F35A Lightning II fighters made their debut in Tucson recently as two landed at Morris Air National Guard Base, Tucson, Ariz., for a meeting amongst leaders from the 56th Fighter Wing from Luke Air Force, Ariz., and the 162nd Wing.
Brig. Gen. Jason M. Rueschhoff, 56th Fighter Wing commander, and Col. Matthew R. Johnston, 56th Operations Group commander, flew into town to meet up with Brig. Gen. Jeffrey L. Butler, 162nd Wing commander, and Thomas A. Obrochta, 162nd Operations Group commander. The four met in shared airspace to conduct a training event prior to landing at the Morris Air National Guard Base for an in-person meeting.
“We have partner nations and community partners, but we don’t always take the opportunity to partner with our neighbors up north,” said Gen. Butler. “This was about establishing relationships and strengthening our Arizona ties,” he said.
Maintenance personnel were able to take advantage of the visit to accomplish familiarization training while the F-35s were in town. As the latest fifth-generation fighter, the basic support requirements of the F35 differ from that of the older F-16 stationed here at Morris ANG Base.