Tuesday, December 18, 2012

F-35A pilot training to begin

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Gen. Edward Rice, commander of Air Education and Training Command, said Eglin is ready to start training pilots in the Air Force's variant of the F-35. Training is slated to begin Jan. 7 with four 58th Fighter Squadron pilots and two operational test pilots. The Air Force is tentatively planning initial operating capability by 2016 when the first operational base opens. An AETC Joint Operational Test Team conducted an operational utility evaluation this fall, and presented its findings to Rice. The OUE lasted 46 days and focused on classroom and simulator training, along with six flights. (Sources: Eglin Public Affairs, Air Force Times, 12/17/12)