WPMNews.com – For the first time, as many as 36 F-35 stealth fighter jets from the United States (US) conducted joint combat training at Hill Air Base (HAFB), Utah. Local media dubbed this rare maneuver as “walking elephants” when dozens of fighter jets appeared on the runway.
The unusual scene happened on Monday, November 19. The US Air Force said the deployment of dozens of the most expensive fighter jets was part of “combat strength training”.
The 36 American fifth generation fighters came from a contingent of 388th Fighter Wing and 419th Reserve contingent.
According to the US Air Force the planes shot in tandem at intervals of 20 to 40 seconds. The number of aircraft involved in this maneuver is almost the same as the amount sent from HAFB on normal days.
“We are ready to fight tonight, and training with many F-35 squadrons can show our ability to defeat potential enemies wherever they appear,” said Major Caleb Guthmann, assistant director of operations and training project officer from the 34th Combat Squadron, in a statement, quoted from CNN .
“During the training, the 388th Fighter Wing confirmed their ability to use large jet power against air and ground targets, showing the lethal readiness of the F-35 Lightning II,” the US Air Force said.
“The launch of the aircraft from several squadrons simultaneously presents various challenges and allows the 388th Fighter Wing to evaluate the capabilities of maintenance professionals, pilots, command and control teams,” continued the US Air Force.
In October, Defense Secretary James Mattis ordered 80 percent of all fighter jets, including the F-35 combat squadron, to be ready for the mission at any time in 2019.
The first US combat mission with the F-35 took place last month. At that time, the F-35 fighter jets from the Marine Corps launched an attack on the target of the militant group in Afghanistan. The planes on the mission shot off the USS Essex battleship.
Many NATO member countries have signed contracts to join the F-35 program. These countries include Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway.
The US Air Force alone has 156 F-35 aircraft. Then the Marine Corps has 61 aircraft units and the Navy has 28 aircraft.
The F-35 fighter jet, which is claimed to be designed to not be detected by enemy radar, has become a favorite of President Donald Trump. He praised the plane several times as an “invisible” plane. [dn]