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Joint Forces Journal

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VOL. 24 - NO. 27
JUL 14 - 21, 2019
PO BOX 13283
OAKLAND, CA 94661-0283

510.595.7777 FAX
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Joint Forces Journal is published privately, and in no way is connected with DoD, the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard. This website and the printed newspaper are intended for the members of the Armed Forces and their families. Contents do not necessarily reflect official views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard, and do not imply endorsements thereof. The marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchases, user or patron for advertisers prohibited. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the publisher shall refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation is corrected. Editorial content is prepared and edited privately, and is provided by the Public Affairs Office of U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard installations. Correspondence and material for publication should be addressed to: Editor, Joint Forces Journal, P.O. Box 13283, Oakland, CA, 94661-0283. Deadline for receiving articles and photos is 3 p.m. Monday for publication on Friday of that week. Joint Forces Journal editorial policy is to use bylines and photo credits where applicable and when submitted.

Navy Cancels Super Hornet Demonstration Amid Aviation Budget Shortfall

Jun 29, 2019
by Gina Harkins
The Navy's F/A-18 Super Hornet Demonstration Team is pulling out of a scheduled air show performance that was set to kick off as the service grapples with an aviation budget shortfall.

Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA-)106 won't perform at the National Cherry Festival Air Show in Traverse City, Michigan, and runs through July 6. The event was one of at least five performances the demonstration squadron was scheduled to fly in through fiscal year 2019, which ends on Sept. 30.

"Naval aviation faces a budget shortfall, and is considering mitigation options to address it," Cmdr. Ron Flanders, a spokesman for Naval Air Forces, told Military.com. "... The rest of the schedule is up for consideration until we make our final determination."

The squadron announced on its Facebook page that all remaining 2019 demonstrations would be canceled, citing the need to train the next generation of Super Hornet pilots.

"As the East Coast Super Hornet Fleet Replacement Squadron, the mission of VFA-106 is to provide the fleet with superbly trained replacement aircrew to support fleet readiness," the post states. "This mission will always take priority over displaying the remarkable Super Hornet across the country.

"... We appreciate all the support that you have shown us this year," it adds. "We remain optimistic that we will return to the air show circuit in 2020."

But Flanders said no shows other than the National Cherry Festival Air Show performance have officially been canceled.

"Nothing has been decided at this juncture," he said. "The Navy continues to consider options to best manage our resources and costs for the remainder of the fiscal year."

USNI News reported that naval aviation faces a budget shortfall of at least $100 million, and could lead to Navy officials cutting flight hours, shutting down an air wing, reducing helicopter operations, and stopping additional flyovers.

A Navy official said the service's priorities are often reevaluated at the end of each fiscal year.

"This sort of thing is an every-year type thing where, due to operational tempo or unforeseen things, the Navy has to kind of take a mid-year review and ... often times reshuffle and balance out these things," the official said.

Flanders stressed that naval aviation -- including its strike-fighter community -- remains at its highest readiness levels in more than a decade. The aviation community is meeting its operational requirements, he added.

"We constantly look for ways to deliver on that," Flanders said, "and we continue to consider specific steps to best manage our resources and costs."

VFA-106 is scheduled for four more performances this fiscal year, according to the website AirshowStuff. That includes a July 13 performance in Toledo, Ohio; one in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Aug. 17; a show in Cleveland on Aug. 31; and one at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia, on Sept. 21.

* * * * *

Photo caption: An F/A-18 Hornet from the East Coast Super Hornet Demonstration Team assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 takes off at the Naval Air Station Oceana Air Show. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Antonio P. Turretto Ramos)


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