U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallions assigned to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) fly in formation during FINEX-3 near Yuma, Ariz., Oct. 22, 2016. FINEX-3 was part of Weapons Tactics Instructors (WTI) course 1-17, a seven week training event hosted by MAWTS-1 cadre which emphasizes operational integration of the six functions of Marine Corps aviation in support of a Marine Air Ground Task Force. US Marine Corps photo.
This article is the second in a two-part series on the future of Marine Corps aviation. To read about how F-35B Joint Strike Fighter testers and operational pilots are preparing for the plane’s first deployment, please click this link.
YUMA, Ariz. – In a glimpse of what the future of Marine Corps aviation could bring, this fall F-35B Joint Strike Fighters were operating at long ranges with the MV-22 Osprey, passing information to other aircraft and to ground forces with tablets. Unmanned aerial vehicles provided intelligence, and precision rockets hit targets in dense urban areas.
At Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron-One (MAWTS-1) and its semi-annual Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course, top aviators from around the fleet not only trained to high-end warfighting scenarios but also help advance tactics to keep up with real-world developments and conduct experiments with emerging technologies that could give Marines in the air and on the ground an edge on the battlefield. Read More
Peter “Wizzer” Wilson and Maj. John Dirk arrive aboard USS America for STOVL DT-III, 28 October 2016. US Navy photo.
This article is the first in a two-part series on the future of Marine Corps aviation. To read about how MAWTS-1 is discovering how to best integrate the F-35B and other weapons systems for a high-end air fight, please click this link.
ABOARD USS AMERICA, OFF THE COAST OF CALIFORNIA – After years of testing to make sure the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter and its subsystems work as designed, the Marine Corps has a contingent of pilots and maintainers aboard USS America (LHA-6) now to ensure the new plane can operate from the amphibious ship, in a final test period ahead of next year’s first deployment. Read More
U.S. Marine Forces Europe and Africa deputy director of communication Master Sgt. Chad E. McMeen uses a commercial-grade Quadcopter to capture aerial video footage of the USNS William R. Button on the pier in Rota, Spain, during the preparation phase of Trident Juncture 2015.US Army photo.
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Marine Corps recently launched three major innovation efforts that are already informing the service’s unmanned systems’ priorities, the deputy commandant for combat development and integration said today. Read More
Sailors celebrate the U.S. Navy’s 241st birthday aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD-1) on Oct. 12, 2016. US Navy Photo
CORRECTION: A previous version of this post had the incorrect unit number for the first Marine Fighter Attack Squadron to field F-35Bs in Japan. It’s Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) “Green Knights,” no VMFA-211.
Next year the Navy will relocate big deck amphib USS Wasp (LHD-1) from Naval Station Norfolk, Va. to a new homeport in Sasebo, Japan, U.S. Fleet Forces announced on Monday. Read More
F-35C Lightning IIs, attached to the Grim Reapers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, and an F/A-18E/F Super Hornets attached to the Naval Aviation Warfighter Development Center (NAWDC) fly over Naval Air Station Fallon’s (NASF) Range Training Complex on Sept. 3, 2015. US Navy photo.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Navy has begun integrating its newest airplanes into the air wing and joint forces during training and finding that these platforms, including the EA-18G Growler and F-35C Joint Strike Fighter, are extending the range and increasing the sophistication of operations, the Navy’s Air Boss said. Read More
F-35A Lightning II aircraft receive fuel from a KC-10 Extender on July 13, 2016, during a flight from England to the U.S. after participating in the world’s largest air show, the Royal International Air Tattoo. US Air Force photo.
The U.S. Air Force declared initial operational capability (IOC) on its F-35A Joint Strike Fighter today. Read More
An F-35B Lightning II with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 takes off during exercise Red Flag 16-3 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., July 20. This is the first time that the fifth generation fighter has participated in the multiservice air-to-air combat training exercise. US Marine Corps photo.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Marine Corps’ top aviator said the F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter pilots have matured in their understanding of the new platform in the year since the service declared initial operational capability (IOC), pushing themselves to push past planned tactics and create a new way of using the fifth-generation technology. Read More
A F-35B, assigned to the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 out of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, flies level as a F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 177th Fighter Squadron from the New Jersey Air National Guard, banks hard during approach July 15, 2016 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. US Air Force Photo
The Marine Corps’ next-generation fighter took to the skies last week with its military contemporaries during Red Flag, the military’s premier advanced aerial combat training exercise. Read More
U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 (VMFA-211) performs it’s first flight at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., June 29, 2016. US Marine Corps photo.
The Marine Corps’ second F-35B Joint Strike Fighter squadron stood up today, as the AV-8B Harrier-flying Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 211 became Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211. Read More
An F-35B Lightning II takes off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD-1) on May 25, 2015. US Navy Photo
The U.S. Navy’s Aegis Weapon System revolutionized fleet air defense at the height of the Cold War. The 1983 commissioning of the first Aegis guided missile cruiser USS Ticonderoga (CG-47) and the 26 cruisers that followed provided the Navy with unrivaled capability at a time when an expansionist Soviet navy was bent on challenging the United States on the world’s oceans. Read More