EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., Nov. 5, 2012 – The Integrated Training Center (ITC) here completed its 500th combined local sortie for both the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) and F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft Friday.
Flight operations for the F-35 began on the Emerald Coast March 6. There are currently 22 F-35s at Eglin as the fleet continues to grow supporting the team as it trains instructor pilots and maintainers. The team accomplished the 500 sorties in 238 days cutting the time between each milestone sortie:
100th sortie - July 12 - accomplished in 123 days
200th sorie - Aug. 24 - accomplished in 44 days
300th sortie - Sept. 21 - accomplished in 28 days
400th sortie - Oct. 16 - accomplished in 25 days
500th sortie - Nov. 2 - accomplished in 16 days
(Lockheed Martin photos by Neal Chapman)