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Eglin AFB prepares to train F-35 pilots, maintainers

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Staff Sgt. Andrew Fries, 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., opens the maintenance interface panel so he can connect his communication cord and headset to the aircraft to establish communication with the pilot as part of the return inspection after an F-35A sortie March 13. The F-35 completed about an hour and a half orientation and was the second sortie to date. Although the first F-35 launch March 7 was successful, it was cut short after 20 minutes because of a fluid leak. The F-35 Integrated Training Center at Eglin Air Force Base has an initial goal of two sorties a week, and plans to steadily increase. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Karen Roganov)

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