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F-35B training squadron coming to San Diego

The Miramar Air Station will receive about 20 of these new F-35B models in January. To prepare for the new squadron, they’ve installed two vertical landing pads.

SAN DIEGO — A new F-35B training squadron will soon be here in San Diego at its new home at MCAS Miramar. The F-35B is a variation of the F-35C that is already based at Miramar, but the B model moves a little differently.

“It has a hood that sits over top of a turbine,” said Captain Matthew Gregory. “That turbine is what allows it to hover and do the short takeoffs and vertical landing.”

The Miramar Air Station will receive about 20 of these new F-35B models in January. To prepare for the new squadron, they’ve installed two vertical landing pads in the center of the air field to be as far away from residential areas as possible. Their training flight patterns will be vey similar to what we currently see with the F-18’s and F-35C’s.

“The F-35B will do a short takeoff, come in, swing south along the 52, come back to the east, make a slow turn right over the 15,” said Captain Gregory. “And come back around to where the vertical landing pads are going to be.”

While the noise levels coming from an F-35B will be similar, on average, to the F-18 or F-35C, they’ve done careful planning to minimize the noise for surrounding neighborhoods like Mira Mesa or University City, but to the south, Kearny Mesa, which is mostly a commercial and industrial area, may hear the new planes more than other areas.

“Down along the 52 and in the commercial area there, people may notice this aircraft more when it’s doing its operations,” said Captain Gregory.

Looking ahead, the new West Coast training squadron at Miramar will play a vital role in getting pilots familiar with flying the F-35B.

“Having training squadrons here at Miramar is vitally important, not just for the base, but for those pilots just because of everything that this area offers,” said Captain Gregory. “They can do things over the water, over the Pacific, that they can’t do over land, so it’s really important that they get those skills under their belt.”

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Watch Related: Here's how the F-35C operates (August 2021)