Dec. 4 (UPI) -- The 308th Fighter Squadron was stood up in a ceremony at Luke Air Force Base on Nov. 30th as part of a F-35 training unit for the Netherlands and Denmark.
Squadron operations will begin this month, according to the Air Force.
Luke is the primary training center for F-35 operators with the 308th being the fourth squadron to come online at the base.
"The 308th FS is the fourth F-35 squadron at Luke, but the most important part of this activation is that we will be with two partner nations," Lt. Col. Robert Miller, commander of the 308th FS, said in a press release. "In a few weeks, the Dutch will start their F-35 training followed by the Danes."
Denmark plans to acquire 27 of the F-35A conventional take-off stealth planes, with active service beginning in 2022. The Netherlands plans to purchase 37 of the planes, but is open to more to replace their F-16 fleet.
Denmark and the Netherlands are both partners in the Joint Strike Fighter program.The F-35A is the standard land-based model of the aircraft and has greater maneuverability then the B and C variants. The initial training program at Luke will last over two years, the Air Force said.
The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is a fifth generation multi-role stealth fighter, which will replace much of the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps current air superiority and attack planes. It will also be exported to approved allies across the world, with many participants already having received its first purchases of the fighter for testing.
The F-35 is expected to enter full service over the next several years with the U.S. and allied nations, with some squadrons already partly operational and forward deployed.