According to a Lockheed Martin Press release dated September 27, 2012, the 20th F-35 has been delivered to the training wing at Eglin AFB.
The 20th F-35 Lightning II was delivered today to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., to support F-35 pilot and maintainer training taking place on the Emerald Coast. BF-15, piloted by U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Mike Roundtree, left Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base at 10:39 a.m. CDT en route for a 90 minute ferry flight to Eglin. The F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) jet is the fourteenth F-35 to ferry there this year. BF-15 is now assigned to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing’s Marine Fighter/Attack Training Squadron 501 with the host 33d Fighter Wing.
Given the USMC operational approach, it is also an operational aircraft, not a test aircraft.
We interviewed the pilot during our visit to Eglin AFB when Roundtree flew the 199th sortie of the F-35 at Eglin.
For an update on progress at the Training Center see the discussion with Col. Tomassetti.