Australia’s first Commanding Officer (CO) of the F-35A, Wing Commander Darren Clare has had his first opportunity to see the F-35A up close at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) in the United Kingdom.
WGCDR Clare is currently posted to the United Kingdom to complete the Advanced Command and Staff Course, and said he is looking forward to commencing his appointment as Commanding Officer of Number 3 Squadron in 2017.
“I am incredibly proud and humbled to be selected to lead Number 3 Squadron when it receives our first F-35A into Australian service.
“It’s a big responsibility, but one that I’m excited to have. The F-35A will provide Australia with some amazing opportunities to build a fifth generation Air Force,” WGCDR Clare said.
The Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies, AO, CSC said WGCDR Clare will have a significant role.
“The aircraft will bring a new capability to the Royal Australian Air Force, and Darren will have a lot of responsibility to develop the tactics, techniques and procedures for the F-35A to the Australian context, and ensure the F-35A is integrated into our fleet through Plan Jericho,” Air Marshal Davies said.
Australia’s first F-35A arrives at RAAF Base Williamtown (NSW) in 2018.