First Operational F-35A Squadron Receives Final Aircraft

388th Fighter Wing // June 28, 2017

The 388th Fighter Wing accepted its 23rd and 24th combat-coded F-35A Lightning lls last week.

The June 21 addition means the 34th Fighter Squadron and 34th Aircraft Maintenance Unit have their full component of operational jets.

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“Gaining the 24th F-35A here is another outstanding milestone for the 388th and 419th wings,” said Col Jason Rueschhoff, 388th Operations Group commander. “This allows both operations and maintenance to fine-tune our tactics, techniques, and procedures with a focus on maximizing our combat lethality.”

This is a pivotal point for combat-capability development said Col. Michael Miles, 388th Maintenance Group commander.

"Having the full number of aircraft in one FS/AMU means we'll soon receive our full personnel and equipment,” Miles said. “This allows us to meet all potential combat taskings."

The 388th Fighter Wing received its first F-35A in Nov. 2015.

Since that time, the unit has been developing the best tactics, techniques and procedures – shaping how the F-35A operates in the Air Force, said Capt. Christina Merritt, 34th AMU officer in charge.