Six U.S. Air Force F-35As have arrived at Mountain Home AFB for the type’s first simulated deployment

First simulated deployment for the U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning IIs.

Taken on Feb. 8, 2016 the following pictures feature six F-35A Lightning IIs belonging to the 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron (TES) from Edwards Air Force Base, California, arriving at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, for the fifth generation aircraft’s first simulated deployment test, that is expected to last about a month.

Three key initial operational capability mission sets will be tested by the 31st TES : suppression of enemy air defenses, close air support and air interdiction.

F-35As deployment

This test is conducted to assess the deployment capability of an F-35A squadron and its outcome will set the benchmark capability for the Air Force to declare F-35A IOC (initial operational capability) scheduled for this fall.

Noteworthy Mountain Home AFB has been selected to host the simulated deployment because it can provide a secure environment with ranges to employ fourth-generation aircraft as well: in fact during their stay in Idaho the six F-35As will integrate with F-15E Strike Eagles belonging to the 366th Fighter Wing from Mountain Home Air Force Base and A-10 Thunderbolt IIs belonging to the 124th Fighter Wing from Gowen Field, Idaho.

Mountain Home F-35As

Image credit: Senior Airman Jeremy L. Mosier and Tech. Sgt. Samuel Morse / U.S. Air Force


  1. The $1.5 trillion price tag for one of the biggest failures in Pentagon history. $1.5 trillion is the cost of operating the air craft for 55 years, an amount that has been consistently increased as the program drags on. It’s the most expensive weapons system the Pentagon has ever commissioned. And as problems mount, there are growing concerns that the F-35 will never fly a combat mission.

    • You Pierre Spray followers are running out of munition against F-35 on a daily bases. First you said F-35B will never fly, then it got airborne and got IOC last year. Then you’ve said US Navy will never manage to fly F-35C of of it’s big carrier deck. You got slammed once more on that last year. Give it up trollers, you’re wasting your breath. Take a cue from this guy

    • haha, where do you get this stuff? Its flying, dropping bombs everyday. It costs less than a eurofighter and rafael, and slightly more than the F16 and F18 its replacing with a huge jump in capability.

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