Mountain Home AFB ideal training grounds for F-35 jets

F-35 training grounds in Mountain Home. (KBOI Photo)

Lieutenant Colonel Michael Gette's squadrons mission is simple—train the world’s best F-35 fighter pilots.

Gette’s squadron is visiting from Luke Air Force Base in Arizona to train in Mountain Homes ideal conditions.

"So one of the bread-and-butter missions of the F-35 is to locate and destroy threats on the ground,” Lt. Col. Gette said. “The range up here is world class for that type of environment so we are able to get some world class training up in Mountain Home."

The F-35 Lightning II went through some growing pains, but Gette says it is becoming the aircraft they had envisioned at the beginning.

The aircraft combines all the best tactics from past jets with new stealth technology, making it hard to find and shoot at. It has completely automated systems that make taking off, landing, and refueling easy.

"It’s got advanced autopilot systems that allow us to automate in the airspace which gives up a lot more time to see what's going on in the battle space,” Gette said.

Pilots say the newest generation of fighter jets is a thrill to fly and future trainees will be required to go to Mountain Home to receive advanced F-35 flying experience before they are sent to their combat squadron.