A significant portion of the Dutch F-35s based in Liverton flew to the United States today for a few weeks. Eight of the thirteen aircraft are part of the Frisian Lightning III transfer exercise to the Edwards Air Force Base in California.
This exercise is the last major barrier to ‘initial operational efficiency’ (IOC), initial deployment capability. The aim is for the Dutch F-35s to reach this IOC status by the end of this year. Four aircraft are to be used for operation in other parts of the world for a short period of time. Last year, four F-35s had been training for some time from Volgograd, and were preparing for IOC status.
At the same time with the F-35s, the last KDC-10 departed for the United States. Not to participate in the training, but on the way to its new owner. As far as is known, the KDC-10 does not carry personnel and equipment from the Leoward 322 Regiment to the United States.
According to the US Air Force Eight F-35s will land at Burlington Airport (Vermont) on the US East Coast. The plane will then fly to Edwards, California on Wednesday.
We will be temporarily training with the F-35 from Edwards Airport to achieve Initial Operational Ability (IOC) status. This is our F-35 IOC final choice. Due to the enormous distance between the Netherlands and the United States, we need a stop to give the pilots much-needed rest. We are pleased that our NATO allies in Vermont want to receive us. In this way they support this important exercise, “said Lt. Col. Guido Scholes, commander of the 322nd Regiment.
“Coffee fanatic. Friendly zombie aficionado. Devoted pop culture practitioner. Evil travel advocate. Typical organizer.”