The 187th Fighter Wing showcases F-35A Lightning II heritage tail flash

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt Michael Luangkhot
  • 187th Fighter Wing

DANNELLY FIELD, Ala. -- The 187th Fighter Wing showcases the first ever heritage painted F-35A Lightning II in the United States Air Force honoring the Tuskegee Airmen, Red Tails at Dannelly Field, Ala., January 12, 2024.

The blackboard of the F-35 was painted to honor the Tuskegee Airmen, Red Tails. Back in WWII, The Tuskegee Airmen painted their tails red to distinguish from friend and foe. In 2007, the wing’s 160th Fighter Squadron was re-designated as the 100th Fighter Squadron so that the state of Alabama could continue to honor the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen.

“The Red Tail legacy is known across the entire Air Force. We do not want to forget and want to continue that legacy not only for our Airmen but for the entire Air Force,” said Maj. Brent Ivey, 187th Fighter Wing, maintenance squadron commander. “This tail is a reminder that through excellence we will overcome many obstacles regardless of gender, race or religion. We are all here for the same mission and that is to protect our Nation.”

On December 6, 2023, the first three F-35s arrived from Luke AFB, Ariz. The 187th Fighter Wing will receive another five aircraft as loans from other Air Force units during the next few months which will enable training for the entire maintenance and pilot force. The additional new-build aircraft deliveries from Lockheed Martin’s assembly line will begin later in 2024.