The 33rd Fighter Wing is the leading training wing for F-35 student pilots at the base. Although the F-35 is the Pentagon's newest and most advanced aircraft, the oldest Joint Strike Fighters in the fleet reside at Eglin. The planes are part of Lockheed Martin's earliest low-rate initial production（LRIP）batches.
The F-35 mishap marks the second accident at Eglin in a week's time. An F-22 Raptor crashed last Friday morning during a routine training flight near Eglin. The pilot was able to eject safely and had been evaluated by the 96th Medical Group; the crash occurred roughly 12 miles northeast of Eglin on the test and training range. An investigation into that mishap is also ongoing.
Initial manufacturing phase with the ability to produce a small-quantity set of articles.
LRIP provides units for Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) and is also intended to prove out the production process.