Combat Aircraft // July 25, 2016

As the US Air Force nears initial operational capability (IOC) with the F-35A between August and December 2016, in a press conference at the Royal International Air Tattoo on July 7, Gen Herbert ‘Hawk’ Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, told reporters he expected the milestone to occur at the ‘leading edge’ of that window.

‘It is doing spectacular’, said Carlisle of the F-35A. ‘Currently in the Air Force we are flying it at Eglin AFB, Florida, where we are doing training; at Luke AFB, Arizona we are spinning up rapidly with another training unit; we are flying test and evaluation out at Edwards AFB, California; we are doing test and evaluation and starting to spin up the initial curriculum at the Weapons School at Nellis AFB, Nevada; and of course our initial operational capability is going to be at Hill AFB, where the 34th FS ‘Rams’ are spinning up right now and currently have 12 to 14 jets at this point, and moving into what we hope is an IOC fairly quickly.’

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