VFA-147 at Sea

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

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Unread post04 Jul 2019, 10:22

The pilots seem to praise the F-35C's "acceleration, ALT, rolls". 8)
https://navalaviationnews.navylive.dodl ... htning-ii/
Magazine version https://navalaviationnews.navylive.dodl ... ng2019.pdf
‘Argonauts’ Complete Transition to F-35C Lightning II
– JULY 2, 2019 POSTED IN: FEATURED STORIES
When Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 wrapped up its 2017 combat deployment aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68), the “Argonauts” knew they were rolling right into the task of transitioning from their battle-tested F/A-18E Super Hornets to the Navy’s new strike fighter, the F-35C Lightning II.

During their seven-month deployment, the Argonauts flew almost 3,300 hours as part of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, with nearly 2,200 of those hours in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

An average week for the squadron meant roughly six aircraft launches on six-hour-minimum missions, six days a week for more than three consecutive months. Thoroughly engaged in completing their F/A-18E combat operations, the Argonauts could not shift their focus to the F-35C until they had departed 5th Fleet.

The Navy chose VFA-147 as the first operational F-35C squadron because of its projected operations with regard to deployments, maintenance and existing Super Hornet assets. Their transition to the F-35C actually began toward the end of their time aboard Nimitz, with some Sailors leaving the ship early to begin maintenance training at the Academic Training Center (ATC) at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida.

Upon the squadron’s return to Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, California, in December 2017, the Argonauts began a full-speed transition to the Lightning II. Within a week, they had begun the roughly 10-month process of distributing their 12 single-seat Super Hornets to the fleet, with students arriving in classrooms beginning in the first week of January.

“Since we returned from deployment in December 2017, our team has been driving toward fully bringing this platform online for the Navy,” VFA-147 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Patrick Corrigan said. “During the first few months of transition at the beginning of 2018, we were really a dual-hatted squadron. We had Sailors and pilots going between Lemoore and Eglin, training on the F-35C while still maintaining F/A-18E qualifications. Senior leadership, LPOs and first-class petty officers were in school as soon as possible to get necessary F-35C qualifications, leaving junior Sailors to manage the transfer of the Super Hornets to the other commands. It was a demanding scenario for every member of our team.”

Pilots began ground school in the spring of 2018 as the pool of F-35C maintainers and aircraft continued to increase. Meanwhile, as the number of Super Hornet maintainers diminished faster than the number of aircraft on the books, workdays lengthened to meet maintenance requirements.

While Sailors were continuing to cycle through the ATC, the last F/A-18E transferred from VFA-147 in April 2018, the same month Argonaut pilots began flying the F-35C. Up to that point, aircrew had been training in one of four state-of-the-art simulators at the Pilot Training Center at NAS Lemoore, where they were exposed to and rehearsed every conceivable situation from basic take-offs and landings to minor emergency procedures and worst-case scenarios.

Aircrew were also fit for gear at the Pilot Fit Facility (PFF) at Eglin AFB. Several F-35C facilities have since opened at NAS Lemoore, including a PFF, a centralized engine repair facility and the remodeled Hangar 5, which houses VFA-147 as well as VFA-125, which was reactivated in January 2017 as the F-35C fleet replacement squadron. Sailors will continue receiving F-35C maintenance training and instruction at the ATC at Eglin AFB, as there is no plan to build one at NAS Lemoore.

Once the last Super Hornet left the squadron, the Argonauts could focus on the final step in their transition to the F-35C—achieving its Safe-For-Flight Operations Certification (SFFOC), which ensures the squadron has enough qualified personnel to implement maintenance and safety programs in support of fleet operations. All transitioning squadrons are required to complete a SFFOC prior to independently conducting flight operations.

Encompassing areas such as equipment, personnel and programs, the SFFOC requires a squadron to be in physical custody of at least 30 percent of its assigned aircraft. With regard to the F-35C, other requirements include the installation and operation of management information systems such as the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) and its accompanying support networks. There is also a requirement for operational F-35C squadrons to maintain robust, on-track maintenance programs, as well as complete various inspections ranging from weapons to safety. Aircrew complete a transition flight syllabus and maintain certain proficiencies in accordance with Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures and Standardization.

The Argonauts earned their SFFOC in December 2018, leading to the Navy’s declaration of initial operating capability for the F-35C on Feb. 28.

“The Argonauts safe-for-flight operations certification was earned through the herculean effort of squadron Sailors and is an acknowledgement that they have developed the skills to safely maintain and operate the F-35C Lightning II,” Joint Strike Fighter Wing Commander Capt. Max McCoy said at the time. “This aircraft is a key component to maintaining the U.S. Navy’s dominance anywhere in the world.”

Pilots transitioning from the Super Hornet to the F-35C remark that the Lightning II still “flies like a fighter.”

“We were told that this jet handles like a Super Hornet with a lot more bells and whistles,” VFA-147 Maintenance Officer Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Bock said. “Having flown both the F/A-18E and the F-35C, I would agree with that statement. The Lightning II has a lot of acceleration, flies very well at high altitudes, rolls quickly and performs better than the Super Hornet and [legacy] F/A-18C.”

However, the process for executing maintenance on the F-35C is indeed generations apart from its Super Hornet predecessor.

“The most significant shift in mindset is the way we do maintenance for the F-35C,” Corrigan said. “The way we were conducting maintenance before, the quick ‘remove-and-replace to see if it works, and if it doesn’t we have to change the part again’ mindset had to change. While that thought process isn’t wrong, it just isn’t a fit for the F-35C. Now, when we go into a panel, we are confident that we have the right part on station and that it works and is good to go. We are definitely armed with more information about the jet, both historical and real-time, when we approach maintenance issues.”

“When getting our maintenance team fully-trained on the F-35C, the biggest challenge was to not only make sure we had received the proper training but also to readjust our perspective on maintenance practices,” said Aviation Electronics Technician (AT) 2nd Class Antonio Sanchez. “We were able to work side-by-side with VFA-125 for our hands-on training. They were there to teach as well as refine the skills we had already learned with the new aircraft and to help us shift our maintenance mindset by taking a more deliberate approach, and completing every step as prescribed.”

Learning a new aircraft also meant a new set of terminology.

“In maintenance, you are flushing all the acronyms of the old platform and picking up the new ones as fast as you can,” AT2 Hugh Rosie said. “Although the systems are similar, the day-to-day procedure goes by a different name under the new maintenance infrastructure.

“It’s a huge point of pride to think that what we do every day will shape Naval Aviation for the next 50 years. As we continue to work through these processes and get to answers on quick and efficient ways to resolve an issue, it will make the process easier for the squadrons transitioning behind us.”

From Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing Public Affairs.
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Unread post04 Jul 2019, 14:38

The foot stomper here is the comment about acceleration — you all remember...that all the Henny Penny’s cackled about when they changed the accel spec some years ago. And, this is the ‘slow’ one, mind you...

Also note — they like it’s roll rate (recall Billy Flynn’s comments a couple years back), and the big wing works nicely at altitude.

How ‘bout that... :pint:
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Unread post07 Jul 2019, 04:08

It’s almost like the engineers @ LM actually know how to build an airplane that meets specs. Who coulda thunkit? :doh:
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post10 Feb 2020, 16:03

There are several references to 'greenie boards' on this thread (& elsewhere) with the first such reference on page one:

viewtopic.php?f=59&t=54401&p=400867&hilit=greenie#p400867

Meanwhile it behooves me to post a pic from Naval Aviation News July 1948 about probably the FIRST such 'greenie board'.

https://www.history.navy.mil/research/h ... /july.html (PDF 6.7Mb)
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1stGreenieBoardNANjul1948forum.gif
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Unread post10 Feb 2020, 16:33

Spaz, could you decode the Paddles figures for us?
"Spurts"

-Pilot
-Aerospace Engineer
-Army Medic
-FMS Systems Engineer
-PFD Systems Engineer
-PATRIOT Systems Engineer
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Unread post10 Feb 2020, 16:52

