07/14/2011 The first F-35A for the pilot training and maintenance training program arrived today at Eglin AFB. Our sources at Eglin indicate that this is a DD250 aircraft which means that, de facto, it is part of the operational USAF. The DD 250 shows Air Force ownership of aircraft. This aircraft represents the initial passage from the test to the operational community. The aircraft is now available to facilitate maintenance training and will soon be part of the pilot training process. When asked when the maintenance training would start, a senior officer commented: “It already has.”
A key point to understanding this situation is to focus on the ready infrastructure for training and jointness already established at the Eglin training facility. We have done two interviews with regard to the ready state of this infrastructure, an infrastructure which can rapidly accommodate the F-35s arriving this year within the curriculum. The plane is “training ready.” So Senator McCain why don’t you tweet this.
For a look at the training process planned at Eglin see