Luke selected for USAF F-35A training base.

F-35 unit & base selection, delivery, activation
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Unread post01 Sep 2015, 05:17

The link on the F-35 LM PR page does not work so probably only part of the article is available at URL below:
Training the World’s Greatest F-35 Fighter Pilots
31 Aug 2015 Luke AFB

"...Training Process
So what does it look like to train the world’s greatest F-35 fighter pilots?

This year, Luke has a goal to train 45 F-35 pilots, all of whom are experienced fighter pilots and will transition to the F-35 after a rigorous training program that lasts about 90 days. Training for new fighter pilots (those who are trained pilots, but new to fighter jets) is scheduled to begin next year and will be closer to nine months in duration.

The training for experienced fighter pilots starts with academic instruction before digital training using a pilot training aid, which is similar to a desktop simulator with a joystick and a throttle. After a few weeks of digital training, pilots proceed to the all-encompassing 360-degree full mission simulator. Finally, pilots take to the jet and complete various training exercises.

Lt. Col. Sean “Hooligan” Holahan, who flew F-16s for more than 15 years, is a member of the first class of pilots going through the training program at Luke.

“I think it’s been fantastic,” he said of his training experience. “If I didn’t know any better, I wouldn’t know I was in the first class—things are running that smoothly.”"

Source: https://www.f35.com/news/detail/trainin ... ter-pilots
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Unread post22 Oct 2015, 18:17

Lots of details for various countries training at LUKE AFB so posted all of it here. UPDATED hence two dates for article. As an aside I note LUKE has been using 'll' instead of 'II' for 'Lightning II' - at least they are not using 'Lightening ll'. :mrgreen:
F-35 mission continues to evolve [20 Oct 2015]
10 & 20 Oct 2015 Staff Sgt. Staci Miller; 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

"10/10/2015 - LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- As the world's premiere F-35 training base, Luke Air Force Base is constantly growing and improving to provide state-of-the-art training for F-35 Lightning II pilots and maintainers.

The F-35 is an aircraft with an international footprint unlike any other in history. Currently, Luke has two F-35 squadrons but will eventually be home to six squadrons, all housing partner nations.

The 61st Fighter Squadron became fully operational in June and the 62nd Fighter Squadron received its first primarily assigned aircraft in August.

"The 61st FS is up, running and fully operational," said Lt. Col. David Lercher, 56th Fighter Wing F-35 division chief. "In order to be considered fully operational the squadron must have 24 primarily assigned aircraft."

At the moment, the 61st FS is home to two Australian jets and will receive many more. "The Australians will have 12 jets here by the middle of 2019," Lercher said.

The 62nd FS is on track to have eight F-35s by the end of 2015 and be fully operational by the end of 2017. They will be home to Norwegian and Italian jets.

"The two Norwegian jets are expected to arrive before the end of the year," Lercher said. "We should expect the first Italian jets to arrive this spring. Eventually, the 62nd FS will have seven Norwegian jets and five Italian jets."

Construction on the 63rd Fighter Squadron is in the works and should be open by the end of 2016.

"The 63rd should get their first airplane by March of 2017," Lercher said. "Turkey will eventually flow into the squadron with their first aircraft arriving mid-2018."

Luke should expect the fourth squadron, which includes the Netherlands and Denmark, early 2019. The fifth squadron will be home to Canada and also open in 2019. The sixth, and final, squadron will open in 2022.


"Luke will eventually be home to seven partner nation pilots and aircraft and house a total of 144 F-35s," Lercher said.

As advanced as the F-35 is, it still doesn't fly itself.

The F-35 Lightning II Academic Training Center will welcome two Italian student pilots, two Norwegian student pilots and a U.S. Marine Corps student pilot Sept. 21. The Marine is here as part of an inter-service pilot exchange program. The goal of the program is to gain a better understanding and appreciation of each service's capabilities and limitations.

A Norwegian student pilot will be the first at Luke to be issued the Generation 3 Helmet-Mounted Display System. Eventually all F-35 pilots will transition to the new helmet. The helmet will be created and issued at the new Luke Pilot Fit Facility.

The PFF opened in March and is operated by Lockheed Martin. All Luke F-35 student pilots receive gear from the PFF and that gear is then used indefinitely, regardless of the service or country the pilot belongs to.

