This is the first time in naval history that the F/A-18E/F, EA-18G, F-35C, and E-2D have been integrated together for an operational deployment.
Carrier Air Wing (CVW) TWO “BROADSWORD” completed the new syllabus for Air Wing Fallon at Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon, Nevada. This new syllabus fully incorporated two new aircraft, the F-35C Lightning II and E-2D Hawkeye, to CVW-2. This marks another major step in preparation for their upcoming deployment later this year.
According to NAS Fallon news release, CVW-2 is the first carrier air wing to incorporate the Lightings and the newest Hawkeyes. This is the first time in naval history that the F/A-18E/F, EA-18G, F-35C, and E-2D have been integrated together for an operational deployment. With the integration of organic 4th and 5th generation information, survivability, and airborne electronic attack capacity these aircraft will significantly increase the lethality of the Navy’s next generation air wing. Additionally, with a robust logistical support platform, CVW-2 is pioneering the future of naval aviation, proving the flexibility and resilience needed for the success of carrier operations.
Over the past few years, the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC) and TOPGUN have been working to develop the skill-sets, curriculum and experienced instructors required to execute a syllabus that fully integrates F-35C tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP’s), while using the latest capabilities provided by the E-2D.
“Instead of focusing on very narrow problem sets and objectives, Air Wing Fallon now takes those early looks of integrated TTP’s that we’ve worked on and puts it on a broader and larger scale against an entire air defense system” said Deputy Air Wing Commander, Capt. Tommy Locke.
This syllabus was used at Air Wing Fallon to improve interoperability and unit cohesion within CVW-2.
This upcoming deployment with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) ONE aboard USS CARL VINSON (CVN -70), will be the first operational deployment for the F-35C Lighting II. This aircraft complements the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and E/A-18G Growler capabilities and enhances the flexibility, power-projection, and strike capabilities of CVW-2. The F-35C was designed with stealth technology, making it a critical addition to the CSG’s integrated warfighting package. The ability of this aircraft to penetrate threat envelopes, detect and fuse information from many sources, and link that fused picture to other strike group aircraft, ships and decision-makers makes it an unparalleled addition to the Carrier Strike Group.
CVW-2 currently consists of three F/A-18E/F squadrons (VFA-2 “Bounty Hunters”, VFA-113 “Stingers”, and VFA-192 “Golden Dragons”), one E/A-18G squadron (VAQ-136 “Gauntlets”), one F-35C squadron (VFA-147 “Argonauts”), one E-2D squadron (VAW-113 “Black Eagles”), one CMV-22B Osprey squadron (VRM-30 “Titans”), and two MH-60 helicopter squadrons (HSC-4 “Black Knights” and HSM-78 “Blue Hawks”). With a total of nine well-trained squadrons, CVW-2 is prepared to face any challenge that may come their way.
VFA-147 is the first U.S. Navy Operational F-35C squadron based out of NAS Lemoore. Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing, headquartered at NAS Lemoore, Calif. ensures that each F-35C squadron is fully combat-ready to conduct carrier-based, all-weather, attack, fighter and support missions for Commander, Naval Air Forces.
With its stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35C will be the first 5th generation aircraft operated from an aircraft carrier. The Navy aims to equip all carrier air wings with F-35Cs by 2025.
Photo credit: Lt. Cmdr. Lydia E. Bock / U.S. Navy