Thursday, May 9, 2019

Eglin eyed for next training squadron

The Air Force announced today that Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the preferred alternative to receive an additional F-35A Lighting II training squadron. Eglin AFB was the location of the F-35 initial joint training site hosting Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps F-35s. The Marine Corps relocated its F-35Bs in 2014 and the Navy announced its plans to relocate F-35Cs in 2019. “By basing the next F-35A training squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, we are taking advantage of existing facilities and training air space,” said Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. Additional F-35As are expected to begin arriving in the fall of 2021. The new squadron is expected to reach full operational capability by spring 2023. Eglin will only receive the additional F-35 training unit if the F-22 Raptor formal training unit temporarily operating at Eglin is permanently moved to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. In March, the Air Force acknowledged plans to move the F-22 training unit to JB Langley-Eustis, pending the outcome of the National Environmental Policy Act and other regulatory and planning processes. This F-35 basing action is also dependent on completing the environmental analysis. (Source: AFNS, 05/09/19)