The US Air Force put the destructive power of nearly three dozen F-35 stealth fighters into the air in just 11 minutes

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cory D. PayneA formation of F-35 Lightning IIs from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings stationed at Hill Air Force Base perform aerial maneuvers during as part of a combat power exercise over Utah Test and Training Range, Nov. 19, 2018.

The ability to rapidly project power and force against any threat on a moment’s notice has long been a hallmark of American military might. Dozens of advanced stealth fighters carried on that tradition during a combat power exercise Monday.

During the exercise, the US Air Force put a lot of destructive power in the air very quickly, launching a total of 35 F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters in 11 minutes.

Check out these stunning photos of this show of force by dozens of F-35s.


F-35s from Hill Air Force Base’s 388th and 419th Fighter Wings participated in Monday’s exercise.

United States Air Force photo/Todd CromarMaintainers from the 388th Maintenance Group prepare an F-35A for its mission Nov. 19.

The milestone drill marks the first ever F-35 “Elephant Walk” combat power exercise, the purpose of which is to fly as many sorties as possible in a predetermined time period in preparation for a possible combat surge.

United States Air Force photo/Cynthia GriggsF-35A pilots from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wing prepare for takeoff as part of a combat power exercise at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

Source: The Drive


“The exercise aims to confirm their ability to quickly employ a large force of jets against air and ground targets, and demonstrate the readiness and lethality of the F-35 Lightning II,” the 388th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office said in a statement.

United States Air Force photo/Cynthia GriggsF-35A pilots from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wing prepare for takeoff as part of a combat power exercise at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

“We are ready to fight tonight, and exercising with multiple squadrons of F-35s can demonstrate our ability to defeat potential adversaries wherever they may arise,” Maj. Caleb Guthmann, the 34th Fighter Squadron assistant director of operations and the lead officer for the exercise, explained in a separate statement.

United States Air Force photo/Cynthia GriggsF-35A pilots from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wing prepare for takeoff as part of a combat power exercise at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

The Air Force revealed that on any given day, the F-35 wings at Hill Air Force Base fly 30-60 sorties.

United States Air Force photo/Todd CromarF-35A pilots from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wing taxi as they prepare for takeoff prior to a combat power exercise at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

Source: Business Insider


During Monday’s exercise, the Air Force launched around the same number of sorties, but in as little time as 20 seconds between take-offs.

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Justin FuchsPilots from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings taxi F-35As on the runway in preparation for a combat power exercise Nov. 19, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

The two F-35 fighter wings at Hill Air Force Base in Utah are the only combat-ready F-35 units in service for the Air Force.

United States Air Force photo/Todd CromarF-35A Lightning IIs from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wing fly by in formation as part of a combat power exercise at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

The F-35As have not yet participated in a combat mission.

United States Air Force photo/Todd CromarF-35A pilots from the 388th and 419th conducted a combat power exercise at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Nov. 19.

The first of the US fifth-generation stealth fighters to fly an actual combat mission was an F-35B that was deployed against the Taliban in Afghanistan in late September.

United States Air Force photo/Cynthia GriggsAn F-35A Lightning II from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wing fly by as part of a combat power exercise at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

Source: Business Insider


During development, the F-35 has faced numerous setbacks. The aircraft, recognised as the most expensive in military history, suffered its first crash in South Carolina the same week it completed its first combat mission.

United States Air Force photo/Cynthia GriggsF-35A Lightning IIs from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wing fly in close formation during the combat power exercise.

Source: Business Insider


The drill comes at a time when Department of Defence leadership is putting an increased emphasis on readiness.

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cory D. PayneA formation of F-35 Lightning IIs from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings stationed at Hill Air Force Base perform aerial maneuvers.

Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis has ordered the Air Force and Navy to achieve a minimum of 80 per cent mission capability rates for their F-35s, F-22s, F-16s, and F/A-18s by September 2019.

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew LeeA formation of 35 F-35A Lightning IIs, from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings fly over the Utah Test and Training Range as part of a combat power exercise on Nov. 19, 2018.

Source: Defence News


Hill Air Force Base is expected to house three F-35 squadrons by the end of next year.

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew LeeA formation of 35 F-35A Lightning IIs, from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings fly over the Utah Test and Training Range during the exercise.

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