Buildings, Simulators and Hangar ready for Joint Strike Fighter

Buildings, Simulators and Hangar ready for Joint Strike Fighter in Yuma

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Yuma--Marine Corps Air Station-Yuma officials said some of the hangars for the Joint Strike fighter are ready for operation.

"The first of the five hangars is built and its being moved into right now," Colonel Robert Kuckuk, commander of MCAS-Yuma said. "The marines who will become VMFA-121 are moving their gear and computers."

Kuckuk said simulators for the Joint Strike Fighter program are completed and all of the buildings are certified for secure access.

"Two out of the eight simulators are being installed right now, the others are being installed when needed as we go but they're not needed as of this minute," he said.

Kuckuk said the Yuma area was the most obvious and logical choice to be selected for the first operational Joint Strike Fighter base because of weather conditions and ranges.

He said there won't be any squadrons added on base but there will be many units deployed to MCAS for F-35 training.

"We'll put one of the most highly performing aircraft in the inventory of the world with marine expeditionary units, that's a real force multiplier," he said.

MCAS-Yuma officials will also conduct a noise study of the aircraft.

"There's going to be a change in noise, we don't know how good or how bad but it will be different and so we need to get a handle on that and make sure what that is going to mean to the population," Kuckuk said.

The first of the joint strike fighter aircraft is expected by late November.

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