The F-35 in Califonia

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VADM Mike Shoemaker addressed an enthusiastic crowd of 400 with the Commanding Officer’s jet as a back drop.
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Four F-35Cs performed a flyby as they arrive at NAS Lemoore marking their historic arrival to join VFA-125 at NAS Lemoore.
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Three F-35Cs taxied up and parked in front of the crowd to start the ceremony.

F-35 News


F-35 Stealth Fighters Coming to Miramar Sooner than Expected(5-18-2017)

Miramar Marine Corps Air Station will begin converting its jet squadrons to the stealthy F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters, triggering major construction projects in the coming months, Lt. Gen. Jon "Dog" Davis told San Diego's military and business leaders on Wednesday.

In remarks to the San Diego Military Advisory Council, Davis, the Marines Corps' deputy commandant for aviation, said construction "will start next year" and that the project is already fully funded.

Read more here.


USAF showcases new chemical and biological suit for F-35 pilots(1-26-2017)

The US Air Force (USAF) revealed the new chemical and biological (CB) protective suit to be worn by pilots of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

The outfit, which was showcased on the service's website on 2 February, also features a Joint Service Aircrew Mask, a pilot-mounted CB air filter, a communications device, and CB socks and gloves double taped at the wrists, all to be worn in addition to the pilot's sleeved flight jacket and g -suit. The outfit also features a filtered air blower that protects the pilot from CB contamination while walking to the aircraft.

Read more here.


USN stands up F-35C West Coast Fleet Replacement Squadron (1-26-2017)

The US Navy (USN) has stood up its West Coast Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) for the Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), with the announcement on 26 January that the first aircraft from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA)-125 'Rough Raiders' had arrived at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore in California.

The unit joins VFA-101'Grim Reapers' on the East Coast at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) in Florida in training up USN F-35C pilots and maintainers before they deploy onto their operational squadrons. The first operational Fleet unit will be VFA-147 'Argonauts', which will transition from the Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet in January 2018.

Read more here.


NAS Lemoore’s game changer (1-25-2017)

LEMOORE - Called a game changer and the most advanced generation airplane, the F-35C Lightning II is the Navy's newest fighter jet.

After years of development, the strike fighters now call Lemoore Naval Air Station home.

The F-35C planes landed in Lemoore for the first time on Wednesday as they were introduced to the base and the West Coast.

“What a great day for aviation, and really for the Lemoore community,” said Naval Air Forces Commander Vice Admiral Mike Shoemaker. “We’re introducing – no kidding – game-changing fifth generation capabilities.”

Read more here.


First Pieces Of America's Most Expensive Military Program Have Arrived In The Central Valley (1-25-2017)

The F-35 is designed as a stealth fighter, able to penetrate enemy air defenses undetected, at the same time destroying a multitude of targets in the air and on the ground simultaneously.

That's the pitch Jeff Babione, General Manager of the F-35 program for manufacturer Lockheed Martin, made to the military.

"The 5th generation capability of the F-35 really stands apart against any other airplane, any other 4th generation airplane in the world."

Read more here.


The F-35C has landed (1-25-2017)

The wait for the F-35C Lightning II aircraft came to a close Wednesday with the arrival of four of the new high-tech jets at Naval Air Station Lemoore.

Hundreds of people watched in awe as the jets roared onto the tarmac for the arrival ceremony. Capt. Markus Gudmundson, commander of Strike Fighter Wing Pacific, said Wednesday’s ceremony marks the culmination of years of planning and hard work.

“It is also the beginning,” Gudmundson said. “I want to stress that this is not the end. It’s too early to spike the football. This is the beginning of the progress we’ve yet to achieve.”

Read more here.


First Pacific-based F-35C Fighters arrive at NAS Lemoore(1-25-2017)

Four of the Navy’s newest F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft arrived at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, Jan. 25.

The jets’ arrivals mark the first time the new strike-fighter variant has been deployed to a West-coast based squadron, the recently reactivated “Rough Raiders” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125.

“It was my first squadron as a student at NAS Lemoore in 1999, and to reestablish it as the commanding officer makes me tremendously proud of the Sailors and the F-35 program,” said Cmdr. John Turner, commanding officer of VFA-125.

Read more here.


Most lethal fighter in Navy history reaches the fleet (1-25-2017)

Wheeling low over the San Joaquin Valley in a diamond formation, four Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters swooped onto the tarmac here Wednesday afternoon, ushering in a new era of Navy aviation and sending a signal to potential Asian adversaries that California now boasts some of the world’s most advanced and lethal jets.

Designed to land and take off on an aircraft carrier, the quartet of blunt nosed F-35C planes will form the core of the “Rough Raiders,” the recently reactivated Strike Fighter Squadron 125. As a designated fleet replacement squadron, it will train the next generation of F-35C aviators on the West Coast.

Read more here.


Navy anticipates four F-35Cs to arrive at NAS Lemoore (1-25-2017)

The Navy anticipates four F-35C aircraft to arrive at Naval Air Station Lemoore, CA, at 1:25 p.m. Pacific time today.

These will be the first F-35 carrier-variant jets to join Strike Fighter Squadron-125, the "Rough Raiders."

"The 'Rough Raiders' of VFA-125, which reactivated on Jan. 12, will be the Navy's West Coast Fleet Replacement Squadron for the F-35C Lightning II, responsible for training the next generation of naval aviators on the aircraft," according to a service statement.

Read more here.


Lemoore naval base welcomes first contingent of F-35C fighter jets (1-25-2017)

The first F-35C jets to be based at Lemoore Naval Air Station were flown in Wednesday afternoon, making Lemoore the first naval air base in the country to get the new generation of fighter jets.

The pilots made a low-altitude flyover about 1:25 p.m., then did a mini air show before landing and taxiing to a hangar as part of a long-planned arrival ceremony. The public and media were issued ear plugs because of engine noise, said to be greater than that of the F/A-18 Super Hornet.

Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander of U.S. Naval Air Forces, spoke with reporters before the jets arrived about concerns raised by President Donald Trump over the cost of the F-35 program.

Read more here.


Navy's West Coast air base is getting its first F-35C fighter jets (1-20-2017)

FRESNO - The first F-35C fighter jets to be based at Lemoore Naval Air Station, the Navy's West Coast air base, will arrive next week, the Navy said.

Four are to arrive Wednesday morning.

To mark the event, an arrival ceremony will be held at which Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet naval air forces, will speak.

The jets will join the recently reactivated VFA-125 squadron, which will serve as the West Coast fleet replacement squadron for the F-35C, also known as the F-35C Lightning II. The squadron will train pilots and personnel. When at full strength, the fleet replacement squadron is forecast to bring an estimated $36 million annual payroll to the region, said John Lehn, CEO of the Kings County Economic Development Corp.

"It's economic activity," he said. "It's always helpful."

Read more here.