Defense

August 14, 2013

Strike Fighter Squadron 101 granted “interim safe for flight”

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 variant of the Joint Strike Fighter. VFA 101, based at Eglin Air Force Base, serves as the F-35C Fleet Replacement Squadron, training both aircrew and maintenance personnel to fly and repair the F-35C.

Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, the Navy’s first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant aircraft squadron, completed its first flight Aug. 14 in its new aircraft at the squadron’s home at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

The 1.3 hour flight was made by VFA-101 naval aviator Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert.

The flight followed a decision by Commander, Naval Air Force, Pacific, Vice Adm. David Buss Aug. 8, granting the Fleet Replacement Squadron interim “safe for flight” status.

“The Lightning II strike fighter represents the future business end of our nuclear powered aircraft carrier force, the embarked carrier air wing,” said Buss. “The men and women of VFA-101 are now cleared to take the first steps toward that future as they operate these amazing Navy aircraft and train the aviators who will fly them.”

“VFA-101′s achievement of the Interim Safe For Flight criteria constitutes a significant milestone in the introduction of the F-35C Lightning II into the fleet,” said Capt. Mark Black, commander, Strike Fighter Wing, Pacific. “VFA-101 will now begin to schedule and perform sorties under their own charter from their facilities at Eglin AFB. This will permit the re-established Grim Reapers to begin training for the original flight instructor cadre that will teach future F-35C pilots in the intricacies of mastering the Navy’s first 5th generation fighter.”

Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, conducts a pre-flight inspection of an F-35C Lightning II aircraft before the squadron’s first local sortie. The F-35C is the carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter. VFA 101, based at Eglin Air Force Base, serves as the F-35C Fleet Replacement Squadron, training both aircrew and maintenance personnel to fly and repair the F-35C.

The squadron received the Navy’s first F-35C from Lockheed Martin June 22. Today’s flight was the first in the new Navy aircraft flown by a VFA-101 pilot at Eglin. “The first flight of Grim Reaper 102 today is the acme of many years hard work and planning by the Sailors of VFA-101 and our Lockheed Martin partners and is an exciting first step in introducing the Navy’s first 5th generation fighter to fleet,” said VFA Commanding Officer Capt. John Enfield. “Now that we’re flying, we will be able to validate and evaluate both the pilot and maintainer syllabi as we train the initial cadre of instructors.”

VFA 101 is the F-35C Fleet Replacement Squadron, training Navy aircrew and maintenance personnel to fly and repair the F-35C, a fifth generation fighter that combines advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.

“The Interim Safe for Flight will begin in earnest the training of the U. S. Navy personnel in how to maintain this impressive new aircraft,” said Black. “Proficient Lockheed Martin technicians will lead Sailors in verifying prescribed maintenance procedures that will ultimately be converted into a robust syllabus that will permit future Navy maintenance personnel to develop the skills necessary to ensure and sustain the flight integrity of the aircraft. Designating VFA-101 as Interim Safe for Flight signifies that the Navy F-35C has begun its service in Naval Aviation for real.”

The F-35C will enhance the flexibility, power projection, and strike capabilities of carrier air wings and joint task forces and will complement the capabilities of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, which currently serves as the Navy’s premier strike fighter.

By 2025, the Navy’s aircraft carrier-based air wings will consist of a mix of the F-35C, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growler, E-2D Hawkeye, Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike air vehicles, MH-60R/S helicopters and Carrier Onboard Delivery logistics aircraft.




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


 
 

 

Headlines July 21, 2014

News: IDF releases Iron Dome interception rate - Israel’s Iron Dome system has successfully intercepted 86 percent of the Palestinian rockets that it has engaged during Operation ‘Protective Edge’, according to the Israel Defense Forces.   Business: The turnaround of France’s defense giant Thales - Within seconds of meeting Jean-Bernard Levy it becomes apparent that h...
 
 

News Briefs July 21, 2014

Corruption investigated in Kansas National Guard The Kansas Adjutant General’s office says federal authorities are investigating possible corruption involving outside medical companies’ contracts with the Kansas Army National Guard. Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for the adjutant general’s office, confirmed the investigation Friday to The Lawrence Journal-World but declined to rel...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

B61 undergoes testing in AEDC wind tunnel

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend Arnold Engineering Development Complex engineers recently joined researchers with Sandia National Laboratories to perform a wind tunnel test on a full-scale mock-up B61. Pictured with the...
 

 
Army photograph by Charles Kennedy

New CT scanner finds diverse, important uses for researchers

Army photograph by Charles Kennedy Turning a now-standard tool for medical diagnostics and therapeutics to a host of new applications, the U. S. Army Research Laboratory’s Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate rece...
 
 

Ingalls Shipbuilding awarded $23.5 million LHA 8 affordability contract

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division has been awarded an affordability design contract for $23.5 million for early industry involvement to reduce the construction and life-cycle cost for the amphibious assault ship LHA 8. “Ingalls Shipbuilding has been constructing large-deck amphibious ships for nearly 50 years, and this contract will build on our company...
 
 
Marine Corps photograph

DOD identifies missing World War II Marine

Marine Corps photograph Marines wounded during the landing on Tarawa in November 1943 are towed out on rubber boats to larger vessels that will take them to base hospitals. The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office...
 




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>