News Search

First Marine graduates Air Force’s only F-35 intelligence course

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Marleah Robertson
  • 33rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The first U.S. Marine Corps officer graduated the Air Force’s only F-35 Lightning II Intelligence Formal Training Unit course, June 24, on Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

The formal course combines fifth-generation fighter-specific and general intelligence academics applicable to the F-35 and the low observable global strike mission. Completion of the F-35 IFTU curriculum fulfills all initial qualification training requirements, and students are assigned basic qualification status.

U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Samuel Winsted, F-35B Lightning II intelligence officer, started his training at Eglin, May 18, 2015, learning the unique aspects of F-35 employment and intelligence support to the F-35 mission.

“It’s our job to help students understand what the F-35 can do and what it brings to the fight,” said Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Miskin, 33rd Operations Group F-35 IFTU instructor. “We have to change and modify our lessons so we can incorporate those changes program-wide as the F-35 program approaches initial operational capability.”

The Marine Corps will declare IOC with the F-35B, short take-off and vertical landing variant, this summer.

“Having Lt. Winsted here is significant because the Marine Corps doesn’t have a course equivalent to our F-35 IFTU course,” said Lt. Col. Bradley Turner, 33rd Operations Support Squadron commander. “It will absolutely increase their capability.”

Winsted will serve in a critical role assisting the Marine Corps’ F-35 program at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, as it becomes the first operational F-35B base.

“Now that I have my basic qualification status, I can provide the right information, scenario development and mission integration to the F-35B to the Marine aircrews at MCAS Yuma,” said Winsted.

The F-35 IFTU at Eglin provides reach-back support regarding intelligence support to other services’ F-35 squadrons.

“Hopefully, we will be able to teach more Navy and Marine intelligence analysts,” said Miskin. “That way, as a whole, we can all be on the same page as to what intelligence to provide and how they will support F-35 aircrew to complete the mission.”
Dress and Appearance
Awards and Decorations
Air Force Promotions
Fitness Program
AF Demographics