VFA-101 Activated at Eglin

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

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Unread post27 Sep 2015, 11:36

Hah - youse thought Dave Grohl wrapped in silver foil was funny. Check this - F-35Cs outside on the line at NAS Fallon - seats covered in foil. Photo in Air International OCTOBER 2015 Vol.89 No.4
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Unread post30 Jul 2016, 02:57

F-35C Training Activities [Refer 'tritionprime' post on page 1 this thread.]
28 Jul 2016 Jeff Babione

"While the F-35A and F-35B made a splash in the U.K., the F-35C will be making some news of its own in the coming weeks. Next week, four F-35Cs assigned to the Grim Reapers of VFA-101 head to NAS Fallon, Nevada to participate in Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI) training, commonly referred to as TOPGUN, to provide 4th/5th Gen fighter integration training which is now part of the TOPGUN syllabus. This is the third time for VFA-101 to provide support to such activities in what has now become a routine detachment for the Grim Reapers, in addition to serving as the Navy’s only F-35C squadron responsible for training all U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corp F-35C pilots.

VFA-101 F-35Cs will also support future Carrier Air Wing integrated strike training when available. With two years to go until F-35C IOC, the Grim Reapers are already playing a key role in the development of future Navy and Marine Corps SFTIs and early tactics development for Navy IOC."

Source: https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... _28_16.pdf (0.7Mb)
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 post30 Jul 2016, 05:39

spazsinbad wrote:
F-35C Training Activities [Refer 'tritionprime' post on page 1 this thread.]
28 Jul 2016 Jeff Babione

"While the F-35A and F-35B made a splash in the U.K., the F-35C will be making some news of its own in the coming weeks. Next week, four F-35Cs assigned to the Grim Reapers of VFA-101 head to NAS Fallon, Nevada to participate in Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI) training, commonly referred to as TOPGUN, to provide 4th/5th Gen fighter integration training which is now part of the TOPGUN syllabus. This is the third time for VFA-101 to provide support to such activities in what has now become a routine detachment for the Grim Reapers, in addition to serving as the Navy’s only F-35C squadron responsible for training all U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corp F-35C pilots.

VFA-101 F-35Cs will also support future Carrier Air Wing integrated strike training when available. With two years to go until F-35C IOC, the Grim Reapers are already playing a key role in the development of future Navy and Marine Corps SFTIs and early tactics development for Navy IOC."

Source: https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... _28_16.pdf (0.7Mb)


Getting that TOPGUN 2 vibe :devil: . Cmon Tom Cruise and company...just do it already!
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Unread post11 Oct 2016, 15:42

spazsinbad wrote:
F-35C Training Activities [Refer 'tritionprime' post on page 1 this thread.]
28 Jul 2016 Jeff Babione

"While the F-35A and F-35B made a splash in the U.K., the F-35C will be making some news of its own in the coming weeks. Next week, four F-35Cs assigned to the Grim Reapers of VFA-101 head to NAS Fallon, Nevada to participate in Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI) training, commonly referred to as TOPGUN, to provide 4th/5th Gen fighter integration training which is now part of the TOPGUN syllabus. This is the third time for VFA-101 to provide support to such activities in what has now become a routine detachment for the Grim Reapers, in addition to serving as the Navy’s only F-35C squadron responsible for training all U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corp F-35C pilots.

VFA-101 F-35Cs will also support future Carrier Air Wing integrated strike training when available. With two years to go until F-35C IOC, the Grim Reapers are already playing a key role in the development of future Navy and Marine Corps SFTIs and early tactics development for Navy IOC."

Source: https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... _28_16.pdf (0.7Mb)


Is there any more information about this? Which four F-35C's participated? I can't find any news about this trip to NAS Fallon.
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Unread post15 Feb 2017, 22:08

Grim Reaper finds his rage
13 Feb 2017 Staff Sgt. Peter Thompson, 33rd Fighter Wing

"EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- As he stands at the step desk, you wouldn’t miss the subtle differences in his uniform. His brown leather boots seem foreign next to the sage green ones accompanying him. As is custom in the 58th Fighter Squadron, pilots roar “RAGE!” throughout the building. However, today this pilot is given a more fitting send off. He begins to turn the corner as a smirk creeps across his face. He nods with approval and marches out of the building as “Danger Zone” blares in the background. Rather than taking his familiar path to the stenciled grim reaper wielding his sickle; today he will beat his chest and fly with the Mighty Gorillas.

For only the second time at Eglin Air Force Base, a Naval Aviator has been selected to dual qualify in the U.S. Navy’s F-35C and the Air Force’s F-35A. Lt. Cmdr. Charles Escher, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA-101) operations officer, experienced the F-35A for the first time during his initial flight on Dec. 1, followed by a check ride the next week with Col. Lance Pilch, 33rd Fighter Wing commander.

“(This is) hopefully the start of a program where we have pilots crossing over to help each other by teaching and learning tactics and determining things we can improve, thereby making the squadrons operate more smoothly together,” Escher said....