"All the pilots who are flying the F-35 are all wearing the exact same gear," said Keith Geltz, Survitec Group senior field engineer. "The only difference is the number of items each service or country requests."

Some changes are obvious and involve bright orange construction, while other changes are more behind the scenes. Recently the first nine F-35s to arrive at Luke were updated with software to match the more recent aircraft.

"The update was done to give the first aircraft essentially the same capabilities as the rest of the newer jets," said Leslie Flores, Lockheed Martin field support engineer.

Overall, Luke, just like the aircraft it supports, will continue to change.

"The F-35 is a new weapons system, so it's constantly evolving and improving," Lercher said. "I've been working this program for over two years and things are always changing for the better."

Source: http://www.luke.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123461321
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Unread post11 Nov 2015, 02:41

Difficult to know where to put this one - someone is hanging out for a video.... anyhoo it'll turn up.
Norway’s First F-35 Sortie, Jets Arrive on Air Force’s Birthday
10 Nov 2015 Senior Airman Grace Lee; 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

"11/10/2015 - LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Arizona -- The first two Norwegian F-35s arrived today at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Shortly after, a Norwegian pilot flew the F-35 Lightning II for the first time today, in conjunction with the Royal Norwegian air force's birthday....

...Luke currently has 32 F-35s and by 2024, Luke is scheduled to have six fighter squadrons and 144 F-35s. Norway will have seven F-35s stationed at Luke."

"A formation of U.S. and Norwegian F-35 Lightning II soar over Luke Air Force Base, Arizona November 10, 2015. Today was the scheduled arrival of two F-35s for the Royal Norwegian air force while simultaneously celebrating the Norwegian air force’s birthday. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marcy Copeland)" 7 x PHOTOs at URL below this one. http://www.luke.af.mil/shared/media/pho ... 01-325.JPG (2Mb)

"The second Norwegian F-35 Lightning II lands at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, November 10, 2015. The jet marks the scheduled arrival of the first of two F-35s for the Royal Norwegian air force making Norway the newest partner in the international F-35 joint-partnership program here at Luke. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marcy Copeland) "http://www.luke.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/2015/11/151110-F-LC301-463.JPG (2Mb)


Source: http://www.luke.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123463115
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Unread post13 Nov 2015, 01:18

Hi

Here are two photos of the same F-35 taken a few months apart. appears to me that 13-5065 has moved from 61st FS to 62nd FS. Or was painted for the 61st FS and then assigned to the 62nd FS just before deliver?

USAF F-35A #13-5065 from the 62nd FS on final for Luke AFB on November 10th, 2015. [Photo by Chris Kennedy]


USAF F-35A #13-5065, destined for the 61st FS at Luke AFB, is spotted during a test flight at NAS Fort Worth on July 24th, 2015. [Photo by Keith Snyder]
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Unread post13 Nov 2015, 23:20

How the Military Prepares Airmen for Battle
Whenever WP BrandStudio/LM PR

"...Constructive training environments like the F-35 training system merge elements of the physical real world with virtual computer-generated imagery for greater situational awareness.

Today’s improved flight simulators are more crucial than ever to train pilots and help keep their skills fresh. F-35 pilots complete 45-55 percent of their training flights in a full mission simulator, compared to a past figure of 40 percent in F-16 simulators. Not all fighter pilots will experience combat during their careers, but these airborne warriors still must be trained and ready to anticipate any battle scenario.

According to Billie Flynn, a Lockheed Martin F-35 test pilot, pilots spend about as much time in these simulators as in the actual aircraft.

The F-35 simulator duplicates the jet’s cockpit and handling qualities, allowing pilots to practice techniques like aerial refueling and missile employment. The F-35 simulator is key to helping pilots “quickly transition into the jet and begin their flying operations,” said Mike Luntz, F-35 training system director.

In fact, simulation is more effective than flying the aircraft in some training scenarios since the F-35’s capabilities are so powerful. Some combat scenarios would be difficult and expensive to set up for live flying, given the range space available and the numerous aircraft needed to act like ‘bad guys.’

“In the simulator, we turn on all of the bells and whistles to provide pilots with the range of experience they need to maximize the advanced capabilities of the F-35,” Luntz said.

