US VMFA 314 F 35C credit USMC Sgt. Dominic Romero 640USMC activates second F-35C squadron

On 14 April 2023, the USMC will re-activate Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 311 from its former Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 311 Tomcats ('WL-xx') identity at MCAS Miramar (CA).

VMFA-311 will be the second operational USMC squadron to operate the carrier-based F-35C Lightning II version. The other squadron, also based at MCAS Miramar is VMFA-314 Black Knights ('VW-3xx'). The Black Knights have already completed one deployment with the new fighter, on board USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72).

VMA-311 operated the AV-8B Harrier II when its was decommissioned at MCAS Yuma on 15 October 2020. Scramble Magazine reported on the Tomcats sunset ceremony. The recommissioned unit, VMFA-311, will work in tandem with VMFA-314 in order to start transitioning to the F-35C. This transition is due to be concluded by 2024.

Photo (VMFA-314 illustrative) by USMC Sgt. Dominic Romero

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