First USAF F-35A squadron fully equipped

written by australianaviation.com.au | June 4, 2014
The 58th FS at Eglin AFB is the first fully-equipped USAF F-35A unit. (Lockheed Martin)
The 58th FS at Eglin AFB is the first fully-equipped USAF F-35A unit. (Lockheed Martin)

 

The first USAF JSF squadron has received its 26th and final F-35A following the delivery of aircraft AF-45.

The 58th Fighter Squadron (FS) at Eglin AFB in Florida is the USAF element of the 33rd Fighter Wing’s F-35 integrated training center, and is tasked for training USAF instructor pilots and maintainers on the aircraft.

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“We’ve been in a growth mindset for the last few years,” 58th FS commander, LtCol Matt Renbarger said in a statement. “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. We are focusing now on refining our processes and training, improving our tactics, and really optimising our overall program to meet the needs of the Air Force as our Airmen move out to other F-35 missions.”

The RAAF’s first F-35A pilot, SQNLDR Andrew Jackson will begin training on the F-35A with the 58th FS at the end of this year.

6 Comments

  • Glen

    says:

    I do wonder how long before the F35 sees action if at all being so expensive . Stealth really is not needed with modern long range stand off weapons. But lots of counties seem to think they need this

  • Darren

    says:

    Firstly it needs to get the 3F software, not the 2A it has, or the upcoming 2B, which are really only for training. Then the bugs for the radar need to be smoothed out, followed by datalinking. Also release for night flying at squadron level. There are lots of test points to go before it is released to battle.

  • Bert Foster

    says:

    Note in the photo; how can this configuration be ‘Stealthy’ when the AIM-9X missiles are carried on underwing pylons and rails?

    You might as well have an F4?

  • Darren

    says:

    The F-35 has the capability to carry external stores. The much touted Stealth is optimised for front aspect, not all aspect. The belief is that once air supremacy/dominance is achieved through degradation of the opponents air defence capability the weapons load will be augmented with external stores. Currently the F-35 has a smallish weapons bay. This can affect persistence in the war zone, so defeating the air threat is important as the war load can be increased. Besides in peace time the jets true stealth capability is disguised.

  • Tom

    says:

    Dear Darren
    The stealth capability disguise that you mentioned is that the small bumps installed infront of the verticle stabalisers and under the fusilage?

  • Darren

    says:

    We asked a F-22 Pilot a question in regards to an item on his jet. A firm no comment was made, however it is not the item you are referring to. I understand that simulation will be used more on this jet than ever before and that the systems will be degraded for exercises etc and very rarely flown in anything but war. Pilots will practice the real thing with a simulated version of the real thing.

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