Robbin Laird's picture
Air power interoperability to international integration
Posted on Nov 06, 2015

Italian pilots fly an Australian F-35 from an American Base. Talk about "next generation". An unprecedented level of international integration is being brought to life by the F-35 program. Training jumps the concept of interoperability and jumps straight into integration.

In the Arizona skies above Luke Air Force Base, two Italian pilots completed their initial training flight in the F-35 on November 5, 2015. One of the planes was an Australian F-35, maintained by Aussies. This highlights the integration of the training and, in the words of one of the Italian pilots, is building new tactics from the ground up. Luke is where all the global F-35A pilots will be trained, while the F-35B pilots will receive their training at Beaufort USMC air station, where the Brits are currently training with the US Marine Corps. The Italians will arrive soon.

It is commonly asserted that the U.S. intends to fight in coalitions going forward; and the most fundamental building block for enhanced capabilities has been staring the combat community in the face – a global fleet.

An Italian fighter pilot at Luke AFB in Arizona has his first F-35 flight  on an Aussie F-35 jet with an American instructor.
As the Italian pilot commented: we are integrating from scratch.

Watch this video for interviews and viewpoints from those involved: