Home » Aviation » Marines Declare Initial Operational Capability on F-35B Joint Strike Fighter


Marines Declare Initial Operational Capability on F-35B Joint Strike Fighter

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan (right), the Program Executive Officer for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office, and U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, Deputy Commandant Aviation, along with distinguished visitors from the U.S. Department of Defense and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, watch as an F-35B lands on the flight deck of USS Wasp (LHD-1) off the coast of Virginia on May 20, 2015. US Marine Corps Photo

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan (right), the Program Executive Officer for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office, and U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, Deputy Commandant Aviation, along with distinguished visitors from the U.S. Department of Defense and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, watch as an F-35B lands on the flight deck of USS Wasp (LHD-1) off the coast of Virginia on May 20, 2015. US Marine Corps Photo

The Marine Corps declared initial operational capability on its variant of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), after a final assessment showed the plane and its crew are not only ready to fight overseas if needed but also maintain and sustain the plane during extended operations.

“I am pleased to announce that VMFA-121 has achieved initial operational capability in the F-35B, as defined by requirements outlined in the June 2014 Joint Report to Congressional Defense Committees,” Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford said in a statement.
“VMFA-121 has ten aircraft in the Block 2B configuration with the requisite performance envelope and weapons clearances, to include the training, sustainment capabilities, and infrastructure to deploy to an austere site or a ship. It is capable of conducting close air support, offensive and defensive counter air, air interdiction, assault support escort and armed reconnaissance as part of a Marine Air Ground Task Force, or in support of the Joint Force.”

The Marines’ fifth-generation fighter is the first of the three variants to reach IOC. The first squadron, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121, is scheduled to move to Japan in 2017, but technically now that IOC has been declared the squadron could be called upon for emergency operations at any time.

Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation Lt. Gen. Jon Davis told USNI News earlier this month that he’d like to see the jets wait until 2017 before going overseas, to allow more time for more units to be stood up and for the training and logistics pipelines to mature. But he made clear he would not recommend that Dunford declare IOC unless he was confident the planes could be successful overseas today.

“Just like the V-22, we declared IOC in 2007; a couple weeks later, we deployed to Iraq right away,” Davis told USNI News. Therefore, his threshold for recommending an IOC declaration was, “could we take this squadron and go over to the Middle East tomorrow after Gen. Dunford declares IOC, yes or no?”

The squadron went through operational testing aboard USS Wasp (LHD-1) in May, and in a first-ever step before declaring IOC for an American platform, Davis introduced an Operational Readiness Assessment as a final test to ensure the pilots, the maintainers and the logistics teams were ready to formally enter the fleet. Davis said his biggest concern was whether there were enough spare parts in the inventory to properly sustain the squadron’s 10 jets. He promised that, even though many people have assumed the Marines would declare IOC on time regardless of the planes’ performance in testing, he would not give his thumbs up until he was confident the spares were right.

“The performance of the VMFA-121 during the ORI in all evaluated maintenance, flight operations, and exams was exceptional,” Davis said in a statement Friday.
“The squadron’s aircraft performed well in all five IOC operational scenarios: Close Air Support, Air Interdiction, Armed Reconnaissance, Offensive Counter Air and Defensive Counter Air. This included live ordnance deliveries. The demonstrated capability of the squadron in the ORI, and in their run up to it, have given me the confidence that they meet our IOC criteria and, if required, could respond to a contingency, giving our nation its first sea-based 5th generation strike fighter capability. As such, the Commandant of the Marine Corps has decided to declare VMFA-121 initial operationally capable.”

Davis added in his statement that “as we field the F-35, we must remain vigilant in the forging of a sustainment system which supports readiness rates required to train for and conduct sustained combat operations. If I have any concern at this point, it is that the spare parts available to extract maximum value from this exceptional warfighting asset will be shy of what we will truly need. In our legacy fleet, we resource our sustainment accounts in order to achieve between 70 and 75% readiness. I think we have that wrong, and I want to see if we can do better with this new platform. The F-35B has so much potential. Per the Commandant’s guidance, I’ve asked my staff to see why we can’t resource this jet to achieve a significantly higher readiness rate.”

The following is the complete statement from the Marine Corps:

The U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning II aircraft reached initial operational capability today with a squadron of 10 F-35Bs ready for world-wide deployment.

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121), based in Yuma, Arizona, is the first squadron in military history to become operational with an F-35 variant, following a five-day Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI), which concluded July 17.

“I am pleased to announce that VMFA-121 has achieved initial operational capability in the F-35B, as defined by requirements outlined in the June 2014 Joint Report to Congressional Defense Committees,” said Gen. Joseph Dunford, Commandant of the Marine Corps. “VMFA-121 has ten aircraft in the Block 2B configuration with the requisite performance envelope and weapons clearances, to include the training, sustainment capabilities, and infrastructure to deploy to an austere site or a ship. It is capable of conducting close air support, offensive and defensive counter air, air interdiction, assault support escort and armed reconnaissance as part of a Marine Air Ground Task Force, or in support of the Joint Force.”

Dunford stated that he has his full confidence in the F-35B’s ability to support Marines in combat, predicated on years of concurrent developmental testing and operational flying.

“Prior to declaring IOC, we have conducted flight operations for seven weeks at sea aboard an L-Class carrier, participated in multiple large force exercises, and executed a recent operational evaluation which included multiple live ordnance sorties,” said Dunford. “The F-35B’s ability to conduct operations from expeditionary airstrips or sea-based carriers provides our Nation with its first 5th generation strike fighter, which will transform the way we fight and win.”

As the future of Marine Corps tactical aviation, the F-35 will eventually replace three legacy platforms: the AV-8B Harrier, the F/A-18 Hornet, and the EA-6B Prowler.

“The success of VMFA-121 is a reflection of the hard work and effort by the Marines in the squadron, those involved in the program over many years, and the support we have received from across the Department of the Navy, the Joint Program Office, our industry partners, and the Under Secretary of Defense. Achieving IOC has truly been a team effort,” concluded Dunford.

The U.S. Marine Corps has trained and qualified more than 50 Marine F-35B pilots and certified about 500 maintenance personnel to assume autonomous, organic-level maintenance support for the F-35B.

VMFA-121’s transition will be followed by Marine Attack Squadron 211 (VMA-211), an AV-8B squadron, which is scheduled to transition to the F-35B in fiscal year 2016. In 2018, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 (VMFA-122), an F-18 Hornet squadron, will conduct its transition.

  • East Coast

    No gun, no drop tanks, no wing mounted stores?

    • Ctrot

      Note the word “initial” in “Initial Operational Capability”.

      • Curtis Conway

        …..The F-35B has so much potential. Per the Commandant’s guidance, I’ve asked my staff to see why we can’t resource this jet to achieve a significantly higher readiness rate.”…….

        As ALIS matures they may actually be able to do that if the spares are there. We did the same thing in Aegis for the Surface Warfare Combat Systems with Operational Readiness Test System (ORTS). No reason the Marines can’t do it here. The F-35B has the potential to revolutionize Naval Aviation.

        • magic3400

          Agreed…but for only 10-15 years and then the drones take over the skies.

          That will be a sad day.

          • Curtis Conway

            This is one of those things I will have to disagree with you on. One cannot sneak up on an F-35 Combat System. You can on almost anything else except a AEW radar platform. This gives this combat system a unique capability. IF . . . the full capability is ever realized, and its just a matter of time, and the other weapons come on line (like the CUDA) then we will have something that cold take us into space if the airframe could go there. Gotta do this first.

          • magic3400

            I’m kinda lukewarm on CUDA, it’s a solid “maybe” in my book.

            I really like the F-35, though and I’m glad to have it up there supporting Marines. I’m very impressed by the sensor package and I agree, if everything works it will be a formidable adversary.

            ??? Space…are you talking about “single stage to orbit?” With the F-35? If so, first I’ve heard of it. I would love to know more…

        • The_Usual_Suspect61

          We are all hoping it can live up to that potential, but hope is not a good plan.

      • East Coast

        The, Panther, Skyray, Skyhawk Crusader, Intruder, Phantom, Hornet, and the Harrier …. all had gun capability (internal or external), drop tank wet stations, and wing hard points operational when they were declared “IOC”.

        • Ctrot

          Good for them. How many lines of code did their flight and avionics computers have?

          • East Coast

            Too much technology will hamper tactical effectiveness, imho.
            I offer a few terms from Naval Aviation,
            *helmet fire
            *task saturation
            *BVR effectiveness against overwhelming odds
            *the role of the gun in 1v1 combat
            *gun capacity, rate of fire, slave to radar
            *”come to fight, come to win”
            *”train like you fight, fight to win”
            *”pilot proficiency maintainability”
            *”salt water reclamation”

          • sferrin

            “Too much technology will hamper tactical effectiveness, imho.”

            The professionals, on every side, disagree. That’s why you don’t see F-22s, Typhoons, and Flankers sporting just a half dozen 0.50 cal machine guns and iron sights.

          • East Coast

            F-22s, Typhoons, and Flankers can carry way more ordnance than an F-35, and they all have GUNS, and they can fly (dogfight) the rivets off an F-35 to boot!

          • Secundius

            @ East Coast.

            If the F/A-35B had a 3,300-foot runway instead of a 550-foot runway, you’d be able to carry more ordnance too…

          • East Coast

            The AV-8B Harrier II Plus, can carry, in the rolling vertical takeoff mode, using full flaps and nozzle positioning, an ideal air to ground package of, x 4 GBU-32 1000 pound JDAM on the parent rack, or ….. x 6 GBU-38/54 500 pound JDAM using TER’s, 300 rounds of 25MM in the gun, and two AIM-9’s ….. or for air to air, x 2 AMRAAM, x 2 AIM-9, two drop tanks, and 300 rounds of 25mm, and six (6) buckets of ECM countermeasures payloads. But the Harrier II is now “non-relevant”?, and that’s off of an LHD deck, or a short un-improved runway/highway.

          • Secundius

            @ East Coast.

            The AV-8B Harrier II’s, have been given a Life Extension to at least 2025. So the Marine Corps, didn’t put “All Their Egg’s In One Basket”…

          • East Coast

            @ Secundius, you are right, and did you also know that NAVAIR went to the UK, and purchased all that remained of the RAF/RN joint force Harrier’s, all newly retired GR7,9, and T-10’s. So why would they do that, I think I know.

          • Secundius

            @ East Coast.

            But then again, Neither the Harrier, Sea Harrier or Harrier II are Supercruise Capable of able to Achieve Supersonic Flight…

          • East Coast

            @Seundius, Is the F-35 supercruise capable?, I do not know (single engine, probably not?).
            I know that the F-22 is, I myself think that the F-22 is a remarkable aircraft, and I think we should build more of them, I read someplace that the USAF saved all the “tooling” when they (LM) shut down the production line, when the F-22 taxis past you at very close quarters, it does have a very threatening engine sound, even at ground idle power, very impressive indeed, it looks alien to me.

          • Secundius

            @ East Coast.

            Mach 1.2…

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            2 Engines and a total PARADIGM SHIFT in air superiority role electronically active fuselage (radome) a really revolutionary TOOL not the toy. Of all 3 models in the competition they choose F-35 either out of “pity” or worse.. I have some strong feeling that we are financing the Northrop’s “next” toy? F-35 could not be “it”.

          • East Coast

            We have a little theory here in the office this morning, as in (BLUF) we may actually see the USMC divest of the F-35B?, ….. at some point after General Dunford takes the Joint Chiefs seat, or at least reduce the buy …. its a long story, being a former “op-plan planner” myself, I have a few random thoughts in regards to subject ….. CMC Amos is now gone, whom was an aviator (he was my sqn commander back in 1991-92, and later Group cammander), CMC Dunford is on deck now, and he is Infantry, two _completely_ different perspectives, USMC cultural and operational ideologies, …. how in the world do you send an aircraft into theater (WESTPAC), as an asset to the warfighter as an “initial capability”? They can declare IOC all day long, but when the operational commanders are reviewing “packages”, these said packages better have the right capabilities, or they are sent back to the rear with the rest of the broken NMC gear, its where the rubber meets the road, no more politics, or fancy terms, the real deal, lead or get out of the way … so how can F-35B be an asset, without its full weapons operational capability?, What if? ….. NK crosses the line, or PLAAF starts further mission creep across the Sea of Japan, how will we use this F-35B to project power to counter this, either afloat, or ashore (FOB) in its present state of operational capability, are we going to tell the news feeds “not to worry”, that its only an “initial capability”, and that the KPAGF, and PLAAF better just wait, because in a couple of months, our software will be “ready”, so STFB ! This scenario lacks of one basic element, “common sense”. We are thinking that this aircraft is being setup for failure, after spending over two decades in the USMC myself, I have seen this classic Marine Corps maneuver before, the USMC will eat its own young in order to preserve its war fighting capability, seen it happen many times.

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            In the 18th Century British king lost his life on account of raising the taxes from 11% to 13% yet he could sort of justify it because Country had some war “issues” with the French.. BUT citizens did not buy (his) story.. TODAY something went amiss.. We are paying what? 30, 40, 60%, Federal, State etc. taxes yet SEQUESTRATION? Somewhere citizens become irrelevant or even “dangerous” like IRS vs. Tea Party (the real tax paying CITIZENS the real employers of those bureaucratic aspiring tyrants yet their unions are above constitution, laws and anything free society stands for. YET! Since inception of the first organized society by far the foremost purpose FOR THE ORGANIZATION IS the PROTECTION of that society from the external threats that it MAY face. Selling the “philosophy” instead of PROVIDING the society with the RESPONSIBILITY to take it to the account REALITY we face today and to provide our boys who volunteered to DO THE JOB necessary tools to keep them effective and SAFE in order to keep us SAFE as well. Peddlers of the folly – philosophy that never worked anywhere and ever.. Welfare state in combination with Orwellian “press” somehow was able to warp reality to make the citizens as a fluid NUISENCE totally “optional”.. i.e. ACORN and their “Messiah” were able to RISE THE DEAD to vote without any consequences as well first time in US history 14 million ILLEGALS were voting US presidential candidate out of DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS into a managed Orwellian FICTION. SO! Sequestration? Military ASSETS “management” is an “political” venture? Not the military one. US HAD and always had the best intelligence on the planet US Naval Intelligence (only close second were British Naval Intelligence.. and then “abyss”) It was interesting to watch when actually one Naval Intelligence officer COLIDED with the political narrative of the CIA (State Departments politically charged NARATIVE). Reason why I went on this rant is that precept for every failure has two main components one is IGNORANCE and second is ARROGANCE (not necessary in that order) priorities of the state are totally mixed – up instead of learning we and our children got “indoctrinated”. If reality collide with the political narrative to tough on reality IT HAS to give. Imagine we elected a bus driver and he start to paint the wind-shield and few “cool aid junkies” join the and start to paint all other windows.. the trip might not end well? Soldiers know REALITY.. they live and die by it. To the “space cadets” reality is just an impediment.. an obstacle toward their “ultimate dream” (absolute and tyrannical power of the state) which IS OUR ULTIMATE NIGHTMARE.

