VFA-125 "Rough Raiders"

August 29, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 125 (VFA-125) "Rough Raiders"
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72)

Located at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, Strike Fighter Squadron 125 (VFA-125) "Rough Raiders" serves as the only Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) dedicated to training pilots for the Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II.

 

An unprecedented milestone in U.S. Naval Aviation, the F-35C is designed to excel across the entire battlespace, providing transformative capabilities for the United States and its allies. It can carry out various missions, including air-to-air combat, air-to-ground strikes, electronic attack, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, previously conducted by specialized aircraft, all within a single squadron of F-35s. In addition, the F-35C brings radar-evading stealth capability to the carrier deck for the first time in U.S. Naval Aviation history. It also sets new standards in weapon system integration, lethality, maintainability, combat radius, and payload that enable true multimission power projection capability from the sea.


The U.S. Navy's F-35C FRS program is responsible for training and preparing Naval Aviators to operate the F-35C Lightning II. The F-35C is the carrier-based variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and is designed to operate from aircraft carriers, providing the Navy and Marines with advanced air combat capabilities.


NAS Lemoore became the second U.S. Navy base to house an F-35C FRS when the first batch of four aircraft arrived in January 2017, which marked the establishment of the first F-35C Pacific/West Coast training squadron. In 2019, the Navy deactivated VFA-101 "Grim Reapers," the first of its two F-35C replacement squadrons, and merged all its fifth-generation fighter operations at NAS Lemoore with VFA-125. Now, the FRS program at NAS Lemoore focuses on providing carrier qualification training, which enables F-35C pilots to safely take off and land on aircraft carriers, a critical skill for Naval Aviators.


The USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) played an important part in the carrier qualification of Lightning II pilots for the first time in October 2017, when the first F-35C from VFA-125 trapped successfully. Going to the aircraft carrier would be a regular part of their training. Back in December 2018, Ottosen Photography was invited to embark aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) to photograph and document Strike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts" operating their F-35Cs aboard the ship and working on obtaining their Carrier Qualification (CQ). Once the "Rough Raiders" had qualified VFA-147 for their Safe-For-Flight Operations Certification, the unit initiated training of the USMC’s first operational F-35C squadron, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 (VMFA-314) "Black Knights."  In 2020 VMFA-314 received their Safe-For-Flight Operations Certification.

 

lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)


On April 14, 2023, the Third Marine Aircraft Wing reactivated Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 311 (VMFA-311) "Tomcats" at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. This marks the U.S. Marine Corps' second F-35C Lightning II squadron. Previously known as VMA-311, the Tomcats have left a significant impact on Marine Corps aviation for many years, and they are now poised to carry on their legacy. Now, VMFA-311 is working with VFA-125 to earn their F-35C Safe-For-Flight Operations Certification.


The F-35C FRS program ensures that Marine pilots are well-equipped to operate the F-35C in both land-based and carrier-based operations. The training involves carrier qualification, which is a critical skill for Marine Corps aviators since they may be required to operate from aircraft carriers during certain missions or deployments. By training Marine pilots through the F-35C FRS program, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps maintain a cohesive and integrated approach to operating the F-35C Lightning II, leveraging the aircraft’s advanced capabilities to support a wide range of missions and maintain readiness for any operational scenario.

 

Overall, Strike Fighter Squadron 125 (VFA-125) "Rough Raiders" and the F-35C FRS program are vital for maintaining the readiness and effectiveness of the Navy and Marines, ensuring they can leverage the advanced capabilities of the F-35C to support their missions around the world.

 

lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 125 (VFA-125) "Rough Raiders"
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72)
lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 125 (VFA-125) "Rough Raiders"
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72)
lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 125 (VFA-125) "Rough Raiders"
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72)
lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 125 (VFA-125) "Rough Raiders"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 125 (VFA-125) "Rough Raiders"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
frs cqfrs cqUSS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)

 


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...

Archive
January February March April May June July August September October November (1) December (1)
January February (1) March (2) April (1) May June July August September (2) October November (2) December
January (1) February March (1) April (1) May (1) June July (1) August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December