Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA(AW) 225 “Vikings” officially transition to an F-35B squadron, adopting the new designation as Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 225 during their redesignation and assumption of command ceremony. Last year, VMFA(AW)-225 held a sundown ceremony at their home base, Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar, concluding flight operations with the F/A-18D Hornet and introducing the F-35B Lightning II as their future fixed-wing aircraft. The Marine Corps has prioritized the shift of legacy F/A-18D Hornet and AV-8B Harrier squadrons to the F-35, transitioning to modern technology that is vital to field a lethal, resilient, and rapidly adapting joint force.
“It’s an exciting day for [VMFA-225],” said Lt. Col. Alexander Goodno, the commanding officer of VMFA-225. “We will grow over the next 18 to 24 months to a full, combat-ready capable squadron and be ready to do the nation’s bid in the war.”
“We have aircraft afloat right now from VMFA-122; we’re flying combat missions,” said Col. Benjamin Hutchins, the commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group 13. “We have VMFA-211 getting ready to deploy on [HMS Queen Elizabeth]. This is a busy business, this is our nation’s business, this is our Corps’ business.”
In accordance with the 2019 Marine Corps Aviation Plan, VMFA-225 temporarily deactivated for a year to “recapitalize structure and manpower” throughout the tactical aircraft community. The transition to the F-35B is part of the Marine Corps’ Force Design 2030 set in motion by the Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David Berger, introduced to provide a more potent deterrent to conflict, and a more lethal warfighting capability. VMFA-225 will become the fifth Fleet Marine Force F-35B squadron in the Marine Corps, and will join VMFA-211 and VMFA-122 at MCAS Yuma.
Since their establishment in 1943 at MCAS Mojave, California, VMFA-225 has operated the Vought F4U Corsair, AD-4 Skyraider, A-4 Skyhawk, A-6A Intruder, and the F/A-18D Hornet. The Vikings served with distinction for many years, and will continue to do so as a squadron that has been successful in embracing emerging military technology and utilizing it to the fullest potential.3rd MAW continues to “Fix, Fly and Fight” as the Marine Corps’ largest aircraft wing, and remains combat-ready, deployable on short notice, and lethal when called into action.