The F-35B Tests Continue


10/24/2011: These photos were taken on October 18, 2011 aboard the USS Wasp.  In an interview during the tests, Admiral Scott underscored that the V-22 plus the F-35B would expand the capabilities available to a ARG commander like himself.  “From an operational point of view, it will give me a great deal of flexibility.  Now I can pretty much self sustain across the spectrum of operations.  The F-35B provides significant enhancements in capability and my ability to work with coalition partners. It takes it to a new level of combat effectiveness.”

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Photo Credits: SLD 2011

Admiral Scott will be involved in the Bold Alligator exercise early next year.  He is currently on the Bold Alligator 2012 exercise leadership team

BA12, tentatively scheduled for early in 2012, will be the largest amphibious exercise conducted by the Navy and Marine Corps in the last ten years. While planning is ongoing, it currently includes:

-An Amphibious Task Force (ESG-2) consisting of two Amphibious Ready Groups (ARGs—7-8 ships) and a Naval Beach Group (NBG)

-A Marine Expeditionary Brigade-sized Landing Force (2d MEB) consisting of a complete Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), a Regimental Landing Team (RLT), a Marine Air Group (MAG) and a Combat Logistics Regiment (CLR)

-A Carrier Strike Group (CSG-aircraft carrier, carrier air wing, 3-4 surface combatants)

-Military Sealift Command (MSC) ships

-Mine Counter-Measures (MCM) forces

-Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) forces

-Joint supporting forces

-Coalition amphibious, landing, and MCM forces

As the list of participants indicates, an amphibious mission of this size is not simply the purview of the amphibious forces and the Marines—it is a joint, multi-national, and naval endeavor requiring the full attention of the Fleet and Marine components at both the operational and tactical levels of war. Projecting power from the sea is a NAVAL core competency. Integrated forces conduct of operations from the blue water, into the seaward side of the littoral, and ultimately to the depth of objectives ashore.

The F-35 will be involved with the exercise in the form of the BAC1-11 test aircraft with APG-81 radar and DAS.  The current planning is to have a datalink aboard the aircraft as well.