Air Force's F-35A Deploys to Middle East for First Time

Unread postPosted: 15 Apr 2019, 23:52
by SpudmanWP
Air Force's F-35A Deploys to Middle East for First Time

15 Apr 2019
Military.com | By Oriana Pawlyk
The U.S. Air Force's F-35A variant has officially deployed to the Middle East.

Air Forces Central Command announced Monday that F-35 fifth-generation fighters from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, have deployed to Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates to keep watch in the region.

It's the first time Air Force F-35s have deployed to the Middle East.


More at the JUMP
https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... -time.html


Official Press release:
https://www.afcent.af.mil/News/Article/ ... eployment/

F-35A arrives for first Middle East deployment in UAE

Unread postPosted: 15 Apr 2019, 23:58
by marsavian
https://theaviationist.com/2019/04/15/u ... ddle-east/
https://www.afcent.af.mil/News/Article/ ... eployment/

AL DHAFRA AIR BASE, United Arab Emirates --
The U.S. Air Force’s fifth generation multi-role aircraft arrived for its first deployment to the Middle East on April 15, 2019. The F-35A Lightning IIs are from active duty 388th and reserve 419th Fighter Wings at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

As the first deployment to the U.S. Air Forces Central Command area of responsibility, crews are prepared and trained for the AFCENT mission. The F-35A, the conventional takeoff and landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, provides greater operational capability by combining advanced stealth capabilities with the latest weapons technology.

“We are adding a cutting edge weapons system to our arsenal that significantly enhances the capability of the coalition,” said Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella, commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command. “The sensor fusion and survivability this aircraft provides to the joint force will enhance security and stability across the theater and deter aggressors.”

The F-35A is designed with the entire battlespace in mind, and is intended to fuse, integrate and share data with other battlefield assets. It has one of the most powerful and comprehensive integrated sensor packages. It improves lethality, survivability and adaptability against emerging threats in order to maintain air superiority.

“The F-35A provides our nation air dominance in any threat,” said Gen. David L. Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the Air Force. “When it comes to having a ‘quarterback’ for the coalition joint force, the inter-operable F-35A is clearly the aircraft for the leadership role,” he stated.

The F-35A has previously deployed to Royal Air Force Lakenheath in April 2017, as well as the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility in the fall of 2017.

“We look forward to demonstrating the full range of the F-35A’s capabilities while it increases the interoperability of our forces throughout the region,” said Guastella.

Re: F-35A arrives for first Middle East deployment in UAE

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2019, 00:06
by SpudmanWP
psst, already posted......... :doh:

viewtopic.php?f=57&t=55303

Re: F-35A arrives for first Middle East deployment in UAE

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2019, 00:18
by marsavian
Not noticed at the time ( 6 minutes earlier).

Re: Air Force's F-35A Deploys to Middle East for First Time

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2019, 00:30
by blindpilot
Seems timely as the Raptors head home for some upgrades ...

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... know-49962


FWIW,
BP

Re: F-35A arrives for first Middle East deployment in UAE

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2019, 04:25
by SpudmanWP
np, we've all done it.. multiple times :bang:

Re: Air Force's F-35A Deploys to Middle East for First Time

Unread postPosted: 30 Apr 2019, 21:23
by SpudmanWP
First USAF F-35A Combat Op.

SOUTHWEST ASIA --
Two U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft conducted an air strike at Wadi Ashai, Iraq, in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve on April 30.

This strike marked the F-35A’s first combat employment.

The F-35As conducted the airstrike using a Joint Direct Attack Munition to strike an entrenched Daesh tunnel network and weapons cache deep in the Hamrin Mountains, a location able to threaten friendly forces.

“We have the ability to gather, fuse and pass so much information, that we make every friendly aircraft more survivable and lethal,” said Lt. Col. Yosef Morris, 4th Fighter Squadron commander and F-35A pilot. “That, combined with low-observable technology, allows us to really complement any combined force package and be ready to support AOR contingencies.”

The F-35As, recently deployed from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, joined the Combined Forces Air Component team in the U.S. Central Command area of operations on April 15. This marks the F-35A’s third deployment and first to the CENTCOM AOR. In preparation for deployment, crews prepared and trained on the aircraft for the AFCENT mission.

“We have been successful in two Red Flag exercises, and we’ve deployed to Europe and Asia,” said Morris. “Our Airmen are ready and we’re excited to be here.” Red Flag is the U.S. Air Force’s premier air-to-air combat training exercise which includes U.S. and allied nations’ combat air forces.

There are many Airmen ensuring the planes are ready for their combat missions.

“This jet is smarter, a lot smarter, and so it can do more, and it helps you out more when loading munitions,” said Staff Sgt. Karl Tesch, 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons technician.

