FRIDAY FOTO (October 22, 2020)

October 22, 2020 at 11:41 pm Leave a comment

Lightning Over Red Rock Country.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Alexander Cook. Click on image to enlarge)

Two U.S. Air Force and two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)  F-35A Lightning II strike fighters fly in formation over the red rock country of Sedona, Arizona. The October 8, 2020 commemoration flight celebrated the partnership between the two air forces in training fighter pilots at Luke Air Force Base. The flight marked the final sortie between the two nations before the Australian airmen return to RAAF Base Williamtown, Australia by December 2020.

“Most of the Australian pilots that have come through here at Luke have worked with the U.S. Air Force before in the Middle East,” said RAAF Major Christopher Baker, an instructor pilot and graduate of the F-35A pilot training program at Luke. “I don’t think you’d meet many RAAF or U.S. Air Force pilots that haven’t interacted with each other before in some capacity, either operationally or in an exercise somewhere,” he added.

The RAAF and U.S. Air Force student pilots complete the same nine-month undergraduate training course where pilots learn how to operate and employ the F-35. Australian and U.S. instructor pilots lead the training during courses, said U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Tom Hayes, commander of the 61st Fighter Squadron.

Luke AFB is named for Medal of Honor winner Frank Luke, a World War I U.S. Army Air Service fighter pilot known as the “Arizona Balloon Buster.

Below is a closeup photo of two F-35s, the near one American and the far one Australian (note the low visibility kangaroo roundel of the RAAF).

 

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Alexander Cook) Click on image to enlarge.

Entry filed under: Air and Missile Defense, Air Force, Aircraft, FRIDAY FOTO, National Security and Defense, Photos, Skills and Training, Technology, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: , , , , , , .

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