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

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

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Unread post15 Apr 2019, 23:52

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/
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marsavian

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Unread post15 Apr 2019, 23:58

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.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post16 Apr 2019, 00:06

psst, already posted......... :doh:

viewtopic.php?f=57&t=55303
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Unread post16 Apr 2019, 00:18

Not noticed at the time ( 6 minutes earlier).
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blindpilot

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Unread post16 Apr 2019, 00:30

Seems timely as the Raptors head home for some upgrades ...

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


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Unread post16 Apr 2019, 04:25

np, we've all done it.. multiple times :bang:
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Unread post30 Apr 2019, 21:23

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/
Last edited by SpudmanWP on 30 Apr 2019, 23:15, edited 1 time in total.
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talkitron

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Unread post30 Apr 2019, 22:54

Surprised it took the USAF so long, although the Israelis might have used the F-35A in combat (unclear) already.
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Unread post30 Apr 2019, 23:15

True, so I updated the post to specify USAF.
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Unread post01 May 2019, 04:19

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/
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Unread post01 May 2019, 06:02

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.
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Unread post01 May 2019, 10:52

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.
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Unread post01 May 2019, 15:24

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.. :)
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Unread post03 May 2019, 20:28

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.
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Unread post04 May 2019, 13:29

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..
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