A central tenant to the F-35A’s design is its ability to enhance other battlefield assets. In this case, the aircraft joins the Combined Joint airpower team already in place to maintain air superiority and deliver war-winning airpower.

“The F-35A has sensors everywhere, it has advanced radar, and it is gathering and fusing all this information from the battlespace in real time,” said Morris. “Now it has the ability to take that information and share it with other F-35s or even other fourth generation aircraft in the same package that can also see the integrated picture.”


https://www.afcent.af.mil/News/Article/ ... mployment/

Re: Air Force's F-35A Deploys to Middle East for First Time

Unread postPosted: 30 Apr 2019, 22:54
by talkitron
Surprised it took the USAF so long, although the Israelis might have used the F-35A in combat (unclear) already.

Re: Air Force's F-35A Deploys to Middle East for First Time

Unread postPosted: 30 Apr 2019, 23:15
by SpudmanWP
True, so I updated the post to specify USAF.

Re: Air Force's F-35A Deploys to Middle East for First Time

Unread postPosted: 01 May 2019, 04:19
by spazsinbad
US Air Force conducts airstrikes with F-35 for first time ever [these reporters LUV 'finally' don't they]
30 Apr 2019 Valerie Insinna

"WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force has finally flown its variant of the F-35 in combat, using two of the aircraft to take out an ISIS tunnel network and weapons cache in Iraq on April 30. Tuesday’s airstrikes — the first U.S. use of the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing model at war — follow the combat employment Israel Defense Forces’ F-35As in May 2018 and U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35Bs in September 2018.

According to U.S. Air Forces Central Command, the airstrike occurred at Wadi Ashai, in northeast Iraq. An April 24 news release from U.S. Central Command stated that ISIS fighters “have been attempting to move munitions, equipment and personnel” to Wadi Ashai in order to “set conditions for their resurgence,” prompting a counter-offensive by Iraqi Security Forces and supported by Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.

“The F-35As conducted the airstrike using a Joint Direct Attack Munition to strike an entrenched Daesh tunnel network and weapons cache deep in the Hamrin Mountains, a location able to threaten friendly forces,” stated the AFCENT release, which used an alternative name for ISIS....

...Staff Sgt. Karl Tesch, 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons technician, added that “this jet is smarter, a lot smarter, and so it can do more, and it helps you out more when loading munitions.”" [HOT LOAD]

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/04 ... time-ever/

Re: Air Force's F-35A Deploys to Middle East for First Time

Unread postPosted: 01 May 2019, 06:02
by wrightwing
talkitron wrote:Surprised it took the USAF so long, although the Israelis might have used the F-35A in combat (unclear) already.

The Israelis have used theirs several times, including taking out SA-22s, and JY-27 radars.

Re: Air Force's F-35A Deploys to Middle East for First Time

Unread postPosted: 01 May 2019, 10:52
by hythelday
wrightwing wrote:
talkitron wrote:Surprised it took the USAF so long, although the Israelis might have used the F-35A in combat (unclear) already.

The Israelis have used theirs several times, including taking out SA-22s, and JY-27 radars.


Neither SA-22 norJY-27 are confirmed to be "taken out" by F-35As, even though such a claim may be redundant in the age of network warfare. Still, it pays to be correct on the details.

talkitron wrote:Surprised it took the USAF so long, although the Israelis might have used the F-35A in combat (unclear) already.


The russians were in a hurry to send prototype Su-57s for a two day "combat deployment". They can have that conciliation prize for what I care, given the state PAK FA program is in. F-35A doesn't beed to perform such tricks.

F-35A Flies Its First Combat Mission

Unread postPosted: 01 May 2019, 15:24
by mixelflick
https://theaviationist.com/2019/04/30/u ... s-in-iraq/

Flown over Iraq with Lunberg lens plus 2 9x's. Also speaks to JDAM's, I'm assuming that AMRAAM's went along for the ride too.

Pretty exciting stuff.. :)

All that money to blow up a tunnel

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2019, 20:28
by edpop
The US Air Force conducted an airstrike targeting terrorist organization Islamic State’s assets at Wadi Ashai, Iraq using the F-35A Lightning II aircraft for the first time. The conventional take-off and landing fighter jets, performing the strike in support of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, used a Joint Direct Attack Munition to conduct the air strike to take out an entrenched Daesh tunnel network and weapons cache deep in the Hamrin Mountains. The strike marked the first combat employment of the F-35A. The F-35A aircraft were recently deployed from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, US, to Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE and joined the Combined Forces Air Component team in the CENTCOM area of operations (AOR) last month.

Re: All that money to blow up a tunnel

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2019, 13:29
by mixelflick
That tunnel may have been of the utmost strategic importance. In fact, it likely was.

