Looks like the USMC wasn’t kidding about robbing F-18 parts from a museum
Both the Navy’s Legacy and Super Hornet fleets are having devastating readiness issues.
Currently, three out of four F-18s are not ready to go to war (In April 2016, Lt. Gen. Jon Davis — the Marines’ deputy commandant for aviation — told the U.S. Senate that just 87 of the Corps’ 276 Hornets were flightworthy — a mere 32 percent) and there has been a scramble to find parts that has seen perfectly good airframes cannibalized while Marines have even gone out combing for parts on static display aircraft.
A few months ago U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry blasted the brass in a meeting of the House Armed Services Committee about Marines coming to a military museum looking for spare parts as the current sequestration-driven budget crisis, exacerbated by the ongoing and very real live shooting war against ISIS and company that gets little press, has left the Corps aviation readiness looking like a soup sandwich.
Well, according to the museum manager, that of Patriot’s Point where a vintage F/A-18A on loan from the Naval Air and Space Museum graces the desk of the former USS Yorktown (CV/CVA/CVS-10), it happened.
As reported by the Post and Courier
“We said, ‘Come on down. She’s yours,’” Mac Burdette said Wednesday at the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s annual military update, which highlighted the broad impact the Pentagon makes on the regional economy.
A team of Marines from Beaufort removed the part [a forward left nose landing gear door hinge that’s no longer manufactured] and replaced it with a manufactured duplicate that was suitable for display purposes but not for flight, said Patriots Point public information officer Chris Hauff.
“The Marines don’t tell us everything … but their plane is now fixed,” he said. “Whether they used the part, we don’t know.”
The good news is there are at least 15 other F-18As on display around the country– most of which are on military bases which makes it easier to cannibalize parts from on the quiet.
Unless that’s what already happened…