The U.S. military’s new fifth-generation fighter and most-expensive weapon to date gave a flyover salute to the 2015 NFL Pro Bowl on Sunday — its first ever.
Four Lightning IIs from Luke Air Force Base’s 61st Fighter Squadron in Arizona performed the flyover above University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale during the national anthem. Videos of the flyover first spotted by The Aviationist were posted on YouTube Sunday by the 56th Fighter Wing’s public affairs office.
Pro Bowl players including Andy Dalton, Jordy Nelson, Odell Beckham Jr. and Calais Campbell visited with airmen from the base earlier in the week, and held a practice where military families had a chance to watch and grab autographs.
Its slated to be a big year for the Joint Strike Fighter, as the Marines’ F-35B STOVL (short takeoff and vertical landing) variant gears up to get combat-ready status in July — the first of the three models for the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps to do so in the program’s decade-plus development. (RELATED: Pentagon Disputes Claims That The F-35’s Gun, Sensors Won’t Be Ready For Deployment)