The first two F-35A Lightning II of the 158th Fighter Wing have arrived at Burlington Air National Guard Base.
On Sept. 19, 2019, the first two ANG F-35A aircraft have landed at Burlington ANGB, Vermont.
The two stealth jets, AF17-5265 and AF17-5266, are the first of 20 F-35A (included 2 reserve aircraft) that will be operated by the 158th Fighter Wing. Seven new F-35s will arrive in Vermont through 2019.
The “Green Mountain Boys” ceased their F-16C/D Block 30 operations on Apr. 6, 2019, after flying the “Viper” (as the aircraft is dubbed in the fighter pilots community) for 33 years. The first F-35A in 158th FW markings (AF17-5265) made its first flight from Lockheed Martin Ft. Worth facility, Texas, on Jul. 31, 2019.
“The arrival of the F-35 is a significant milestone for the Green Mountain Boys of the Vermont Air National Guard and state of Vermont. The incredible hard work and dedication from our Airmen and the support from our families and community have brought us to this very moment,” said Col. David Smith, 158th Fighter Wing commander in a public release. “The F-35 provides tremendous capability and secures our future for decades. We will continue to be ready to answer our state and nation’s call.”
“As the Air National Guard’s legacy aircraft age and threats advance, the F-35 is essential to maintaining air power now and for decades to come,” said Greg Ulmer, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of the F-35 program. “We are proud to partner with and build on the Guard’s rich legacy as we deliver the 5th Generation of air power to the Air National Guard. The men and women of the Guard deserve the most advanced technology – and with the F-35, they will always be a step ahead.”