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 January 28, 2015

News: Panel will propose new military retirement system - The long-awaited report on military compensation set to drop Thursday will propose fundamental changes to military retirement and health care benefits, according to several people familiar with the report. Source: DOD to request $585 billion for fiscal 2016 - The Department of Defense is preparing to submit a...
 
 

News Briefs January 28, 2015

Defense contractor to pay $2 million to settle claims A Northern California defense contractor will pay the federal government $2 million to settle claims about its manufacturing of parts for remote-controlled aircraft. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento says Sacramento-based Composite Engineering Inc. agreed to pay the money to end allegations that it artificially inflated...
 
 
Navy photograph

USS Roosevelt marks 200,000 trap

Navy photograph An F/A-18F Super Hornet flown by Capt. Daniel Grieco, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), and Capt. Benjamin Hewlett, deputy commander of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, complet...
 

 
Navy photograph by PO1 William Larned

USS California returns from maiden deployment

Navy photograph by PO1 William Larned The Virginia-class attack submarine USS California (SSN 781) returns from its maiden deployment to its homeport at Naval Submarine Base New London. Under the command of Cmdr. Shawn Huey, Ca...
 
 
Army photograph

Army proves new watercraft capabilities

Army photograph Marine Corps assets are loaded onto the USNS Sgt. Matej Kocak (T-AK 3005), from an U.S. Army Landing Craft Utility, or LCU, USAV Port Hudson during port operations, at White Beach Naval Base, Jan. 22, 2015. Sold...
 
 

Orbital stockholders approve merger with ATK’s aerospace, defense groups

Orbital Sciences Corporation announced Jan. 27 that at a special meeting, the company’s stockholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the proposed merger with the Aerospace and Defense Groups of Alliant Techsystems Inc., pursuant to the definitive transaction agreement dated April 28, 2014. Approximately 99 percent of the votes cast at the special meeting voted in favor...
 




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>