Australia’s first commanding officer of an F-35A Lightning II squadron has seen the F-35 up close for the first time at the Royal International Air Tattoo.
Wing Commander Darren Clare, who is currently posted to the UK to complete the Advanced Command and Staff Course, said that he is looking forward to commencing his appointment as commanding officer of 3 Squadron next year.
“I am incredibly proud and humbled to be selected to lead Number 3 Squadron when it receives our first F-35A into Australian service,” he said. “It is a big responsibility but one that I am excited to have.”
Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies commented: “The aircraft will bring a new capability to the Royal Australian Air Force, and Darren will have a lot of responsibility to develop the tactics, techniques and procedures for the F-35A to the Australian context and ensure the F-35A is integrated into our fleet through Plan Jericho.”
A KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport from 33 Squadron visited the Royal International Air Tattoo, marking Air Force’s first appearance at the Air Tattoo since 2006. The KC-30 has also visited air-to-air refuelling bases in Italy and France.