Marines Leaving F-35 Joint Schoolhouse

The Marine Corps plans to shift F-35B flight training out of the joint-service schoolhouse at Eglin AFB, Fla., to a separate training location at MCAS Beaufort, S.C. When Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 departs next March, only Air Force and Navy pilots will remain at Eglin’s F-35 initial joint training schoolhouse, 1st Lt. Hope Cronin, spokeswoman for Eglin’s 33rd Fighter Wing, told Air Force Magazine on June 4. The wing runs the schoolhouse. Eglin currently has 15 F-35Bs, including three British airplanes, she said. The Royal Air Force and Royal Navy F-35s “will transfer with VMFAT-501 when they transition to Beufort” by March 2015, added Cronin. Also by then, all non-British international flight training will shift to Luke AFB, Ariz., as the new formal training unit there spools up, she said. The Marines stood up their first operational F-35B squadron at MCAS Yuma, Ariz., in November 2012.