A Marine guides a CH-53 Super Stallion during a helicopter support team exercise at Landing Zone Albatross aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Sept. 2, 2015. US Marine Corps photo.
This article is part of a two-story package on the current state of Marine Corps aviation. Please read 3rd MAW Preparing To Deploy F-35B While Struggling To Keep Older Planes Ready: An Operational Perspective for the operational perspective.
The Marine Corps is getting back to the basics to solve its aviation readiness problems, with a focus on contracting for spare parts and enhanced training for aircraft maintainers at the heart of several type/model/series’ readiness recovery plans, the deputy commandant for aviation told USNI News this week. Read More
USS George Washington (CVN-73) and its strike group in 2013. The House voted to refuel the carrier rather than decommission the ship. US Navy Photo
The House Armed Services Committee this week passed a bill that gave the Navy and Marine Corps virtually everything they wanted in their procurement accounts – plus an additional $5.9 billion in a separate account – creating a Reagan-era defense bill for their Senate counterparts to accept or reject. Read More
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 on May 20, 2015. US Marine Corps Photo
The F-35’s logistics information system’s inability to integrate engine data with other vital information about the aircraft is causing a two-month delay in the Air Force reaching its initial operating capability and forcing Marines to use “lots of time-consuming work-arounds” to keep their F-35 Lightning II’s flying. Read More
A Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, performs a conventional take-off on Dec. 11, 2015. US Marine Corps Photo
The Marine Corps has not been affected by a software glitch that left the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters with radar resets and other software stability issues, the Marines’ top aviator told the Senate last week. Read More
Aviation Structural Mechanic (Equipment) 2nd Class M. V. Volosko, assigned to the Pukin Dogs of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 143, places a canopy brace on an F/A-18E Super Hornet in the hangar bay of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) on June 17, 2015. US Navy photo.
The Navy may get a boost in readiness through additional military construction to support aviation readiness and shipyard workforce growth, if provisions in the House Armed Services Committee’s 2017 defense bill pass, but the Marine Corps would not get any aviation readiness dollars above what the service requested in its February budget submission. Read More
Rear Adm. Roy Kelley, incoming Chief of Naval Air Training, salutes during the arrival of the official party at a change of command ceremony at the USS Lexington Museum in September 2013. US Navy photo.
Rear Adm. Roy “Trigger” Kelley was appointed to the new position of director of Joint Strike Fighter Fleet Integration, a role that will unify the Navy’s efforts to bring the F-35C carrier-variant Joint Strike Fighter into the fleet. Read More
An F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter on Nov. 3, 2014. The Navy included eight of the aircraft and 12 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in its FY 2016 Unfunded Priorities List to Congress. US Navy Photo
The Navy has increased its projected annual use of the F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter, adding in 60 hours per plane per year as the service refines its training plans. Read More
A Raytheon SM-6 launched from an Aegis guided missile destroyer. US Navy Photo
The Navy fared well during late-in-the-game Fiscal Year 2017 budget negotiations with the Defense Department, despite a widespread initial concern about cuts to the Littoral Combat Ship/Frigate program, Navy leadership told USNI News. Read More
A Jan. 24, 2016 image of Cuarteron Reef in the South China Sea with what is likely a high frequency radar array. CSIS Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative, DigitalGlobe Image used with permission.
This post has been updated to include additional comments from the Department of Defense.
A possible new Chinese radar installation in the South China Sea could put American and allied stealth aircraft at risk as part of a wider detection network similar to U.S. efforts to find Russian bombers in the Cold War. Read More
Among the last-minute cuts made in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget request were four service life extension programs for LCACs, above, and 77 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles to replace the Humvee, also above. US Navy photo.
The Defense Department made cuts from several big acquisition programs out of necessity, with a pair of decisions affecting the Pentagon’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget request coming in the months and weeks before the request was due, the DoD comptroller told reporters on Tuesday. Read More