Green Mountain F-35 Lightnings

This year, Vermont’s 158th Fighter Wing made history as the first Air National Guard wing to be declared combat ready with the F-35A. Tom Kaminski outlines its history and fifth-generation transition

A pair of Vermont Air National Guard F-35s (17-5265/VT closest, and 18-5336/ VT) break in the skies of New England on April 2, 2021. Note the AN/AAQ-40 Electro-Optical Targeting System visible under the jet’s nose
Jim ‘Hazy’ Haseltine
Green Mountain Boys’: Pilots assigned to the VTANG’s 158th Fighter Wing walk to their jets at Burlington on April 8, 2020
USANG–Tech Sgt Ryan Campbell

In December 2013, the United States Air Force announced the final selection of the Vermont Air National Guard’s (VTANG) 158th Fighter Wing (FW) as the first reserve component unit to transition to Lockheed Martin’s fi fth-generation F-35A Lightning II – the most advanced and capable weapon system in its current order of battle. At the time, the wing’s 134th Fighter Squadron (FS) – nicknamed the ‘Yellow Scorpions’ – was operating the Block 30 variant of the Lockheed Martin F-16C Fighting Falcon as part of the 158th Operations Group (OG).

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below