Augmented reality technology is also being used across the spectrum of military operations. Lockheed Martin’s Human Immersive Lab helped train maintainers who will work on the F-35 – avoiding over $100 million in additional costs by using immersive engineering and digital mockups in the early design and development stages of the F-35 program. And Skunk Works’ virtual prototyping group has created a “deployable” large format display on wheels designed specifically for military virtual reality applications...."

Source: http://lockheedmartin.com/us/news/featu ... stF35.html
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Unread post14 Jan 2016, 02:51

:devil: SUCK IT UP CANADA - YOU ARE EXPECTED TO :mrgreen: TRAIN (CHOO CHOOS?) :mrgreen: HERE - "POSSIBLY"! :doh:
F-35 training at Luke AFB gathers pace with 34 jets
13 Jan 2016 James Drew

"The multinational pilot training centre at Luke AFB in Arizona has grown exponentially since receiving its first Lockheed Martin F-35 in March 2014, and that pace won’t let up in 2016 as the 56th Fighter Wing zips past 3,000 Lightning II sorties.

In an interview today, wing commander Brig Gen Scott Pleus says Luke AFB now counts 34 pooled fifth-generation F-35As in American, Australian and Norwegian livery. The wing also continues to produce 95% of the US air force’s F-16 pilots from the base in Phoenix and its two satellite squadrons at Holloman AFB in New Mexico.

As the world’s premier conventional F-35 training base, Luke is currently training pilots and instructors for the USA, Australia, Norway, Italy – and soon F-35 foreign military sales customers Japan and Israel. Other programme partners – the Netherlands, Turkey and possibly Denmark and Canada – will also join the pooling arrangement, where they share aircraft and instructors.

Luke will grow to six F-35 training squadrons, and will soon reactivate its third unit – the 63rd Fighter Squadron, which trained F-16C/D pilots until it disbanded in 2009.

As its former commander, Pleus is looking forward to the 63rd's return, and he expects one squadron to covert to F-35 each year after that. Eventually, Luke will house 144 jets and 12 full-mission simulators....

...FMS customers including South Korea will fly their own jets, and have instructors assigned to their units. The first Israeli F-35I “Adir” is in final assembly, but flight training is being done in Israel.

“Right now, Israel is just doing academic and simulator training only. Japan will bring their own aircraft here, and will go through the academics, the simulators and we will have instructor pilots assigned to them.”

One of the lingering curses of concurrent development and fielding of the F-35 is that the 34 aircraft based at Luke are in various stages of upgrade, and will be continuously improved as new hardware and software modifications become available. That means maintainers are working overtime to bring the aircraft and simulators up the latest configuration.

That should smooth out as Lockheed enters full-rate production in the standardised Block 3F and Block 4 configurations in 2017 and beyond.

Until recently, Luke has been growing its pilot instructor base, but in April students will adopt a new syllabus focused on full combat training, and eventually weapons employment.

That new focus comes as Hill AFB in Utah stands up its first combat-coded F-35 squadron for IOC in August, and as Luke prepares to receive its first undergraduate pilots in November.

Those basic course, or “B-course,” pilots will have limited exposure to combat jets, having operated the T-6, T-38 and AT-38 prior to taking control of a $100 million F-35. Until then, pilots have come across from older airframes like the A-10, F-16 and F-15...."

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ts-420797/
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Unread post06 Feb 2016, 01:03

Luke pilot flies 500th hour in F-35
04 Feb 2016 Airman 1st Class Ridge Shan, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

"LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFNS) -- A 61st Fighter Squadron pilot made history Feb. 2 as the first Luke Air Force Base pilot to achieve 500 flight hours in an F-35 Lightning II.

Lt. Col. Matthew Hayden, also the 56th Fighter Wing chief of safety, achieved this milestone flying his 270th sortie, a routine training mission....

...“The (61st FS) Top Dogs are incredibly lucky to have an F-35 instructor pilot who has been with the program since the beginning flying with us on a daily basis,” said Lt. Col. Aaron Jelinek, the 61st FS director of operations. “Lt. Col. Hayden's depth of knowledge when it comes to both F-35 systems and tactics add incredible value to squadron operations each and every day.”...

...“When our most experienced instructor pilot only has 500 hours in the plane, it goes to show the F-35 program is still young,” Jelinek said. “However, it also shows that we are reaching a point where operations are normalizing, and we are able to transition our syllabus from training initial cadre to training less experienced fighter pilots.”

