Monday, February 27, 2017

F-35 Won't Join ISIS Battle for Years, General Says |

F-35 Won't Join ISIS Battle for Years, General Says | The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will deploy to the Middle East for operations against Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria -- but not for a few more years, the head of Air Combat Command said Friday.

"The plan is a few years out. It's not going to happen this year," Air Force Gen. Herbert "Hawk" Carlisle told reporters during a breakfast in Washington, D.C.

The general's comments come days before Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is set to unveil his plan to speed up the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, at President Donald Trump's behest, perhaps with the assistance of more U.S. troops on the ground.

The Trump administration has been vocal about its goal to "obliterate" ISIS much more swiftly than the ongoing air campaign, which began in 2014, is accomplishing.

Trump -- calling the current momentum of defeating ISIS "a disaster" -- previously on the campaign trail vowed to the American public crushing the terrorist group would happen under his administration.

Depending on the new military plan, and Trump’s hope to ramp-up operations, the question remains when or even if the F-35 Lightning II would deploy to the Middle East for anti-ISIS operations.