Active duty and Reserve Airmen here recently initiated certification training to load external pylons on F-35A Lightning IIs assigned to the 388th Fighter Wing. The removable pylons are used to secure external munitions under the aircraft’s wings, greatly enhancing its combat capability.
As a multi-role stealth fighter, the F-35A can be configured to suit a variety of missions. The jet is designed to carry up to 18,000 pounds of munitions on 11 internal and external weapons stations depending on mission requirements. Until now, maintainers and pilots have been training operationally here with internally-loaded munitions.