HILL AIR FORCE BASE — The Air Force’s combat-coded F-35A Lightning IIs were on display for an international audience last week.
Active-duty and reserve Airmen from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings here flew the aircraft to the Abbotsford International Air Show in British Columbia, Canada, Aug. 12-14. The visit marked the first time combat-ready F-35As touched down in Canada.
The aircraft, manned by combat pilots and maintainers, was on static display for the entire show.
“We were excited to represent the men and women of Hill Air Force Base at an international air show,” said Lt. Col. George Watkins, 34th Fighter Squadron commander. “As a pilot I’ve been blown away by what this aircraft is capable of and air shows are a great opportunity to let people get a closer look, as well as meet and talk with some of our amazing Airmen.”
Hill’s F-35As were declared “combat ready” Aug 2. The aircraft is the latest addition to ACC’s fleet of deployable and fifth-generation aircraft. It provides air superiority, interdiction, suppression of enemy air defenses and close air support, as well as command and control functions through fused sensors, and will provide pilots with situational awareness of the battle space that will be more extensive than any single-seat platform in existence.