Navy Digging Out Of Fighter Shortfall; Marines Still Struggling To Fly At Home

USNI News – A three-pronged approach is helping the Navy keep its strike fighter inventory shortfall at a “manageable” level –speeding up legacy Hornet life extension work, preparing to conduct the Super Hornet life extension program more efficiently, and buying new Super Hornets – though the Marines’ legacy Hornet fighter inventory is so strained there are hardly any planes available for day-to-day squadron training.

Kearsarge ARG, 26th MEU Return to East Coast; Artillery Detachment Remains in Iraq

USNI News – Sailors and Marines assigned to the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit will begin returning from a seven-month deployment to the Middle East starting today. However, an artillery detachment from the 26th MEU assigned to a collation fire support base in Iraq will remain until an unnamed Army unit relieves them.

U.S. Ospreys win Japanese hearts and minds with quake relief flights

Reuters – The U.S. military’s MV-22 Osprey aircraft has been a lightning rod for opposition to U.S. bases in Japan since 24 of them were deployed on the southern island of Okinawa in 2014. By sending eight of the tilt-rotor Ospreys to help with relief efforts for survivors of recent earthquakes on Kyushu island, both U.S. and Japanese military planners have been able to showcase an aircraft they see as necessary for Japan’s defense.

Unready for War: America’s F-35 Gets a Bad Report Card

National Interest – Last July, the United States Marine Corps declared their short takeoff/vertical-landing (STOVL) version of the stealthy Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter operational. However, a new Pentagon operational test and evaluation report shows that the jet is far from ready. Even at the time, many had suspected that the service’s initial operational capability (IOC) was more hope than reality—now there is data to back that up.

Marine Corps Aviation Must Adapt To Become More ‘Value-Added’ to Naval Force

USNI News – The Navy and Marine Corps should explore ways to make Marine aircraft a more useful part of the naval battle force – using alternate mixes of aircraft types on amphibious ship flight decks, finding additional missions for those aircraft, and pursuing increased connectivity to the rest of the naval fleet.

Commandant on women in combat: They are your teammates

San Diego Union Tribune – When Gen. Robert Neller was promoted to commandant about 10 days ago, he inherited one of the most contentious issues in Marine Corps history – whether women should serve as infantry. During a talk Monday at Camp Pendleton, the new leader of Marines made it clear they would salute and carry on whether or not restrictions barring women from ground combat jobs are lifted by year’s end, ensuring that combat effectiveness does not suffer.

Marines Declare F-35B Operational, But Is It Really Ready For Combat?

Foxtrot Alpha – The Marine Corp has declared initial operational capability for their first squadron of F-35Bs. The announcement is seen by some as more of PR achievement as the aircraft still has years of testing ahead of it. Others will argue that it represents a major accomplishment for the beleaguered F-35 program. But regardless of who you agree with, the USMC have succeeded at ramming the aircraft through a marker post that has always been a huge point of contention.