New Sims as VMFA-314 Intensifies Training Tempo
A VMFA-314 F-35C with an F/A-18. (Photo: USMC)
With its four new F-35C Full Mission Simulators now in service, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 is training full steam ahead for its carrier strike group deployment in 2022.
Following the delivery by Lockheed Martin of four F-35C Full Mission Simulators (FMSs) to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar, the USMC is now undertaking networked training with USN F-35s elsewhere in California at NAS Lemoore.
By using a Distributed Mission Training (DMT) protocol, Lockheed Martin says, ‘this capability links pilots through a distributed network and enables them to conduct simulated training events [that are] critical to warfighter readiness as it replicates what the pilots do in live theatre’.
The four new devices also mean that the USMC can conduct all its F-35 training at Miramar without leaving the site.
‘Being able to train with pilots in your squadron and execute tactics as a four ship has a ton of advantages,’ said Maj Derek Heinz, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 (VMFA-314) Training Officer and F-35 pilot.
The squadron declared FOC on 1 July and is scheduled to deploy as part of a Carrier Strike Group in 2022. The four DMTs are proving vital in preparing them for this deployment.
VMFA-314 is training for this deployment by conducting what the USMC refers to as ‘tailored ship’s training availability (TSTA)’, the first time an F-35C squadron has conducted TSTA in the USMC.
VMFA-314 says this training will comprise ‘communication rehearsals, medical drills, flight operations, and shipboard drills conducted while underway, ensuring the squadron is prepared to deploy in support of maritime campaigns’.
Benito Avendano, F-35 training and logistics programme manager at Lockheed Martin, said: ‘In addition to a successful completion of the Miramar DMT Integration activity and the connection with Lemoore, the team also achieved an F-35 six-ship training event.’
‘The event marked the first time that an F-35 six-ship training activity was performed, with the two FMS devices in Lemoore and the four FMS devices in Miramar jointly operating in a training environment on the NCTE network,’ he added.
Lockheed Martin is continuing to roll out this DMT capability across the F-35 fleet in the US, UK and Australia.