The F-35 is doing what any "new" combat aircraft would - taking baby steps. They're learning what works, what doesn't and getting the bugs out (if any). The press isn't impressed because it isn't (yet) taking down S-400 SAM sites and enemy aircraft. In much the same way, the F-117 made its combat debut in Panama. Didn't do anything spectacular, and more than a few reports said it missed its target. Based on that, you'd think the aircraft was a failure.

Fast forward 3 years and it's the undisputed star of Desert Storm. It flew against an incredibly dense air defense network and put bombs on target virtually every time - with NO losses. Thousands of sorties, NO losses. Completely revolutionized air combat/strike and went on to serve this nation with distinction. The ONE loss over Bosnia was unfortunate, but did nothing to change the fact it was revolutionary.

Think about that for a moment. ONE loss in thousands and thousands of sorties. Had we given up on that thing after Panama, we would have handed foreign countries a huge advantage, and today be beholden to the S-300/S-400. Instead, the F-117 took the baby steps necessary to become a world beater.

The F-35's trajectory is no different..

Re: All that money to blow up a tunnel

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2019, 15:36
by XanderCrews
What do you care?

edpop wrote:The US Air Force conducted an airstrike targeting terrorist organization Islamic State’s assets at Wadi Ashai, Iraq using the F-35A Lightning II aircraft for the first time. The conventional take-off and landing fighter jets, performing the strike in support of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, used a Joint Direct Attack Munition to conduct the air strike to take out an entrenched Daesh tunnel network and weapons cache deep in the Hamrin Mountains. The strike marked the first combat employment of the F-35A. The F-35A aircraft were recently deployed from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, US, to Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE and joined the Combined Forces Air Component team in the CENTCOM area of operations (AOR) last month.



Secret developed Stealth Helicopters, Navy SEALs, HK416s, 50000 dollar Nightvision, all that money to kill one guy...

Re: All that money to blow up a tunnel

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2019, 20:21
by usnvo
edpop wrote:The US Air Force conducted an airstrike targeting terrorist organization Islamic State’s assets at Wadi Ashai, Iraq using the F-35A Lightning II aircraft for the first time. The conventional take-off and landing fighter jets, performing the strike in support of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, used a Joint Direct Attack Munition to conduct the air strike to take out an entrenched Daesh tunnel network and weapons cache deep in the Hamrin Mountains. The strike marked the first combat employment of the F-35A. The F-35A aircraft were recently deployed from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, US, to Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE and joined the Combined Forces Air Component team in the CENTCOM area of operations (AOR) last month.


From the title, I take it economics is not your chosen profession. It actually hardly cost anything at all, it fact, it probably saved money. Lets consider.

The plane is already paid for, so it is free. It is called "Sunk Cost". Additionally, since there was no possibility of being shot down,the mission didn't even increase the expected attrition for the airframe.
There is no "Opportunity Cost" because there wasn't something else it could be doing while it was doing this one.
The flight hours are also already paid for as well since the planes are on deployment. They fly missions all the time, most of which never release ordnance. Regardless of whether they dropped ordnance or not, they were going to fly those missions. So marginal cost is zero for flight hours.
There are two possibilities of how the aircraft was tasked.
1. It was launched specifically to attack the target. In this case, if the F-35 wasn't used, a different aircraft would be used, so it is basically a wash. But again, it doesn't raise the total of flight hours for the deployment, just how they are used. Shoot, if they were in the states, they would still be flying as well.
2. The aircraft was already airborne circling around awaiting tasking and it was directed to attack the target. This is the most likely scenario. In that case, it actually saved money since the plane was lighter for the rest of the flight and fuel consumption was less! And, you didn't have to launch another, non-scheduled, cheaper aircraft to do the same thing, so you saved on "Opportunity Cost", that other aircraft could do something else. Additionally, from a training standpoint, one pilot checked off dropping JDAMs so the squadron doesn't have to expend as much ordnance in training to maintain periodicity. Win all the way around!

Bottom line, once the decision to deploy and operate the aircraft in theater was made, dropping a JDAM in a benign environment was pretty much free. OK, there was a marginal cost for the ordnance, but that would be the same for whichever aircraft was used.

Re: All that money to blow up a tunnel

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2019, 20:25
by usnvo
usnvo wrote:Bottom line, once the decision to deploy and operate the aircraft in theater was made, dropping a JDAM in a benign environment was pretty much free. OK, there was a marginal cost for the ordnance, but that would be the same for whichever aircraft was used.


Oops, I missed one. If the USAF is being smart in how they manage their ordnance, the bomb used was probably near the end of its service life. If that was the case, you actually save more money because you don't have to ship it back to the states to be demil'd after it reaches its shelf-life.