F-35C Achieves Initial Operational Capability

February 28, 2019 – The Commander, Naval Air Forces and the U.S. Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation jointly announced that the aircraft carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35C Lightning II, met all requirements and achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC). The Feb. 28 announcement comes shortly after the Department of the Navy’s first F-35C squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, completed aircraft carrier qualifications aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and received Safe-For-Flight Operations Certification. In order to declare IOC, the first operational squadron must be properly…

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Strike Fighter Squadron 147 Declares Safe-For-Flight

December 12, 2018 – The “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 completed their carrier qualifications Dec. 12 aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), the final required component for Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing (CJSFW) to issue the squadron its safe-for-flight operations certification. This marks a major milestone for the U.S. Navy toward declaring Initial Operating Capability (IOC) next year. The safe-for-flight operations certification (SFFOC) is the final step for VFA-147’s transition from the F/A-18E Super Hornet to the F-35C Lightning II. This process ensures a squadron is manned with…

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F-35C Lightning II Conducts Operational Test-1 Aboard USS Abraham Lincoln

August 28, 2018 – F-35C Lightning II aircraft from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 are conducting their Operational Test-1 (OT-1) with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 and Carrier Strike Group 12 aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). OT-1 evaluates the full spectrum of the F-35C’s suitability for operation within a carrier air wing and mission effectiveness to the maximum extent possible. “The F-35C brings stealth, enhanced electronic capabilities and a different sustainment model,” said Rear Adm. Dale Horan, director, Joint Strike Fighter Fleet Integration Office. “Operating this new generation of…

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Into the Fold: F-35C Carrier Qualifications Aboard Lincoln

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) completed fleet carrier qualifications (CQ) for the F-35C Lightning II program, marking another milestone for the new aircraft, while underway March 17-21. Pilots assigned to the “Rough Raiders” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 and the “Grim Reapers” of VFA 101 accomplished day and night qualifications with 140 traps in anticipation of F-35C operational testing later this year. Aboard for part of the CQ was Rear Adm. Dale Horan, director of the U.S. Navy F-35C Fleet Integration Office, who was previously embarked aboard Abraham Lincoln…

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Lincoln Completes First F-35 Carrier Qualification

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) successfully completed Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) Carrier Qualifications for the F-35C Lightning II program, carrier qualifying the first nine fleet aviators in the new aircraft, while underway Dec. 7-11. Along with Abraham Lincoln, the “Rough Raiders” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125, the “Grim Reapers” of VFA-101, and VX-9 accomplished many first steps including first-time use of Autonomic Logistic Information System (ALIS) aboard a carrier, and use of the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS) in an operational setting. “Thanks to the tireless work…

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FRC East marks another F-35 milestone

Fleet Readiness Center East achieved another milestone for its support of the F-35 Lightning II program.The depot received its first U. S. Navy F-35C Lightning II, carrier variant, for maintenance Nov. 9. The aircraft was flown from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The F-35C is one of the aircraft needed for the Navy to declare Initial Operating Capability (IOC). According to a report submitted to the Congressional Defense Committees in 2013, the branch will declare IOC for the F-35C when the first operational squadron is equipped with 10 aircraft, and…

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USS Carl Vinson conducts F-35C flight operations

The Navy’s first stealth fighter conducted flight operations Oct. 18 aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as the aircraft carrier trained off the coast of Southern California. An F-35C Lightning II, the Navy variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, landed on and launched from Carl Vinson during day and nighttime operations, completing another step toward becoming an operationally capable aircraft. “The training helped us to confidently land and launch an aircraft we’ve never dealt with before,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Alexsis Labrake. “Being the first to ever…

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USS Abraham Lincoln Tests F-35C Lightning II at Sea

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) became one of the few ships in the fleet to trap and launch the F-35C Lightning II, Sept. 3. The “Grim Reapers” of Strike Fighter Squadron 101 (VFA 101), from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, are the training squadron for the F-35C. “The F-35C is still in a testing phase, so it is not fully operational yet,” said Lt. Cmdr. Chris Karapostoles, a pilot assigned to VFA 101. “We are the training squadron for the F-35C, so we are onboard this ship conducting our carrier…

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