Shirley: from NAN Naval Aviation News Jan 1945: (4 page reprinted PRN extract of LSO/Paddles Signals PDF attached)

https://www.history.navy.mil/research/h ... ary-1.html (PDF 7.1Mb)

It is 0300 my time so I'll probably come back when rested meanwhile attached is a sample of the board. The text above explains for GIBBS so I'll enlarge that part also. You will be able to decipher the others with the Paddles Signals PDF.
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LSO Signals NAN BuAero 1jan45 PRNbw pp4.pdf
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GIBBSexplained1stGreenieBoardNANjul1948forum.gif
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Unread post10 Feb 2020, 22:40

The narrative about GIBBS (not NCIS) is a bit 'botched' so here it 'tis (figures go top to btm from left to right - some gone).
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Unread post22 Jul 2020, 05:33

Six page PDF of this article 'Argonauts' ARE GO attached.
'Argonauts' ARE GO
2019 Jamie Hunter

"The us Navy's first frontline F-35C squadron, VFA-147 'Argonauts' reached initial operating capability [IOC] in February 2019, paving the way for the type's first operational deployment....

...VFA-147 formally undertook its first official flight with the F-35C on April 18, 2018, with LT Dave 'Strokes' Hinkle at the
controls before the squadron formally received its first assigned F-35C (Bu No 169305/ NH-407) in October 2018....

...VFA-147 is the Navy's first combat capable, fully deployable and fully integrated squadron, scheduled to make a maiden cruise with CVW-11 in Fiscal Year 2021 aboard the USS Carl Vinson. CAPT McCoy said that VFA-147 is now conducting squadron-level training and individual certifications and that it is now part of CVW-2 and will eventually move into air wing-level training and then strike group-level training under the leadership of its new skipper, CDR Daniel 'Tonto' Kitts."

Source: US NAVY 8 MARINE CORPS AIR POWER YEARBOOK 2019
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doge

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Unread post14 Jan 2021, 15:56

Debut. :applause:
https://militaryfamilies.com/military-n ... eployment/
The new F-35C joint striker prepares for first carrier deployment
Susan Malandrinoby Susan Malandrino January 4, 2021
The F-35C, the carrier variant of the supersonic, multi-role joint strike fighter, has completed carrier qualifications and is nearly ready to bring unprecedented stealth technology to the Navy’s fighting force. VFA-147, the “Argonauts,” will deploy later this year, marking the debut of a fifth-generation catapult takeoff arrested landing fighter in the fleet.
VFA-147, a squadron based in Lemoore, California, is part of Carrier Air Wing Two (CVW-2), which deploys aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70). CVW-2 is composed of three F/A-18 Super Hornet squadrons, one F-35C Lightning II squadron, one EA-18G Growler squadron, one E-2C Hawkeye squadron, one Helicopter Maritime Strike squadron (HSM) and one Helicopter Sea Combat squadron (HSC).
In September of 2020, the Vinson successfully completed several exercises, including flight deck certification and carrier air traffic control center certification designed to ready the carrier for deployed operations. The recent time at sea marked the first time that CVW-2 and CVN-70 fully integrated and operated together since the addition of the F-35C.
“Since then, the air wing has completed training in Fallon, [Nevada], and will be gearing up for their next underway period, early next year, aboard USS Carl Vinson for TSTA (Tailored Ship’s Training Availability),” Capt. Matthew J. Thrasher, Cmdr. CVW-2, said in an email in November. The Vinson and air wing will complete a series of additional workups and certifications in preparation for future operational tasking, including a fall 2021 deployment.
According to Lt. Cmdr. Lydia Bock, public affairs officer for Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing, through multiplatform integration, CVW-2 will provide fleet commanders the ability to achieve an advantage across multiple domains: air, land, sea and electromagnetic against any adversary.
The carrier variant of the F-35C differs from the F-35A, which takes off and lands the same as an ordinary airplane, and the F-35B, which has a short take-off and landing capacity, meaning it can operate in a small airfield or off the deck of carriers that do not have catapults. The C version, flown by the Navy, features a broader wingspan, reinforced landing gear ruggedized structures, durable coatings and folding wings. It is designed to stand up to harsh shipboard conditions.

