Thursday, July 11, 2013

F-35 pilot cadre grows to 100

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Maj. Robert Miller of the 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, became the 100th pilot to fly the Lockheed Martin F-35 when he took to the skies above Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., July 9 for a training flight. Miller's 90-minute flight was in an F-35A, the Air Force variant. The flight followed academic and simulator instruction at Eglin's Integrated Training Center, which provides pilot and maintainer training for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps variants of the fighter. The joint service partners at Eglin have flown 2,292 F-35 hours and have 28 aircraft, the largest F-35 fleet in the world. The base eventually will have 59 F-35s. About 100 pilots and 2,200 maintainers will be qualified annually through the training system at the base. The Lockheed Martin training system is also operational at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 07/11/13)