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Corps seeking Joint Strike Fighter instructor pilots

By Lance Cpl. Pete Zrioka | | June 25, 2009

The Marine Corps is looking for fixed-wing pilots to train to fly the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, according to a recently released Marine administrative message.

MarAdmin 347/09, released June 9, 2009, solicits pilots to fill eight F-35B billets. One operational test and evaluation pilot, six instructor pilots and one Defense Contract Management Agency acceptance pilot are needed, according to the message.

Applicants must be AV-8B Harrier, F/A-18 Hornet or EA-6B Prowler qualified pilots, have a minimum of 500 flight hours and a division flight lead or instructor designation. Applicants are preferred to have less than 10 years of commissioned service as of Sept. 30, but officers with 10-13 years commissioned service will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Applying officers are instructed to state a preference of position. Command endorsements are recommended.

Selected pilots will report to either Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, based in Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., or the Defense Contract Management Agency detachment, Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas.
The F-35B is slated to replace the Corps’ Harriers, Hornets and Prowlers by 2024.

Four Yuma pilots were selected by the 2009 board in January to be among the first F-35B instructors at Eglin AFB.

Eligible Marines should submit their applications to arrive no later than July 29, 2009, to Headquarters Marine Corps’ aviation department via their chain of command. The Transition and Conversion Board for 2010, is scheduled to meet Aug. 4, 2009, and will determine those selected.

For more information or a complete list of submission requirements and conversion and transfer opportunities for other pilots, see MarAdmin 347/09.

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