02/06/2015 Second Line of Defense attended the ceremony for the arrival of the first F-35A to the USAF Weapons School on January 15, 2015.
There are already 4 F-35As here with the test wing, but this is the first full up IOC template F-35A, which will be put through its paces as part of the preparation for next year’s entry into service of the airplane into the USAF operational fleet.
In other words, this is the next phase of the introduction of the F-35A into service.
The testing and training will continue but with an aircraft configured for the initial operational role of the aircraft within the USAF operational fleet.
And IOC for the F-35 has to be placed in the overall context of how the US services and allies are looking at the introduction of the F-35 into service.
The IOC of the F-35 is not simply about the introduction of a replacement aircraft but the next phase in the revolution of airpower and inextricably intertwined with doing air combat differently.
For an interview with the head of the USAF Warfare Center, Major General Silveria, and the first general officer to operate the F-35 see the following:
Credit Video: DoD News, 1/20/15