Contract Civilian Maintenance Support in U.S. Marine F/A-18 Fleet Squadrons
MARINE CORPS COMBAT DEVELOPMENT COMMAND QUANTICO VA
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Operation Iraqi Freedom OIF and Operation Enduring Freedom OEF have taken a fairly significant toll on U.S. Marine Corps FA-18 aircraft. Due to the increased operational tempo, FA-18 aircraft have been flown at a rate far beyond what was predicted. As Brigadier General Robert Walsh, the former assistant deputy commandant for aviation stated, In Iraq right now, we are flying our FA- 18Ds more than 100 hours per month - three to four times their normal utilization rate. This tempo has caused a significant decrease in the readiness of the aircraft and, thus, with unavailable aircraft has degraded the training and, hence, readiness of the FA-18 aircrew. U.S. Marines will continue to utilize FA-18 aircraft in the current and future conflicts for close air support CAS to maximize the combined arms capability of the Marine air ground task force MAGTF until it is replaced by the Joint Strike Fighter JSF in 2012. The loss of training poses a serious threat to both marines on the ground and the aircrew flying the aircraft because the number of trained personnel assigned to Marine FA-18 squadrons is inadequate to support the workload required to maintain an aging aircraft.
- Attack and Fighter Aircraft