          • East Coast

            @ R’Yitzchak M,
            I have one word, “un-sustainable”.
            We are witnessing, in our lifetime, the absolute catastrophic collapse of all basic moral truth, and reason, I do fear that America, as a Nation has reached the point, and has indeed passed said point, in an ever increasing list, that we will not be able to recover, from what is happening to this Nation, and we will, maybe sooner, rather than later, capsize, and then sink.

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            I got to refresh your day.. I came in US in the late 70’s..
            about the same time somewhere in Europe some guy got robed got thrown out of his car totally naked in the midst of the winter trying to flag the passing carss to help him none of them did it so after two hours of agony the poor guy DIED.. no one stopped no, and one even bother to call 911, for over 2 hours thousands of cars were going by and nothing .. they were the accomplices to the murder. Now imagine the image of USA throughout the Hollywood movies before I first came to the US woah.. “flying cars”.. Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry”… I did travel across the US it is a beautiful country BUT !!! The most POWERFULL LESON BAR NONE I got from young couple.. I love history and did read quite a bit of it strategy here STRATIGERY there (hehe..) This empire.. that empire.. but then me and my wife got stuck in a sand ( my car was a beautiful HUGE block engine car) it was like trying to move a tank it got royally stuck and then there was a young AMERICAN couple a 23 (the most) they stopped with their pick-up truck and he and I (with my horrifying foreign accent..) were digging pushing and at the end AFTER TWO HOURS AND FOURTY FIVE MINUTES under the relentless squadrons of “no-see” bugs (palm trees are using them as “superiority interceptors” I guess for their defense they have a really annoying bites..) finally he put his
            Lewi Strauss jacket and I put my jeans under the tires and we got it freed.. I had 47.00$ In my wallet (it was 1970.. remember?) I BEGGED him and tried to REASON
            with his girlfriend and guy did not budge did not want NONE OF IT. After literally holding kid for another 20 minutes of ongoing torturous BEGGING.. kid turned to
            me and told me: (not like from script.. but a real.. talk) “Please I hope you realize that I did not stop for that.. but if you REALLY want to return the favor just stop to someone else in need and you do the same and you will return the favor..” I turned to my wife and told her my dear after all my years of study history I never realized what is the making of the EMPIRE it is in its PEOPLE who care about each other to MATTER. Of all the people on the planet you guys have the chance to OVERCOME, you have THE “BLUEPRINT” you have the TRADITION and you
            HAVE WHAT IT TAKES.. Globalists, Socialists, Communists, all those sick puppies are in desperate need of housing not the White House but nice “white”? and cushy
            room and special jacket that goes with it.. In G-d you DO TRUST and the miracle will happen good des not die.. Idiocy just fades away.

          • East Coast

            Wow!, that’s a great story R’ Yitzchak M … thank you so much for sharing that …

            I found a man’s wallet in the street a few months ago, I saw it, and stopped to pick it up from the traffic lane, it was full of credit cards, cash, ID, and all kinds of personal information, I went home with it and started to play phone tag, to try to figure out whom, and how to contact the
            owner, and I was able to find out the owners name, and cell phone number, and this WAS NOT easy!, Turns out, this man was still in town, and he was obviously looking for his wallet, I was able to call him, and immediately arranged an encounter, when I pulled up to a local gas station there he was with his POV, his boat, and his family, with a local policeman man standing buy, I rolled down the window, and said, “here you go Brother”, he then tried to shove a few bills into my hand, but I would not take them, I told him to “pay it forward”, I smiled and said , “ no worries”, “take good care and God Bless”, and I drove away ….. the
            whole evolution took about an hour and fifteen minutes from start to finish ….

          • East Coast

            I always liked the Sea Harrier, “SHAR”, the FRS-1 with that pointy nose and pitot tube sticking off the beak looked pretty cool, the FA2 was a pretty good Fleet defensive machine too, for operational use on the UK’s through deck cruisers. They just got old.