...Escher was selected to fly the Air Force’s variant because of his knowledge and experience across a wide variety of aircraft. After starting his career as an F-18 Super Hornet pilot, Escher went to Empire Test Pilots’ School in England where he would fly more than 25 different aircraft alongside British Royal Air Force and other international pilots.

“The knowledge and experience you gain from flying that many different aircraft, and aircraft that are outside of your comfort zone, whether that’s helicopters or heavies, aerobatic aircraft or fighters from different countries, it makes it a smoother transition,” Escher said.

The F-35A and F-35C were intentionally designed to be very similar aircraft. While flying systems are virtually the same, Escher noted differences in the way the jets fly because of its physical characteristics. The largest task to overcome however wasn’t the aircraft, but the difference between branches. “The way the Air Force does some things and the terminology are different than in the Navy,” he said. “There are quite a few differences that are eye opening and it makes you want to bridge those gaps.”

Those gaps, in part, are why the 33d FW and VFA-101 have taken this opportunity to share knowledge. As other services gain ground on announcing F-35 Initial operations Capability as the Air Force did earlier this year, the three branches will work more hand-in-hand with one another.

Escher says he can already see the benefits of the relationship and looks forward to experiencing enhancing/continuing the flow of information to promote growth across the fleet. “With the Navy, Marine and Air Force aircraft, we’re each flying our own mission in our own separate entities, but we can definitely share lessons learned on tactics,” Escher said. “When we put together a large strike package we will already know what the capabilities and limitations are based on our own experience.”

The Naval pilot plans to use what he learns from his experience with the 33 FW to help the F-35 enterprise grow. He looks to join a group of test pilots at Edwards AFB, California, where he will have the opportunity to be the Navy’s voice for the aircraft weapons and vehicle system development. Beyond that, he is glad he has the greatest job in the Navy and the Air Force as an F-35 pilot. “I’m happy to be able to fly both variants. It’s a super big treat.”

Source: http://www.aetc.af.mil/News/ArticleDisp ... -rage.aspx
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 post16 Feb 2017, 04:01

ngroot0 wrote:Is there any more information about this? Which four F-35C's participated? I can't find any news about this trip to NAS Fallon.


Probably the 4 up jets they had at the time :)
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Unread post08 Dec 2018, 21:44

VFA-101 will be deactivated next year
08 Dec 2018 Alert5

"The U.S. Navy has decided to deactivate VFA-101 next year. The squadron is based at Eglin Air Force Base as the service’s initial F-35C fleet replacement squadron.

The unit’s personnel will move to VFA-125 at NAS Lemoore."

Source: http://alert5.com/2018/12/08/vfa-101-wi ... more-72862
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 post12 Dec 2018, 06:52

Why the Navy will deactivate an F-35 Squadron next year
07 Dec 2018 Mark D. Faram

"The Navy will deactivate the Grim Reapers of Strike Fighter Squadron 101, consolidating all Joint Strike Fighter operations and training at California’s Naval Air Station Lemoore, officials confirmed on Friday....

...The move of the Grim Reapers' 15 aircraft is slated to be effective on July 1, according to OPNAV notice 5400. “The Navy is moving forward with the deactivation of VFA-101 at Eglin AFB next year, and the re-alignment of F-35C assets into Strike Fighter Squadrons to support VX-9 Detachment Edwards AFB, Air Warfare Development Command (NAWDC) at NAS Fallon and maintain Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) production at VFA-125, while transitioning Navy and Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet squadrons to the F-35C Lightning II,” wrote Lt. Travis Callaghan, a Naval Air Forces spokesman, in an email to Navy Times.

The shift to California should see the Grim Reapers' 29 officers and 239 enlisted personnel replace their patches with those of the “Rough Raiders” of Strike Fighter Squadron 125, Lemoore’s F-35C replacement squadron. “This will co-locate the fleet replenishment squadron production of pilots directly into the operational squadrons scheduled for transition to F-35C,” according to a note in the directive ordering the move.

The extra aircraft, pilots and maintainers at Lemoore are expected to help the Pentagon meet its testing and evaluation requirements for the Navy’s first operational fleet F-35C squadron, VFA-147. That major milestone for the Navy’s JSF program is still slated to happen in 2019. The maiden overseas deployment of VFA-147 is anticipated in 2021 while embarked on the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson....

...The Grim Reapers could be resurrected if the Navy chooses to have an F-35 replacement squadron on both coasts. The OPNAV note requires the Navy to “maintain VFA 101 squadron lineage (name, UIC, insignia, call sign, etc.) for future reactivation.”

But bringing the Grim Reapers back to life likely won’t happen for at least a decade. That’s because the Navy has yet to start the process of naming a home base for its East Coast F-35Cs. It requires extensive environmental impact studies before senior leaders make the final decision on where the squadrons will go. And that, Navy officials say, isn’t expected to start until the mid-2020′s at the earliest.""

