F-35As Visit Mountain Home to Test Readiness
Six F-35As arrived at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, Feb. 8, 2016, from
Edwards AFB, California, to begin an operational deployment test at a
nearby range complex. The test will help develop the concept of
operations as well as validate the aircraft's capability to deploy.
U.S. Air Force Photo
In order for the U.S. Air Force to declare initial operating capability
for the F-35A, the aircraft must be able to execute three key mission
sets: suppression and destruction of enemy air defense, air interdiction
missions, as well as conduct basic close air support - to include alert
launches. Each of these functions will be executed in a limited
capacity to measure the effectiveness of the weapons system in line with
the IOC progress. The deployment test is designed not only to identify
capabilities, but also any limitations the aircraft may have.