Air Force Launched 52 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in Massive Combat Power Exercise

Combat Exercise Twitter:@usairforce

The U.S. Air Force launched a continuous wave of 52 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in a massive combat power exercise at Hill Air Force Base in Utah on Monday.

The exercise was planned months in advance, although the number 52 coincided with President Trump’s tweet threatening to hit 52 sites in Iran — one for each of the 52 American hostages taken by Iran in 1979 — if Iran struck any American asset.

Trump tweeted:

Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!

Fox 13 News Utah’s Brian Schnee caught some of the F-35s taking off:

The F-35 is the U.S. military’s most advanced fighter aircraft to date. The Air Force flies the F-35A, which has conventional takeoff and landing. The Marine Corps flies the F-35B, which is capable of vertical take-off and landing, and the Navy flies the F-35C, which specializes in aircraft carrier operations.

The F-35A has a 35-mm GAU-22/A Gatling gun, and can carry two AIM-120C/D Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), and two 2,000-pound FBU-31 JDAM guided bombs.

The Air Force’s active duty 388th Fighter Wing tweeted Monday:

The 388th and Reserve @419fw conducted a Combat Power Exercise with 52 aircraft @HAFB, Utah, today. The exercise, which was planned for months, demonstrated their ability to employ a large force of F-35As. We are now at full warfighting capability ⚡⚡

The Air Force’s reserve 419th Fighter Wing, who also launched F-35s, tweeted: “[W]e pushed the boundaries and tested our Airmen’s ability to deploy @theF35 en masse. We’re ready to fly, fight, and win.”

The 388th Fighter Wing is active duty, and the 419th Fighter Wing is a reserve force.

Although the wings fly 30 to 60 sorties per day at Hill, during this exercise, they did about the same number of sorties but practiced taking off in rapid succession.

An official Air Force article said:

Launching aircraft from multiple squadrons simultaneously presents various challenges and allows the wings to evaluate the capabilities of maintenance professionals, as well as pilots and command and control teams.

The article said the exercise was not in response to any “current events.”


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