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 July 28, 2014

News: U.S. has lost track of weapons given to Afghanistan - The United States supplied almost three quarter of a million weapons to Afghanistan’s army and police since 2004, but the military cannot track where many of those arms have gone, a new report found. Bill to improve VA has $17 billion price tag - A bipartisan...
 
 

News Briefs July 28, 2014

Marines seek authorization for dolphin deaths The Marine Corps is asking for a five-year authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service for incidental deaths of bottlenose dolphins during training exercises at a bombing and target range. The Sun Journal of New Bern, N.C., reports that Connie Barclay of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says...
 
 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 

 

Northrop Grumman awarded mission support services contract

The U.S. Army awarded Northrop Grumman a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, with a potential value of $205 million, to continue providing mission logistics services in support of combat brigades training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The contract covers one base year and two one-year options. Support will include the full range of mission...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 




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>