MIRAMAR, California –
The “Black Knights” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314 returned in August from their deployment with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). The Black Knights are the first Marine Corps squadron to deploy the F-35C Lightning II aboard an aircraft carrier.
While underway for more than 200 days, the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group sailed more than 65,000 nautical miles conducting deterrence and presence operations, and demonstrating the interoperability of the Navy and Marine Corps team. By leveraging their complementary authorities and capabilities, this team advances the prosperity, security and promise of a free and open, rules-based order.
“The Black Knight’s successful deployment of F-35C Lightning II aircraft aboard USS Abraham Lincoln further reinforces 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing’s (MAW) commitment to naval integration,” said Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Robert B. Brodie, 3rd MAW assistant wing commander. “This historic deployment is a testament to our readiness and lethality as we project warfighting capabilities whenever and wherever our nation calls.”
Through the course of the deployment, VMFA-314 flew nearly 1,200 sorties and logged more than 2,200 flight hours. The Black Knights and CVW-9 participated in dual carrier operations in the South China Sea with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, joint exercise Valiant Shield, bilateral exercises Noble Fusion and Jungle Warfare and Exercise Rim of the Pacific.
VMFA-314 was the first Marine Corps squadron to receive the F-35C Lightning II after retiring their legacy F/A-18C aircraft, and is comprised of approximately 200 Marines and Sailors.
3rd MAW continues to “Fix, Fly and Fight” as the Marine Corps’ largest aircraft wing, and remains combat-ready, deployable on short notice and lethal when called into action.
Written by 1st Lt. Duane Kampa, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.