JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --
Gen. Mark Kelly, commander, Air Combat Command, signed a memorandum, Jan. 20, directing the stand-up of the F-22 Raptor Formal Training Unit at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
In June 2021, the U.S. Air Force signed a Record of Decision approving JBLE as the future home of the F-22 FTU after Hurricane Michael devastated Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, in 2018. Following the hurricane, Tyndall-assigned F-22s were temporarily relocated to Eglin AFB, Florida, where they continued to serve for the flying training portion of the FTU.
In preparation for their new mission, the 1st Fighter Wing at JBLE redesignated the 71st Fighter Training Squadron as the 71st Fighter Squadron in November 2022, and in January 2023, activated the 71st Fighter Generation Squadron. These two units will host the FTU. The phased transfer of F-22s assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing at Tyndall AFB will begin in March 2023 as F-22s depart Eglin AFB for their new home at JBLE.
As Tyndall AFB prepares for the arrival of the F-35A Lightning II mission, it will continue to provide the academic and simulator portions of the F-22 FTU mission until a new ground training facility is completed at JBLE. This is expected to occur no earlier than summer 2026.