Photo: https://www.armytimes.com/resizer/P6vcr ... uality(100)/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-mco.s3.amazonaws.com/public/NF6FJJWLNNDGBM7ZBJZ2L7LDIQ.JPG


Source: https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-nav ... next-year/
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Unread post25 May 2019, 10:19

Navy Deactivates VFA-101 Grim Reapers, Consolidates F-35Cs at NAS Lemoore [long article best read at URL]
23 May 2019 Megan Eckstein

"EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – The Navy deactivated one of its two F-35C Joint Strike Fighter training squadrons today and will consolidate all its fifth-generation fighter activities at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California. The move creates efficiencies on the maintenance side and allows the Navy to focus on getting its first operational F-35C squadron on deployment and integrated with its fourth-generation counterparts in the carrier air wing....

...During the fall and winter, the two squadrons [VFA-101 & VFA-125] worked together multiple times as an integrated FRS team, and Cmdr. Adan Covarrubias, commanding officer of VFA-101 who will take command of VFA-125 next month, told USNI News after the deactivation ceremony that “it was probably the best thing we could have ever done.” “We integrated (VFA) 125 maintenance practices into what we were doing, and then vice versa, (VFA) 101 into 125. We kind of took the best of everything, figured out what worked for everybody, and then came up with the best process,” he said.

Covarrubias himself will lead the single, larger FRS squadron, and many of his maintainers and pilots from VFA-101 are coming out to Lemoore with him in an effort to keep as much F-35C knowledge in the community as possible....

...McCoy [Capt. Max McCoy, commodore of the Joint Strike Fighter Wing in Lemoore] said VFA 147 is exactly where it should be ahead of its planned 2021 deployment with Carrier Air Wing 2 aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70). Maintenance personnel are building up their capabilities, but at this stage the squadron has only received two junior pilots out of flight school and is still awaiting more senior pilots who are transitioning to the F-35C from other aircraft types. So, efficient pilot production is the name of the game to keep VFA-147 on schedule – and deactivating VFA-101 and consolidating all FRS activities to VFA-125 in Lemoore will help the Navy do that.

“When you have more maintenance personnel and you have more aircraft, it gives you the capability to fly more sorties on a given fly-day on the schedule. You now have spare aircraft that can be turned into flyers if you need them. Because you have more maintenance personnel, you can work a longer maintenance shift, or you can work more days,” McCoy explained. “Having one large FRS gives us the flexibility to do more and to weather those moments where there’s unexpected or pop-up requirements. When you’re spread thin with people and airplanes, it just makes it more challenging and there is no buffer to cover down on executing the flight schedule.”

Additionally, for the long-term health of the F-35C force, “when we have all of our people and airplanes in one place, it allows us to balance sea-shore rotations with sailors and officers and pilots, because now it’s easier to flow folks from an operational tour to a shore tour, whether that’s working at the [Fleet Replacement Squadron] or at the wing.”...

...There’s still plenty of work to be done on concepts of operations, McCoy said, but “I have a very optimistic outlook in the sense that I think we’re going to really appreciate what F-35 brings to a carrier strike group – and I think that not only aviators but the other warfare commanders will fully appreciate those same capabilities.”...

...Rear Adm. Roy Kelley, commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic, spoke at the deactivation ceremony both as a naval aviation leader and as a former Grim Reapers pilot, back when the squadron flew the F-14 Tomcat. Kelley previously served as the director of the Joint Strike Fighter Fleet Integration Office and said he was pleased to see this day come after some earlier delays in fielding the F-35C.

“It was a rocky road. It wasn’t a path that was direct and easy; it was evident we were going to have some challenges. The Navy had an idea or a concept of what we wanted for the capability, and so the type of software we wanted for those capabilities meant we had to wait a little bit,” Kelley told USNI News after the ceremony, referring to the Block 3F software that the Marine Corps moved ahead without on its F-35B but the Navy waited for on the F-35C.

“That (delay) challenged us as we looked at our inventory of aircraft that we had, the fighter aircraft onboard an aircraft carrier. So we continue to buy Super Hornets, and a lot of people ask questions about, why are you doing that?” Kelley continued. “It’s because we want a mix. We want the capabilities that we have with the Super Hornets right now; we want fifth-generation capability in the future. We see those working together. The concept that we have is that the F-35 is truly going to be the quarterback for the carrier air wing, with the systems it has onboard, the fusion it’s capable of, of bringing information together. It’s significant. So having them being the eyes and ears and the directors as we move the carrier air wing forward is important.”

Asked if the capability the F-35C brings was worth the wait, Kelley replied, “yeah, it was, there’s no doubt about it.”..."

Source: https://news.usni.org/2019/05/23/navy-d ... as-lemoore
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 post25 May 2019, 14:26

LOVE the big wing on the C.

Will love it a lot more, once it gets the new/up-rated engine... :)
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