MCAS Yuma to begin construction for the new F-35 fighter jet

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

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Unread post15 Jun 2011, 04:21

http://www.yumasun.com/news/yuma-70716-jsf-mcas.html

MCAS Yuma to begin construction for new fighter jet

June 14, 2011 3:14 PM

BY CAPT. STACI REIDINGER - MCAS YUMA PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER

Six projects exceeding $150 million were awarded to contractors this month to begin construction in support of the future F-35B Joint Strike Fighter basing at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, according to the Department of the Navy.

“The significance of these projects is really two-fold. They are needed to bring MCAS Yuma up to standard from its 1950s and ‘60s structure of older utilities and communication capabilities and to ensure the air station has the power resources to support the F-35 program's infrastructure needs,” said Lt Col. Dwight De Jong, director of the Joint Strike Fighter Site Activation Team for MCAS Yuma.

The first round of projects include the development of two new squadron hangars, a JSF simulator facility and upgrades to communications and utilities infrastructure. As these construction projects begin in late June, the public should be aware of increased traffic congestion and road closures on and off station, increased noise and dust near the work sites and changes to military training site locations aboard MCAS Yuma.

As the F-35 JSF infrastructure develops at MCAS Yuma, there will be growing pains. Construction for the F-35 JSF build-up is expected to continue through 2014 and will include additional construction contracts for Fiscal Year 2012.

De Jong said the city of Yuma has to have patience during the build-up phase due to the vast amount of work required over the next few years to bring the base in to the 21st century.

As the future home of five F-35 JSF operational squadrons of 16 aircraft each and one operational test and evaluation squadron of eight aircraft totaling 88 aircraft, these squadrons will replace Yuma's four existing squadrons consisting of 56 AV-8B Harriers.

The F-35 JSF will also eventually replace the AV-8B aircraft based in North Carolina and the F-18 Hornets based in California, South Carolina and Japan, becoming the Marine Corps' sole fixed wing attack aircraft.

De Jong added, “This transition solidifies the Marine Corps' vision of Yuma becoming the premier West Coast master jet base. The F-35, with advanced capabilities beyond the F-18 and Harrier, gives us the 5th generation fighter that no one else has. And more importantly, it ensures our continuing advantage over any and all adversaries that we potentially will face.”

VMFA-332 is set to become the first F-35 squadron, replacing a former F-18 squadron that was deactivated several years ago. VMFA-332 will not only be the first Marine Corps F-35 Squadron in Yuma, it is also scheduled to be the first F-35 JSF operational squadron in the Department of Defense.

Despite the impending transition between the AV-8B Harriers and the F-35 JSF, the conversion will take several years, meaning the Yuma community will have the privilege of seeing both air frames in action.

For now, Yuma's AV-8B Harriers are anything but obsolete, judging from their extensive deployment cycles. VMA 211 is scheduled to return in mid-June from a six month deployment with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, where they proved the enduring need for a short take off/landing (STOVL) aircraft through their ship to shore support of combat operations in southern Afghanistan in late 2010 while aboard the USS Peleliu.

Additionally, VMA-513, which recently deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, continues to offer combatant commanders more flexible basing options with the use of STOVL technology. VMA-513, with the support of MWSS-371, can construct a 3,000 to 4,000 foot expeditionary “STOVL-only” runway in a matter of days to create new landing zones. In remote locations like Forward Operating Base Dwyer, STOVL-only airfields and Forward Arming and Refueling Points (FARPs) provide Harriers three times faster re-fueling and re-arming capabilities than flying to larger runways which translates in to faster support to ground combat operations.

With ten times as many 3,000 foot runways available as there are 8,000 foot runways worldwide, according to Marine Corps findings, and the continuing need to defend against an uncommon enemy, the use of the AV-8B Harrier and soon the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter will certainly aid in the continued strength of the Marine Air Ground Task Force.

The first F-35 pilots are scheduled to begin arriving at MCAS Yuma in November 2011, while the first F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft is on track for September 2012.
:)
To welcome the F-35 build-up, MCAS Yuma will conduct a groundbreaking ceremony on station and host a town hall meeting at the Yuma Civic Center in the near future.
8)
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Unread post01 Apr 2012, 08:45

F-35 auxiliary landing field coming to Marine Corps Yuma base March 31, 2012 Keith Stein

http://www.examiner.com/aviation-news-i ... -yuma-base

"The U.S. Navy is moving forward with plans to add an F-35 training facility at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma in Arizona to support the new Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Aviator Landing Skills Program.

The new facility, known as a Field-Carrier Landing Practice training facility with Landing Helicopter Dock [DECK?], will consist of a paved airfield, flight control tower, air operation facility, fire and rescue shelter, aircraft fueling areas, aircraft maintenance shelter and vertical take-off and landing pads.

“This project fulfills critical requirements to support the establishment of the JSF squadrons at MCAS Yuma,” the Navy said in contract documents on Friday announcing the construction project. The facility is to be built in a remote location on the Barry M. Goldwater Range (formerly Luke Air Force Range), a bombing range in Arizona that runs along the Mexican border.

The estimated cost of the project is between $25 million to $100 million...."

GRAPHIC from: http://www.usmcjsfwest.com/Resources/Do ... osters.pdf
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Unread post02 May 2012, 05:17

Construction for F-35s on aggressive time frame May 01, 2012 BY JOYCE LOBECK - SUN STAFF WRITER

http://www.yumasun.com/news/mcas-78706-new-million.html

"Marine Corps Air Station Yuma is bustling with activity as it prepares for the November or December arrival of the first F-35B Joint Strike Fighter jets that will be based here.

The first six projects are nearing completion, and work is starting on three more this year, for a total investment of almost $400 million at MCAS....

...MCAS Yuma is slated to be home to five F-35 squadrons of 16 planes each, along with an operational test and evaluation squadron of eight aircraft. The first squadron will be VMFA 121, expected by December. The total transition from old aircraft to new aircraft and personnel for the F-35 squadrons is scheduled by 2020....

...Projects totaling nearly $200 million were awarded to contractors in June 2011. One hangar is expected to be completed by mid-May and a second by October. A new simulator facility will be completed in June, while a new utility communications facility is scheduled for completion by August and a new maintenance facility by November. The work also includes demolition of older facilities.

Fiscal year 2012 projects total another $160 million. They include two more hangars, with the contract awarded in April and scheduled for completion by spring of 2014.

An auxiliary landing field is to be built on the Barry M. Goldwater Range, to be awarded in late June with anticipated completion by July 2013. The new facility will simulate the deck of an amphibious assault ship where pilots can practice their carrier landings.

Yet another project, to be awarded this fall for scheduled completion in February 2014, would be an additional hangar that hopefully will attract another squadron to MCAS, De Jong said...."

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Unread post23 Aug 2012, 07:12

Buildings, Simulators and Hangar ready for Joint Strike Fighter in Yuma
Story by Stephanie Sanchez 23 Aug 2012

http://www.kswt.com/story/19347601/buil ... er-in-yuma

"Yuma--Marine Corps Air Station-Yuma officials said some of the hangars for the Joint Strike fighter are ready for operation.

"The first of the five hangars is built and its being moved into right now," Colonel Robert Kuckuk, commander of MCAS-Yuma said. "The marines who will become VMFA-121 are moving their gear and computers."

Kuckuk said simulators for the Joint Strike Fighter program are completed and all of the buildings are certified for secure access.

"Two out of the eight simulators are being installed right now, the others are being installed when needed as we go but they're not needed as of this minute," he said.

Kuckuk said the Yuma area was the most obvious and logical choice to be selected for the first operational Joint Strike Fighter base because of weather conditions and ranges.

He said there won't be any squadrons added on base but there will be many units deployed to MCAS for F-35 training.

