The Lockheed-Martin F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter fleet at Vermont Air National Guard Base, passed a significant milestone on May 6th when Maj. Michael Cady took to the sky for a training mission.
“Today, the Vermont Air National Guard flew our 500th sortie with the F-35 Lightning II. This is a huge achievement for our operations and maintenance groups, and a testament to the work ethic of the men and women of the #VTANG,” said in a statement on an official Vermont Air National Guard’s Facebook page. “Let’s get after the next 500!”
A pilot assigned to the 134th Fighter Squadron, flew the 500th sortie since the F-35 first arrived at Vermont.
“I’m just a pilot on any given day, flying an airplane. It just so happened that I ended up in the jet for the 500th sortie. That’s pretty cool, it’s special to be a part of not only this unit [but also] such a milestone as 500 sorties. I thought it was also cool that I had my dedicated crew chief Joe there with me launching out… It was cool to share that moment with him as well,” said Cady.
Maj. Michael Cady, chief of weapons and tactics for the 134th Fighter Squadron, Vermont Air National Guard, was piloted Tail 5278 fighter aircraft.
The first F-35 fighter jets arrived in Vermont in September 2019.
Currently, more than 490 aircraft, including 134 in 2019, have been delivered and are operating from 21 bases around the globe. More than 975 pilots and 8,585 maintainers have been trained and the F-35 fleet has surpassed more than 240,000 cumulative flight hours.