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

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