"We'll put one of the most highly performing aircraft in the inventory of the world with marine expeditionary units, that's a real force multiplier," he said....

...The first of the joint strike fighter aircraft is expected by late November."
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Unread post23 Sep 2012, 02:35

Interesting to note the security measures in this report on new construction at MCAS Beaufort.

Navy prepares more contracts for work related to F-35 By PATRICK DONOHUE Sept 22, 2012

http://www.islandpacket.com/2012/09/22/ ... s-for.html

"Navy officials are seeking more contractors for work to prepare the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort for the arrival of the Joint Strike Fighter.

Contractors have until this week to submit proposals on a $10 million to $15 million project to build a simulated-flight deck, according to Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast in Jacksonville, Fla.

Made from an advanced, high-temperature concrete that can withstand the heat from the new jets' engines, the surface will be used by pilots to practice taking off from and landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier using the plane's short takeoff and vertical-landing capabilities.

Simulations currently are conducted on a small stretch of one of the base's two runways, while a lead signal officer sits inside a small shack on the shoulder of the runway and assists incoming pilots as they attempt to land.The contract also includes a "tower" for the lead signal officers, the notice said.

The winner of that contract is expected to be announced in mid-January, according to federal officials.

Navy officials also notified contractors this month of plans to install new security measures on the flightline before the jet's arrival in 2013 or 2014.

That work is expected to cost between $10 million and $14 million, according to a pre-solicitation notice.

The notice did not provide many details about the new security measures but said the winning bidder must meet several military security policies. The work will create "clearly defined and protected perimeters and access control points" to the flightline, hangars and jets.

The security contract also will be awarded in mid-January, federal officials said.

Both proposals are part of a $351.8 million makeover the air station must undergo over the next five years to house the fighter jet that will replace all of the F-18 Hornets at MCAS Beaufort.

The air station will be home to three new active-duty JSF squadrons and two pilot-training squadrons, Navy officials have said.

The construction began in September 2011, when Florida contractor Hensel Phelps broke ground on a $70 million hangar and training facility, work that is expected to be completed by August 2013.

Earlier this year, Head Inc. of Columbus, Ohio, was selected from among 13 defense contractors to build five vertical-landing pads, according to Sue Brink, a naval facilities spokeswoman.

Brink said Head will design the pads and has already started site work.

The project, which will cost between $16 million and $19 million, is expected to be completed in August 2013, she said."
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Unread post17 Oct 2012, 14:54

Lockheed Martin Corporation : Lockheed Martin Completes F-35 Full Mission Simulator Installation At Marine Corps Air Station Yuma Oct/17/2012

http://www.4-traders.com/LOCKHEED-MARTI ... -15390720/

"ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) marked the completion of the first F-35 Lightning II Full Mission Simulators (FMS) at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma, Ariz. The air station will be home to the first operational Marine Corps F-35 squadrons worldwide.

Two of six planned Joint Strike Fighter FMS systems have been installed on site. The FMS installation and software completion will allow pilot familiarization and transition scenarios to begin later this year.

"The importance in simulation to the program is twofold--cost and effectiveness. Due to the fidelity of the simulators, approximately 50 percent of the core syllabus flights for the F-35 program are accomplished in the simulator," said Lt. Col. Dwight DeJong, director of the Joint Strike Fighter Site Activation Team for MCAS Yuma. "This becomes extremely cost effective with realistic training that is independent of the weather, maintenance and range availability that can challenge daily operations."

The FMS includes a high-fidelity 360-degree visual display system and is the highest fidelity trainer in the F-35 pilot-training-device suite, accurately replicating all F-35 sensors and weapons deployment.

MCAS Yuma will host five F-35 squadrons and one operational test and evaluation squadron. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 will be the first operational F-35 squadron on station...."
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Unread post18 Oct 2012, 17:49

Both proposals are part of a $351.8 million makeover the air station must undergo over the next five years to house the fighter jet that will replace all of the F-18 Hornets at MCAS Beaufort.

