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Sustainment from Site to Flight: Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, California
Providing Sustainment Training to Increase Mission Readiness and Reduce Cost

Before F-35 pilots fly, they spend hours running simulated training exercises and practicing combat strategies on the ground. This dedicated time to extensive training drives sustainment by enabling force readiness.

F-35 pilots at the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar, California, can now complete all elements of F-35 pilot training without leaving their site. This year, Lockheed Martin installed six F-35 Full Mission Simulators (FMS), allowing pilots to accomplish single aircraft training to four-ship multi-aircraft mission rehearsal events.

Fifth generation fighter tactics typically employ four or more aircraft working together to complete coordinated missions. The pilots flying the F-35 at Miramar can now practice those tactics onsite using the linked simulators.

“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, VMFA-314 Training Officer and Pilot. 

Before the FMS install, the MCAS Miramar team would need to travel to other sites to execute this training, losing valuable time.

The FMS capability provides the Marines with increased efficiency, more time to train and less time on the road. The extra time gives the team more repetitions of mission sets at a significantly reduced cost and gives pilots additional time to train before executing in the F-35 aircraft. More time to train means greater safety when pilots are in the air.

What’s more? Thanks to the recent installation of Distributed Mission Training (DMT), USMC pilots at MCAS Miramar can connect with U.S. Navy aviators at NAS Lemoore to run joint simulated training exercises in a train as you fight environment. This capability links pilots through a distributed network and enables them to conduct simulated training events.  This is critical to warfighter readiness as it replicates what the pilots do in live theater.

“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,” said F-35 Training & Logistics Program Manager Benito Avendano. “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.” 

Additionally, while the six-ship event was required for validation, the current capabilities will actually support up to four devices per site for eight-ship training.

The DMT capability is just one of many that shows how we’re helping the warfighter achieve training effectiveness. For more information, visit our Training, Logistics & Sustainment capabilities site. You can also join our team to create innovative and game-changing sustainment solutions that impact the F-35 and beyond.