Marine Corps Installations East

 

Marine Corps Installations East

"Serving East Coast Installations..."

F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, East Coast Basing

 

The Department of the Navy (DON) intends to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed basing and operation of 13 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F-35B squadrons at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort, in Beaufort, South Carolina and MCAS Cherry Point in Havelock, North Carolina.

The Marine Corps variant of the JSF, the F-35B, is a short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL), multi-role fighter aircraft whose primary emphasis is air-to-ground combat. The aircraft is designed to replace existing fleets of F-18 A/C/D Hornets (strike fighter), AV-8B Harriers (attack), and the EA-6B Prowler (electronic warfare) aircraft.

The F-35B East Coast basing proposal would take approximately 11 years to implement and would begin in 2012. The proposal would base up to 216 aircraft (i.e., 10 active-duty and 1 reserve squadrons of up to 16 aircraft each and 2 Pilot Training Center (PTC) squadrons at 20 aircraft each) at MCAS Beaufort and MCAS Cherry Point. Facility construction and modifications would occur prior to and continue throughout F-35B squadron arrivals; the F-35B would operate within existing airspace and at training ranges currently used by Marine Corps Hornet, Harrier, and Prowler aircraft.

 

F-35B East Coast Basing Environmental Impact Statement