Ouch, those costs are fixed no matter how many jets get purchased and on what schedule. It's unfortunate that foreign press will use these service site construction projects as more fodder to declare the F-35 as 'too expensive'.
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Unread post18 Oct 2012, 18:15

And yet these same furriners will save money if they do it all properly - replace hangars, get FMSs etc.
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Unread post18 Oct 2012, 20:11

Flight test activities are continuing to run ahead of schedule this year, with total F-35 flights over plan by 20% and test points by 15%. These figures increase to 40% and 20% respectively for the short take-off and vertical landing F-35B, deliveries of which will begin to US Marine Corps squadrons late this year.
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Unread post20 Oct 2012, 10:20

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Unread post23 Oct 2012, 01:57

The pieces are coming together nicely, build the nest and the birds will come.


http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.asp ... 509033.xml

Marines Get Ready For F-35 Ops At Yuma
By Amy Butler

... But to begin operations, the Marine Corps must continue to implement a foundation for the squadron’s infrastructure at the base, including delivery of the Autonomic Information Logistics System (ALIS) Block 1.03. Last month, Maj. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, F-35 deputy program director, pointed out that the squadron will not be able to properly stand up without this system. ALIS is a comprehensive system of hardware and software used to manage the F-35, including health and diagnostics of each aircraft, supply tasks and mission planning. The 1.03 release is critical for Yuma because it includes the security features needed to conduct classified operations; Killea notes that Eglin is using ALIS 1.02 because the training base doesn’t need to access classified flight data. An operational squadron, however, cannot function without it.

Lockheed Martin has had problems with ALIS 1.03 owing to security vulnerabilities. Killea says that the work “has come a long way in the last couple of months,” and what could have been a six-month slip was compressed to allow for standup of the squadron next month.
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Unread post23 Oct 2012, 02:33

...
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Unread post24 Oct 2012, 04:40

Marines Get Ready For F-35 Ops At Yuma (more of the same)

By Amy Butler

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.asp ... 509033.xml

The U.S. Marine Corps is preparing to begin operations for the first operational F-35 squadron next month at MCAS Yuma, Ariz., and officials are optimistic for a mid-month standup despite some challenges ahead.

The first F-35B is expected at Marine Fighter Attack Sqdn. 121 in early November, with the second slated for delivery mid-month. These will be the first low-rate-initial-production aircraft delivered from prime contractor Lockheed Martin to the Defense Department, and these aircraft will include the 1B software. A total of 16 F-35Bs, the number needed for full operational capability, are expected at the base within the next year, Killea says.

Six pilots have been tapped for early operations at Yuma, as well. They are currently in various stages of training; some are already qualified to use the 1A software and simply need to get “difference training” between the two blocks. Killea says small group tryouts are slated for November to determine which two of five pilots in the first 1B class at Eglin AFB, Fla., where pilot training is handled, will be among those first six pilots selected for ops at Yuma.

more at the jump :)
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Unread post25 Oct 2012, 07:45

Yuma high school engineer students tour new JSF hangars 24 Oct 2012
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma by Lance Cpl. Uriel Avendano

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/96710/yuma ... sf-hangars

"...The initial designs for the JSF hangars were started in late 2009, and contracts were awarded in June 2011. The 52,000 square foot structure broke ground in September 2011.

With advancements in engineering materials and construction design, the project ensures the future squadron is outfitted in the safest and most efficient working environment possible....

...The second JSF hangar is expected to be completed by December 15th."

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Unread post25 Oct 2012, 21:42

F-35B BF-21 First Flight

http://www.codeonemagazine.com/news_ite ... tem_id=889

VK-01 for Yuma

Lockheed Martin test pilot Billie Flynn flew F-35B production number BF-21 (US Navy Bureau Number 168719) on its inaugural flight on 24 October 2012 from NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas. The aircraft will be going to Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona.

Photo; courtesy of Code 1
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