by:Martin Matishak Staff writer, Marine Corps Times
More than 70 percent of the Marine Corps’ aviation fleet will not meet combat readiness standards by 2021 if sequestration — the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts — remains in place, the service’s aviation chief warned lawmakers today.
Service leaders estimate that only 27 to 30 percent of the Corps’ aviation fleet will be at “ready to go to war” status seven years from now, according to c, deputy commandant for aviation.
The federal cost-cutting measure reduces flight hours by roughly 10 percent every year. Today, aviation combat readiness stands at about 65 percent, Schmidle told a House Armed Services subcommittee. By 2017, that figure will be below 50 percent, he predicted.
“When we take the flight hours out, we don’t have the hours to fly the airplanes to train the pilots and the readiness continues to go down,” the three-star said.
Schmidle said the Marine Corps’ estimates were based on “strict arithmetic.”
“We took the readiness of the fleet today and we said, if we are sequestered that means we will lose 10 percent a year of our flight time. So if you lose 10 percent of your flight hours across the board every year, what happens in five, six, seven, eight years?” he told Marine Corps Times after the hearing. “You’ve got that many fewer flight hours to fly in order to be able to train the pilots and train the air crews, etc.”
However, “that assumes that the fleet is the same size it is today,” Schmidle said. “It’s assuming that we have to take those hours out of everybody, but if we get relief, and we get extra money for flight hours then, of course, we can begin alleviate that.”
If the service does manage to get some kind of relief from the sequester, “then you would not see those numbers go down,” Schmidle said.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Marine Corps in South Carolina is getting its first futuristic F-35 fighter jets in June, a commander from the Air Station in Beaufort announced Wednesday.
Marine Air Group 31 commander Col. Bill Leiblien told members of the South Carolina Military Base Task Force that the first of dozens of aircraft and pilots are due to arrive by early to mid-June.
“We will be in full pilot production in October 2014,” Leiblien told the group of several dozen military officers and supporters.
Leiblien said it will take about eight to 10 months to train each pilot on the advanced aircraft, which is both stealthy and supersonic.
333 standing hot-pad at Key West, Florida circa 1970
Pics from Marty Potter, Flight Line/Ground Support Extrordinaire
333 on hot-pad duty at Key West Florida, 1970.
NAVY F4 RAG at NAS Key West July 1970.jpg
VMFA 333, NAS Key West July 1970 Taxi after sortie.jpg
VMFA 333, NAS Key West July 1970.jpg
The last VMSB-333 Reunion was help in September 2013, at the award winning Microtel Inn and Suites of Indianapolis Indiana (located on Rockville Road).
Once again Mr. Frank Hughes organized an absolutely wonderful schedule of events for the VMSB-333 reunion. The Squadron core members Frank, Tom, Nick, Bob were present. Several children whose fathers were squadron members were also present. The wives of several squadron members whose husbands have reported aboard MCAS Pearly Gates were also in
Radar Intercept Officer Marine Lt. William C. Ryan, left, and Lt. Gary Bain of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron, VMFA-115 at an airfield in Vietnam. (Photo courtesy of Gary Bain)
“Mayday, mayday, mayday,” called the forward air controller. “Manual four two is down. Manual four two is down. One good chute.”