The Vermont Air National Guard, the air force militia of the State of Vermont, has received the next three F-35 Lightning II aircraft, which landed at the Vermont Air National Guard just after 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, Dec., 5, 2019.
These aircraft are part of the 20 total aircraft assigned to the Vermont Air National Guard, with the full complement arriving by summer 2020.
The aircraft departed Thursday morning from Fort Worth, Texas, and were flown by Vermont Air National Guard pilots assigned to the 134th Fighter Squadron.
“Today’s arrival is part of our scheduled plan to receive all the aircraft through 2020,” said Col. Adam Rice, vice commander, 158th Fighter Wing, Vermont Air National Guard. “I’m very proud that our team is ready and our pilots were able to fly these Vermont aircraft home.”
The Vermont Air National Guard is the first Air National Guard to receive the F-35 Lightning II.
The first F-35s assigned to the 158th Fighter Wing arrived at the Vermont Air National Guard Base on September 19th.
“Each aircraft arrival is another step towards finalizing the fielding process at the Vermont Air National Guard,” said Brig. Gen. Greg Knight, Vermont Adjutant General. “Our Airmen have performed remarkably to get to this point and I am, as always, impressed with their dedication towards their mission.”
On 19 October, the 158th Fighter Wing (158 FW), a unit of the Vermont Air National Guard, hosted a welcome ceremony to celebrate the arrival of the first F-35 Lightning II aircraft to the wing, South Burlington Air National Guard Base, Vt., Oct. 19, 2019.
As the first fighter wing to receive the F-35 Lighting II, Guard officials say Vermont is paving the way for stronger partnerships between the Air Force and the Air National Guard, ultimately better protecting the United States from adversaries.