Military Aviation

MCAS Cherry Point receives F-35 airframe to support fleet readiness

The F-35 airframe will be used as a depot maintenance trainer as well as a test-bed for sustainment engineering.

Fleet Readiness Center East and the F-35 Joint Program Office collaborated to have an F-35 airframe delivered to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, North Carolina, Mar. 8, 2021. The airframe will be used as a depot maintenance trainer as well as a test-bed for sustainment engineering. According to MCAS Cherry Point Facebook Page, this will allow employees a chance to test their skills on the airframe before being required to perform tasks on a fleet aircraft.

An F-35 airframe is transported to Fleet Readiness Center East at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, North Carolina, March 9, 2021. The airframe was delivered to MCAS Cherry Point by way of barge from MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, on March 8, 2021.

“We’re excited to have this airframe available,” said Matthew Crisp, the Joint Program Office depot and modifications lead. “It allows us to train our workforce and test new engineering sustainment initiatives without impacting a fleet aircraft. It will only make us better prepared to support fleet readiness.”

The F-35B and F-35C replaced the EA-6B and will replace the F/A-18 and the AV-8B currently in service with the US Marine Corps (USMC). The USMC will procure a total of 420 F-35s (353 F-35Bs and 67 F-35Cs). The F-35B declared IOC in July 2015 with VMFA-121 at MCAS Yuma. The squadron subsequently moved to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan in January 2017.

This model is available from AirModels! CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

In order to support transitions to F-35C, the US Marine Corps (USMC) procured 23 F-35Cs in FY19, and continues to deliver trained pilots to the joint Navy/Marine Corps F-35C FRSs and first USMC F-35C squadron. The USMC is currently contributing F-35C aircraft, instructor pilots and maintainers to USN F-35C FRSs. VMFA-314 is the first USMC F-35C squadron. The unit is expected to train at a pace that will put them at a T2 rating by the middle of FY 2021, prepared to deploy in support of a CVN TAI deployment in early 2022. The Marine Corps will procure a total of 67 F35Cs to equip 4 Squadrons.

The full transition from legacy to F-35 will complete with the transition of the second reserve squadron in 2031.

This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-35C Lightning II VFA-125 Rough Raiders, NJ406, 169160 / 2018

Photo credit: U.S. Marine Corps

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Recent Posts

US Navy Flight Instructor explains why cross training an experienced Ukrainian fighter pilot on the F-16 could likely take longer than anticipated

Ukrainian Air Force F-16 fighter jet American-made F-16 fighters will arrive in Ukraine this summer: in… Read More

5 hours ago

B-58 navigator recalls doing more bomb runs than anyone in the Hustler on one mission, being on nuclear alert during Cuban Missile Crisis

The B-58 Hustler The US Air Force’s first operational supersonic bomber, the B-58 made its initial flight… Read More

5 hours ago

The ringmaster’s Grand Finale: Legendary German Ace Adolf Galland recalls his last combat mission

Legendary German Ace Adolf Galland By far the best-known of Germany’s World War II fighter… Read More

1 day ago

Impressive video shows 509th Bomb Wing and 131st Bomb Wing performing mass fly-off of 12 B-2 Spirit bombers

Mass fly-off of 12 B-2 stealth bombers Filmed on Apr. 15, 2024 15 at Whiteman… Read More

1 day ago

Alligator blocks USAF KC-135 Stratotanker, fights with FWC Officers at MacDill AFB

Alligator blocks KC-135 Stratotanker Taken on Apr. 22, 2024 the curious photos in this post… Read More

2 days ago