Tonight, September 27, three new F-35 fighter jets landed in Norway. In total, the Air Force has now received 28 aircraft.
The planes took off from Fort Worth, Texas, yesterday afternoon Norwegian time, and landed late at night Norwegian time 18:40.
The Air Force has so far received 21 aircraft in Norway and 7 aircraft in the United States used for training. The Air Force is well underway with testing and training at Ørland Airport and training of personnel at Luke Air Force base.
The new commander of 332 Squadron, Lieutenant Colonel Tron Strand, received the planes, together with Air Wing Commander Colonel Øivind Gunnerud.
“It is always great to receive new aircraft. That we get more planes means that we get the opportunity to fly more in Norway and that we can continue the necessary increase in the number of people working with the weapons system - pilots, operational support personnel and technical personnel. We are already focusing on training towards full operational capability in 2025, and on the way there we have a number of sub-goals that require the supply of new aircraft to go as planned,” Strand said.
The F-35 will carry out operations with Norwegian and allied forces both on land, at sea and in the air. With its capabilities, the F-35 will help to carry out military operations faster, more efficiently and with greater security for its own forces. In the period up to 2025, the F-35 will focus on joint training and integration with both its own and allied forces. Last week, the F-35 deployed to Rygge airport, together with both air defense, F-16 and other forces on the ground. Such training scenarios are absolutely necessary to further develop the weapon system.
More milestones ahead
The F-35 is today part of the national emergency preparedness. In 2020, the F-35 completed its first operational mission in Iceland, Iceland Air Policing, as an integral part of NATO's airspace control. A similar assignment will be carried out in 2021. As early as 2022, the F-35 will take over the QRA contingency from Evenes when the F-16 aircraft are phased out.
The Air Force will continue the preparations and training towards full operational capability (FOC) in 2025.