Air Wing Shut Down, F-35B Shuffle and Readiness Shortfall Recovery

The US Navy is in the process of shutting down its tenth Carrier Air Wing (CVW) and three carrier-based aviation squadrons. The moves come even as political momentum builds to grow the size of the US fleet, that includes increasing the aircraft carrier fleet back to 12.

According to Cdr Jeannie Groeneveld, spokeswoman for Commander, Naval Air Forces, the US Navy deactivated Carrier Air Wing 14 (CVW-14) effective from March 31. CVW-14 has been just a shadow of its former self since 2012, when initial plans were made to deactivate the wing that were later reversed.

Based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, CVW-14 has been under strength in squadrons and has not deployed since 2011. The deactivation was authorised by the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which allowed the US Navy to reduce the number of CVWs to nine until the number of deployable carriers can fully support a tenth or until October 1, 2025, whichever comes first, at which time the Navy will return to a strength of ten CVWs.

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