US Navy strike fighter squadrons have been experiencing significant readiness concerns. How will this issue shape the future face of the carrier air wing?

Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Nine (VX-9) will support the Block III effort for the Super Hornet.
Jamie Hunter

THE US NAVY’S nine carrier air wings (CVWs) are experiencing some of their most challenging times in recent history. Set against the service’s Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP) — introduced in 2014 to define a new 36-month prepare/deploy/sustain/repair tiered readiness cycle for aircraft carriers and their assigned CVWs — the availability of full mission-capable (FMC) aircraft has dwindled to levels that are approaching critical.

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