From Fighting to Training

On Oct. 1, the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla., formally embraced its new role as the lead joint training wing for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter as it transitioned from Air Combat Command to Air Education and Training Command. The wing has shed its F-15 force and expects to see its first F-35s in late summer 2010. “Today begins a new chapter for the Nomads under AETC; you will continue the air dominance legacy for the 33rd,” said Maj. Gen. Gregory Feest, commander of AETC’s 19th Air Force. Col. David Hlatky, who took command of the wing, said: “The F-35 will deliver precision munitions in ways and places no other aircraft can. A lot is riding on the success of this program. We’ve got to get it right and we will.” (Includes Team Eglin report by Leslie Brown and report by Ashley Wright; also see Northwest Florida News report)