The US Air Force’s (USAF) Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) in Alaska has accepted the delivery of three new F-35A Lightning II jets.

The delivery has doubled the F-35A fleet at the AFB. The first two aircraft arrived in April and the third in May this year.

Pilots assigned to the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) delivered the jets. The organisation delivers new F-35 aircraft to customers worldwide.

Remaining 48 F-35A aircraft are scheduled to arrive by December next year.

Throughout the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, Eielson’s F-35A pilots will receive uninterrupted training with 18th Aggressor Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcons and F-22 Raptors of the 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

The delivery of the jets is currently on schedule.

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USAF 356th Fighter Squadron commander Lieutenant Colonel James Christensen said: “Using DCMA pilots to deliver these three jets freed up three of our personnel to work on F-35 squadron stand up and training preparation here at Eielson without having to worry about travelling to the lower 48 and the risks for Covid exposure.

“The JPARC provides unique opportunities for advanced training and tactics, integrating fifth-generation fighters and surface to air missile threats combined with the Air Force’s best adversary replication.

“Alaska is poised to become a premier training range for the Pacific Air Forces, sister Department of Defense (DoD) services and international partners across the theatre.”

In a separate development, airmen from USAF Eielson AFB’s 354th Maintenance Squadron munitions flight built the first bombs for the 354th Fighter Wing’s F-35A Lighting IIs.