The Marine Corps plan to retire its oldest and most used F/A-18 Hornets and use their parts to repair newer jet fighters, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said on Wednesday.

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It should come as no surprise that the heroic pilot who landed a stricken Southwest Airlines 737 after its engine exploded and shattered a window is former Navy fighter pilot.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Donald Holbert

Roughly 25 percent of the Marines’ 280 F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets could fly now if needed, the top aviation Marine said Wednesday.

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