US Marine Corps activates second F-35C squadron


Third Marine Aircraft Wing has reactivated Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 311, an F-35C Lightning II squadron, at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.

US Marines

VMFA-311 is the U.S. Marine Corps’ second F-35C squadron. The F-35C is a land and/or carrier-based platform boasting long-range flight and high weapons payload capabilities.

Formerly VMA-311, the Tomcats have made their mark on US Marine Corps aviation for decades, and now will continue their legacy.

The Marine Corps is undergoing a key transition to the F-35 to maintain its advantage in future conflicts, thereby deactivating VMA-311 on Oct. 15, 2020.

The reactivation of VMFA-311 marks the transition for the squadron to the F-35C Lightning II, which brings its unique capabilities to 3rd MAW as a long-range compliment to their existing aviation assets.

“The F-35C brings a long-range fighter/attack platform with the most advanced stealth and sensor capabilities in the Marine Corps,” said Lt. Col. Michael P. Fisher, the commanding officer of VMFA-311.

“The Harrier was a great weapon that served the Marine Corps well and has been replaced with a more advanced and capable platform. The F-35 was designed for the near-term and future fight.”

The reactivation supports the 2022 Marine Corps Aviation Plan, which outlines ongoing modernization efforts across Marine aviation.

The plan prioritizes readiness, reinforces the importance of flying from the sea, and refocuses on manpower, support to logistics and modern capabilities.

“We are taking an aggressive approach to build capabilities that will move, sustain, and support the individual Marine while making the force more lethal, effective, and survivable,” said then-Deputy Commandant for Aviation Lt. Gen. Mark R. Wise in the 2022 plan.