This slideshow provides a view from the F-35 Integrated Training Center of a day in the life of this center.
The Joint Strike Fighter is born joint and the training and support approach is rooted in combing service culture with a new approach to joint training.
The slideshow has been provided by the 33rd Fighter Wing and provides a perspective of life inside the ITC difficult for outsiders to easily see.
Below the slideshow are slide notes for some but not all of the slides to provide further explanation of what the reader is seeing.
Once at work, a 33d Fighter Wing realizes they are part of a much bigger picture re comprising Team Eglin like the Navy EOD, 7th Special Forces and more.
The ITC shares the DoD’s largest military installation. You can see the ITC piece of the pie below. Over time that will grow as the command gets more aircraft and students.
Once entering the wing on the west side of the base you’ll notice the F-15 on display that has been on the leading edge for 30 years. Now, for the first time this year, you also see the F-35 on display. This one is located in front of the wing headquarters.
Also of note is the complete build up that has gone on over the last two and a half years…..
This fuel cell maintenance hangar was used in the 1960s for B-52s prior to the 33d FW. This is now being replaced by three F-35 aircraft bays.
Visualized is the academic training center building, which to give you perspective, is about 5 ½ football fields large. Above are the new AF, Navy and Marine Corps hangars, etc….
And all this build-up is to take care of the three new members of our 33d FW family….the F-35 A, B, and soon F-35C variants of the joint strike fighter……
The different colors represent the different states of construciton.Green refurbished/re utilized buildings. White new construction. Yellow expansion as ITC grows,
Nomad way divides the complex into two parts
Top of chart is flying side of business.
Bottom of chart is academic campus. 5 blocks. Walking distance.
The goal is to keep students local in a college campus environment. Dorms hold about 280 in two person rooms. The dining facility can feed 600 per meal.
If you are interested in the specs on these aircraft, you can go to www.F35.com
But the fifth generation marvels seen here would not be possible if it were not for the people. And at the 33d Fighter Wing, our creative, motivated and forward-leaning team is on the move and come together like one big family.
Three variants forming a common family of aircraft. Commonality between 70-85%.
Higlights of variants
F-35AConventional F-16 like. Internal Gun, 9g capable, boom refueling, 2K lb class weapons bays
F-35B STOVL with lift fan, 3 bearing swivel nozzle and roll posts, 7g, external gun, 1K lb class weapons bays, probe/drogue refueling
F-35C Carrier Larger wing and horizontal tail to enable slower landing speed at ship, 7.5g, ext gun, 2K lb class weapons bay, probe/drogue refueling
While we are busy launching jets (upper left), we are also staying light (lower left is in memory of a fighter pilot and every March is March mustache madness across the AF). And we exercise a lot to stay fit for the fight. Except when it is raining, and then the transport cart is a nice option.
Now with our Navy and Marine Corps members being without a ship and a port, they have managed to still transform their part of Eglin Air Force Base.
Here is the tail off a decommissioned Navy fighter jet that has been refurbished and put on display in front of the Navy’s VFA-101 F-35 C squadron.
Inside their building to include a bell off a ship….
And it is the same for the Marine Corps….
Here is their Marine aircraft tail and heritage wall.
And the Marines also come with pomp and formations.
Here are the members of the VMFAT-501 Marine Fighter Attack Squadron.
For the Air Force, there wing already looks Air Force, but of note is the Heritage of a memorial that was made possible from community members who together with Airmen and family donated funds for this memorial….
The is in memory of our 12 Nomads from the 33d Fighter Wing who were killed in Saudi Arabia in 1995 plus seven others from the Air Force.
And now for the first time, it is not just US service members. Today’s 33d Fighter Wing is also about our International Partners…..
In addition to the US, the partner nations include the: UK, Canada, etc…
The UK will have two pilots embedded in the Marine Corps F-35B unit.
They received their jet July 23 at Eglin AFB.
Here is one of the UK representatives showing off their F-35B Lightning II with the round emblem indicating this is a UK jet.
So with the team expanding, we will be gearing up for more students.
This is where the pipeline students will get their indoctrination briefings for the Academic Training Center, the big schoolhouse. They’ll progress through foundational computer-based instruction and then move on to life size trainers and virtual reality F-35 experiences….
Maintenance students can train inside without taking real jets off the flight line from being launched…
This is an ejection seat trainer for both maintainers and pilots….
Then after the school house they move to the flight line for hands on maintenance training and flying….
Here are maintainers under the sunshades on the flightline.
And all the while going through school, they are provided a campus feel….
With dormitories, wooded lots, exercise facilities, a running track and more….
And a dining facility all within walking distance…
So recently, to prepare for the pipeline students expected to arrive in 2014, we have been accomplishing events to continue to prepare…
Here is a list of accomplishments. The take-away is that the full time “cadre” staff are training the trainer as well as conducting maintenance training for students from places like Luke AFB, Arizona and YUMA Marine Air Station Arizona to help them stand up their units….
At the Marine Corps squadron at the 33d Fight Wing, our full-time cadre are training up instructor pilots.
Here is the UK maintenance lead imbedded in the Marine Corps squadron.
Meanwhile, the Navy team is also developing their training plans. Her pictured is their entire VFA-101 squadron.
And the Air Force 58 Fighter Squadron plus the aircraft maintainers led the way with the AF being the first service to receive jets and get the go-ahead train-up pilots.
The action takes place on the flightline.
Here are the immediate team members and the takeaway is we have Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Lockheed Martin contractors giving their all to launch America’s newest 5th –generation fighter…
Here’s the view we get over the lovely Emerald Coast.