F-35B Lightning II trains with ATAC

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spazsinbad

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Unread post13 Nov 2017, 20:42

F-35B Lightning II trains with ATAC
06 Nov 2017 Story by Cpl. Benjamin McDonald, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort

"The Airborne Tactical Advantage Company landed aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Aug. 20. The detachment flew to Fightertown to help train transition pilots with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501. While aboard MCAS Beaufort, the training squadron will be providing real life enemy scenarios for VMFAT-501.

“We are a civilian contractor which provides real life enemy threat for training purposes for the Navy and Marine Corps,” said Jeremy “Grunt” Gunter, the ATAC detachment officer in charge. “We primarily support ship exercises such as COM2X and MEUX. However, we also support naval and Marine Corps fleet replacement squadrons. So for the next two weeks we will be helping VMFAT-501.”

The training syllabus for VMFAT-501 consists of classroom work and practical application with the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. By adding real life enemies to maneuver and fight against the transition pilots of VMFAT-501 have to think against a real enemy and not a simulator.

“Simulators can only get you so far when you are learning a new aviation platform,” said Maj. Ross Fearon, the executive officer of VMFAT-501. “We try and have either ATAC or Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401 come and help us out. By having the simulated red air, the pilots have someone to think against and fight in real life and pressure on the other fleet squadrons here is alleviated. Training with the F/A-18 squadrons is beneficial but not always to them. In some circumstances our training needs will be fulfilled but not theirs and with the snipers here the F-18 squadrons can conduct their training and we can conduct ours. Everyone’s training needs are met.”

ATAC is flying with MK-58 Hawker Hunter aircraft and the F-21 Kfir aircraft, four pilots, and a team of eight maintainers to support the rigorous schedule. All of the cadre and maintainers are experienced prior service members. VMFAT-501 sets up, plans and organizes all of the training and logistics to conduct the training they need. They have pilots at various levels of training and qualifications that will be working with ATAC. VMFAT-501 will dictate all of the training scenarios and ATAC will be providing the adversary presentation or red air.

“This is a part of VMFAT-501’s regular training,” said Gunter. “They outsource their adversary air so their students are experienced with other flight platforms. When we come out here, our mission is to provide that professional red air presentation. Because of our experience and knowledge we are able to come, train these pilots and give back to the Navy and Marine Corps.”

Source: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/255138/f- ... -with-atac
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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neptune

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Unread post14 Nov 2017, 03:14

....the Brits also train at Beaufort with the Marines.
:wink:

1. Two pilots taxi down the flightline in F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Nov. 6. The Airborne Tactical Advantage Company is training with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 for the next two weeks to support new and transition pilots in their certification for the F-35B. The pilots are with VMFAT-501, Marine Aircraft Group 31.

2. An F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter takes off from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Nov. 6. The Airborne Tactical Advantage Company is training with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 for the next two weeks to support new and transition pilots in their certification for the F-35B. The pilot is with VMFAT-501, Marine Aircraft Group 31.

3. An F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter takes off from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Nov. 6. The Airborne Tactical Advantage Company is training with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 for the next two weeks to support new and transition pilots in their certification for the F-35B. The pilot is with VMFAT-501, Marine Aircraft Group 31.

4. Capt. Jorge Couto conducts pre-flight checks aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Nov. 6. The Airborne Tactical Advantage Company is training with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 for the next two weeks to support New and transition pilots in their certification for the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. Couto is a pilot with VMFAT-501, Marine Aircraft Group 31.

5. An F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter parked at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Nov. 6. The Airborne Tactical Advantage Company is training with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 for the next two weeks to support new and transition pilots in their certification for the F-35B. The pilot is with VMFAT-501, Marine Aircraft Group 31.

6. A pilot taxis down the flightline in an F-21 Kafir aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Nov. 6. The Airborne Tactical Advantage Company is training with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 for the next two weeks to support new and transition pilots in their certification for the F-35B. The pilot is with ATAC.

photos from; https://www.dvidshub.net/image/3947677/ ... -with-atac
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outlaw162

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Unread post14 Nov 2017, 04:14

Do they always do the pre-flight walk-around with their helmets on?

That's just weird. Looks like David Hedison in "The Fly".
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neptune

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Unread post14 Nov 2017, 04:35

outlaw162 wrote:Do they always do the pre-flight walk-around with their helmets on?

That's just weird. Looks like David Hedison in "The Fly".


....could he referencing a optical checklist from the visor?
:roll:
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Unread post14 Nov 2017, 05:38

outlaw162 wrote:Do they always do the pre-flight walk-around with their helmets on?

That's just weird. Looks like David Hedison in "The Fly".


