First Danish F-35s land at Luke AFB
First Danish F-35s land at Luke AFB

First Royal Danish Air Force F-35A Lightning II Fighter Land at Luke Air Force Base

Royal Danish Air Force pilots delivered the first two RDAF F-35A Lightning II fighter jets to Luke Air Force Base, April 13, 2021, in preparation of pilot training. The aircraft, assigned to the 308th Fighter Squadron will eventually be joined by five other Danish F-35s for use in the F-35 training program. According to the U.S. State Department, as stalwart NATO allies, the United States and Denmark cooperate extensively to promote peace and stability internationally.

First Danish F-35s land at Luke AFB
Two Royal Danish Air Force F-35A Lightning II fighter jets assigned to the 308th Fighter Squadron soar, April 13, 2021, over Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dominic Tyler)

“Today is a historical day for the partnership of the U.S. and Denmark,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Matt “HAIL” Cisar, 308th FS commander. “We’ve been preparing for the first Danish jets for years. Now that they’re here, we’re excited to train our first Danish fighter pilots. We have to be able to operate together with different nations in the fifth generation Air Force. When we have to go in to fight war together, we find comfort knowing we’ve gone through training from the same place.”

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First Danish F-35s land at Luke AFB
A Royal Danish Air Force F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 308th Fighter Squadron lands, April 13, 2021, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dominic Tyler)

“It’s truly remarkable to come into a fighter squadron in which a U.S. pilot might fly a Danish jet alongside a Dutch pilot flying a U.S. jet,” said Lt. Col. Nick “KIN” Hansen. “It shows all the work that’s gone into the F-35 program, the partnerships and how much we rely on each other to get the mission done.”

First Danish F-35s land at Luke AFB
The Danish flag is represented on the tail of a Royal Danish Air Force F-35A Lightning II as the aircraft, assigned to the 308th Fighter Squadron, taxis on a runway April 13, 2021, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dominic Tyler)

Pilots from all around the world participate in the F-35 training program. Royal Danish Air Force Lt. Col. Nick “KIN” Hansen, 308th FS senior national representative, mentions the importance of building relationships between allied countries. Luke is currently training fighter pilots from many countries such as Italy, Netherlands, Norway, and Singapore. The F-35 training program is designed to integrate pilots, foreign and domestic, into a common set of tactics and advanced technologies enabling them to execute the mission as one unit.

First Danish F-35s land at Luke AFB
Royal Danish Air Force Lt. Col. Joseph “KOBI” Drummond, 308th Fighter Squadron chief of flight operations, taxis a RDAF F-35A Lightning II April 13, 2021, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dominic Tyler)
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