Luke Airmen are among the first in a global generation of pilots to fly the F-35, and will continue to reach milestones such as this for the duration of the aircraft’s development.

“The fabulous thing about this is that there are a lot of guys who are right behind me, who are really close to getting the same kind of milestone in their flying experience,” Hayden said.

As today’s pilots become more experienced with the F-35 platform, they position themselves to become the instructors and mentors of future generations of pilots flying more advanced versions of the fighter jet as they are developed and produced.

“As we build our cadre of instructors here, they’ll be able to look back at their experience flying the airplane and have credibility and a solid background that they can use to teach their students,” Hayden said."

Source: http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/t ... -f-35.aspx
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Unread post14 Feb 2016, 05:00

SIMULATED LIGHTNING [5 page PDF of article attached]
The capabilities of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 and the threats it may face in combat are so advanced that th only place to fully prepare pilots is on the ground
16 Feb 2016 JAMES DREW LUKE AFB

"...Not only does the F-35’s full-mission simulator provide greater fidelity than previous generations of fighter trainers, it also compensates for the fact it is too expensive to equip every test and training range with the full complement of threats it would be likely to go up against. The only places an F-35 can truly wreak havoc with every kinetic and non-kinetic tool in its beyond-visual-range arsenal will be in the virtual simulator – or in combat.

It is not just belt-tightening that has Lightning II pilots completing 45% to 55% of their initial qualification flights in the simulator – it is the next-generation fidelity and risk-free exposure to the full range of failures or threats, particularly on the electromagnetic spectrum.

Each simulator carries the most recent software load, or operational flight programme, so it can most accurately replicate the capabilities and handling qualities of the aircraft as it is concurrently developed, tested and fielded through various block upgrades.

The simulators arrive in groups of two or four, and will all eventually be plugged into the vast network of US and allied training simulators at air bases and training centres around the world, bringing F-35s into the same virtual environment as Lockheed F-16s, Boeing F-15s, C-17s and others.

According to one air force official, the “Holy Grail” of simulator training will come with the introduction of live, virtual and constructive networking between training devices and aircraft, with blue forces going against aggressors at every level for full-spectrum combat training....

'''Lockheed’s mission systems and training division has contracts for 87 full-mission simulators plus two options, out of 239 that will be required under the current programme plan. It also has orders for 31 maintenance trainers.

Lockheed will install full-mission simulators at every major F-35 operating location domestically and abroad, and seven sites have already been established across the USA....

...As of 19 January [2016], 24 simulators had been delivered to seven locations, with 63 more on contract through the ninth low-rate initial production lot. For Lightning II maintainer training, the company has delivered 13 aircraft systems maintenance and part-task trainers, with 18 more on order....

...It takes about a year to establish a training centre. For instance, Lockheed will begin installing simulators at Israel’s Nevatim air base in 2017 ahead of F-35I IOC later that year. In 2018, pilot and maintenance training systems will be installed in Japan, Norway, the UK and Australia.

“We’ll be installing the equipment in 2018, to start training activities in 2019,” says Luntz.

FULL-MISSION SIMULATION
To date, there are 251 qualified F-35 pilots, including 15 internationals. On the maintainer side, 2,445 personnel have been qualified to sustain and repair the aircraft, including 2,217 from the US military services and 228 from international forces. As an original programme partner, the UK has made the most headway, with four pilots and 135 maintainers trained and ready....

...“There is more training being done in the simulators than any other legacy aircraft,” says Luntz. “More than 50% of the initial qualification flights actually take place in the simulator.”

Former F-16 pilot and commander of the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke AFB, Brig Gen Scott Pleus, says there’s “nothing lost” by shifting from legacy “full-motion” simulators to the new “full-mission” simulator, except the jacks and hydraulic actuators. It allows for improved 360° visual displays that incorporate the helmet-mounted display and cueing system and distributed aperture system cameras that give the F-35 unparalleled spherical situational awareness.

“It’s by far the most accurate fighter simulator I’ve seen in my career,” says Pleus. “We will rely even more heavily on simulator usage on F-35 because of the level of classification the simulators can give. We
won’t have a lot of capability to do that in live-fly training....

...FOUR-SHIP TACTICS
When the F-35 goes to war, it won’t go alone. As explained by USAF vice chief of staff Gen David Goldfein in a recent televised interview:
“Unlike the [Lockheed] F-117, where I would close off the world, the F-35 opens up into the network. It’s a networked approach to how we do [the] warfare of the future.”


