Burbage speaks at aviation foundation gala

Published: Friday, January 25, 2013 at 09:40 PM.

Depot engineers and craftsmen will work on “near term structural modifications to the air planes already built but still in testing when we find something in test that we need to go back and change,” he said.

That involvement is destined to increase as production of the Marine Corps short take off vertical landing (STOVL) version of the aircraft’s three F-35 variants progresses.

The F-35B Marine Corps version of the jet is already active with the first Marine squadron activating in Yuma, Ariz.

“The Marines are our strongest advocate and our strongest ally,” he told the crowd Friday night.

Though the Navy projects the first F-35B squadron at Cherry Point to activate in 2021 or 2022, Burbage told those attending the gala that the potential was there for an F-35B to fly in to Cherry Point this year.

“I’m as anxious as you are to see one come across the runway at Cherry Point,” he said.

During his speech, Burbage mentioned the international partnership that is part of the F-35 effort, including England and Italy among the nine partners.

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