Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Austin McBain, a fire support specialist with 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Information Group, monitors a radio during exercise Summer Fury 20 in Yuma, Ariz., on July 14, 2020. US Marine Corps Photo
This post is part of a series of stories looking back at the top naval news from 2020.
2020 was a turning-point year for the Marine Corps. After previewing changes to come in his Commandant’s Planning Guidance released last year, Commandant Gen. David Berger released a Force Design 2030 document this year outlining major changes in how the service would operate and equip itself. No longer would the Marine Corps be a service schlepping around tanks for sustained ground operations; rather, it would be light and mobile, using small ships to maneuver around islands and shorelines to attack an adversary from all angles and challenge their ability to track and target the small and on-the-move units. Read More
U.S. Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 and Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, conduct a new expeditionary landing demonstration with M-31 arresting gear Interim Flight Clearance (IFC), on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., on Dec. 3, 2020. US Marine Corps Photo
SAN DIEGO, Calif., – The Marine Corps’ first carrier-capable F-35C Lightning II squadron demonstrated, for the first time, the capability to quickly rearm and refuel at expeditionary land bases, a mission key for future island-hopping operations that top leaders envision the U.S. military will face. Read More
U.S. Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, gain the capability of conducting a hot-load of ordnance on an F-35C Lightning II, while being validated at south combat aircraft loading area, during the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course 1-21, at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., on Oct. 6, 2020. US Marine Corps Photo
The Marine Corps’ first carrier-capable squadron of F-35C Lightning II jets reached initial operational capability on Tuesday, a key certification ahead of its first deployment on an aircraft carrier, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing officials announced. Read More
The first Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314 “Black Knights” F-35C aircraft from Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore flown by CAPT Tommy Beau Locke from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 “Rough Raiders” flies in formation over the Sierra’s with the VFMA-314 squadron F/A-18A++, flown by LtCol Cedar Hinton aircraft “passing the lead” as part of the F/A-18 Sundown with the Black Knights. US Navy photo.
The first Marine Corps F-35C carrier-variant Joint Strike Fighter squadron reached an important milestone, receiving a “safe for flight” operations certification that will allow them to train and operate independently of the Navy’s fleet replacement squadron. Read More
U.S Marine Corps Lt. Col. Cedar L. Hinton, commanding officer of Marine Wing Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), lands VMFA-314’s first F-35C Lightning II on Marine Air Station Miramar, Calif., Jan. 21, 2020. Marine Corps photo
SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The Marine Corps’ first squadron of F-35C Joint Strike Fighters will reach an initial operating capability next month ahead of future carrier deployments, officials said Friday.
An F-35C Lightning II assigned to the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 sits chained on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) on Dec. 9, 2018. US Navy Photo
CAPITOL HILL – The Marine Corps is accelerating its F-35C carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter procurement and slowing its F-35B vertical landing variant to support Navy deployment requirements, the Marines’ top aviator told lawmakers today. Read More
Ten F-35C Lightning II jets of the “Argonauts” of VFA-147 aircraft sit on the flight line at Naval Air Station Lemoore (NASL). Commander, Naval Air Forces, Vice Admiral DeWolfe Miller H. III and United States Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation (DCA), Lieutenant General Steven R. Rudder jointly announced that the F-35C met all requirements and achieved Initial Operating Capability (IOC) 28 FEB 2019. US Navy photo.
This post has been updated to include additional information from the Joint Strike Fighter Wing and context from Naval Air Forces.
The Navy’s Joint Strike Fighter Wing commodore is focused on getting the first operational F-35C carrier-variant squadron ready for its first deployment and figuring out how to incorporate its fifth-generation capabilities into the rest of a carrier air wing. Read More
A U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18C Hornet with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 232 “Red Devils” departs the runway at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, March 24, 2017. US Marine Corps photo.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Marine Corps could save about a billion dollars, reduce risk for pilots seeing too few flight hours each month and bring additional high-end capability to the fleet if the service were able to buy its F-35B and C Joint Strike Fighters at a faster pace, the deputy commandant for aviation said on Tuesday. Read More