Marine Squadron [VMFA(AW)-225] Completes F/A-18 Phase-Out

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spazsinbad

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Unread post27 Jan 2020, 09:31

Marine Squadron [VMFA(AW)-225] Completes F/A-18 Phase-Out
24 Jan 2020 Richard R. Burgess

"ARLINGTON, Va. — The next U.S. Marine aircraft squadron scheduled for transition to the F-35 Lightning II strike fighter made its last flight in an F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter Jan. 23.

The flight by Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (All-Weather) 225 (VMFA(AW)-225), based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, completed the phase-out of its last F/A-18D Hornets, the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing said on its website.

The squadron is slated to begin transition to the F-35B, the short-takeoff/vertical landing version of the Lightning II. According to the fiscal 2019 Marine Corps Aviation Plan, VMFA(AW)-225 is scheduled to begin its transition to the F-35B in fiscal 2021.

Presumably the squadron designation will drop the (AW) suffix for transition. The squadron will follow VMFAs 121, 211 and 122 as the Corps’ fourth operational F-35B squadron. VMFA-225 will move to MCAS Yuma, Arizona, to join 211 and 122.

The Corps plans to stand up a second F-35B replacement training squadron, VMFAT-502, at Miramar this year to support the increasing F-35B training load. The temporary stand-down of VMFA-225 will enable the Corps “to recapitalize structure and manpower to help VMFAT-502’s stand up and then transition to F-35B at MCAS Yuma,” according to the aviation plan.

The last Hornet flight of VMFA(AW)-225 occurred two days after VMFA-314 flew the Corps’ first carrier-capable F-35C versions to Miramar from Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, where VMFA-314 has been going through transition from the F/A-18C Hornet to the F-35C. VMFA-314 is scheduled to be ready for a deployment on an aircraft carrier in early fiscal 2022. "

Source: https://seapowermagazine.org/marine-squ ... phase-out/
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Unread post28 Jan 2020, 02:05

See ya WSOs!
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Unread post28 Jan 2020, 17:06

You never know when you're going to run into one of these guys again.

After we ditched our F-4s, 3 ex-WSOs eventually ended up in the left seat with major airlines, 1 ex-WSO became a financial planner for a big wealth management firm (actually deciding what to do with other people's money), 2 ex-WSOs became (gasp) lawyers......and 1 ex-WSO became an Emergency Room doctor. :shock:

Lot of pent up motivation from hearing "go cold mic" every day. :mrgreen:
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35_aoa

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Unread post29 Jan 2020, 14:34

outlaw162 wrote:You never know when you're going to run into one of these guys again.

After we ditched our F-4s, 3 ex-WSOs eventually ended up in the left seat with major airlines, 1 ex-WSO became a financial planner for a big wealth management firm (actually deciding what to do with other people's money), 2 ex-WSOs became (gasp) lawyers......and 1 ex-WSO became an Emergency Room doctor. :shock:

Lot of pent up motivation from hearing "go cold mic" every day. :mrgreen:


yep, I know a couple of guys who did the WSO--> 121/airline thing. Definitely possible with a little time/effort/money, especially these days. As a single seat dude turned 2 seat later in my career, I learned to love my WSOs. That being said, I bet USMC NFOs are scrambling about now to find somewhere to work. Not a lot of VMFA(AW) left, and VMAQ is gone. Cold winter for those guys/gals.
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Unread post29 Jan 2020, 18:46

35_aoa wrote:
outlaw162 wrote:You never know when you're going to run into one of these guys again.

After we ditched our F-4s, 3 ex-WSOs eventually ended up in the left seat with major airlines, 1 ex-WSO became a financial planner for a big wealth management firm (actually deciding what to do with other people's money), 2 ex-WSOs became (gasp) lawyers......and 1 ex-WSO became an Emergency Room doctor. :shock:

Lot of pent up motivation from hearing "go cold mic" every day. :mrgreen:


yep, I know a couple of guys who did the WSO--> 121/airline thing. Definitely possible with a little time/effort/money, especially these days. As a single seat dude turned 2 seat later in my career, I learned to love my WSOs. That being said, I bet USMC NFOs are scrambling about now to find somewhere to work. Not a lot of VMFA(AW) left, and VMAQ is gone. Cold winter for those guys/gals.



