Simulated Lightning

Four Full Mission Simulators are helping F-35 pilots at Hill AFB, Utah, develop tactics against ground and airborne threats in a secure and realistic environment, according to a Lockheed Martin release. “The F-35 is going to be an incredible advancement in our capability as an Air Force, and the Full Mission Simulators present an environment to adequately challenge our pilots as they prepare for combat,” said Lt. Col. George Watkins, commander of the 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill. The 34th FS—USAF’s first operational F-35A squadron—is slated to reach combat readiness in August 2016, states the release. A total of 143 Air Force pilots and 846 maintainers have qualified through the F-35 Training System, of which the simulators are a “centerpiece,” states the release. By August 2016, more than 190 USAF pilots and 1,000 maintainers are expected to be mission ready. “All the pieces of the technology puzzle are coming together to support the Air Force’s F-35 mission readiness,” said Mary Ann Horter, Lockheed’s vice president of F-35 sustainment support. “Airmen at Hill are launching the future of aviation, and our focus is supporting them with the most effective training and logistics technologies.”