Lockheed Martin has delivered the first Japanese F-35A Lightning II aircraft to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona as part of the foreign military sales program.
The arrival of the aircraft marked the start of the F-35A training program at the base, which will work to prepare pilots from partner countries such as Japan, Israel, South Korea, Australia and Canada, the Air Force said Tuesday.
“The arrival of Japan’s first F-35A marks another important milestone in the steadfast relationship between our two nations, and the beginning of training for an elite cadre of [Japan Air Self-Defense Force] fighter pilots and maintainers,” said Lt. Col. Sean Holahan, 944th Operations Group Detachment 2 commander.
Lt. Col. Joe Bemis, 944 OG Det. 2 executive officer and resource adviser, added the U.S. Air Force remodeled buildings, developed a specialized syllabus and arranged a team of professional pilots, maintainers and administration staff to support the project.