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
Two Spanish Navy Harriers fly behind a U.S. Marine KC-130J from Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa during an aerial-refueling exercise off the coast of Spain May 15, 2015. US Marine Corps photo.
This post has been updated to correct the name of the sensor ball included in the Harvest Hawk kit. The Marines will use the MX-20 sensor package.
THE PENTAGON – The Marine Corps intends to add improved sensors and precision-strike capability to its entire KC-130J Super Hercules tanker/transport plane and MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor fleets, applying the “Harvest Hawk” concept to make both aircraft more multi-mission, the deputy commandant of the Marine Corps for aviation told USNI News this week. 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
F/A-18E-F Super Hornet. Boeing photo.
A three-pronged approach is helping the Navy keep its strike fighter inventory shortfall at a “manageable” level –speeding up legacy Hornet life extension work, preparing to conduct the Super Hornet life extension program more efficiently, and buying new Super Hornets – though the Marines’ legacy Hornet fighter inventory is so strained there are hardly any planes available for day-to-day squadron training, Navy and Marine aviation leaders said last week. 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
The X-47B on the deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) on Nov. 10, 2013. US Navy Photo
CAPITOL HILL – The Navy is sticking to its plans to field an unmanned MQ-XX Stingray platform with just tanking and surveillance capabilities to start with, while the Marine Corps is experimenting with the MQ-8C Fire Scout to help inform its path forward for amphibious assault ship-based unmanned aviation, officials said Wednesday. Read More
America (LHA-6) returns to Ingalls Shipyard Jan. 31, 2014 from acceptance trials. US Navy Photo
THE PENTAGON – The Navy and Marine Corps amphibious fleet is on the cusp of two major changes – the introduction of the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter and the growth of the fleet from 30 to 33 ships – that will change the way the fleet trains and fights, the director of expeditionary warfare told USNI News. Read More
AV-8B Harriers and an MV-22 Osprey sit on the flight deck at night aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) on Oct. 8, 2014. US Navy photo.
PENTAGON — The Navy and Marine Corps should explore ways to make Marine aircraft a more useful part of the naval battle force – using alternate mixes of aircraft types on amphibious ship flight decks, finding additional missions for those aircraft, and pursuing increased connectivity to the rest of the naval fleet, the deputy commandant for aviation told USNI News. Read More
An F-35B Lightning II aircraft takes off from the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD-1). US Navy Photo
This post has been updated to include the F-35 software fielding timeline.
PENTAGON – The Marine Corps aviation community is keeping busy preparing to send its first F-35B Joint Strike Fighters to Japan in January 2017, ensuring the training and logistics pipelines are ready for global deployment of the new plane, the deputy commandant for aviation told USNI News. Read More
Aircraft maintenance Marines make their way to conduct maintenance procedures on aircraft during a maintenance-focused exercise in October 2014. US Marine Corps photo.
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO – A panel of Marine Corps leaders discussed innovative ideas they could pull from the Navy, the general aviation community and the sectors to create a more agile and ready fighting force. Read More