 is an incredible milestone for the Air Force as we move closer to F-35A Initial Operational Capability in 2016,” said Col. Todd Canterbury, 33rd FW commander. “The men and women here are establishing the foundation for all F-35A training operations. Having our full end-strength grants our pilots and maintainers more flexibility in training, and that flexibility lets us advance the F-35 program at a faster rate than ever before.”

The 33rd FW is home to the F-35 Integrated Training Center 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 international partners.




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


 
 

 

Headlines April 24, 2015

News: More than $1 billion in U.S. emergency reconstruction aid goes missing in Afghanistan - A total of $1.3 billion that the Pentagon shipped to its force commanders in Afghanistan between 2004 and 2014 for the most critical reconstruction projects can’t be accounted for by the Defense Department, 60 percent of all such spending under an...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

German defense minister: widely used rifle has no future A widely used assault rifle has “no future” with the German military in its current form, Germany’s defense minister said April 22, escalating a dispute over the weapon’s alleged shortcomings. Ursula von der Leyen said last month that a study showed the G36 rifle has a...
 
 
Army photograph

Composites key to tougher, lighter armaments

Army photograph XM-360 test firing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2007, is shown. The Army is on the cusp of revolutionizing materials that go into armament construction, making for stronger, lighter and more durable weapo...
 

 

Northrop Grumman signs long-term agreement with Raytheon

Northrop Grumman has entered a long-term agreement with Raytheon to supply its LN-200 Inertial Measurement Unit for Raytheon optical targeting systems. The long-term agreement with Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business extends through 2018. The LN-200 provides camera stabilization on optical targeting systems that conduct long-range surveillance and target acquisition for various...
 
 

NTTR supports first F-35B integration into USMC’s weapons school exercise

The Nevada Test and Training Range was part of history April 21, when four U.S. Marine Corps-assigned F-35B Lightning IIs participated in its first Marine Corps’ Final Exercise of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course on the NTTR’s ranges. The Final Exercise, or FINEX, is the capstone event to the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Aviation...
 
 
AAR-Textron

AAR awarded new contract from Bell Helicopter Textron to support T64 engines

AAR announced April 22 that Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. awarded its Defense Systems & Logistics business unit a contract providing warehouse and logistics services in support of upgrading T64 engines for the Bell V-280 Val...
 




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>