The Navy has stood up a Joint Strike Fighter Wing in Lemoore, Calif., that will oversee training, manning and readiness of all the service’s F-35C squadrons.
Capt. Max McCoy, the commodore of the squadron, told USNI News in a recent interview that having a single point-person overseeing all Navy efforts related to operating and maintaining the new airplanes will prove to be a smart decision.
“The F-35C is unlike any other airplane we’ve had to date. It brings unique capability; how we sustain and maintain it is different; and it offers new ways of training our pilots to fly it,” he said.
“So breaking it out as its own type wing is absolutely critical so that we could give it the 100-percent focus that it needed to mature the program and to integrate it into the carrier air wing and the carrier strike group as fast as we can. So I think standing up a wing and building a staff whose sole purpose in the world is focusing on the uniqueness of this airplane and making sure we succeed as fast as we can was critical and absolutely the right decision.”
In many ways, the JSF Wing will operate like any other type wing in the Navy that oversees any of the other planes or helicopters in the carrier air wing. McCoy oversees all the F-35C squadrons and reports directly to the Commander of Naval Air Forces. However, whereas the other communities have an East Coast and a West Coast wing, the JSF Wing in Lemoore will be the sole wing, to ensure the growing F-35C community has a single voice and a single path forward as the Navy learns best practices for operating, maintaining, sustaining and manning the fleet. (end of excerpt)
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