The first external weapons test mission was flown by an F-35A last week during a mission at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The Feb. 16 test involved the Air Force version of the F-35 carrying two air-to-air AIM-9X missiles on the outboard wings stations, as well as two GBU-31 guided bombs and two AIM-120 air-to-air missiles carried inside the weapons bays. The jet also had mounted four external pylons that can carry 2,000-pound air-to-ground weapons. No weapons were fired in the test. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 02/20/12) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 training center.