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US Air Force F-35A makes first operational deployment to Pacific

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World Defense & Security News - United States
 
 
US Air Force F-35A makes first operational deployment to Pacific
 
Approximately 300 Airmen and 12 F-35A Lightning IIs from the US Air Force Hill AFB, Utah’s 34th Fighter Squadron are set to deploy to Kadena Air Base, Japan for a six month rotation. The aircraft and supporting personnel are scheduled to arrive at Kadena in early November, the Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs said on Oct. 23.
     
US Air Force F 35A makes first operational deployment to Pacific 640 001A U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II, from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, taxis for take-off at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Oct. 13, 2017
(Credi: U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman)
     
This marks U.S. Pacific Command’s first operational tasking for the F-35A and builds upon the U.S. Air Force fifth-generation stealth fighter’s successful debut in the Indo-Asia-Pacific at the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (ADEX) earlier this month.

The F-35A gives the joint warfighter unprecedented global precision attack capability against current and emerging threats while complementing our air superiority fleet,” said Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander. “The airframe is ideally suited to meet our command’s obligations, and we look forward to integrating it into our training and operations.

The F-35A is being deployed under U.S. PACOM’s theater security package (TSP) program, which has been in operation since 2004. This long-planned deployment is designed to demonstrate the continuing U.S. commitment to stability and security in the region.

While a first in-theater for the F-35A, the U.S. Marine Corps F-35B variant has been stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan since January, 2017.