Italian Air Force’s 156th Squadron Reactivated At Luke AFB | Aviation

The 156° Gruppo (Squadron) at Luke AFB, Arizona, will be the F-35 OCU (Operational Conversion Unit) of the Italian Air Force.

On July 2, 2024, alongside the celebration of the first 1,000 flight hours achieved by the F-35A assigned to the 6th Wing, the 156th Squadron “Linci” (Italian for “Lynxes”) was reactivated at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

The primary mission of the squadron, which served as a fighter-bomber squadron with a focus on maritime attack and reconnaissance missions until it was temporarily deactivated at Ghedi Air Base in September 2016, will be to provide operational conversion to the aircrews assigned to the F-35A aircraft.

The Squadron will use the already existing facilities of the F-35’s Pilot Training Center located at Luke AFB.

The new lithography of the 156th Squadron in celebration of the Reopening (Image Credit: Reader’s submission)

In 2022, with the arrival of the first aircraft, the 6° Stormo became the second Italian Air Force Wing to operate the F-35A; the other one is the 32° Stormo, based at Amendola AB, whose child-unit, the 13° Gruppo (Squadron) has been operating with the 5th generation aircraft since 2016 and achieved IOC (Initial Operational Capability) in 2018.

The F-35 Pilot Training Course

Currently, the…


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