There's a new bird in the sky at Mountain Home Air Force Base. The F-35 Lightning is the United States Air Force's latest fighter jet and they've landed in Mountain Home to train. Seven of the state-of-the-art fighter jets, along with close to a 100 personnel are at Mountain Home Air Force Base. The jets and the members of the 61st Fighter Squadron came from Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix Arizona. Air Force officials say the main objective of the training is to increase instructor pilots' skill in finding and destroying surface to air threats. Officials say Mountain Home Air Force Base provides them a great training opportunity thanks to their range complex.
"One of the bread-and-butter missions of the F-35 is to locate and destroy surface to air threats on the ground," said Lieutenant Colonel Michael Gette commander of the 61st Fighter Squadron. "The range up here is world-class for that type of environment so we’re able to come up and have some world-class training up at Mountain Home.
Officials say the F-35’s are currently not used by the Air Force in combat operations around the globe. Once this training is complete, they'll head back down to Luke Air Force Base to train the next generation of pilots. The training exercises are expected to end on September 24th.