The answer is Yes! Two Marine Corps F/A-18C squadrons have been designated to deploy later this year with the Navy. One of the two squadrons deploying has been identified as Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323, the “Death Rattlers.” VMFA 323 recently completed pre-deployment training with the Navy’s Carrier Air Wing 11 at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada. The training included joint operations and tactical air integration (TAI).
Watch: VMFA 323 “Death Rattlers” completed pre-deployment training at NAS Fallon
Air Wing Fallon is part of the pre-deployment training cycle for the carrier air wing,” said Maj. Scot Foster, VMFA-323’s operations officer. “The air wing gets together and focuses on a lot of air-specific things … a lot of large-force strikes, focusing on all the mission sets of the F/A-18, as well as the other aircraft that are part of [CVW-11].”
“An aircraft carrier is a very visible sign of our nation’s interests. We can park that anywhere in the world [that’s] near an ocean and show what our nation needs us to do,” said Foster. “Having the air wing aboard provides a reach-out capability: we can extend over land [and] we can extend out over the water … For us as a squadron, we want to be prepared to do that– with Air Wing Fallon itself – it gives us the opportunity to practice those skills.” – United States Marine Corps
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323 will deploy on the USS Nimitz in the summer of 2017.
It is a good thing that the Marines will be out there flying with the Navy. How many of you knew that Marine Corps squadrons deployed on carriers?
Featured image of an F/A-18C Hornet from the “Death Rattlers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323 landing on the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Paul J. Perkins, US Navy.