The Marines made a big deal about putting C models on the boat as part of regular carrier deployments.Buddy of mine in my old A-10 squadron long ago got his next assignment to EA-6Bs up at Whidbey in the (then) 4 expeditionary VMAQs they had. 2000ish. He was one of the last USAF guys to get carrier qualed (day only) before the expeditionary squadrons were no longer going to have to be boat qualed.
Speaking of C models, I had heard that the 4 or so USMC C model Hornet boat squadrons, were no longer going to be doing boat deployments to the Air Wings anymore.
Problem with the Rhino is they lose the protection of only having a limited population for the big Navy to screw with. D models don’t go to the boat due to the bring back limits for trap. So that left the Marines with a good size chunk of their Hornet community they could use independent of Navy good ideas. Rhinos would “solve that problem” and suddenly the Marines would be pulling a bigger chunk of the weight with the Navy calling it an “opportunity.”