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First F-35 flies in Eglin airspace

DOD’s first F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter soars past the 33rd Fighter Wing flightline with two F-16 Fighting Falcon chase aircraft before landing at its new home at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., July 14.  Its pilot, Lt. Col. Eric Smith, of the 58th Fighter Squadron, is the first Air Force qualified JSF pilot.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Joely Santiago)

DOD’s first F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter soars past the 33rd Fighter Wing flightline with two F-16 Fighting Falcon chase aircraft before landing at its new home at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., July 14. Its pilot, Lt. Col. Eric Smith, of the 58th Fighter Squadron, is the first Air Force qualified JSF pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Joely Santiago)

DOD’s first F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter soars over Destin, Fla., before landing at its new home at Eglin Air Force Base, July 14.  Its pilot, Lt. Col. Eric Smith, of the 58th Fighter Squadron, is the first Air Force qualified JSF pilot.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Joely Santiago)

DOD’s first F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter soars over Destin, Fla., before landing at its new home at Eglin Air Force Base, July 14. Its pilot, Lt. Col. Eric Smith, of the 58th Fighter Squadron, is the first Air Force qualified JSF pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Joely Santiago)

DOD’s first F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter soars over the Northwest Florida airspace before landing at its new home at Eglin Air Force Base, July 14.  Its pilot, Lt. Col. Eric Smith, of the 58th Fighter Squadron, is the first Air Force qualified JSF pilot.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Joely Santiago)

DOD’s first F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter soars over the Northwest Florida airspace before landing at its new home at Eglin Air Force Base, July 14. Its pilot, Lt. Col. Eric Smith, of the 58th Fighter Squadron, is the first Air Force qualified JSF pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Joely Santiago)

DOD’s first F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter soars over Destin, Fla., with an F-16 Fighting Falcon before landing at its new home at Eglin Air Force Base, July 14.  Its pilot, Lt. Col. Eric Smith, of the 58th Fighter Squadron, is the first Air Force qualified JSF pilot.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Joely Santiago)

DOD’s first F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter soars over Destin, Fla., with an F-16 Fighting Falcon before landing at its new home at Eglin Air Force Base, July 14. Its pilot, Lt. Col. Eric Smith, of the 58th Fighter Squadron, is the first Air Force qualified JSF pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Joely Santiago)

DOD’s first F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter soars over the Northwest Florida airspace before landing at its new home at Eglin Air Force Base, July 14.  Its pilot, Lt. Col. Eric Smith, of the 58th Fighter Squadron, is the first Air Force qualified JSF pilot.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Joely Santiago)

DOD’s first F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter soars over the Northwest Florida airspace before landing at its new home at Eglin Air Force Base, July 14. Its pilot, Lt. Col. Eric Smith, of the 58th Fighter Squadron, is the first Air Force qualified JSF pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Joely Santiago)