RAAF Hornets Farewell from Williamtown Airbase

02/02/2021
By Flight Lieutenant Jessica Aldred An eight-ship formation of F/A-18A/B Hornets filled the Williamtown skyline in a fitting farewell to the aircraft as it was retired from No. 77 Squadron on December 11. With the squadron transitioning to the F-35A Lightning II this month, Air Force’s only remaining Hornet squadron…

Resolute Hunter: Shaping a New Paradigm

01/25/2021
By Robbin Laird During a visit to Naval Air Station, Fallon in November 2020, I had a chance to visit the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC). My visit occurred as the US Navy was hosting the 3rd iteration of a relatively new exercise called Resolute Hunter which is being…

The UK Carrier Strike Group Reaches Initial Operating Capability

01/13/2021
According to an article published by the UK MoD on January 4, 2021, the new UK carrier strike group built around its unique strike carrier, the Queen Elizabeth, has reached IOC status. The CSG has reached Initial Operating Capability (IOC), meaning all elements of the group from fighter jets to…

An Update on the CH-53K from VMX-1: The Perspective of Lt. Col. Frank

01/05/2021
By Robbin Laird During my visit to 2nd Marine Air Wing during the first week of December 2020, I had a chance to visit New River Marine Corps Air Station and meet with Lt. Col. Frank, VMX-1, to get an update on the coming of the CH-53K. Lt. Col. Frank…

Visiting MAG-26: The Perspective of Col. Spaid

01/04/2021
By Robbin Laird During my visit to 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, and to New River Marine Corps Air Station, I had a chance to visit Marine Aircraft Group 26. Over the years, I have had a chance to come often to MAG-26 and to discuss the MV-22B Osprey, its introduction,…

Exercise Deep Water: Working the Integrated Distributed Insertion Force

12/31/2020
By Robbin Laird Last July, North Carolina-based Marines organized an exercise in which they called Deep Water. In a press release from November 5, 2020, this is how II Marine Expeditionary Force described the exercise: “Marines with 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, and 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing are…

Visiting HMLA-269 and 167: Shaping a Way Ahead for Marine Corps Light Attack Helicopters

12/30/2020
Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 269 (HMLA-269) is currently commanded by Lt. Col. Short and is a squadron consisting of the AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter and the UH-1Y Venom utility helicopter. They are known as the Gunrunners, and next door within the same hangar are the Warriors of Marine Light…

Visiting MAG-29 at 2nd Marine Air Wing: The Perspective of Col. Finneran

12/23/2020
By Robbin Laird During my visit to 2nd MAW during the first week of December, I had a chance to visit MAG-29, with regard to both the CH-53 and H-1 units. Then I had a chance to discuss the way ahead for the assault force with the Commanding Officer of…