It's official, folks. During last night's "Drop Night" at Columbus, some lucky brand new AF pilot walked up to the stage to see what their very first operational aircraft would be in their AF career, and got the surprise of their life when a picture of an F-35A was then shown on the screen. For the first time, the AF will now be taking pilots straight out of UPT (with a little side trip to Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals (IFF) first)! With the AF adding at least a squadron's worth of F-35As every year, then ramping up to 2 squadrons a year within the next 5 years, this lucky pilot will just the first of many yet to come. All you kids in college now, or about to enter college, looking at what you may get out of UPT in a few years? Well, if you get a fighter, the chances will be pretty good it will be an F-35. And aren't you the lucky ones!