It is with great anticipation to be one of the first to wish you a Happy New Year! As we bring 2018 to a close and find ourselves on the doorstep of 2019, it’s a wonderful opportunity to look ahead at what we can anticipate in the coming new year. But before we do that, let’s look back for a moment at some of our highlights from 2018.
If one thing is for certain about the past 12 months is that NAS Lemoore continues to forge itself as the U.S. Navy’s premier master jet base. The training that takes place here for our aircrews and maintainers helps ensure that we are able to answer our nation’s call. 2018 is no different from previous years as our squadrons and air wings fulfilled their commitment to deliver the finest strike-fighter talent imaginable.
In terms of integrating the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter into the fleet, the promise of 2018 has been matched by the achievement of key milestones by the F-35C program. Just recently the “Argonauts” from VFA-147 achieved its safe-for-flight certification – a symbolic achievement of what our carrier-based, Naval Aviation community is capable of.
Not to be outcompeted by the F-35C, the preservation and reimplementation of our F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet fleet has gained prominence and surpassed the Navy’s expectations thanks to the maintenance powerhouse that is Commander Strike Fighter Wing Pacific’s Naval Aviation Maintenance Center for Excellence (NAMCE). NAMCE’s commitment to raise our Super Hornet readiness rates throughout 2018 has ensured that our fleet’s backbone of strike-fighter capability – the F/A-18 E/F – was there when needed.
Looking ahead we can anticipate NAMCE being an integral topic of discussion anytime NAS Lemoore is considered. The work being done at NAMCE is relatively new across the entire Naval Aviation enterprise. We can anticipate NAMCE to get more innovative and further enhance our ability to take the fight to the enemy.
Expect significant coverage in 2019 when VFA-147 achieves Initial Operating Capability. What this means is that the F-35C will be capable of being assigned to combat missions. We will ensure we keep you informed on this major accomplishment.
If you haven’t marked your calendars yet, please ensure that do so for 21-22 September, 2019. NAS Lemoore will be hosting its first air show in many years. Plans are fully underway for this exciting gathering and we will soon announce the complete line-up of performers. What I can share with you for now is that the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels plan to be part of the show.
Finally, one constant from one year to the next is my commitment to improving the quality of life for our Sailors and families. My staff and I will do everything we can to ensure that we bring you the best possible services available and make your time here a memorable one.
Thank you for your support this past year, celebrate responsibly and Happy New Year!