Air National Guard Take Delivery of First F-35s

Lt. Col. Nathan Graber, a pilot assigned to the 134th Fighter Squadron, 158th Fighter Wing, Vermont Air National Guard, and Lt. Col. Anthony Marek, a pilot and commander of the 134th FS, land the first two F-35 Lightning IIs assigned to the 158th Fighter Wing at the Vermont Air National Guard Base, South Burlington, Vermont.

The 158th Fighter Wing is the first Air National Guard unit to receive the aircraft, and will be the second operational F-35 wing in the U.S. Air Force. The two F-35s with only four hours of flight time were the first of 20 aircraft the unit will receive in the following months.

Two F-35 Lightning II’s bank after receiving fuel over the Midwest Sept. 19, 2019. The two aircraft were in route to the 158th Fighter Wing out of the Vermont Air National Guard Base, South Burlington, Vt., the first Air National Guard unit to receive the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Ben Mota)

“This is among the most incredible days in my 31 years with the Vermont Air National Guard and I could not be more proud of our Airmen for their dedication and commitment to our great state and nation,” said Col. David Smith, 158th Fighter Wing commander. “I want to thank all of our service men and women past and present for their contributions to get us to this moment.”

The 434th Air Refueling Wing refueled the two F-35s over the Midwest Sept. 19, during their delivery to the 158th Fighter Wing out of the Vermont Air National Guard Base, South Burlington, Vermont.

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Chris Clarke
Chris Clarke
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