In a sign the Lightning II is progressing forward, U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Joseph Bachmann, pilot, VMFAT-501, completed the 33rd Fighter Wing's 200th combined Air Force A variant and Marine Corps B variant F-35 sortie at Eglin Air Force Base on Aug. 24, 2012.
Bachmann's flight comes 44 days after the wing accomplished its 100th F-35 sortie on July 11, 2012. The 33rd Fighter Wing completed sorties 101 to 200 in about a third of the time it took to complete flight one to 100. The first F-35 flight at Eglin AFB took place March 6 this year.
There are 19 joint strike fighters at Eglin as the fleet continues to grow and the team presses forward to train more instructor pilots and develop maintainer courses. The F-35 incorporates a wide range of new technologies for stealth, multi-mission capabilities, and sustainability.