Defense

March 29, 2013

Marine CorpsCapt. Staci Reidinger first operational F-35B conducts initial vertical landing

Tags:
Capt. Staci Reidinger
MCAS Yuma, Ariz.

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, the Corpsí first operational F-35B Lightning II squadron, prepares for flight operations aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. March 21, 2013. VMFA-121 conducted the Marine Corpsí first Short Take Off, Vertical Landing operations outside of a testing environment on the same day.

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 watched in amazement and satisfaction as the Corpsí first operational F-35B Lightning II squadron conducted its first Short Take Off, Vertical Landing operations aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., March 21, 2013.

Maj. Richard Rusnok, an F-35B Lightning II test pilot, conducted VMFA-121ís first short landing and takeoff as well as the Corpsí first F-35B hover and vertical landing outside of a testing environment in BF-19.

VMFA-121 is the first F-35B squadron to join Marine Aircraft Group 13 which is currently composed of four AV-8B Harrier squadrons a Marine wing support squadron and a Marine aviation logistics squadron.
Rusnok was accompanied by VMFA-121’s commanding officer, LtCol. Jeffrey Scott, flying a second F-35B as a chase aircraft.

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter prepares to make a vertical landing aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., March 21, 2013. This marks the first vertical landing of a Marine Corps F-35B outside of a testing environment.

“The first STOVL flight for an F-35B outside of the test environment was another milestone achieved by the Marine Corps and the Green Knights today here at MCAS Yuma,” stated Scott. “The F-35 program and specifically the F-35B have made significant progress to make this possible.”

As the squadron expands its operations and end strength, they will continue revolutionizing expeditionary Marine air-ground combat power in all threat environments through the use of MCAS Yuma training ranges in Arizona and California. VMFA-121 will be home to approximately 300 Marines and is expected to receive additional F-35s throughout the next 8 to 12 months, with a total of 16 aircraft scheduled to arrive by late 2013.

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter prepares to make a vertical landing aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., March 21, 2013. This marks the first vertical landing of a Marine Corps F-35B outside of a testing environment.

Differently from previous fixed wing capabilities across the Department of Defense, the integration of U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and coalition F-35 Lightning II aircraft on a common platform will provide the dominant, multi-role, fifth generation capabilities needed across the full spectrum of combat operations to deter potential adversaries and enable future aviation power projection.

Specific to the Marine Corps, consolidating three aircraft, the AV-8B Harrier, the F/A-18 Hornet and the EA-6B, into one is central to maintaining tactical aviation affordability and serving as good stewards of taxpayer dollars.

VMFA-121 will continue to set the pace for the F-35 program based on a common platform. The U.S. Air Force and Navy can now integrate best practices from VMFA-121 in preparation for the future operational basing of the F-35A and F-35C.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 
 

SMC stands up new Advanced Systems, Development Directorate

While space officially begins at 62 miles above the Earth’s surface, for the men and women of the Air Force space begins near sea level at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base,Calif. SMC is where innovative ideas are matured into space systems that deliver operational capabilities to U.S. warfighters in...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr.

Navy’s first F-35C squadron surpasses 1,000 flight hours

Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr. An F-35C Lightning II aircraft piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, flies the squadron’s first local sortie. The F-35C is the carrier va...
 
 

Salina, Kansas, recalls anniversary of shuttered base

It has been 50 years this month since the announcement that Schilling Air Force Base was closing rattled Salina residents. The Salina Journal, which carried news of the closure in its Nov. 19, 1964, editions, reported that the economic disaster then spared no part of the community – real estate, retail, civic involvement, church attendance,...
 
 
Navy photograph by Seaman Sabrina Fine

SEWIP block upgrade program evaluated for LCS

Navy photograph by Seaman Sabrina Fine Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Seaman Helen Hernandez monitors an SLQ-32 radar aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Dwight D. Eisenhower is deplo...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>