F-35 Lightning II

MCAS Cherry Point to break ground on F-35 Aircraft Maintenance Hangar

September 05, 2020

 

Marine and Navy leaders underscored the start of the $105 million military construction project with a groundbreaking ceremony at the air station at 10:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 4. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the size of the audience at the event was limited.

The groundbreaking event was momentous as the air station begins to see tangible modernization of its facilities and infrastructure, and the transformation of the nearly 80-year-old installation into a key base for the future of Marine Aviation and its next generation fighter aircraft, the Joint Strike Fighter. More than one billion dollars of MILCON projects are planned through 2027 to make way for six F-35 Lightning II squadrons.

Marine leaders of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, MCAS Cherry Point and Navy Facilities Engineering Command will be on hand to accent the historic occasion and to articulate its significance for the Department of Defense, Marine Corps and Eastern North Carolina.

 

MCAS Cherry Point to break ground for first F-35 MILCON project

September 02, 2020

 

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (Sept. 2, 2020) — Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point will break ground to begin construction on the first of three F-35 Aircraft Maintenance Hangars.

Marine and Navy leaders will underscore the start of the $105 million military construction project with a groundbreaking ceremony at the air station at 10:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 4.

The groundbreaking event is momentous as the air station begins to see tangible modernization of its facilities and infrastructure, and the transformation of the nearly 80-year-old installation into a key base for the future of Marine Aviation and its next generation fighter aircraft, the Joint Strike Fighter.

More than one billion dollars of MILCON projects are planned through 2027 to make way for six F-35 Lightning II squadrons.

Marine leaders of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, MCAS Cherry Point and Navy Facilities Engineering Command will be on hand to accent the historic occasion and to articulate its significance for the Department of Defense, Marine Corps and Eastern North Carolina.

 

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the size of the audience at the event will be limited, but the community is encouraged to tune to stream the event live athttps://www.dvidshub.net/webcast/24776.

 

Congressman Focuses on Future During Visit to Fleet Readiness Center East

July 21, 2020

 
By Heather Wilburn

Fleet Readiness Center East Public Affairs

Congressman Greg Murphy visits FRC East

Fleet Readiness Center East Commanding Officer Capt. Mark E. Nieto, right, and Rep. Greg Murphy, second from right, discuss operations on FRCE’s H-53 heavy-lift helicopter line during Murphy’s visit to the facility Friday, July 17. Murphy, who represents North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, visited FRCE to receive updates on the future of naval aviation, the current status of operations and the economic opportunities FRCE brings to Eastern North Carolina.

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (NNS) — During a visit to Fleet Readiness Center East Friday, July 17, Rep. GregMurphy, who represents North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, toured the facility with FRCE Commanding Officer Capt. Mark E. Nieto. The itinerary focused on the F-35 Lightning II and future plans for F-35 maintenance and capabilities at FRCE.

“I was pleased to introduce Congressman Murphy to our facility at Fleet Readiness Center East, and familiarize him with the vital work we’re doing to support naval aviation.” Nieto said. “This visit gave us an excellent opportunity to provide him with a firsthand look at how FRCE operations contribute to defense readiness, and what we need to be successful, now and in the future.”

Murphy, along with a group of his staff and local leaders, made additional stops at the H-53 heavy lift helicopter and V-22 Osprey lines. During the tour, he also had the opportunity to speak with FRCE’s aircraft maintenance professionals, learn about their workload, and discuss measures the command has implemented to keep the workforce safe while still meeting the needs of the nation’s warfighters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Murphy made his first official visit to FRCE two days after he toured Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River with Charles Williams Jr., the assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment; Rear Adm. John Korka, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command; and Maj. Gen. Edward Banta, commander, Marine Corps Installation Command. The congressman is a member of the House Military Depot and Industrial Facilities Caucus, a bipartisan group of House members dedicated to policy issues that affect military industrial facilities, including aviation depots, arsenals, ammunition plants, shipyards and energetic material production facilities. Caucus members work to educate other members of Congress on matters of importance to the military depot and industrial facility community, and advocate for necessary changes in policy.

FRCE is North Carolina’s largest maintenance, repair, overhaul and technical services provider, with more than 4,000 civilian, military and contract workers. Its annual revenue exceeds $835 million. The facility generates combat air power for America’s Marines and naval forces while serving as an integral part of the greater U.S. Navy; Naval Air Systems Command; and Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers.

For more news from Fleet Readiness Center East, visit www.navy.mil/local/FRCE/.

 

Female Airmen team up for Historic Launch

June 10, 2020

 

By Tech. Sgt. Melissa Harvey 301st Fighter Wing/Public Affairs

Historically, Air Force fighter pilots and maintainers were male, but the future looks a lot different as more and more females join the ranks of these career fields and make history while they do it.

Recently, Capt. Emily Thompson, an F-35A Lightning II pilot, made history as she flew in combat, making her the first female to do so in that airframe.

“This is my first deployment … so for me it was a pretty big deal, the first combat sortie for me. … Of course being the first female, it’s a pretty big honor,” she said. “There’s a lot of females who have come before me and there’s a lot of females already flying combat sorties in other platforms. So just to be the person who gets that honor, that first, it just meant a lot.”

Thompson’s childhood dream of what she would do was very different than her chosen career path.

“Standard childhood dreams were veterinarian and police officer,” she said. “From there, realistic dreams set in and I wanted to be an engineer. I went to college to be an aerospace engineer, which is what my degree is in. Then I sort of found out about the whole pilot thing, I could fly, instead of build the airplanes and it just kind of took off from there.”

It has taken Thompson time to get to this point in her career, which began as an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot.

After graduating college, she spent about a year and a half in pilot training for the F-16, completed a tour in that airframe, then went on to training for the F-35A, according to Thompson.

On the day of her first combat sortie, she had an all-female maintenance crew launch her off for the historic flight. Airman First Class Ashlin Randolph, a weapons load crew member, was one of a four-person team on duty for the historic launch.

“It was very empowering, it was awesome!”

Randolph, also on her first deployment, is new to marshalling jets. It was only her third time marshalling on the day of the launch.

“I always get really nervous, so I had medics, my lieutenants, and intelligence [personnel] and they were all females,” she said. “They were all there to support me.”

Randolph is new to the Lightning Technician Program, which allows F-35A maintainers to broaden their knowledge and experience on the airframe.

“The mission, as a whole, I think it’s really cool because the LTP program lets me load bombs and missiles and I also get to launch out the jet,” she said. “So it’s like we are getting all parts of the mission. I feel like that’s another thing that’s really inspiring because I got to load the bombs and missiles and I got to launch it out.”

After being involved with such a historic moment, Randolph gave advice to young girls.

“I would definitely say be confident and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something because you can.”

Thompson, who is a part of a small number of F-35A female pilots, looks to what’s next.

“I think it’s a bright future,” she said. “There is a number of us already in the F-35 and I think the number is just going to continue to grow. It’s a very supportive community, it’s very open, I think the opportunity for women to really excel in the F-35 is definitely there.”

Thompson encouraged young females coming up after her.

“Know there’s a lot of supportive people out there,” she said. “Just stay positive, work hard, and you can achieve whatever you set your mind out to do, you can get it done.”

Source: centcom.mil