VMFA-314 1st USMC F-35C & F-35C Wing CMDR 1st Deployment USN

F-35 unit & base selection, delivery, activation
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spazsinbad

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Unread post02 Mar 2019, 01:07

F-35C Wing Commander Focused on First Deployment, Transitioning First Marine Corps Squadron
01 Mar 2019 Megan Eckstein

"The Navy’s Joint Strike Fighter Wing commodore is focused on getting the first operational F-35C carrier-variant squadron ready for its first deployment and figuring out how to incorporate its fifth-generation capabilities into the rest of a carrier air wing.

With the F-35 C declared operationally ready yesterday, wing commodore Capt. Max McCoy told reporters today that “looking forward, there’s still a lot of work for us to do, but we are squarely focused on now taking everything that we’ve learned and driving towards first deployment and making sure (Strike Fighter Squadron) 147 has everything they need to be successful on that deployment, as well as getting ready for our second squadron to transition, which will be a Marine squadron, (Marine Fighter Attack Squadron) VMFA-314, starting here in the very near future.”

McCoy said VFA-147 is still operating as a standalone squadron and will continue to train its maintainers and get its pilots re-qualified – none of their previous F/A-18 Hornet or Super Hornet qualifications transfer over to the new plane, and so each pilot will have to requalify to meet every requirement ahead of the squadron moving on to air wing operations ahead of its first deployment. VFA-147 is expected to deploy aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) in 2021.

The JSF Wing, the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center at Naval Air Station Fallon, the Commander of Naval Air Forces and other stakeholders are still working to understand what an integrated air wing looks like, but McCoy said he would ensure that the F-35C’s stealth, sensing, data-sharing and other high-end capabilities would not be lost when the squadron integrates with a carrier air wing and a carrier strike group....

...McCoy said VMFA-314 would follow mostly the same transition process as VFA-147 did: the pilots will train with the fleet replacement squadron in NAS Lemoore in California, and the maintainers will conduct some training at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida and some training in Lemoore. However, instead of McCoy being the one to certify the squadron as “safe for flight” – or ready to operate independently of the fleet replacement squadron – the Marine Aircraft Group 11 commander will be the one to certify them. VMFA-314 will then operate out of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California instead of from NAS Lemoore, like all the Navy’s F-35C squadrons will.

The commodore added that the Navy has a transition plan for future squadrons, but since those plans were still subject to change he declined to say which squadrons were next set for transition to the F-35C after VMFA-314."

Source: https://news.usni.org/2019/03/01/f-35c- ... s-squadron
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Unread post25 Jun 2019, 23:40

First Marine F-35C Squadron Retires its Hornets
24 Jun 2019 Richard R. Burgess

"ARLINGTON, Va. — The Marine Corps’ first operational squadron to fly the F-35C carrier-capable version of the Lightning II joint strike fighter has retired its last F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter.

In ceremonies held June 21 at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 (VMFA-314) retired its last Hornet, an F/A-18A++ version. The Black Knights, as the squadron is known, are now in transition to the F-35C at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, under the tutelage of the Navy’s F-35C replacement training squadron, VFA-125.

The Marine Corps flies both the short-takeoff/vertical landing F-35B version and the F-35C aircraft carrier version. The Corps currently fields three operational F-35B squadrons, VMFA-121, -211, and -122.

The Corps is procuring 67 F-35Cs to equip squadrons that will deploy with Navy carrier air wings. In recent years the Corps has assigned two VMFA F/A-18 squadrons to deploy with carrier air wings."

Photo: "The first Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314 “Black Knights” F-35C aircraft from Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore flies in formation over the Sierra Nevada mountains with a VFMA-314 squadron F/A-18A++. U.S. Navy/Lt. Cmdr. Darin Russell" https://seapowermagazine.org/wp-content ... 24x683.jpg


Source: https://seapowermagazine.org/first-mari ... s-hornets/
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weasel1962

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Unread post27 Jun 2019, 02:09

Interesting to note that in prior aviation plans, 314 was stated to go with CVW-11 which is embarked on Roosevelt but that was not repeated in the 2019 plan. VFA-147 is earmarked for CVW-2 which is embarked on the Carl Vinson. If 314 joins 147 in CVW-2, I'd suspect CVN-70 will rotate back to Yokosuka.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post27 Jun 2019, 02:20

weasel1962 wrote:Interesting to note that in prior aviation plans, 314 was stated to go with CVW-11 which is embarked on Roosevelt but that was not repeated in the 2019 plan. VFA-147 is earmarked for CVW-2 which is embarked on the Carl Vinson. If 314 joins 147 in CVW-2, I'd suspect CVN-70 will rotate back to Yokosuka.




I sure wish the USN would release a transition plan for the F-35C's. Like the USMC did with the F-35B's and F-35C's.... :?
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weasel1962

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Unread post03 Jul 2019, 02:30

Looking back at the literature provided by the DoD during the FY 2019 budget, the plan is to have 6 operational F-35Cs squadrons by 2024 (doesn't indicate whether this will include USMC but I'm assuming it does) which suggests ~1 sqn conversion a year and supported by the increased buy rates per budget particularly in FY 2020 (62 C funded from FY 2017 to FY 2020). In the longer term, the intent is to have 18 sqns in the 9 CVW by 2033 which would include the USMC i.e. remaining 12 C sqn will convert from 2025 to 2033 or roughly 3 sqn every 2 years.

The long term USN plan is an inventory of 820 fighters (original plan 560 F/A-18E/F + 260 F-35C (now 273)). The 600+ E/Fs will provide 32 sqns in 9 CVWs which will gradually drop to 18. The current F/A-18 buy will presumably replace the E/F Blk 1s of which there are 100+ in service. A further 160 EA-18Gs provide 15 sqns (9 sqn of 7 EA-18Gs, 5 expeditionary sqn of 6 EA-18G and 1 reserve sqn of 5 EA-18G, remaining BAI, attrition reserve).
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Unread post03 Jul 2019, 03:45

weasel1962 wrote:Looking back at the literature provided by the DoD during the FY 2019 budget, the plan is to have 6 operational F-35Cs squadrons by 2024 (doesn't indicate whether this will include USMC but I'm assuming it does) which suggests ~1 sqn conversion a year and supported by the increased buy rates per budget particularly in FY 2020 (62 C funded from FY 2017 to FY 2020). In the longer term, the intent is to have 18 sqns in the 9 CVW by 2033 which would include the USMC i.e. remaining 12 C sqn will convert from 2025 to 2033 or roughly 3 sqn every 2 years.

The long term USN plan is an inventory of 820 fighters (original plan 560 F/A-18E/F + 260 F-35C (now 273)). The 600+ E/Fs will provide 32 sqns in 9 CVWs which will gradually drop to 18. The current F/A-18 buy will presumably replace the E/F Blk 1s of which there are 100+ in service. A further 160 EA-18Gs provide 15 sqns (9 sqn of 7 EA-18Gs, 5 expeditionary sqn of 6 EA-18G and 1 reserve sqn of 5 EA-18G, remaining BAI, attrition reserve).


I was talking about the specific schedule for each squadron and their timeline. Nonetheless, thanks for the information. It was enlightening....
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