AFP
F-35Bs Join USS Wasp for Deployment

F-35Bs Join USS Wasp for Deployment 7 March, 2018

A detachment of F-35B Lightning II's with Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) arrived aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) March 5, marking the first time the aircraft has deployed aboard a U.S. Navy ship and with a Marine Expeditionary Unit in the Indo-Pacific.

The F-35B, assigned under the Okinawa-based 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, will provide a robust set of sea-based capabilities that will enhance Navy-Marine Corps expeditionary operations. The aircraft is equally capable of conducting precision strikes inland, supporting Marines inserted ashore or providing air defence for the Expeditionary Strike Group.

VMFA-121 Pilots are scheduled to conduct a series of qualification flights on Wasp over a multi-day period. Following qualifications, the F-35B’s and 2,300 Marines that make up the 31st MEU will deploy aboard ships of the Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group for follow-on operations in the Indo-Pacific region as part of a routine patrol.

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