An F-35B Lightning II makes the first vertical landing on a flight deck at sea aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1). The F-35B is the Marine Corps Joint Strike Force variant of the Joint Strike Fighter and is designed for short takeoff and vertical landing on Navy amphibious ships. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Seaman Natasha R. Chalk/Released)
The Marine Corps is forming the first squadron of pilots to fly the next-generation strike fighter jet, months after lawmakers raised concern that there was a rush to end the testing of an aircraft hit with technical problems.
So far two veteran pilots of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing have been trained to fly the F-35B. They are becoming the first members of the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 that will debut at a ceremony Tuesday at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Ariz.
The first F-35B arrived Friday and 15 more are slated to arrive over the next year. The Defense Department has pumped a half a billion dollars into upgrading the facilities, hangars and runways at the base to make way for the next-generation fighter jet, officials said.
The pilots of the new squadron are expected to fly the aircraft by year’s end
Source: The Associated Press via Fox News.
An F-35B Lightning II makes the first vertical landing on a flight deck at sea…
by Dave Bahde / Nov 19, 2012