Flight Global's newly minted Super Hornet combat crewman Dave Majumdar has collected some good photos of F-35 ops in relation to qualifying the Air National Guard's first instructor pilot.
What we all need to do though is question how the Air National Guard will survive.
USAF justifies its gutting of operational Air Guard units by stating that an active duty airman's ratio of deployment time to non-deployment time is 1 to 3. That ratio for the Guard is 1 to 5, although I wonder with high-demand units such as JSTARS. USAF states that with all the taskings of a smaller force (the continuing of an Operation: Deny Christmas mindset born in the 1990s) that it is cheaper to pay for active duty forces in the zero-sum funding game.
Those numbers could be in dispute when you consider how much it takes to train someone and retain that tribal knowledge. Guard flying units are efficient.
What is needed of course is to only use these limited forces for real and justified deployments and not fishing expeditions.
As we try and field the Thunderchief III, it will gobble up even more funds best used for something else.
Organisational force-structure suicide continues.