Thursday, April 5, 2012

New squadron preps for F-35

F-35C at Patuxent River. Lockheed Martin photo
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- While Navy personnel are busy preparing to teach the next generation of sailors how to work with and fly the F-35C, Strike Fighter Squadron 101 (VFA-101) readies for its stand-up ceremony on Eglin Air Force Base May 1. The original Fighter Squadron 101 was established May 1, 1952 and flew various aircraft, including the F-4 Phantom and F-14 Tomcat. It was disestablished in 2005 with retirement of the F-14. VFA-101 will be re-established May 1 at a new hangar and training facility on Eglin, training pilots and maintainers for the fleet. VFA-101 is a part of the 33rd Fighter Wing, a joint-service training wing responsible for F-35 A/B/C pilot and maintenance training for the Navy, Marine Corps, and the Air Force. Initially, 59 aircraft and three flying squadrons, one for each service's aircraft variant will be based at Eglin. The F-35 Academic Training Center serves as the schoolhouse, where wing personnel expect to train more than 2,000 maintenance students and 100 pilots each year. (Source: NNS, 04/05/12)