F-35 Completes First European Training Deployment
Eight F-35A Lightning IIs from the 34th Fighter Squadron, along with supporting units and equipment from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, completed the first F-35A training deployment to Europe, May 7, 2017.
While at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, the squadron flew 76 sorties and tallied more than 154 flying hours alongside F-15s from the 48th Fighter Wing.
"This exercise provided our pilots with the opportunity to practice working together to solve complex tactical scenarios using integrated operations that optimized both the F-35 and F-15's capabilities,” said Lt. Col. Jason Zumwalt, the 493rd Fighter Squadron commander. “We found that by working together, we can achieve a higher level of performance than either aircraft can achieve alone."
During the training deployment, the aircraft forward deployed to Estonia and Bulgaria to maximize training opportunities, build partnerships with allied air forces and familiarize Airmen with Europe’s broad and diverse operating conditions.