Capt. Max McCoy, commodore of the U.S. Navy's F-35C squadrons, has said a newly-installed Joint Strike Fighter Wing will be used to support training and manning operations of the service's fighter aircraft missions, USNI News reported Thursday.
The JSF Wing, which will be stationed in Lemoore, Calif., will be crucial to integrating the F-35C into the carrier air wing and strike group in a short amount of time, McCoy said.
The new wing's priority is to prepare Strike Fighter Squadron 147, or VFA 147, for operational testing and have it secure an initial operating capability status by early 2019, possibly in February, the captain said.
VFA 147 will be the first in the squadron to undergo the IOC process, with the target for all pilots to be carrier-qualified set in early December, McCoy said.
He added that the JSF Wing will work to see the squadron deployed as part of a carrier air wing by 2021.