Advertisement

First Marine Corps F-35C squadron reaches full operational capability

By Zarrin Ahmed
First Marine Corps F-35C squadron reaches full operational capability
The Marine Corps announced Thursday that its Fighter Attack Squadron 314 declared full operational capability for the F-35C. File Photo by Leilani Cervantes/U.S. Marine Corps

July 1 (UPI) -- The Marine Corps announced Thursday that its Fighter Attack Squadron 314 declared full operational capability for the F-35C Lightning II.

This is the first FOC declaration for Marine Corp, confirming that VMFA-314 is prepared and equipped to board U.S. Navy aircraft carriers, according to the Marines.

Advertisement

The first F-35C jet arrived at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar on Jan. 21.

"VMFA-314 is the first F-35C squadron in the Marine Corps to declare FOC. They will deploy as part of a Carrier Strike Group next year," Maj. Gen. Christopher Mahoney said Thursday in a press release.

Initial operational capability for the F-35C Lightning II was achieved in Dec. 2020.

"The successful transition of the Black Knights to the F-35C culminating in this IOC declaration is a testament to the squadron's distinguished legacy of pioneering new aircraft," Lt. Col. Brendan Walsh, VMFA-314 commanding officer, said in a press release at the time.

The F-35B squadron has yet to achieve FOC, though it reached IOC in July 2015.

It made its combat debut in 2018, conducting its first strike on Afghanistan.

Advertisement

The Air Force's F-35A achieved IOC in 2016.

"The F-35C's unique capabilities, compared to the F-35B and legacy aircraft, provide the Marine Corps with a complementary increase in combat projection and the ability to operate from the U.S. Navy's aircraft carriers," said Lt. Col. Duncan French, VMFA-314 executive officer, in the Dec. 2020 press release.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement