Pleus Inspires New Aviators, Displays F-35s

Air Education and Training Command // August 04, 2015

A 1990-1991 undergraduate pilot training student returned to Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, in an F-35A Lightning II July 23, 24 years after his graduation.

Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing Commander and Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 15-12 graduation speaker, displayed the new fighter aircraft to Team BLAZE members and the Air Force's newest aviators.

"Part of the reason I am here today, besides to be the graduation speaker Friday, is to show this aircraft off to the other lieutenants," Pleus said. "We are not too far away from lieutenants getting a chance to fly the F-35 coming right out of pilot training."

Pleus spoke on the F-35's capabilities and the Air Force's need for its modern technology. He said the aircraft is amazing when people realize that F-15s and F-16s were built at the time when the world had flip phones, and now it has smart phones.

"This is the kind of technology jump we have made since those fighters rolled off the assembly line 20 or 30 years ago," he said.

During his speech at graduation July 24, Pleus continued to give advice to pilots who are currently in pilot training who aspire to fly the F-35.

"What I would tell anyone getting ready to graduate pilot training right now, is to go ahead and go do whatever aircraft you are scheduled to go fly and do the best they can in it," Pleus said. "The F-35 is not going to be available for about a year and a half to lieutenants but once it is we are going to have a lot of opportunities for people to transfer to the F-35."

Read the full article from AETC Public Affairs.