EGLIN AFB, Fla., 12 Feb. 2012. The BF-7, an F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) jet, arrived at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., following a 90-minute ferry flight piloted by U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Joseph Bachmann from Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base. The addition of the BF-7 makes Eglin AFB the home of the largest F-35 fleet in the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).
BF-7 joins two other STOVL jets; BF-6 and BF-8 were delivered to Eglin on 11 Jan. Six F-35A conventional takeoff and landing jets bring the base’s total to nine Lightning IIs--more than any other DOD base.
BF-7 will be used for pilot and maintainer training at the F-35 Integrated Training Center at Eglin. BF-7 is assigned to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing's Marine Fighter/Attack Training Squadron 501 with the host 33d Fighter Wing.