F-35s have returned to Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, for two weeks of training in a deployed setting. The F-35s, assigned to the 61st Fighter Squadron at Luke AFB, Ariz., arrived at the Idaho base on Sept. 10 and will “practice identifying ground radar sites, which is a capability that Luke doesn’t have,” 366th Fighter Wing spokesman TSgt. Joe Woolston told Air Force Magazine. The aircraft will return to Luke on Sept. 24. Mountain Home was the site for the major deployment test for F-35s, when seven of the jets deployed from Hill AFB, Utah, to the Idaho base for two weeks in June to prove the aircraft can fight in a deployment setting.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.