Deployment Ready Lightning?

Four F-35A Lightning IIs deployed to Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, on Monday to assess the strike fighter’s ability to operate away from home station, officials announced. The operational readiness assessment is part of the Air Force’s ongoing effort to judge the fifth generation fighter’s readiness for initial operational capability. “What we’re trying to do is exercise the deployment concepts and to learn from maintenance and learn from [operations],” reported Reuters, quoting Maj. Gen. Jay Silveria, commander of the US Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis AFB, Nev. The jets, from Nellis AFB, Nev., which are conducting the Air Force’s F-35A operational testing and evaluation effort, will conduct various operational scenarios over the Mountain Home Range Complex, in addition to testing the F-35 maintenance and logistics systems. The US Marine Corps hit F-3?5B IOC last July, and USAF is aiming to declare F-35A IOC at Hill AFB, Utah, in August.