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Navy To Base F-35Cs at NAS Lemoore

U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the Dust Devils of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 31 at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif., conducts an interoperability test event with a Navy F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft over the Edwards Air Force Base on Aug. 28, 2014. US Navy Photo

U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif., conducts an interoperability test event with a Navy F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft over the Edwards Air Force Base on Aug. 28, 2014. US Navy Photo

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post misidentified the EA-18G Growler in the caption of the photo as a F/A-18F Super Hornet due to incorrect caption information in the provided image. USNI News regrets the error.

The Navy decided it will base 100 Lockheed Martin F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif. by 2028 following the conclusion of an extensive environmental analysis, the service announced on Thursday.

Seven F-35C squadrons of 10 aircraft and a Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) of 30 aircraft will begin to be based at Lemoore starting in 2016, according to the statement.

Lemoore and Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif. were both under consideration for the location of the squadrons but Lenmoore — already home to 70 older Boeing F/A-18 Hornets which the F-35s will replace — was the ultimate choice.

Lemoore had fewer environmental effects and was a more cost effective option, according to the Navy’s environmental assessment.

The Navy removed a 30 plane Hornet FRS in 2013.

“When the FRS for the F-35C is operational (in about 2018), the number of aircraft based at NAS Lemoore will be similar to 2013 levels,” read the statement.

Currently NAS Lemoore employs about 7,900 and the inclusion of the 100 JSFs will increase uniform personnel at the base by about 500 to 600, according to a May report in The Fresno Bee.

  • riskay

    Part of the time you spell it Lenmoore and the rest, the correct spelling, Lemoore.

  • Haha

    USNI News putting its mastery of naval aviation topics on display yet again.

    It’s Lemoore, not Lenmoore.
    That’s an EA-18G in the picture, not an F/A-18F.
    Lemoore is home to a lot more than 70 F/A-18s.

    This is pretty basic knowledge. Yet these are the same guys that think they know so much about naval aviation, they’re going to start publishing essays on how its force structure needs to change and what technology investments it should make.

  • Renee N

    Lenmoore? If you can’t spell the name of the base, exactly how accurate is this article?

    • Jeff

      If we can find errors in the things we know about, how can we trust them for subjects about which we know little or nothing?

      • Steve Skubinna

        Google Michael Crichton and the Gell-Mann Effect.

  • Secundius

    @ Haha.

    Looks like a member of 390th Electronics Combat Squardon.

  • Airdale

    Served with VA-97 back when an A-7Echo was cutting edge technology. Lots of fond memories of weekends spent in Yosemite, trips to the coast via winding mountain roads and many good friends. I remember driving from Fresno to Lemoore in my buddy’s van, two hours for forty miles with me watching the fog line and him watching the center line because we couldn’t see ten feet in front for the fog. Also recall raising a blister on my forearm when it brushed the horn ring of my ’65 Cutlass one 110 plus summer afternoon as I drove out of the hanger parking lot heading back to my apartment in town. God bless all of the guys and gals serving there and deployed. Stay safe and I hope you have fond memories forty years hence.