          • Scott Cherry

            You know too little about this aircraft. You need to do a little more research about this aircraft before you post next time

          • East Coast

            Actually Mr. Cherry, I consider myself to be pretty knowledgeable about the F-35, I have worked around fighter and attack aircraft since I was nineteen, I am pushing fifty now, and even though retired, I still serve the air wing, I think the only thing the F-35 has going for it, is its “electronic suite”, the “sensors” that are relied on so much to give credence to this aircrafts supposed capabilities by her creators, and the acquisition military, the EW systems that it supposedly will bring to the realm of air dominance warfare I have a grasp of, the co-operational littoral air warfare arena? All fine and dandy, until the bad guys figure it out, its “signature”, and I am afraid they already have. Case in point, the F-117, someone, somewhere figured out how to detect it, and get a missile off, and now the entire fleet is “retired”. I was in the service for over two decades, I was a squadron level weapons engineer for all for all that time, I know the smell of jet fuel, and the feel of live ordnance, the grind of daily operations, both ashore, and shipboard. I consider myself to have the common sense perspective of a chain dragger, the most intimate relationship with the operational airframes, I have seen them at their best, and their absolute worse, I have witnessed first hand when things, “do not go according to plan”, or operational dictate, or mission intent. The F-35 can best be described as a “specialty mission aircraft”, but a true dog fighter, or air to ground machine, it will never be able to be, I have seen her up close, I have smelled and touched her skin, have been briefed buy her keepers, and I have stood in her weapons bay, and I was not impressed. Then there is the issue of the single engine?

          • Secundius

            @ East Coast.

            If I recall the Serb’s got lucky, because they “Rippled-Off” Every Missile they had available to the at the time…

          • East Coast

            It only takes one!, everything stealth or not gives some type of cross signature, all you have to do is figure out exactly, well close to … what that may look like on a scope, and there is your target, or targets!

          • Secundius

            @ East Coast & R’Yitzchak M.

            All Stealth Aircraft have Weakness, Weakness being when they use their WEAPONS…

          • East Coast

            I was walking down the flight line in Tyndall … about two years ago, and as we walked past the F-22’s sitting under their shelters I saw that there were CATM-9M’s in the trapeze launchers, with the weapons bay doors open, I asked the rep with me, “so Smitty, why are they flying that old thing (CATM-9M), I would think that this beast should be flying the AIM-9X”, Smitty says to me, “well Brother, the AIM-9X won’t fit in there, that have to redesign the rocket motor so it (AIM-9X series) will fit into a production F-22”. So, they built a fighter, a very expensive fighter, but did not td sufficient weapons carriage validation for the AIM-9X series?? really??, only the “legacy” series? I have since found pic’s on the net of F-22 firing AIM-9X in the OT/ET. Reckon they go that all fixed up by now? …well maybe? Anyways, that door has to open for a few seconds to get the missile off of the rail, it happens very fast, as well the 20MM (F-22 Raptor) gun also has a port that opens when it fires.

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            The best solution in HIGH INTESINTY and strategically critical environments would be X-47B utility as a “mule” (a weapon carrier and discharger) as well AESA broadcaster so rest of the F-22 could utilize a passive radars for the battle management and the critical targets engagements.. in a matter of fact creating the a “symphony” of the electronic chaos that only your players would have developed “taste” (utility) for it. X-47B is the PERFECT answer for that.

          • East Coast

            I agree with that, the X-47 would be very effective in this role. What is PMA-234’s “motto”, “control the spectrum, control the fight”.

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            .. it is “just” an EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE that brought many of our boys home in one piece.. it is the critical – DECISIVE component in the modern battlefield.. and one of the most critical factors in every victory from the conception of the warfare is to know the terrain of the battlefield. Arial Sharon ascribed to his success his “walk about” over the battlefield and familiarization with every shrub on the impending battlefield.. E.W. is exactly the same.. it is the most critical modern battlefield.. of the 20th and most likely 21st century as well.

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            Frequency of its utility and its cumulative time is an opportunity given for the enemy to learn and eventually to adapt and to neutralize that that threat or ANY THREAT.. especially their perceived or real existential threat. In my humble opinion I would kept ONLY F-22’s TOTALY secret and B-2’s TOTALY secret and no stealth exposure to “friendly” nor the enemy sensors of any kind.. If never used..? EVEN BETTER it meant it did its JOB. But in the case of its utility it would do its job so the whole mankind would benefit from it.

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            .. a focused “curiosity” of p.. ed off enemy is not good. But imagine the motivation where their very survival is at the stake? So utilizing the F-22 and even F-35 is just educating the enemy and allowing him time to learn and to BUILD the better “can opener”? Certain technologies should be kept only for the strategic and not for the convenience of the tactical utility.

          • East Coast

            “Certain technologies should be kept only for the strategic and not for the convenience of the tactical utility.”

            Yes, why would you take away a farmers old and dependable , proven pick-up truck, and give him a “Lamborghini Lotus” to go to the feed mill, and haul the hogs off to market with? Some things need to keep within all aspects of “utility”, for the sake of the aircrews, and the maintainers, in order to support the warfare doctrine, and operational culture of that particular service.

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            100% utility of the choices is the wisdom of success.. Guderian utilized cb radio and made the huge difference on the dynamics of the battlefield. Intelligent utility of the resources is the by far the strongest asset of the US Navy, Army and The Air Force at least until now.. WAS THE MASTERY OF THE COMMON SENSE.