More than a fighter jet, the aircraft has the ability to collect, analyze and share data in new and dynamic ways. One noteworthy item is the aircraft’s ability to integrate seamless data sharing, which according to Bock makes “every participant in the battlespace smarter, more lethal and more survivable.”
The F-35C’s avionics equip the pilot with real-time access to battlespace information with spherical coverage. Likewise, commanders at sea, in the air or on the ground, immediately receive data collected by the F-35’s sensors, empowering them with instantaneous, high-fidelity details of ongoing operations.
According to Bock, the F-35C is a game-changer for carrier-based aviation. She notes that the integration of the aircraft will allow the entire strike group to effectively engage and survive a wide range of rapidly evolving threats, both air and surface, in a contested battlespace.
“The F-35 is bringing unprecedented stealth capability to carrier-based aviation. What that means to CVW-2 is we are now taking those fifth-generation capabilities and we are integrating them into a carrier wing. . . Everyone has leveled up in order to take the entire Carrier Strike Group to a place it’s never been before with capability and technology that’s never been available before,” Bock said.
For Thrasher, the training has been an opportunity to integrate the new aircraft with the entire strike group and to build skills at the squadron level.
“There are individual and command level skills at play. As individuals, aircrew hone their warfighting skills and squadron maintainers gain proficiency at troubleshooting and fixing combat systems. At a unit level, the squadrons iron out how they fight as a unit, developing trust and confidence in their personnel and aircraft,” he said.
Prior to integrated operations with the air wing, the Vinson underwent a 17-month maintenance availability to receive major upgrades in support of fifth-generation aircraft, including jet blast deflectors able to take the increased heat generated by the F-35C and the addition of a new computer network that supports the unique maintenance and tactical operations functions of the advanced aircraft.
For Thrasher, the updates to the ship have meant more integration between the air wing and ship’s company, something crucial to the everyday success of carrier operations. He notes that flight operations require detailed coordination between ship’s company and the air wing squadrons, and flight deck certification was an opportunity to develop that relationship further.
“In the carrier environment, teamwork is everything,” Thrasher stated in a release. “Our sailors and aircrew are focused on the task at hand and the path forward to deployment. Our success with the Vinson team is a direct result of the dedication, training and deployment-ready mentality we embrace daily.”
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Unread post14 Jan 2021, 17:07

“We were told that this jet handles like a Super Hornet with a lot more bells and whistles,” VFA-147 Maintenance Officer Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Bock said. “Having flown both the F/A-18E and the F-35C, I would agree with that statement. The Lightning II has a lot of acceleration, flies very well at high altitudes, rolls quickly and performs better than the Super Hornet and [legacy] F/A-18C.”

That is indeed a welcome statement, no question about it...

I wonder though, about the context. He's coming from the Hornet, right? I've heard it said that nothing gets slower, faster than a Hornet and nothing gets faster, slower than a Hornet. Now it may well be clean, F-16 like acceleration. Or close. Or something halfway in between.

I realize its a very, very small part of what really matters... but I'd love some more info... Hopefully, the F-35C is the best of the bunch like Billy says it is...
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Unread post14 Jan 2021, 17:22

mixelflick wrote:“We were told that this jet handles like a Super Hornet with a lot more bells and whistles,” VFA-147 Maintenance Officer Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Bock said. “Having flown both the F/A-18E and the F-35C, I would agree with that statement. The Lightning II has a lot of acceleration, flies very well at high altitudes, rolls quickly and performs better than the Super Hornet and [legacy] F/A-18C.”

That is indeed a welcome statement, no question about it...

I wonder though, about the context. He's coming from the Hornet, right? I've heard it said that nothing gets slower, faster than a Hornet and nothing gets faster, slower than a Hornet. Now it may well be clean, F-16 like acceleration. Or close. Or something halfway in between.

I realize its a very, very small part of what really matters... but I'd love some more info... Hopefully, the F-35C is the best of the bunch like Billy says it is...


We’ve already been ‘there’ — years ago.

https://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/20 ... 2.html?m=1
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