(Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that F-35 flight operations have resumed at MCAS Yuma, AZ.)
F-35 flight operations have resumed at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, AZ, the service announced late Friday.
In a statement, the Marine Corps said:
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, an F-35B squadron with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing based at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, resumed flight operations June 23.
Maj. Gen. Mark Wise, commanding general of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, made the decision to temporarily suspend VMFA-211 flight operations pending fixes to a recent ALIS software upgrade within version 2.0.2 that had presented some anomalies June 22.
The issues associated with the ALIS software update have been mitigated at MCAS Yuma. The performance and safety of the aircraft itself was not compromised by this software update. Reliability of equipment and safety of our personnel are among the Marine Corps' top priorities as we continue transitioning our legacy aircraft to the F-35 in the coming years.
In a separate statement, the F-35 Joint Program Office said:
The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) and Lockheed Martin Action Team has identified the root cause and generated the software fix to resolve the issues identified by the USMC with their F-35 MCAS Yuma based Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), the management backbone for the F-35 Lightning II.
With this fix, VMAF-211 at MCAS Yuma resumed flight operations today. The JPO with LM will continue to monitor and improve ALIS performance to ensure our warfighters have the required F-35 air systems to operate safely and effectively.
Original post from June 22:
The Marine Corps has suspended all Joint Strike Fighter flight operations at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, AZ, because of concerns about the jet's logistics system.
Suspension of flights began June 22 and is "very temporary," Marine Corps spokesman Maj. Kurt Stahl told Inside Defense.
Officials want to make sure the Autonomic Logistics Information System is working properly before flights resume, he added.
“Maj. Gen. Mark Wise, Commanding General of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, made the decision to temporarily suspend VMFA-211 flight operations pending fixes to a recent ALIS software upgrade within version 2.0.2 that has presented some anomalies,” Stahl wrote in a statement to Inside Defense. “There is nothing wrong with the performance or safety of the aircraft itself, but it is imperative that we ensure the ground-based ALIS system is working properly before flight operations continue.”
The F-35 joint program office and Lockheed Martin have sent system engineers to help resolve the issue related to the software update, according to Stahl.
“The specific anomalies are related to maintenance codes not being reflected properly in the system,” Stahl wrote. “The F-35B is a highly capable aircraft with an excellent test and developmental safety record."
A Marine Corps official has called ALIS the F-35 program's "true center of gravity." The logistics system has had a troubled past, but officials said it has performed well in recent service deployments.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) is “concerned” F-35 flight operations are suspended at Yuma, according to a statement issued by his office.
“I am in close communication with the Marine Corps and the Joint Program Office as they work to identify the root cause of these issues and resolve them as quickly as possible,” he said.
Lockheed Martin released a statement saying the company was working to address the issue.
“Lockheed Martin is applying all resources available to resolve the issues associated with the ALIS software update. We are committed to working closely with our customer to address their concerns quickly,” according to company spokeswoman Kimberly Ricker Martinez.
The aricraft were still grounded as of Friday morning, according to the Marine Corps.