The future of Marine Corps aviation is being shaped at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma, Ariz., in a unique squadron that is
bringing together nearly every type of current and
emerging manned and unmanned Marine aircraft
and the pilots, aircrews and maintainers who are well
trained on those platforms.
When the squadron, Marine Operational Test and
Evaluation Squadron One (VMX- 1), was redesignated
from VMX- 22 on May 13 the Marines’ aviation boss,
Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, said no squadron was more important to the future of the Corps.
“This is where we experiment. This is where we
innovate. This is where we test,” Davis, the deputy
commandant for aviation, said at the VMX- 1 stand-up
ceremony. “I will tell you there is no more strategic
squadron for the future of our Corps than this one
right here, because in the hands of its command-
ing officer the commandant of the
Marine Corps puts our future.”
That demanding mission is bold-
ly proclaimed in the squadron’s
formal motto: Mihi Cura Futuri —
“Mine is the care of the future.”
Lawson told Seapower the squad-
ron has three core missions.
The first, he said, is to conduct
operational test and evaluation of
aviation systems under Title 10, the federal code dealing with the organization, roles and missions of the
armed forces. That responsibility puts it under the
direction of both the Navy’s Commander Operational
Test and Evaluation Force and the Marine Corps
Operational Test and Evaluation Activity, with administrative control by Davis.
And it means VMX- 1 is dealing with aircraft and
aviation systems funded by “blue dollars,” which is
Navy funding for the Marines’ major aircraft and systems, and “green dollars,” which come from the Marine
Corps budget and supports some unmanned aircraft
and aviation-oriented radars and command-and-control
systems, Lawson said.
Their second core function is to develop TTPs and
support existing systems, primarily “for the folks on
deployment,” he said. That mission goes from developing the initial tactics and procedures and sending them
New squadron will shape the future of Marine Corps aviation
By OTTO KREISHER, Special Correspondent
Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron One (VMX- 1) was
redesignated from VMX- 22 May 13 at Marine Corps Air Station
(MCAS) Yuma, Ariz.
n The squadron’s three core missions include conducting operational test and evaluation of aviation systems; developing tactics,
techniques and procedures and supporting existing systems; and
working with government-funded science and technology projects
associated with Marine aviation.
n VMX- 1 brings together nearly every type of current and emerging manned and unmanned Marine aircraft and the pilots, aircrews
and maintainers who have trained on them.
n Though headquartered at Yuma, the squadron has personnel
working with the F- 35 team at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; at
Sikorsky’s CH-53K plant in West Palm Beach, Fla.; and at New
River MCAS, N.C., working with the CH-53Es.