It being the Marines, they're liable to throw them into the ground side too. :mrgreen: I met some OV-10 flyers once.
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Unread post29 Jan 2020, 19:48

I flew in USAFR with a former Marine who had gone from tank commander to A-4 pilot. :shock: I would think going the other way from Marine Air to Marine Ground would be at the very least challenging and require some significant additional training these days, although Ground FAC might fill the bill. Loss of flight pay though is a big financial bite.

If I were one of these guys, I'd be looking for a USAF F-15E exchange slot or RPAS slot.....or as a fallback, a Base MWR Officer slot or Commissary Officer slot.....or do the Marine bases even have those frills? I'd also enroll in whatever professional courses might be most beneficial after retirement. They've probably already considered all this in advance.

Then there's always a possibility of a pilot training slot for the younger ones, especially with exemplary records. With GPS, smart weapons and other fancy onboard gizmos, there just aren't that many Navigator/NFO/WSO type slots left in mil aviation these days, even in the heavies (P-8, E-6, etc.).....in the future there may not even be very many pilot slots.

"OK men, today we learn how to field strip that rifle." :shock:
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Unread post29 Jan 2020, 22:24

outlaw162 wrote:.... etc.
"OK men, today we learn how to field strip that rifle." :shock:


A marine pilot already knows how to field strip a rifle, .. "every marine a rifleman" is not just a saying. It's in their blood.

Grandpa to two marines,
BP

PS Of course any pilot, any where, should be able to get a ride, commercial or other service, these days. The shortage is real.
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Unread post29 Jan 2020, 23:30

Grandpa to two marines

:salute:

.."every marine a rifleman" is not just a saying.


(From a well-known, pretty good movie:
"Another glorious day in the Corps! A day in the Marine Corps is like a day on the farm. Every meal's a banquet! Every paycheck a fortune! Every formation a parade!")

Reminds me of the Air Force mantra: "You're an officer first, and a pilot second."

Right. Not this pilot. :D
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Unread post30 Jan 2020, 00:00

Really interesting reading the comments.

I was saying to myself, "gosh, Jim, you've been single seat your whole career except for the occasional VIP or the Flight Doc wanting to tag a ride". Wouldn't know how to act with someone in the back all the time.........

Much respect........
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Unread post30 Jan 2020, 13:12

Some pics from DVIDS of the ceremony

Image

Image

Image

Unfortunately they don't come in bigger resolutions, since the page got archived shortly afterwards. Probably something to do with the date being typoed to 2019. I've tried asking Public Affairs, but no response so far.
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Unread post31 Jan 2020, 04:07

A black stain on a good ending.

CO of VMFA-225 fired for making low-level pass during sundown ceremony

http://alert5.com/2020/01/31/co-of-vmfa ... -ceremony/
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Unread post31 Jan 2020, 04:45

Lower and faster than approved. How many more people have to learn this lesson? CO included. Those days are gone.
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Unread post31 Jan 2020, 05:46

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Unread post31 Jan 2020, 17:33

I take it he was an NFO/WSO if he was in the backseat. Doesn't seem like he had much to lose since his job was being abolished and he was essentially grounded. Go out with style. :D

Cut him a little slack here.

Wonder what the punishment for the guy in front flying the aircraft was? No F-35 gig? "Here's your rifle."

(Just a couple of highly disciplined naval aviators like the Rafale dude touted.)
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Unread post01 Feb 2020, 15:46

outlaw162 wrote:I take it he was an NFO/WSO if he was in the backseat. Doesn't seem like he had much to lose since his job was being abolished and he was essentially grounded. Go out with style. :D

Cut him a little slack here.

Wonder what the punishment for the guy in front flying the aircraft was? No F-35 gig? "Here's your rifle."

(Just a couple of highly disciplined naval aviators like the Rafale dude touted.)



in all seriousness he may not have qualled for the new fighter and hes either done and retiring or going to serve out time in a non flight area where it really doesn't matter. My OV-10 guy I met shared that fate and finished out his carrer as an XO of a HQ battalion.

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