F-35B: three Navy pilots qualified "Limited Combat Ready" from the 32nd wing of Amendola

(To air Force)

The training process of three Navy pilot officers who achieved the "Limited Combat Ready" qualification on the weapon system was concluded in recent days at the Amendola air base, home of the 32nd wing of the Air Force. F-35B.

In support of the JSF program management (Joint Strike Fighter), given the aim of continuing the training process of the Navy, the two Armed Forces have implemented a synergy aimed at completing the training of Navy pilots who had previously started the basic module (ground school) at the US Marine Corps base of Beaufort, USA.

The Air Force has therefore taken on this complex requirement in favor of collaboration between Defense components, while ensuring the operational, training and exercise activities in which the personnel of the 32nd wing are engaged.

For the conduct of the qualification course, both the AM and the MM have dedicated a team of instructor pilots and technical staff coordinated by the training and standardization support center (CSAS) of the 32nd wing. During the course, the attending pilots participated in various flight activities and different types of missions, reaching the expected level of preparation for the use of the 5th generation aircraft in the short take-off and vertical landing version (Short Take Off and Vertical Landing – STOVL).

The collaboration between the two Armed Forces continues unabated, which as part of the standardization process of Techniques, Tactics and Procedures (TTPs), represents a precious opportunity to share the experience gained by the Air Force on the F-35 weapon system and which will continue with a new qualification course for two other MM pilots, already started a few weeks ago on the same basis Amendola. After obtaining the LCR (Limited Combat Readiness), training continues, as agreed, at the operational flight groups of the respective Armed Forces.

The 32nd wing is under the command of command of the Combat Forces (CFC) of Milan, whose assigned mission is to acquire and maintain the operational readiness of all air defense, attack and reconnaissance bodies, ensuring the operational efficiency of weapon systems, vehicles and materials, as well as the training of staff and the constant updating and optimization of operating procedures, in compliance with the guidelines of the Higher Authorities. The CFC reports to the air team command which is responsible for the training, preparation and operational readiness of its departments, so that they acquire and maintain the expected levels of operational readiness. After reaching the Initial Operational Capability (IOC), which took place in 2018, since 2019 the 32nd wing has participated in NATO operations of Air Policing outside national borders. Since February 2020 it has been the only unit on the European scene that jointly employs both the F-35A (CTOL) and the F-35B (STOVL), contributing to the Air Expeditionary of the Armed Forces. In addition to this, since January 2022 the 32nd wing, with the 5th generation aircraft, will also perform the NATO QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) service to defend the airspace of the Atlantic Coalition. Furthermore, using the MQ9-A Remotely Piloted Aircraft (APR). Predator B, the department carries out operations Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition & Reconnaissance (ISTAR), both national and coalition. Furthermore, with the MB-339 jets, the 32nd wing completes the training of APR pilots to maintain an adequate operational level on traditionally piloted aircraft.