[Ed. – Not that there were photos and video and lots of reporting to highlight this event or anything.]
The Air Force’s F-35 operating base on Jan. 6 conducted a massive elephant walk, launching 52 jets in a row.
The Active Duty 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wings conducted the Combat Power Exercise to demonstrate “their ability to employ a large force of F-35As” and test the wing’s readiness for personnel accountability, aircraft generation, ground operations, flight operations, and combat capability, according to a Hill statement. The exercise had been planned for months, the base said.
Launching 52 jets simultaneously shows an improved readiness rate in the fleet, which had been lagging for years. As of October 2019, the Air Force’s F-35A fleet had a mission capable rate of 75 percent, up from the 66 percent rate in October 2018, Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, told lawmakers in the fall.