Students and instructor pilots in the F-35 Foreign Military Sales program completed their 100th sortie last week at Luke AFB, Ariz. Maj. Michael Hobson, assistant director of operations, flew the milestone mission for the 944th Operations Group Det. Two, which operates an F-35 foreign partner training mission at Luke. The first of three cohorts of Japan Air Self-Defense Force pilots began their training in December, with the first two pilots expected to complete the program in May. These two, a JASDF commander and director of operations, will establish an F-35 training program in Japan. “We have accomplished our 100th sortie with only three months of flight operations here at Luke AFB and I would like to celebrate this milestone with each and everyone here,” said JASDF Maj. Toru Tsuchiya, foreign liaison officer, according to a press release. “I’m honored to work with the elite US Air Force pilots and Lockheed Martin employees. I appreciate the outstanding support they have given us during this endeavor.”
The Air Force has picked Northrop Grumman over L3Harris and Lockheed Martin to develop and build the Stand-in Attack Weapon, meant to swiftly destroy enemy air defense sites and other high-value targets.