First Air National Guard F-35s Arrive At the Vermont Air National Guard Base in Burlington

An F-35A flies over Burlington Air National Guard Base, Burlington, Vermont, on Sept. 19, 2019. (Image credit: LM)

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.”

According to Lockheed Martin, with the addition of the Vermont Air National Guard Base, F-35s are now operating from 19 bases worldwide. More than 425 F-35s have been delivered and more than 890 pilots and 8,230 maintainers have been trained. Eight countries have F-35s operating from a base on their home soil and seven services have declared Initial Operating Capability. (Image credit: LM)

“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.”

The two F-35As after their arrival at Burlington ANGB. (Image credit: LM).

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.