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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. David Panzer, 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew chief, secures a live AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM)  onto a weapons jammer before loading it into an F-35A January 31, 2017, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The 33rd Fighter Wing loaded and shot the first air-to-air missiles from an F-35A during a weapons system evaluation that took place at Tyndall Air Force Base later the same day. Carrying air-to-air missiles makes the F-35 a more versatile option for combatant commanders by securing the aircrafts survivability, in turn increasing likeliness of mission success.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Thompson)
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A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lighting II, F-16C Fighting Falcon and a U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet fly in formation during Exercise Northern Lighting Aug. 31, 2016. Northern Lightning is a tactical-level, joint training exercise that emphasizes fifth and fourth generation assets engaged in a contested, degraded environment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. DeAndre Curtiss)
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A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lighting II, F-16C Fighting Falcon and a U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet fly in formation during Exercise Northern Lighting Aug. 31, 2016. Northern Lightning is a tactical-level, joint training exercise that emphasizes fifth and fourth generation assets engaged in a contested, degraded environment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. DeAndre Curtiss)
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An instructor pilot with the 96th Flying Training Squadron, left, speaks with a student pilot about the F-35 Lightning II at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, May 1, 2015. As team XL seeks to graduate the world’s best pilots, this experience provided the next-generation of warfighter’s an opportunity to view the aircraft up-close and personal, receive briefings from the pilots and maintenance professionals and learn about its important role in the Air Force mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Steven R. Doty)
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Danny Williams, 47th Student Squadron Simulator instructor, captures images of the F-35 Lightning II sits at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, May 1, 2015. The two F-35’s are based out of the 61st Fighter Squadron, nicknamed “Top Dogs”, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Steven R. Doty)
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An F-35 Lightning II sits on the flightline at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, May 1, 2015. The F-35 is a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Steven R. Doty)
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Staff Sgt. Robert James Jr., 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit dedicated crew chief, provides insight on the F-35 Lightning II at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, May 1, 2015. James is one of more than 1,000 specially trained F-35 maintainers trained with simulators like the weapons loading trainer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida Integrated Training Center. The simulators provide realistic maintenance training without taking the aircraft off the flight line. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Steven R. Doty)
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Laughlin Air Force Base student pilot graduates, Class 15-08, and their families tour two F-35 Lightning II jets on May 1, 2015. Luke currently has 22 of the scheduled 144 F-35’s on the flightline with 20 U.S. jets and two from the Royal Australian Air Force. A total of 11 countries will send representatives to Luke Air Force Base’s F-35 program, and in June, Luke will stand up the 62nd Fighter Squadron to begin flying in September. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Steven R. Doty)
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Col. Brian Hastings, 47th Flying Training Wing commander, left, speaks with Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, May 1, 2015. The 56th FW is the largest fighter wing in the U.S. Air Force, graduating more than 300 F-16 pilots and 300 air control professionals annually, and will soon transition into the sole pilot training center for the F-35 Lightning II.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Steven R. Doty)
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Maj. William Andreotta, 56th Training Squadron assistant director of operations, talks with Airmen at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, May 1, 2015. Luke’s critical role in the F-35 Lightning II mission is focused on training and producing U.S. and international pilots for the U.S. Air Force’s initial operational capability in August of 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Steven R. Doty)
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