The US Air Force (USAF) 354th Fighter Wing (FW) has wrapped up the Arctic Fox 20-2 readiness exercise at Eielson Air Force Base (AFB), Alaska, US.

The five-day exercise was aimed at improving the capability of the wing to deploy the related cargo with a 12-ship F-35A Lightning II tasking.

As this process was new to Eielson AFB, 354th FW partnered with other F-35A bases to gain understanding.

This exercise marks a milestone for Eielson AFB in changing the mindset to combat-ready airmen.

The wing will apply lessons learnt from the exercise to ensure that the Eielson F-35A fleet is ready for deployment anytime.

USAF 354th Fighter Wing inspector general exercises and evaluation chief USAF master sergeant Chad Fleck said: “Arctic Fox is a readiness exercise to evaluate Eielson’s cargo deployment function (CDF) for an F-35A Lightning II operational deployment.

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“The exercise was developed to identify constraints in cargo buildup and what processes need to be added or changed in order to meet mission requirements associated with an F-35A tasking.”

Fleck stated that the exercise was based on the 354th Operations Group (OG), 354th Maintenance Group (MXG) and the 354th Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS).

The cargo was built by the 354th OG and MXG to adhere to the specific F-35A deployment needs.

Meanwhile, 354th LRS provided support to the groups by providing airflow and cargo timelines along with cargo inspection before it was loaded onto the aircraft.

Fleck added: “The wing has done table-top exercises discussing all aspects of deploying F-35s.

“This exercise put those discussions into action and evaluated each step of the CDF process. This iteration was a first of its kind at Eielson, with many individuals getting their first look at tackling this unique F-35 problem set.”

In May, USAF 354th Fighter Wing activated the 354th Range Squadron (RANS), which will manage 77,000 square miles of airspace.