Lightning All Norway

A Royal Norwegian Air Force pilot flew one of the service’s F-35 Lightning IIs this week at Luke AFB, Ariz., logging the first all-Norwegian training sortie. “The way Luke AFB and the 56th Fighter Wing have handled … the overall training of our pilots is extraordinary,” Royal Norwegian Air Force chief of staff Maj. Gen. Per-Egil Rygg, who observed the flight, said Dec. 14. “This partnership is very important to Norway, and I’m very proud today to have seen the first time a Norwegian F-35 has been flown by a Norwegian pilot,” he added in a release. Luke stood up a second F-35 squadron—the 62nd Fighter Squadron—responsible for training US, Italian, and Norwegian pilots, earlier this summer. Norway plans to purchase 52 F-35As, the first of which arrived at Luke to begin training in November, before domestic flying operations begin in 2017.