          • East Coast

            “Heinz Wilhelm Guderian was a German general during World War II, noted for his success as a leader of Panzer units in Poland and France and for partial success in Russia”

            Shoot, move, and communicate”

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            Funny thing was that strategy of pincher movement and the utility of the INDEPENDENT ARMOUR supported by the motorized infantry (not the other way around) to secure logistical choke points and to interrupt and crate panic – chaos in the lines of supply and to create strategic bridgeheads and the pockets of the strategic opportunities.. That is main reason why the generals were in the advancing units to EXPLOIT those developing opportunities. Charles De Gaulle was the “father” of that doctrine Heinz and Ervin were avid students of his doctrine.. But what ENABLED “blitz kreig” “miracle” is the cb and battlefield AWARENES and rapid exploitation of all available assets to achieve the maximum advantages tactical and strategic on the evolving battlefield. It was unfortunate that French “establishment” at the time was engrossed by the low life opportunist which were busy selling the PAST on account of “future” – robing the future with the common “b.s.” now this is really critical in our times as well U.S. is the ONLY one where the PEOPLE are still interacting with the REALITY with necessary ACCOUNTABILITY to face the reality. Churchill in his memoirs told us that: “Every nation has the government it deserves..” now if you really like to make peak into the “forensics” analysis and pathogens – ENABLERS of the WW2 tragedy check Charles memoirs I really believe he was the most intelligent European leader of that era.. it was really great reading. We are slowly led in that direction away from self accountability and responsibility into the lullaby of the dependability and moral surrender?

          • East Coast

            I have read some about the quality of French mechanized armor
            of that period, it seems the French had several outstanding Tank designs, quite
            comparable to the German Panzers , and these designs were fielded and as well
            logistically supported in good quantities. However, the operational commanders
            were quite hampered by the leadership of that time, had they been able to fight
            it out, the outcome may have been different, also the French Navy of that period
            had several very combat capable surface warships, very comparable to Bismarck,
            and Tirpitz.

          • Secundius

            @ Easy Coast.

            One of three different models: Mw.E.c, Ukw.E.d1 or Ukw.E.e. All using High-End Medium Wave Constant “K” Crystals…

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            On downing of the F-117 was a freakish accident it seem to be that bomb bay failed to close in time (freezing suspected) so there was a window of opportunity.. The thing now is really IR signature and new generation of advanced multi spectrum discerning IR detectors that incorporates even air friction and a of course a huge GLOWING IR signature of the F-35 “Sparky” is a sweet target.. AIM-9X a “next” generation AA missiles was projected entry in about 10 years it came as the operational necessity in no time because it will utilize new advanced long distance thermal sensors.. So stealth(ISH) is a noble, perhaps even a good idea BUT to sacrifice EVERYTHING on the account of the new fad? Is a very dangerous folly.

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            One of the most lethal precepts of the failure is ignorance and arrogance.. Please do not think it is addressed to you but in general it is the present “strategic” paradigm of our political “elite” we have ABSOLUTE superiority.. Generally it is true in most cases.. BUT! Sequestration and strategic adventurism (omissions, ideologies, or just simple “experimentations” with the reality with the “hope” that cool things will happen..???) Chinese for example have made a major inroads in a classical science and a majority of all “revolutionary” thing came from there.. like MULTI SENSORY ARRAY that Our and Russian 4.5 and 5th Generation planes are utilizing now are taken from the experience of the Radio Astronomy which is utilizing array of radio telescopes across the globe to increase resolution and the space penetration.. it is just a simple science. Chinese have time, and man-power and brutally educated and quite dedicated “nerds” to play with their lines of software ESPECIALLY when they got decent “introduction” from our readily available sources.. I do believe they will surpass us very shortly especially in cyber technology.. we gave up on that technology 30 years ago. Now they have the options and I do not doubt that they will utilize the extreme of the human imagination to BITE US IN THE BUT.

        • USNVO

          Not true, the Phantom did not get a gun pod until well after introduction to service and the Intruder never had a gun at all. Also, how many carried internal stores? None, so they couldn’t carry stores at all without external stores unlike the F-35B. What were their ranges without drop tanks? The F-35 out ranges virtually all the planes listed even without drop tanks.

          Let’s compare it to a F-16 for instance. On IOC, the F-16A could carry dumb bombs and sidewinder, that’s it. And they couldn’t be upgraded, short of a complete rebuild. Shoot, the F-16C has an entirely new wing. The F-35B can carry limited bombs and AMRAAM now, but the same aircraft can be upgraded by nothing more than a software update to the full 3F configuration which includes full internal and external stores. They do have to move a couple of hoses half an inch for block 4, not exactly a major change.

          • East Coast

            Yes, you are right, the specific capabilities were not completely shared by all aforementioned venerable/classic airframes.

