Navy Times has an important article today on the 33rd Operations Group, the F-35 training unit for pilots and maintainers. The headline says “F-35 pilot training on track”. Thanks to the data in the article, however, we know that’s not entirely accurate. The article says:
• Air Force: 58th Fighter Squadron stood up in October. Has seven officers and one enlisted airman. First F-35A expected to arrive this fall.
• Marine Corps: VMFA-501 stood up April 2. Has eight officers and 23 enlisted Marines. First F-35B expected to arrive spring 2011.
• Navy: VFA-101 stands up in October 2011. First pilots expected to arrive in early 2011. First F-35C expected to arrive in early 2012.
This means the first arrivals for the F-35A and F-35B are delayed six months, and only the F-35C remains on track, according to September 2008 program schedule shown below. (The slide comes from presentation to an economic development council in Florida.)