Marine Corps Marks End of Harrier Era, Shifts Focus to F-35

Final graduates and pilots complete training, signaling the conclusion of the aircraft’s service.

The final class of U.S. Marine Corps Harrier mechanics completed their training, coinciding with the upcoming graduation of the last two Harrier pilots later this year. This marks the transition of the service from the Harrier to the F-35 Lightning II. The retirement of the AV-8B Harrier II aligns with the replacement of the F/A-18 Hornet, both of which will be succeeded by the F-35. Harrier mechanics will continue to maintain and repair the F-402 engine until the Harrier is retired in 2027.

“Teaching this class is bittersweet, I am proud to pass on knowledge to the last generation of students,” said Gunnery Sergeant. Ryan Fife, a fixed-wing mechanic and instructor at the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. “On the other side, this is the end of an era for the Marine Corps.”

The graduating class of five Marine aviation mechanics will be assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, as they prepare to join the fleet. Meanwhile, the Corps anticipates the completion of the Harrier and Hornet transition to the F-35 by the end of fiscal year 2030.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Acting Commandant General Christopher Mahoney as he heads the U.S. Marine Corps.
  • For members of the USMC as they prepare for the transition from the Harrier and the Hornet to the F-35.

Sources: Military Times,


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