33rd FW maintain readiness at MacDill AFB

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Hiram Martinez
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Several F-35A Lightning II aircraft assigned to the 33rd Fighter Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, arrived at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, Feb. 10, 2023.

Due to fog delays impacting training during the spring at their home station, Airmen from the 33rd FW relocated to MacDill in order to continue their developmental training.

“Although having to move an entire wing is never easy,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Seth Freeman, an F-35 instructor pilot with the 58th Fighter Squadron from the 33rd FW. “It allows us to build unity amongst the Airmen when we go TDY, and even forces us to operate at a much faster rate in an unfamiliar air space.”

The 33rd FW pilots are conducting trainings involving basic fighter maneuvers, touch and go’s, hot pit refueling, and both ground and air refueling.

“Our facilities, fuel and Airmen are the benchmark for any DOD installation,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Adam Bingham, the 6th Air Refueling Wing commander. “Training with other units allows us to demonstrate our capabilities.”

Since the 33rd’s arrival, MacDill AFB has provided flightline support, ground and air refueling, maintenance, air traffic control and security forces support to help facilitate their operations while at the installation.

“MacDill has been awesome,” said Freeman. “The 6th ARW Airmen have been very accommodating, from airfield management to the KC-135 refuelings, they’ve provided these resources that allow us to continue to operate at a high tempo.”

The 33rd FW will continue conducting operations out of MacDill AFB for 3 weeks in order to maintain their readiness capabilities before heading back to Eglin AFB.

“Being able to expand our knowledge working with different aircraft, aircrew and maintainers ensures that we are prepared for any future potential conflicts,” said Bingham. “We look forward to continuing to train with other units from across the DOD to enhance and implement our capabilities anywhere, anytime at a moment’s notice.”