Typically, and unlike the USAF (who actually put helmets in their "helmet bag"), USN and USMC aviators walk to the jet with helmets on. Probably a holdover from flight deck/carrier ops, where you will get yelled at by the airboss if you aren't wearing your gloves, much less missing your helmet. Ultimately, I don't think it is any safer ashore, but it is what it is. I will occasionally wait to put the helmet on until after preflight, but that is normally only at somewhere like a civilian airport, where there aren't a bunch of sailors running around the jet, who we also expect to be wearing their cranials/head protection.......don't want to be a bad example :) Wearing JHMCS, I will also tend to preflight not only with helmet on (discussed above), but also with my visor down. Visor up tends to end up causing scratches as you bump your head on stuff, particularly when looking up into the wheel wells. That visor is expensive, and not easy to replace, as a traditional visor is. I'd imagine that is triply true for the F-35 helmet. Also, I think it mainly looks bizarre in that pic because the helmet itself looks like something out of Stranger Things......
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outlaw162

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Unread post14 Nov 2017, 15:40

35 aoa & neptune,

Understand. Thanks for the explanation.

You gotta admire those USAF exchange pilots that can adapt to that in 90 degree temps with 90% humidity. I always carried my helmet by the chin strap and coincidentally my checklist was stuffed in my helmet too with mask and hose. :D
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Unread post14 Nov 2017, 16:26

outlaw162 wrote:...I always carried my helmet by the chin strap and coincidentally my checklist was stuffed in my helmet too with mask and hose. :D

:devil: You are a very bad lad indeed. :twisted: Carrying your helmet via chin strap weakens the strap / attachments, especially when you put your stuff in the helmet. OMG you are so grounded! :mrgreen: :doh: Back in my time - from USN safety pubs - this 'not carrying helmet by chin strap' was a big theme in USN / RAN FAA with plenty of stories about bad outcomes from ejections for example - OFF WITH HIS HELMET! :roll:
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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neptune

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Unread post14 Nov 2017, 18:43

outlaw162 wrote:35 aoa & neptune,

Understand. Thanks for the explanation.

You gotta admire those USAF exchange pilots that can adapt to that in 90 degree temps with 90% humidity. I always carried my helmet by the chin strap and coincidentally my checklist was stuffed in my helmet too with mask and hose. :D


....not being a member of the floating bird farm group; "My" squadron's para-loft provided helmet bags that not only contained the dual visor helmet but alas the same other stuff already mentioned by others. The bag strap was a good means to "toss" the lot up to a crewman before the preflight walkaround.
Sorry if it sounds less than "holy" but it got the job done!
:)
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spazsinbad

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Unread post14 Nov 2017, 19:17

Well then the RAN FAA provided A4G pilots with helmet bags with strong straps while some pilots carried a 'dilly bag' (look it up) for their crap (NATOPS PCL Pocket Checklist) and a map maybe. However in my day we carried the helmet with crap inside cradled in our arm - :roll: maybe. :mrgreen: It was difficult to break old bad habits. :devil: (we were not nuns). :devil:
“...the dilly bag was as holder for personal artifacts....” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dillybag
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RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post14 Nov 2017, 21:37

plenty of stories about bad outcomes from ejections for example - OFF WITH HIS HELMET! :roll:


Mine stayed on fine. :D
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spazsinbad

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Unread post14 Nov 2017, 23:07

Whatever. It is not about what happened to an individual but over time what happens to many aviators. Did you continue?
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post14 Nov 2017, 23:23

Did you continue?


Of course, for about another 5600 hours fighter/attack (+ assorted heavy time). I didn't want to have to go back to school and learn a real profession. :shock:

To quote the old aviation saying, "I'd rather be lucky than good."

I imagine that ATAC Kfir driver has a similar outlook.
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Unread post15 Nov 2017, 00:22

Good to know. I have no idea about your story - care to provide some details about ejection? KFIR pilot? Do you refer to Neptunus Lex (deceased KFIR pilot some years ago now). He had a blog, writing copious, very enjoyable, often humourous NavAv stories including transition to KFIR & NAS Fallon. He joined ATAC unable to fly a desk after retirement (Hornet CO).
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post15 Nov 2017, 01:09

Do you refer to Neptunus Lex


No, not him. I enjoyed his blog also. I refer to whomever is in the ATAC Kfir in the picture above. Great post-mil job and I wish that had been an option when I retired....

....then I might have avoided the, yuck, heavy time....however the coffee was good and it was a living. :D

(I jumped out of a glider)
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popcorn

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Unread post15 Nov 2017, 01:32

neptune wrote:
outlaw162 wrote:Do they always do the pre-flight walk-around with their helmets on?

That's just weird. Looks like David Hedison in "The Fly".


....could he referencing a optical checklist from the visor?
:roll:

Without being plugged into the jet? :shock:
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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