Marines to Fly Navy C-40 Transports While Awaiting their Own
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va.—The Marine Corps plans to move a transport squadron to Fort Worth, Texas, where its crews will fly Navy C-40A Clipper transport aircraft until the squadron receives its own C-40As.
Marine Transport Squadron One (VMR-1), based at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., operated two C-9B Skytrain II transports for decades to provide rapid-response airlift for Marine Corps units. Many of the Navy’s Reserve fleet logistics support (VR) squadrons also operated the C-9B and the similar DC-9 until they completed transition to the C-40A. VMR-1 was the last squadron to operate the C-9B, but its transition to the C-40A had awaited the Navy budget to fund the last two of 17 C-40s to replace the C-9Bs. The 2017 budget funds the 16th and 17th C-40As.
The 2017 Marine Corps Aviation Plan has slated VMR-1 to move to Naval Air Station-Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth and convert from an active-duty squadron to a reserve squadron by October 2017.
VMR-1 divested itself of its two C-9Bs in April, said Kelly Burdick, a spokeswoman for the Naval Air Systems Command, in an email response to Seapower.
In the meantime, until its own C-40As arrive, VMR-1’s crews will augment the Fort Worth-based VR-59 in flying the Navy C-40As.
VMR-1 also currently operates UC-35D jet transports.