AFP
F-16s and F-35As have started their integrated training

F-16s and F-35As have started their integrated training December 3, 2016

US air force has announced that The 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base has started integrated direct support training for the F-16 and F-35A since October. One of the two major training goals is to give F-35 and F-16 pilots experience in carrying out joint strike missions.

The integrated training comes as part of the next step in the development of F-35 training and tactics, and helps pilots become efficient in conducting futuristic mission sets and aerial combat scenarios involving both fourth and fifth-generation fighter jets.

“The F-35 has reached a point where we can do both our continuation and upgrade training to a level where integration will benefit both fourth- and fifth-generation pilots,” said Col. David Shoemaker, the 56th Fighter Wing vice commander. “We are now flying dedicated sorties every day to train in F-16 and F-35 integrated direct support.”

The integrated training accomplishes two major training goals, first in exposing F-35 pilots to air-to-air combat scenarios against fourth-generation aircraft capable of mimicking adversaries that pilots would realistically face on today’s battlefields, and second in providing F-35 and F-16 pilots with experience in carrying out joint strike missions.

“The difference in the way of thinking between flying a fourth-generation and a fifth-generation fighter is tremendous,” Shoemaker said. “The ability to get out there and see the capabilities of the fifth-generation F-35 versus a fourth-generation airframe, and then to teach fourth-generation pilots how to integrate the tactical and technological advances of the fifth generation, is a great opportunity for us.”

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