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33rd Fighter Wing slated for F-35 training mission

  • Published
  • By 33rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
  • 33rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Air Force officials announced plans to assign the mission of training new Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and allied F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter pilots and maintainers to the 33rd Fighter Wing, Eglin AFB, Fla. 

Final planning for the move is dependent on the results of the ongoing environmental impact analysis process that is required by the National Environmental Policy Act and designed to identify and assess potential environmental impacts of the proposed action.
The first of the F-35s, a family of next generation, stealthy, multi-role fighter aircraft, should begin arriving by 2010. The wing will include Sailors, Marines, Airmen and allied military personnel and all three versions of the new fighter - conventional takeoff and landing, short takeoff and vertical landing and carrier variants. 

The Lightning II's advanced airframe, avionics, propulsion systems, stealth and firepower will make it an affordable, lethal, supportable and survivable aircraft for warfighters around the globe. 

The 33rd FW's F-15 Eagles will be redistributed throughout the Air Force to active duty and Air National Guard units, replacing older F-15s in the inventory. The final F-15 is slated for reassignment in the summer of fiscal year 2010. The wing also will transfer from Air Combat Command to Air Education and Training Command when it assumes the F-35 training mission. 

In the next few years, AETC will stand up a new wing structure for the F-35 training mission with approximately 2,200 people. It is unknown at this time how many people will transfer from one mission to another. 

The 33rd FW, whose mission is to "maintain the world's best rapidly deployable air control and air superiority forces for theater combatant commanders," is a combat-flying unit assigned to ACC's 9th Air Force and is a major tenant unit at Eglin AFB, Fla. 

For additional information on the new training mission, contact AETC Public Affairs at (210) 652-4400. For other questions regarding ACC or the 33rd FW, contact ACC Public Affairs at (757) 764-5007.