First USAF pilot hits 1,000 flying hours in F-35A

Production milestones, roll-outs, test flights, service introduction and other milestones.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post27 Oct 2020, 21:53

First USAF pilot hits 1,000 flying hours in F-35A
23 Oct 2020 Micah Garbarino, 388th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

"HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- On Oct. 22, 388th Fighter Wing pilots flew a four-on-six tactical intercept mission over the Utah Test and Training Range in the F-35A Lightning II, using sensors and stealth to take on the enemy. The sortie lasted roughly two hours. It would have been just like any of the thousands of other training sorties flown by pilots here, except it marked an important milestone for one of the pilots, and the Air Force’s F-35 community as a whole. During the flight, Lt. Col. Jared “Vic” Santos, became the first Air Force F-35 pilot to reach 1,000 flying hours....

...Santos, a former F-15 pilot and F-18 pilot, began flying the F-35 at Eglin AFB, and has been assigned to the 388th Fighter Wing for two years. He currently serves as the wing special projects manager, overseeing COVID-19 response and planning, as well as reorganization efforts....

...Santos graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2000. He had two assignments in the F-15C and accrued more than 1,200 hours. He then flew nearly 800 hours in the F/A-18 during an exchange program with the U.S. Marine Corps, before transitioning to the F-35A. “I first flew the F-35 at Eglin. Back then we had block 1B software. We were constrained to .9 mach, 18 degree angle of attack, 5 Gs. We had no data link, either multi-function or Link 16,” Santos said.

With each additional production lot and software update the capabilities of the jet are continuing to expand, said Santos, who has also flown the F-35A in combat missions during the first-ever deployment with the wing’s 4th Fighter Squadron.

“But, it’s been exciting see the program progress to where we are today. The stealth and outstanding sensors really give this jet an edge. The analogy I use is: I’m not a great boxer, but if you blindfolded my opponent and gave me a gun, I’d win every time. The stealth is the blindfold, the sensors and weapons are the gun, and combined they make the F-35 an outstanding weapons system.”

Not only is the jet progressing, but so are the Airmen employing it, Santos said. “Hitting 1,000 hours doesn’t mean I’m special. It just means I’m old,” Santos said. “One of the most exciting things about watching the F-35 community develop over the past 8 years has been, not only the advances in the aircraft, but seeing younger pilots fresh out of pilot training getting to fly it. I’m excited to watch how they mature the Panther into the future.”"

"388th Fighter Wing pilot, Lt. Col. Jared Santos, became the first Air Force pilot to reach 1,000 flying hours in the F-35A Lightning II after a training sortie at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Oct. 22, 2020. Santos, a former F-15 and F-18 pilot, began flying the F-35 at Eglin AFB eight years ago, and has been assigned to the 388th Fighter Wing for two years. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)" https://media.defense.gov/2020/Oct/23/2 ... 6-1001.JPG (3.6Mb)


Source: https://www.acc.af.mil/News/Article-Dis ... -in-f-35a/
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Corsair1963

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Unread post28 Oct 2020, 00:19

The 421st (Black Widows) is one of our premier fighter squadrons. With their main mission being "Air Superiority". 8)
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Unread post28 Oct 2020, 12:39

Corsair1963 wrote:The 421st (Black Widows) is one of our premier fighter squadrons. With their main mission being "Air Superiority". 8)


One of many missions that the F-35 can perform but the “main mission” - surely not. (or do the sun glasses indicate you are joking which means the joke has gone straight over my head?) :shock:
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Unread post28 Oct 2020, 14:59

Welp, there it is... a USAF line pilot calling her the Panther. Guess we can put that argument to rest.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post28 Oct 2020, 16:28

I caught that too.

Aussiebloke, the plane itself is multi-mission but the squadron in discussion is not. They are a dedicated air-to-air squadron.
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Unread post28 Oct 2020, 16:37

Way back when -- in the mid to late eighties? -- I read an article about an innovative young USAF pilot pairing Vipers with Eagles. Memory says this was in WestPAC (Okinawa?). The idea being to hide a pair of Vipers behind the radar signature of the Eagles. What was one or two blips on the radar, suddenly became four to the enema.

A dedicated F-35 air-to-air squadron.... Hmmm, the F-22 radar has more T/E elements, so is widely understood to be more powerful, but the F-35 sensors and sensor fusion overall and resulting SA is probably much better. Could there be something to assigning a pair of Raptors to each Panther in a fourship, spread across 100-400nm? The Panthers sniff out the enema, develop the overall SA, then sic the Raptors on the prey down from on high?

I dunno. Morning coffee prolly hasn't kicked in yet.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post28 Oct 2020, 19:39

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:I caught that too.

Aussiebloke, the plane itself is multi-mission but the squadron in discussion is not. They are a dedicated air-to-air squadron.


How does this dedicated air-to-air role actually manifest itself? Is it just that the majority of the 421st’s training is air-to-air? When this squadron deploys it seems to perform the same sorts of tasks as the other two squadrons in the 388th Wing.

During the deployment, the 421st FS employed the F-35A on close air support missions, performed offensive and defensive counter-air, and enabled regional deterrence by participating in joint exercises with national partners in the Middle East.

https://www.388fw.acc.af.mil/News/Artic ... -hill-afb/
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Unread post28 Oct 2020, 19:39

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:I caught that too.

Aussiebloke, the plane itself is multi-mission but the squadron in discussion is not. They are a dedicated air-to-air squadron.


