How many of you know that the United States Marine Corps does not have enough combat ready F/A-18’s for their pilots to fly? Surprisingly, the statement is true and to remedy this problem they have decided to bring 30 retired F/A-18’s from the boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ back into service.
To make the story even more interesting these 30 F/A-18’s are being ‘trucked’ all the way from Arizona to Boeing’s maintenance facility at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, FL for the rework. Yes, the same Cecil Field that used to be known as Naval Air Station (NAS) Cecil Field, a Master Jet Base for the US Navy until the base realignment program shut it down. The airfield first opened in June 1941 and was officially closed as a Navy installation in 1999 although military aircraft still use the facility.
Boeing is promising these ‘new’ F/A-18C+ models will be ‘state of the art’ with many upgrades and improvements.
Watch the First Hornet Arrive at Cecil Field on a Flatbed Truck
“As a former squadron commander, I knew how important it was to have aircraft on the ramp. With this C+ program, we are introducing good viable aircraft back into the fleet for them to use for years to come,” says Bill Maxwell, a Boeing F/A-18 Production Senior Manager and retired Marine Corps pilot. “They’re expecting a combat-capable aircraft on delivery. That’s our contract to them.”- Boeing
The contract which calls for improved avionics and updated radar systems was awarded to Boeing in 2014 with the first aircraft being delivered to the Marine Corps this year.
Comment below with your thoughts about this program and the fact that the Marines don’t have enough combat ready jet fighters to fly.
Featured Image of F/A-18C+ Being Uncrated at Cecil Field Courtesy of Boeing