            The F-4B/J/S/N in Navy and Marine Corps service did utilize the GPU/SUU-series gun pods later in life. The A-6 was tested with these same gun pods, but never fielded, although the capability may have been feasible. Combat verses ferry range, every airframe has different capabilities, ie; F/A-18 can perform out to 1,500, where as an F-35 is advertised at 1400 for F-35C CATOBAR variant. Of course this all depends on mission load and configuration, it is interesting to see these old figures, F-4 Phantom, 1,615 with 3 external fuel tanks. F-14 Tomcat ferry range; 1,600 nmi, A-6 Intruder, range: 2,819 nmi, and these aircraft all had two engines, a great idea out in the blue water bingo operational realm.
            As far as the “internal bomb bay”, the F-35 can presently carry x 4 AMRAAM, or two AMRAAM, and two GBU series internally, SBD latter maybe, but first it has to fit (val/ver). When external pylons are configured, stealth is diminished / lost, as well some range, and a single engine over the wide expanses of the ocean. Then there is “ALIS”, and how that may … effect the USMC MEB/MEF, should they ever “un-tether” from the MEU/ARG?
            As far as F-16, it was designed and built to be a lightweight fighter, period. A land based, single engine fighter bomber, chiefly for export, as was the F-5, and to augment the F-15. Which it performs this mission absolutely superbly, and it has had plenty of room to grow over they years, since it was put into service, the Israeli variant is true to this claim. But the F-16 will never be a “navalized” strike fighter, either the F-22. The AVLOG foot print for F-35B&C is quite outrageous as well, considering the present class of amphibious, and CVN ships. The F-35B hardly utilizes ANY of the presently used USN GSE, or IMRL gear for support, this means “more stuff” to be carried aboard, stored, and managed.

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            100% on mark! As well IR signature of F-35B is a “light show” of terminal kind.. for its pilot of course.

    • Secundius

      @ East Coast.

      True, but like the other model’s. They can also be Added to the Airframe…

      • East Coast

        The Ordnance Officer at the squadron told us that the pylons are not interchangeable port to starboard like the Hornet, and that presently the F-35B is not “wet station” capable, …. as well, the installation of the wing pylons, and wingtip launchers for AIM-9X series negates stealth capability, also the bomb racks, and the jettison missile launchers are pneumatic, not CAD, they have several accumulators to create and hold the air pressure necessary to release weapons both internally, and externally, also there is no electric fuzing in F-35(B), all will be FZU, and the gun will bolt to the centerline, and cannot be jettisoned, it will hold only 150 rounds of 25mm, and the muzzle of the gun is in line with the NLG, as an Ordie, I immediately thought bout “gun jam clearing procedures. Also, LM and DoN have a “O-Level to depot” maintenance concept, no I-level? We are all trying to figure out how that will work when you are on cruise, or in the dirt someplace ……

        • Secundius

          @ East Coast.

          The GAU-22/A 0.984-inch 25x137mm Equalizer 4-barrel Gatling, is a PIECE OF CRAP. The should have stuck with the Rheinmetall GmbH. BK27 1.063-inch 27x145mm Impulse Revolver Autocannon. Twice the hitting power of the GAU-22/A. I suspect Sen. John S McCain or his wife Cind-Lou Hensley-McCain, through her husband had his hand in the gun change design. They have considerable stock holdings in General Dynamics…

          • East Coast

            We had the M61A1, then later the M61A2 in the F/A-18A&C, and we also worked on the GAU-12/U – 25 MM in the AV-8B, both had (still have) a reasonable amount of ammunition capacity, 578 for the six barrel M61, and 307 for the five GAU-12, one was hydraulic (20mm), and the other is pneumatic (25mm), both perform very well, 4-6k per minute(20mm) hi and low, and 4k per min (25mm), if properly maintained, installation, and maintenance, and aircrew training is up to speed, both very formidable, and effective in their own roles CAS, and Air to Air, This F-35(B), has a 4 barrel, with only 150 rounds, GET REAL??/!!, and its muzzle is “in-line” with the NLG, I wonder how the black shoe Navy will ever let it pass Weapon System Explosives Safety Review Board (WSESRB) to be able to use this gun system aboard ship, NEVER has an aircraft gun been bolted to the belly, and aimed right at the NLG, ….. NEVER, even the old gun pods could be jettisoned, if they were jammed, and could not be cleared on the deck !

          • Secundius

            @ East Coast.

            The F-35 JSF, was designed to carry the Impulse Revolver Autoannon NOT the Gatling which is nearly 3-times Heavier in weight and not Hitting Power…

        • Secundius

          @ East Coast.

          In point of fact, they do Sir. Pylon’s are ejected Ordnance and All. The practice dates back to the 50’s. It Minimize’s Damage to the Plane, when you can Eject the Pylon with the Weapon. WW2, was one of the Overriding Need’s for a “Wet Station” Arrangement. WW2, was simple “Just Loose the Plane” $50,000. per plane was a Small Cost. But $100-Mil per plane NO…

          • East Coast

            Since the F-4, no other aircraft can jettison its “Parent Rack Pylon”, however, the accessory suspension rack (ASE) can be, ie’ TER, MER, BRU-33, BRU-55 etc; along with the weapon stores it has aboard this ASE, and also pylon mounted LAU- series missile launchers, LAU-115, LAU-117, LAU-118 etc;. The F/A-18, and AV-8B, as well the F-15, and F-16 (I think, but I would have to check on that), A-10 does not either jett the parent rack, so on and so forth …. Jettison is “Parent Rack”, only what is configured there, via CADS in the parent rack bomb rack. The F-35 is the same design, but no CADS, its pneumatic powered jettison, and only what is on the parent rack (ASE), not the whole rack …. for now anyway.

