The first production model Lockheed Martin F-35C carrier variant flew its first sortie Thursday, 15 February, 2013. When it is delivered later this year, the aircraft will be assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron-101(VFA-101), which is stationed with the US Air Force’s 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Florida. Like the other units at the base, the USAF’s 58th Fighter Squadron and the US Marine Corps VMFAT-501, VFA-101 is a training unit or Fleet Replacement Squadron in naval parlance.
Meanwhile, the USAF is looking for a new communications gateway so that its fourth and fifth generation fighters can talk to each other electronically. Read that story here.