This joint approach to warfare is replicated in the simulators, starting with basic “fourship” F-35 training at the unit level, and scaling up as those simulators are connected to live and virtual training networks...."

Pilots Qualified: As of 4 January 2016
■ USAF: 147
■ USMC: 60
■ USN: 29
■ UK: 4
■ The Netherlands: 4
■ Australia: 3
■ Italy: 2
■ Norway: 2
Total: 251

Maintainers Qualified: As of 4 January 2016
■ USMC: 924
■ USAF: 852
■ USN: 441
■ UK: 135
■ The Netherlands: 52
■ Norway: 19
■ Italy: 16
■ Australia: 6
Total: 2,445


Source: Flight International Magazine 16-22 February 2016
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F-35 Sim Lightning Flight_International 16-22 Feb 2016 pp5.pdf
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Unread post27 Aug 2016, 19:34

Luke receives Air Force’s 100th F-35 on heels of IOC announcement, unit activation
27 Aug 2016 Tech. Sgt. Timothy Boyer, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

"LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFNS) -- The F-35 Lightning II program took another huge step forward Aug. 26 when the Air Force’s 100th F-35, designated AF-100, arrived here following the recent announcement of the fifth-generation jet fighter’s initial operational capability....

...Luke Air Force Base received its first F-35 in March 2014 and developed the training and tactics for the program. The fleet has since grown to more than 40 F-35s at the base, including those of partner nations such as Australia and Norway. The base also recently activated its third F-35 unit -- the 63rd Fighter Squadron.

“A lot of people put the blood, sweat and tears into making sure we could have an agreement with the community that would allow us to train and continue to produce the future of airpower,” Leonard said. “Standing up the third squadron marks the halfway point as we grow up to six squadrons. It also comes with the heritage of the 63rd, which is incredible, and to be able to see that take new form in the shape of a Lightning aircraft is phenomenal.”...

...With the reception of the 100th F-35, Luke AFB is quickly transitioning to the only active-duty Air Force F-35 training base, providing the world’s greatest F-35 fighter pilots to the new operational squadrons and eventually to combat...."

PHOTO: http://media.defense.gov/2016/Aug/26/20 ... 01-075.JPG (233Kb) "The Air Force’s 100th F-35 Lightning II lands at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Aug. 26, 2016. The aircraft, designated AF-100, marks a milestone for the F-35 program as it continues to grow, progress and support initial operational capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Marcy Copeland)"


Source: http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/t ... ation.aspx [quote]
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Unread post28 Aug 2016, 00:15

spazsinbad wrote:
Luke receives Air Force’s 100th F-35 on heels of IOC announcement, unit activation
27 Aug 2016 Tech. Sgt. Timothy Boyer, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

"LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFNS) -- The F-35 Lightning II program took another huge step forward Aug. 26 when the Air Force’s 100th F-35, designated AF-100, arrived here following the recent announcement of the fifth-generation jet fighter’s initial operational capability....

...Luke Air Force Base received its first F-35 in March 2014 and developed the training and tactics for the program. The fleet has since grown to more than 40 F-35s at the base, including those of partner nations such as Australia and Norway. The base also recently activated its third F-35 unit -- the 63rd Fighter Squadron....]


..F-35A Lightning II Completes First Trans-Atlantic Crossing -February 08, 2016
AL-1 will join the F-35 international pilot training fleet at Luke Air Force Base in May.

..F-35: Second Flight from Cameri to the USA -May 19, 2016
Two Italian Air Force F35A Lightning II have taken off today from Cameri Air Base. After a stop-over in Lajes (Azores) they will land at Luke AFB, Arizona ... (ps? anyone know what the a/c number of these two; AL-2/3??)
:)
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Unread post28 Aug 2016, 01:25

spazsinbad wrote:
Luke receives Air Force’s 100th F-35 on heels of IOC announcement, unit activation
27 Aug 2016 Tech. Sgt. Timothy Boyer, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

"LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFNS) -- The F-35 Lightning II program took another huge step forward Aug. 26 when the Air Force’s 100th F-35, designated AF-100, arrived here following the recent announcement of the fifth-generation jet fighter’s initial operational capability....