          • Secundius

            @ East Coast.

            The Marvin Engineering Group says You Can Wet Rack a F-35…

          • East Coast

            VMFA-121, and VMFAT-501 Ordnance Shop(‘s) says no, that is NOT correct for F-35B, they are not cleared. An they do not have the logistics in place to configure or support this. This is from the deck plates. I cannot speak to F-35A, or F-35C.

          • Secundius

            @ East Coast.

            On Google, there’s a Picture if a Inverted F/AV-35B with Six Wing Weapon Pylons and One Centerline Gun Pod. The ALL “Wet Mounted”. Tell you friend for me, HE’S FULL OF CHIT!!!

          • East Coast

            OT/ET Test bird, _NOT_ Fleet roduction bird, HUGE diff !
            “smile for the camera”!

          • Secundius

            @ East Coast.

            What the BLAZES are you Dithering about. The F/A-35A, F/AV-35B and F/A-35C, are WIP Production Birds. NOT Test Bird Models…

          • East Coast

            “BLAZES and Dithering” ….. OT/ET is the tail code for USAF test squadrons in Edwards, and Eglin, Operational Test / Experimental Test. These are whom you saw on “google” flying with full wing load, but NO DROP tanks ?

            FACT ….. VMFA-121 WILL NOT DEPLOY with drop tanks, there is NO FLIGHT CLEARANCE for them. either wing pylons, or any operational gun system.

            I just returned from a val/ver exercise just this evening, from the west coast, and this is what MAWTS-1 is telling us, we write the loading checklist.

            We all agreed that the F-35B is going to be a work in progress for quite some time (?), and we all agreed that ALIS is NOT deployable to a Marine Corps MAGTF/MEB aviation element un-tethered from a MEU ACE, none us agreed to how this would be accomplished, the present culture cannot support this logistical construct …. ie’ EAF 29 Palms as proof of this theory …. CAX, Mojave Viper, ITX. “ain’t no friggin way” … and it was hot as “BLAZES” out there on that marshal matting …..

  • BillyRay999

    can’t fight in a hostile environment unless backed up by at least 2 f-22s, and we don’t have that ratio and never will. Junk planes (22/35) that can’t do half of what the older planes they are replacing can do. oh right, the F15/16/18 aren’t new and fancy. And let’s not even talk about getting down in the weeds like an A10 when the ground pounders are in the deep stuff. case in point, the need to send A10s – not 22s or what have you- back to Iraq to fight ISIS

    • Ctrot

      Stop listening to Pierre Sprey, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    • Scott Cherry

      The F-22 was made for air superiority not in an attack role. Of coarse you will not use the F-22 against isis

      • Secundius

        @ Scott Cherry.

        So was the F-104, F-4, F-15, F-101…

        • East Coast

          SADER’s and TOMCAT’s too …

    • Scott Cherry

      Being that I work at LMCO I do have alittle more information than you do.

      • East Coast

        LMCO?, well Scott, now I understand your absolute devotion to the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.

  • Vitonio

    I hope the plane works.

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  • magic3400

    Congrats Marines, it’s up to you to show the country what this platform can do. Semper Fi DevilDogs

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  • NEWSAXON

    That’s fine and good that the aircraft will be deploy, but we really should be building is smaller aircraft carriers; due to do the high costs of building super aircraft carriers. The F-35Bs make these “monsters of sea” to be irrelevant.

  • R’ Yitzchak M

    .. a practical suggestion? Make it an “stealtISH” target practicing drone? It IS a dud!!!
    It was a dud and it IS ASPIERING DUD for time to come.. British scraped a REAL air carrier and got on with the philosophy of a “make-it-believe” carriers instead.. due to that Lefties wet dream Brits lost 255 of their boys due to the wishful thinking of few radical idiots. The only way to protect and to project naval power is due to the flat deck air-carrier task force. E-2C, F-18G, F-18E/F’s are good examples of proactive control over the NECCESSARY area BEFORE the possible interdiction of the threats became to late for the task force to adequately react.. Just to put it into the prospective.. EVERY HMS ships in the Falklands operation had a UNEXPLODED BOMB in its hull.. it was a mechanics error that FUSED bombs for the 300m altitude (safety procedure as a standard for the training purposes) only problem was that skimming approach by the Super Entendards and Mirages was well bellow 100m thus almost all bombs failed to be ARMED.. otherwise there would be no surviving ships of HMS Navy. A fantasy of the arrogant politicians cost lives and they are never called to the account.. but if you see evolving folly and keep quiet you ARE A PARTNER IN CRIME.

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