The Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force, AM) hosted an international F-35 operations day at the 32° Stormo at Amendola Air Base on July 2. The AM flew with two British F-35Bs from No 617 Squadron in the morning, while in the second half of the day four F-35As and other aircraft of the Aeronautica Militare trained with four F-35As of the 421th Fighter Squadron of the USAF, currently deployed to Europe under a Theater Support Package (TSP). A full report by Giovanni Colla and Remo Guidi will appear in the September issue of Combat Aircraft.
The two No 617 Squadron aircraft were en route back to the UK after Exercise ‘Lightning Dawn’ at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. Upon arrival back in the UK, the British Lightnings have made use of the new Lightning operations areas on the southern side of RAF Marham. Being completed under ‘Project Anvil’, new facilities for No 617 Squadron include refurbished HASs [hardened aircraft shelters] and environmental shelters.