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F-35s From Italy, U.S. And The Netherlands Practice Collectively Throughout ‘Falcon Strike 2022’

Falcon Strike
An Italian Air Pressure F-35A of the 6° Stormo (Wing) takes off for the every day most important wave of the Train Falcon Strike 2022 at Amendola Air Base. (All images: Stefano D’Urso/The Aviationist)

The big-scale train focuses on fifth and fourth-generation integration, with F-35s flying each as Blue and Purple Air.

From November 15 to twenty-eight, 2022, F-35s from Italy, United States and the Netherlands are coaching collectively at Amendola Air Base, in southeastern Italy. The train, presently in full swing, is targeted on the mixing between fifth and fourth-generation plane and integration between totally different allied F-35 operators which, as you might already know, are two more and more recurring matters because the entry into service of the Lightning II.

Many of the Italian Air Pressure’s property are concerned within the train, every working from their residence bases because the reserved areas cowl a big chunk of the airspace over the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Ionian Sea.

A Royal Netherlands Air Pressure F-35A returns from a morning mission at Amendola Air Base.

Right here under is a listing of all of the confirmed property that are participating within the flight actions.

Blue Air:

  • ItAF F-35 (each A and B variants of the 32° Stormo and 6° Stormo);
  • RNLAF F-35A (322nd Squadron);
  • USAFE F-35A (495th Fighter Squadron “Valkyries”);
  • USAFE F-16CM (555th Fighter Squadron “Triple Nickel”);


  • ItAF E550 CAEW;
  • ItAF C-27J;
  • ItAF C-130J;
  • ItAF HH-101;
  • ItAF KC-767A;
  • USAFE KC-135;

Purple Air:

  • ItAF F-2000;
  • ItAF Twister IDS;
  • ItAF F-35 (each A and B variants, 32° Stormo solely);
  • Italian Navy F-35B;
  • ItAF MQ-9A;
  • ItAF HH-101;
  • ItAF HH-139.
A U.S. Air Pressure F-16CM goes round within the site visitors sample earlier than touchdown on the finish of a coaching mission.

As you’ll be able to see on this record, the F-35 shouldn’t be solely enjoying as a Blue Air asset, but additionally as Purple Air. Which means that the F-35 pilots are working towards on function with allied Fifth gen. plane and on counter adversary Fifth gen fight plane. The latter is an goal shared additionally by the higher recognized Purple Flag train, which built-in for the primary time adversary F-35 assigned to the sixty fifth Aggressor Squadron through the 22-3 version.

A U.S. Air Pressure 4-ship formation of F-35As executes the overhead break earlier than touchdown.

U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa is once more supporting the train, which this yr includes for the primary time the F-35s from the 495th Fighter Squadron “Valkyries”, the primary completely deployed fifth-generation property inside U.S. European Command’s space of duty, primarily based at RAF Lakenheath, UK, since December 2021. F-16s from the 555th Fighter Squadron “Triple Nickel” primarily based at Aviano AB are additionally deployed to Amendola, along with the US and Dutch F-35s.

“Falcon Strike 2022 gives our Airmen and Allies important alternatives to coach how we battle – collectively,” stated Gen. James Hecker, USAFE-AFAFRICA commander.  “Any alternative to coach and function as a coalition drive strengthens the Alliance as we face extra dynamic threats in extremely contested environments.”

A U.S. Air Pressure F-16CM pulls-up for a left closed site visitors after a coaching mission.

Through the train, the F-35 European Air Chiefs Assembly will even happen, bringing collectively fifth-generation European Fifth-gen operators to debate F-35 interoperability, alternatives, and challenges in a dynamic theater. Falcon Strike is, in actual fact, quickly changing into a reference level for this type of workouts, thanks additionally to the big areas accessible for the flight actions, that are among the many largest accredited throughout any train in Europe.

In line with some insiders, the USAF F-22 Raptor fighters presently deployed in Poland have been additionally anticipated to maneuver to Amendola and participate in train, nonetheless the deployment was cancelled. The F-22 are in actual fact deployed at Łask air base since August for the NATO Air Shielding mission. The USS George H.W. Bush plane provider, which is presently on station within the Adriatic Sea few miles from Amendola, can be not concerned within the train.

A U.S. Air Pressure F-35A takes off through the mass launch for the primary wave.

We had the possibility to attend the Spotters Day deliberate on November 17, the place we captured the images you’ll be able to see right here on this article. As throughout most workouts, the plane sometimes fly two waves every day. The morning wave is normally devoted to the person coaching wants of squadrons and pilots, whereas the primary wave is devoted to the train’s most important targets. Night time actions are additionally included all through the train.

A U.S. Air Pressure F-16CM takes off for a coaching mission.

Each skilled instructors and new pilots have been deployed to Amendola for Falcon Strike, maximizing the coaching return by sharing data and classes discovered between totally different air forces. This stage of cooperation is already a well-established observe, as Italian, US and Dutch pilots additionally practice collectively at Luke Air Pressure Base, the place the worldwide Formal Coaching Models are primarily based and pilots undergo their B-Programs and learn to fly the F-35.

An Italian Air Pressure F-35B of the 32° Stormo (Wing) returns to Amendola after flying as Purple Air throughout the primary wave.

Stefano D’Urso is a contract journalist and contributor to TheAviationist primarily based in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he is additionally finding out to realize a Grasp Diploma in Aerospace Engineering. Digital Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT methods utilized to the world of navy operations and present conflicts are amongst his areas of experience.



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