Home Air US F-35As go into alert for first time ever

US F-35As go into alert for first time ever

US Air Force photo of an F-35 Lightning II flying over the US Central Command area of responsibility, July 15, 2020.

The US Air Force’s 421st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron did something in early July which had never been done before by an F-35A Lightning II unit – go into alert status.

The squadron performed alert status exercises to provide the necessary data points to mission planners with the US Air Force Central Command Air Operations Center.

“This hasn’t been done before with F-35s and operational control or at ADAB with F-35s,” said Lt. Col. Stephen Redmond, 421st EFS commander. “It effectively adds another capability or tool in leadership’s toolkit for how to deter, defend, or respond to events in the region.”

The F-35A is an agile, versatile, high-performance, multirole fighter that combines stealth, sensor fusion and unprecedented situational awareness. It contains state-of-the-art tactical data links that provide the secure sharing of data among its flight members as well as other airborne, surface and ground-based platforms required to perform assigned missions.

Senior leadership applauded the efforts of the unit members in setting the pace.

“Our commitment to deterrence was proven during this exercise,” said Col. Kristen Thompson, 380th Expeditionary Operations Group commander. ”The F-35 was an integral part of a base-wide effort to further demonstrate our agility and our resolve. I am continually proud of the 421st EFS and their ability to set new standards and leverage our ability to project power.”

“Our hope is to be a valuable contributor to the stability of this region and be prepared to defend it if necessary,” said Redmond.