F-35 program at Luke reaches milestone

- The F-35A Lightning program at Luke Air Force Base has reached a milstone.

Two F-35's from Luke successfully dropped laser guided bombs on the Barry M. Goldwater Range.

“Yesterday we were able to execute one of the primary missions of this multi-role fighter and successfully employ air to ground weapons,” said Lt. Col. Gregory Frana, 62nd Fighter Squadron commander.“

Maj. Matthew Strongin, 62nd Fighter Squadron weapons chief, was one of two pilots who employed the bombs.

Strongin says every pilot who trains on the F-35 will experience dropping a 500 pound bomb on the range before graduating.

“Two short years ago we hadn't flown a single F-35 sortie here,” Frana said. “Now we’ve flown more than 4,000 sorties, trained pilots from the U.S., Australia, Italy, and Norway and are executing training for the software that will provide the IOC for the U.S.”

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