LAS VEGAS -- The first combat-configured F-35 arrived at Nellis Air Force base Thursday morning. It was a big step forward for the Joint Strike Fighter program.
The fighter will be used to develop training procedures for future F-35 pilots and between the Air Force, the Marine Corps and the Navy -- the U.S. military will eventually purchase nearly 2,500 jets. Four of those F-35s will be delivered to the 57th wing, and eventually there will be 24 F-35s on base.
“It has certainly been a long journey to get here. This is a glimpse into the future,” said Major General Jay Silveria, Welfare Center Commander.
It's been eight years since the F-35 did its first test flight. Captain Brent Golden said they would use the jet to develop the weapons system training regimen for the Air Force's F-35 pilots.