Eglin AFB selected for next USAF F-35 training squadron

13 May 2019 (Last Updated May 13th, 2019 10:13)

The US Air Force (USAF) has chosen Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida, as the preferred location for the next F-35 training squadron.

The US Air Force (USAF) has chosen Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida, as the preferred location for the next F-35 training squadron.

Eglin AFB served as the location of the F-35 initial joint training site that hosted F-35s belonging to the US Air Force, US Navy and US Marine Corps.

In 2014, the marine corps shifted its F-35Bs to a different location. The navy also announced that it will relocate its F-35Cs this year.

USAF secretary Heather Wilson said: “By basing the next F-35A training squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, we are taking advantage of existing facilities and training air space.”

The service expects that the additional F-35As will start arriving at the end of 2021. The new squadron is anticipated to achieve full operational capability by mid-2023.

USAF chief of staff general David Goldfein said: “The F-35 is a game-changer with its unprecedented combination of lethality, survivability and adaptability.

“F-22 Raptor formal training unit temporarily operating at Eglin AFB would be permanently moved to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.”

“Bringing this new training squadron to Eglin (AFB) allows us to expand fifth generation fighter training so we can dominate in any conflict.”

Basing the additional F-35 training unit at Eglin AFB is, however, subject to certain conditions.

The F-35 basing action is dependent on the completion of the necessary environmental analysis.

F-22 Raptor formal training unit temporarily operating at Eglin AFB would be permanently moved to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. The move is subject to the National Environmental Policy Act and other regulatory and planning processes.

In March, the USAF revealed that it is planning to move the F-22 training unit to JB Langley-Eustis.

Meanwhile, the US Air Force Research Laboratory started construction on a munitions research facility at the Eglin AFB.

The facility will be used to reinforce research on ammunition and potential troop capacities.