Tuesday, November 13, 2012

USAF set to complete flying portion of F-35 OUE

In case you're not familiar with the acronym, "OUE" means "operational utility evaluation" in mil-speak.

What does that mean to the F-35 program? The OUE, if favorable, will validate not only the aircraft but the USAF's training system for the aircraft:
If there are no problems with the weather or aircraft, the 33rd FW expects to complete the OUE by either Tuesday or Wednesday. Once the flying portion of the OUE is complete, the evaluators can begin writing their assessment of the F-35 system and the training pipeline at Eglin AFB. The resulting report will eventually be forwarded to Gen Edward Rice, commander of the USAF's Air Education and Training Command. 
If Rice is satisfied that the F-35 and the 33rd FW is ready to start training operations, he will give his formal assent.
 Once his "formal assent" is given, assuming it will be, the 33rd FW will begin training F-35 pilots in earnest.  And, then, as more F-35s are received by the USAF, it will begin standing up operational squadrons (remember, the USMC is already standing up an operational squadron at Yuma this month).

Again, another milestone in the F-35 program is nearing completion.


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