HomeNewsArticle Display

31st TES begins F-35 Initial Operational Test and Evaluation

An F-35 assigned to the 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron takes off from Edwards AFB, Calif. The 31st TES kicked off the DoD’s F-35 Initial Operational Test and Evaluation with a large force employment sortie Dec. 5. (Photo by Scott Wolfe)

An F-35 Lightning II assigned to the 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron takes off from Edwards AFB, Calif. The 31st TES kicked off the Defense Department’s F-35 Initial Operational Test and Evaluation with a large force employment sortie Dec. 5. (Photo by Scott Wolfe)

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- The 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron kicked off the Defense Department’s F-35 Lightning II Initial Operational Test and Evaluation with a large force employment sortie from Edwards AFB, California, Dec. 5.

“The sorties consisted of seven F-35s performing both offensive counter air, suppression of enemy air defenses and air attack operations. This marks an important milestone for the F-35 program,” said Lt. Col. Nicholas Ihde, 31st TES commander.

During the IOT&E phase, the 31st TES F-35 pilots will fly more than 30 missions designed to fully evaluate the complete air system as well as identify technical and operational areas for improvement.

“These unique flights place the aircraft in realistic combat conditions with our joint and coalition partners to determine the operational effectiveness and suitability for the warfighter,” Ihde said.

The 31st TES has 10 F-35 pilots, 145 maintainer’s and 11 engineers to bring the F-35 program through this phase. If they discover an issue they will work with the director of operational test and evaluation, Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office to address it before going out to the fleet.

“As the conduit between developmental test flights and combat missions it is our duty to ensure this aircraft fulfills the need of the warfighter, (major command), and the American public," Ihde said. "We must guarantee that we hand the Combat Air Force a product that has been tested with rigor and is ironed out. An advantage the 31st TES possesses is pilot experience. Most of the pilots have over 1,500 flight hours in various fighter aircraft and previous operational test backgrounds lending vast experiences fall back on and reference in order to make this jet the best it can be.”

The completion of F-35 IOT&E will aid the Navy in an initial operating capability decision and will help inform full rate production for the DoD in the future.

Engage

Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Secretary Kendall’s first message to @USAirForce #Airmen & @SpaceForceDoD #Guardians: “If there is one phrase that summa…
Twitter
Since 1973, the remains of more than 1,000 American service members killed in the Vietnam War have been identified… https://t.co/6ZrdLbl8dP
Twitter
Frank Kendall was sworn in as the 26th Secretary of the Air Force! As the department's highest-ranking civilian le… https://t.co/Fe5CXpdDlj
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Secretary Kendall has hit the ground running on his first day, meeting with Under Secretary Jones, Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. (@…
Twitter
Northern Strike, one of @DeptofDefense's largest reserve exercises, is preparing to launch. 5,100 participants from… https://t.co/VaRCeWFnb3
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: (1/2) The Secretary is in the building! The Honorable Frank Kendall arrived to the Pentagon this morning and was admini…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: After over six months in the role, A/SecAF Roth sent a farewell letter to #Airmen & #Guardians this evening: “I am in co…
Twitter
Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams at @TeamEglin, @TeamTyndall, and @HurlburtField, Florida, test a new X-Ray system… https://t.co/bombk9WqhD
Twitter
Gina Ortiz Jones was sworn in as the Under Secretary of the Air Force. The second highest-ranking civilian leader… https://t.co/9aMOfEDv6A
Twitter
RT @USAF_ACC: "The balance between capability and capacity is delicate. That’s why our new Fighter Roadmap outlines the way to do both. Th…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: USecAF Jones attended the unveiling ceremony at the Pentagon for the 2021 National POW/MIA Recognition Day poster. #YouA
Twitter
.@AF_Academy cadets completed the Basic Cadet Training assault course in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The six-week t… https://t.co/o4hTS4B1x8
Twitter
"We were chasing the sun. We actually saw the sunset for 8 hours." - Maj. Cassidy Helregel, 89th Airlift Squadron… https://t.co/QkxIMT8CDq
Twitter
The #DAFArticStrategy discussion happens today. Register for free: https://t.co/A1r9lOlW0y https://t.co/WTLtyEt8jX
Twitter
A new Tactical Air Control Party program is now combat ready. Using multi-channel communications equipment in Humve… https://t.co/ihY1nXf9X2
Twitter
RT @SecDef: As America’s 26th Secretary of the Air Force, Frank Kendall III’s decades of expertise and impact in service to our national se…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Mr. Frank Kendall has been confirmed by the Senate as the 26th Secretary of the Air Force! In this role, he will lead ho…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The Honorable Gina Ortiz Jones has arrived! “Serving as the Under Secretary of the Air Force is an absolute honor! I’m…
Twitter
A little #MondayMotivation from the 33rd Fighter Wing “Nomads,” @TeamEglin flight line ops-- are the graduate flyin… https://t.co/Ua0opwxkWH
Twitter
The 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron conducted a mobile training team engagement with the Jamaican Defense… https://t.co/mLoRIEZxu1
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,354,668
Follow Us