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A U.S. Air Force weapons load crew assigned to the 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron loads a live AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM) 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)


Nomads fire first missiles

A U.S. Air Force weapons load crew assigned to the 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron loads a live AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM) into an F-35A January 31, 2017, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The 33 FW's crossover from the F-15 Eagle to the F-35A Lightning II required a different mindset and mission set for the wing; transitioning from combat to training. Instead of wielding the spear in war, they would sharpen it and prepare pilots for the operational Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Thompson/Released)

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Staff Sgt. Peter Thompson
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