Oh yeah!? Does that account for AF-5? :lmao:
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Unread post29 Aug 2016, 05:52

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... uadron.png
62d_Fighter_Squadron.png
"The U.S. Air Force’s 100th F-35, designated AF-100, arrived at Luke Air Force Base Aug. 26 and will be assigned to the 62nd Fighter Squadron. U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Luther Mitchell Jr." http://alert5.com/wp-content/uploads/20 ... 0-0301.jpg
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Unread post06 Apr 2017, 02:29

SomeFink is rong in the telling of this tail I wrekon and it ain't da spelun.... mebbee it is just april foolishness....?
Luke AFB’s 10,000th F-35 Sortie
01 Apr 2017 Luke AFB, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

"Photo Caption: Lt. Col. Robert Miller, 62nd Fighter Squadron pilot, lands the 10,000th F-35 Lightning II training sortie at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz March 29, 2017. The 5,000th training sortie was flown in May 2015 marking more than 5,000 sorties flown in 10 months as Luke continues to build the future of air power. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Cook)" https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... __main.jpg (30Kb)

Source: https://www.f35.com/news/detail/luke-af ... -35-sortie
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Unread post06 Apr 2017, 06:18

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Unread post06 May 2017, 02:12

Top of this page first paragraph hints at NINE months duration for newbie newbies to F-35 training - so anyways....
What It’s Like Training Brand-New Air Force Pilots on the F-35A
04 May 2017 Oriana Pawlyk

"The Air Force is training its youngest pilots on its newest and most combat-capable aircraft: the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.

Six airmen, ranging from first to second lieutenants, are going through the F-35 “B-Course,” or the service’s basic flight class, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The only platform these pilots have known in their brief Air Force careers is the Lightning II.

“It’s helpful to have a new student with no previous background, so they’re a fresh plate, a brand-new sponge … ready to absorb all the tactics that we’re going to teach them because it’s the future,” said Capt. Ian Osterreicher, F-35 B-Course flight commander at the 61st Fighter Squadron.

“Our goal is to get them through the eight-month training course, combat ready so they can … go to an operational squadron,” Osterreicher said in a recent interview with Military.com....

...After a year of routine training, the new pilots arrived at Luke in December to begin basic systems, simulation and weapons training to familiarize themselves with the avionics. In February, the students took to the skies for the first time.

During the 141-day training course, the pilots will rack up 300 hours of academics; 46 simulator exercises, amounting to 80 hours; and 48 flights in the F-35, also roughly 80 hours, Osterreicher said....

...The 62nd Fighter Squadron, the 61st’s sister squadron, began training a six-person class this week, officials at Luke said. The 61st will get its next batch of airmen in September.

Within five years, the squadrons hope to produce about 60 pilots between them, Osterreicher said.

The last few weeks of training have focused on tactical air intercepts, combat maneuvering and dogfighting — “more into the challenging tactical intercepts while incorporating the mission systems,” he said.

Osterreicher said that there’s not a heavy emphasis on dogfighting, but if the F-35 were ever in that scenario, “we have to be able to give them the skill-set to survive.”

Toward the end of the course, pilots get into “beyond visual range” training — something they could also encounter in an anti-access aerial denial, or A2AD, environment.

“They’ll start working on air-to-ground support, air interdiction and suppression of enemy air defense, which is really the highlight of the course,” he said, including air-to-air training with F-16 Fighting Falcons.

After completing the course, the plan is for the pilots — so far there haven’t been any female students — to report to Hill AFB before another operational squadron is stood up.

One challenge, Osterreicher said, has been the students’ lack of previous experience on other aircraft, so they’re learning “as they go.” Still, it’s manageable. It’s been a step-by-step approach every day, he said.

“Still fly the F-35 safely, but execute the missions that we’re trying to do — that’s been the biggest challenge,” he said.

Safety concerns are the primary reason a pilot might be disqualified from the course, he said.

For example, if “they couldn’t take off or land properly, not safe — their landings were just too hard,” Osterreicher said. Or if a pilot repeatedly burst the “training bubble,” which mandates pilots cannot get within 1,000 feet of another training aircraft. “You’re getting too close to the instructor, so you’re breaking a training rule.”

The student pilots have until their August graduation to prove their worth...."

Source: https://www.defensetech.org/2017/05/04/ ... the-f-35a/
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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