How does this dedicated air-to-air role actually manifest itself? Is it just that the majority of the 421st’s training is air-to-air? When this squadron deploys it seems to perform the same sorts of tasks as the other two squadrons in the 388th Wing.

During the deployment, the 421st FS employed the F-35A on close air support missions, performed offensive and defensive counter-air, and enabled regional deterrence by participating in joint exercises with national partners in the Middle East.

https://www.388fw.acc.af.mil/News/Artic ... -hill-afb/
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Unread post28 Oct 2020, 22:25

I suppose it is not DEDICATED as I said. I stand corrected. But a primarily air-to-air squadron will focus training flights/hours on the air to air missions over the air to ground missions.
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Unread post29 Oct 2020, 04:38

aussiebloke wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:The 421st (Black Widows) is one of our premier fighter squadrons. With their main mission being "Air Superiority". 8)


One of many missions that the F-35 can perform but the “main mission” - surely not. (or do the sun glasses indicate you are joking which means the joke has gone straight over my head?) :shock:






QUOTE:


The 421st Fighter Squadron is part of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. It operates the Lockheed Martin F-35A aircraft conducting air superiority missions. The squadron is one of the most decorated fighter squadrons in the United States Air Force, being awarded three Presidential Unit Citations and seven Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards for Valor in Combat.



This is nothing new as the 421st flew in the same role. When it operated the F-16C.

https://www.dvidshub.net/image/2582856/ ... fghanistan


Also, while the F-22 are primarily "Air Superiority". That also can and do perform multirole missions. (all of the time)





Sorry, the F-15 and F-22 are not the only fighters with in the USAF / ANG that perform mainly in the Air Superiority Role.


Oh, and the "Air Superiority" F-15C's operated by the 159th Fighter Squadron(125 FW) Florida ANG. Are converting to the F-35A in the next couple of years. With more to follow.......

https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/202 ... ksonville/


If, you doubt me feel free to contact the 421st Fighter Squadron and ask them.......... :doh:
Last edited by Corsair1963 on 29 Oct 2020, 05:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post29 Oct 2020, 04:53

steve2267 wrote:Way back when -- in the mid to late eighties? -- I read an article about an innovative young USAF pilot pairing Vipers with Eagles. Memory says this was in WestPAC (Okinawa?). The idea being to hide a pair of Vipers behind the radar signature of the Eagles. What was one or two blips on the radar, suddenly became four to the enema.

A dedicated F-35 air-to-air squadron.... Hmmm, the F-22 radar has more T/E elements, so is widely understood to be more powerful, but the F-35 sensors and sensor fusion overall and resulting SA is probably much better. Could there be something to assigning a pair of Raptors to each Panther in a fourship, spread across 100-400nm? The Panthers sniff out the enema, develop the overall SA, then sic the Raptors on the prey down from on high?

I dunno. Morning coffee prolly hasn't kicked in yet.



Just not enough F-22's to go around. So, I would expect the two to operate as a team or apart. Depending on the circumstances..........
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Unread post29 Oct 2020, 05:03

The hunter-killer pairing might work, but perhaps in a different fashion.

The MADL topology limit is what, 24 aircraft? Two dozen Panthers could cover a huge swath of land and sky. They would be the hunters. And packs of Raptors, the killers, could rover to and fro, cued by Panthers all-seeing SA.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post29 Oct 2020, 05:07

steve2267 wrote:The hunter-killer pairing might work, but perhaps in a different fashion.

The MADL topology limit is what, 24 aircraft? Two dozen Panthers could cover a huge swath of land and sky. They would be the hunters. And packs of Raptors, the killers, could rover to and fro, cued by Panthers all-seeing SA.



Honestly, countless variables........ :|


Nonetheless, both should work well together as a team and likely will. Under the right circumstances.
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Unread post29 Oct 2020, 09:01

Corsair1963 wrote:
aussiebloke wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:The 421st (Black Widows) is one of our premier fighter squadrons. With their main mission being "Air Superiority". 8)


One of many missions that the F-35 can perform but the “main mission” - surely not. (or do the sun glasses indicate you are joking which means the joke has gone straight over my head?) :shock:


QUOTE:


The 421st Fighter Squadron is part of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. It operates the Lockheed Martin F-35A aircraft conducting air superiority missions. The squadron is one of the most decorated fighter squadrons in the United States Air Force, being awarded three Presidential Unit Citations and seven Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards for Valor in Combat.




Your source for the above quote is Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... r_Squadron

It is telling though that you don’t reveal that fact. If you check the history of this particular Wikipedia page you find that previously (back in 2018 for example) it said “It operates the Block 40 General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft conducting air superiority missions.” Upon the arrival of the F-35A in this squadron some lazy editor has simply changed the aircraft type.
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... =818649412

Show me some real evidence that the USAF has stood up a dedicated air superiority F-35 squadron. That they may possibly do so in the future is not disputed.
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Unread post29 Oct 2020, 10:49

aussiebloke wrote:
Show me some real evidence that the USAF has stood up a dedicated air superiority F-35 squadron. That they may possibly do so in the future is not disputed.



I don't care what you believe or not....

Again feel free to make a fool of yourself and just ask anybody from the 421st....

What the USAF only has 186 F-22's and only part of them are frontline combat units. So, you think the USAF has no other non F-22 Units assigned to the "Air Superiority Role"??? (really)


Also, what about the F-35A's replacing the F-15C's in the Florida ANG. Their mission is Air Superiority and Air Defense.....So, what that doesn't count either???


Honestly, go waste someone else's time.......... :roll:
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