Hill F-35s Deploy to France for ‘Atlantic Trident’

F-35s and Airmen from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, deployed to Europe this week to take part in multiple exercises, including a major France-led air exercise focused on integrating fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft.

The F-35s from the 4th Fighter Squadron touched down at Mont-de-Marsan Air Base, France, on May 10. The squadron is made up of Active-duty Airmen from the 388th Fighter Wing and Reservists from the 419th Fighter Wing. The base is hosting Atlantic Trident 21, which runs May 17-28, with participants from the U.S., France, and the United Kingdom.

This is the third iteration of the exercise, which will include “complex air operations in a contested multinational joint force environment,” according to a U.S. Air Forces in Europe release.

The last Atlantic Trident exercise took place in May 2017 and was hosted at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. That event included U.S. F-22s and F-35s along with Eurofighter Typhoons from the United Kingdom and French Rafales. The first exercise took place in 2015, also at Langley.

This is the 388th Fighter Wing’s third deployment to Europe. The 34th Fighter Squadron deployed to RAF Lakenheath, England, in April 2017, and the 421st Fighter Squadron deployed to Aviano Air Base, Italy, in May 2019, according to USAFE.