Lockheed Martin delivered the 36th and final F-35 strike fighter of the year on Dec. 22 to the Defense Department, according to a company release. The F-35C, known as CF-19, is the Marine Corps’ first carrier variant. It will be assigned to the Navy’s VA-101 Fighter Squadron at Eglin AFB, Fla., and will be used for pilot training, according to the release. “Meeting US and international aircraft delivery goals is a stepping stone,” said Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 program executive officer. “It’s a global undertaking to build and deliver F-35s. Thousands of men and women produced the 300,000 individual parts from 46 US states and 10 other countries to make these stealth fighters, and they should be proud of their accomplishment.” Of the 36 aircraft, 23 were USAF F-35As, four were Marine Corps F-35Bs, seven were Navy and Marine Corps F-35Cs, and two were F-35As for the Royal Australian Air Force, states the release.
Two Airmen endured -45 degree temperatures during an Arctic survival course in the far north, where national security experts worry the U.S. is underprepared to counter Russia or China.