The US Marines have deployed their first operational squadron of F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters to sea.
Six F-35Bs from the “Green Knights” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 landed on the deck of amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD-1) as part of the Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) and 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit Western Pacific patrol.
“This is a historic deployment,” Col. Tye R. Wallace, 31st MEU Commanding Officer, said in a statement.
“The F-35B is the most capable aircraft ever to support a Marine rifleman on the ground. It brings a range of new capabilities to the MEU that make us a more lethal and effective Marine Air-Ground Task Force.”
VMFA-121 is the first operational squadron of the fighters that will eventually replace the Marine Corps’ F/A-18 Hornet, EA-6B Prowler and AV-8B Harrier jets to support Marines ashore. – USNI News
Featured image of Marines assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) looking on as an F-35B Lightning II with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 prepares to touch down on the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD-1) by US Navy