33rd Fighter Wing
Published February 13, 2017
The 33rd Fighter Wing “Nomads,” a graduate flying and maintenance training wing for the F-35 Lightning II, is organized under 19th Air Force, Air Education and Training Command. It is a tenant unit on Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, an Air Force Materiel Command base. The wing also has two geographically separated organizations at Tyndall Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field, Florida.
The mission of the 33rd Fighter Wing is to train and graduate outstanding professionals.
The vision of the 33rd FW is to build the world's best communities: F-35, Air Battle Management and Intel.
Personnel and Resources
The 33rd FW mission is accomplished by 944 assigned U.S. military, government civilian, and contract personnel. Annual student training yields on average 15 F-35 pilots, 150 F-35 A/B/C maintainers, 180 intelligence personnel in support of Air Force Special Operations Forces, 12 intelligence personnel in support of F-35 operations and 82 air battle managers in support of Air Force operations. The first F-35A aircraft in support of U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine pilot training arrived on July 14, 2011. The wing is authorized 59 F-35A, B and Cs models. The F-35A is a conventional takeoff and landing, low-observable, multi-role fighter aircraft equipped with fifth generation sensors that provide it unparalleled situational awareness making this weapons system optimized to sustain air superiority and execute air interdiction and close air support in as part of the DoD fleet. The F-35C is a carrier capable low-observable, multi-role fighter aircraft designed to provide unmatched airborne power projection from the sea. The C-model bears structural differences from A and B variants necessitated by carrier operations, such as larger wheels and a bigger tail hook.
The 33rd FW operates five squadrons aligned under the operations and maintenance groups. In addition to these groups, the wing manages the F-35 Academic Training Center which manages the training systems, support centers, classrooms, simulators and ground training devices to support the F-35 pilot, intelligence and maintenance training for the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, and foreign nations.
33rd Operations Group
The 33rd Operations Group is comprised of the 58th Fighter Squadron, the 337th Air Control Squadron, and the 33rd Operations Support Squadron. The group is also responsible for the F-35 Intelligence Formal Training Unit at Eglin AFB and operates the Air Force Special Operations Forces IFTU at Hurlburt Field, Fla.
The 58th FS "Mighty Gorillas” instruct pilots on the F-35A. They plan and execute a training curriculum in support of U.S. Air Force training requirements.
The 337th ACS is a GSU stationed at Tyndall AFB, Fla., trains air battle managers for the U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. Additionally, its members provide command and control support for Tyndall's F-22 training mission and train international officers for tactical command and control operations.
The 33rd OSS "Jokers" provide wing-level operational intelligence training, weapons and tactics, aircrew flight equipment, training and scheduling support for the flying squadron.
33rd Maintenance Group
The mission of the 33rd Maintenance Group is to deliver safe, reliable and on-time aircraft to support F-35 pilot and maintainer training. The group oversees all aircraft maintenance, sortie generation, weapons loading operations and logistics integration for the 33rd FW.
The group consists of two squadrons, the 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and the 33rd Maintenance Squadron.
The 33rd AMXS "Dragons" provide safe and reliable on-equipment maintenance for 58th FS flying operations with crew chiefs, weapons, and specialist support.
The 33rd MXS "Wizards" provide both on- and off-equipment maintenance and oversight supporting F-35 flying operations for the assigned Air Force and Navy flying squadrons. Support is provided by the following flights to ensure continued aircraft availability: Accessories (Egress, Fuels); Aerospace Ground Equipment; Armament; Fabrication (low observable, non-destructive inspection metals technician), and Maintenance (wheel and tire).
Academic Training Center
The ATC is a government-owned, contractor-operated, 260,000-square-foot facility that provides academic and simulation training for F-35 pilots, intelligence personnel and maintainers. The ATC also hosts the Training System Support Center, the nerve center for F-35 configuration management and course materials (syllabi, aircraft training devices, etc.) for the U.S. and partner nations. Students receive interactive and self-paced lectures on modern, hands-on computer-based systems. They also hone their skills on a myriad of advanced training devices, such as the Full Mission Simulator, a 360-degree F-35 flight trainer, or the Weapons Load Trainer, a full-scale mock-up of the F-35 fuselage which maintenance students use to practice hands-on skills.
The F-35 ATC is home to other collocated units that participate in F-35 training.
Strike Fighter Squadron 101, known as VFA-101 "Grim Reapers", are authorized to operate 15 assigned F-35C aircraft, to plan and execute a training curriculum in support of Navy aviator training requirements. VFA-101 is assigned to Commander, Strike Fighter Wing, US Pacific Fleet, Naval Air Station Lemoore, California.
The 359th Training Squadron, is assigned to the 82nd Training Wing, Sheppard AFB, Texas. They conduct technical and military training for U.S. Air Force enlisted initial skills for F-35 crew chiefs, avionics, and armament AFSCs at Eglin and non-destructive inspection, aircraft structural maintenance, and low observable AFSCs at NAS Pensacola, Florida. The squadron also manages a joint-use $16.5M dormitory for Airmen, Marine, and Sailor pipeline students.
Field Training Detachment 19, 372nd TS, is also assigned to the 82nd TW and provides transition maintenance training to maintainers who are transitioning from other types of aircraft.
The Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Detachment Eglin AFB provides technical and maintenance training for U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy personnel slated for F-35B and F-35C units.