MCAS BEAUFORT, S.C. --
Brigadier Gen. W. “Blake” Crowe, the commander of Marine Corps Forces Command and Marine Corps Forces South, came aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Jan. 3.
The MCAS Beaufort command staff toured with Crowe to view new facilities aboard the Air Station that are under construction.
The visit presented a chance for Crowe to experience firsthand what Fightertown East brings to Marine ground forces.
The personnel of the Air Station work everyday to support the readiness of the six F/A-18 Hornet squadrons of Marine Aircraft Group 31. The hard work of the Marines and sailors aboard has contributed to MAG-31 being the most ready Marine Aircraft Group in the Marine Corps.
The F/A-18 Hornets provide close air support for United States and allied ground forces serving all over the globe, flying in numerous multi-national exercises throughout the Western Pacific and providing maritime security while supporting the U.S. Navy carrier air wings.
The grey-bodied, twin jet engine aircraft is the Marine Corps’ middle-weight fighter. The F/A-18 Hornet helps ground units keep from being harassed through direct enemy engagement and by providing life-saving intelligence and reconnaissance of the battlefield.
Though the F/A-18 is still completing all assigned missions, the aircraft will be slowly transitioned out of action for the F-35B Lightning II. Currently an F-35B school house and a new hangar are being constructed aboard the Air Station. Crowe was able to see both facilities during his visit.
The F-35B Lightning II is slated to begin phasing out the F/A-18 Hornet beginning in 2014 aboard MCAS Beaufort. The F-35B offers a versatile mission set, due to its vertical and/or short take-off and landing, or V/STOL, capabilities.
The aircraft and personnel of MCAS Beaufort ensure aircraft flying above have the most highly trained professionals manning them and receive the highest level maintenance and ground support.
The visit allowed Crowe to receive a brief look into the future of Fightertown East.