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Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 542 launches an F-35B Lightning II at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, May 31, 2023. VMFA-542 received its first F-35B Lightning II jets and is the Marine Corps’ first East Coast operational F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter squadron. The arrival of the aircraft marks the beginning of F-35 deliveries to MCAS Cherry Point, continuing 2nd MAW’s operational transition from legacy fixed-wing tactical aircraft to the F-35. VMFA-542 is a subordinate unit of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, the aviation combat element of II Marine Expeditionary Force. - Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 542 launches an F-35B Lightning II at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, May 31, 2023. VMFA-542 received its first F-35B Lightning II jets and is the Marine Corps’ first East Coast operational F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter squadron. The arrival of the aircraft marks the beginning of F-35 deliveries to MCAS Cherry Point, continuing 2nd MAW’s operational transition from legacy fixed-wing tactical aircraft to the F-35. VMFA-542 is a subordinate unit of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, the aviation combat element of II Marine Expeditionary Force.

A U.S. Navy Sailor directs a Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II aircraft assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 242 aboard the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Izumo (DDH-183) off the coast of Japan, Oct. 3, 2021. Marines and Sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) embarked aboard Izumo to support the first ever F-35B Lightning II operations aboard a Japanese vessel. The U.S. and Japan continue to work closely together to broaden their operational capabilities, support the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security and maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific. - A U.S. Navy Sailor directs a Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II aircraft assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 242 aboard the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Izumo (DDH-183) off the coast of Japan, Oct. 3, 2021. Marines and Sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) embarked aboard Izumo to support the first ever F-35B Lightning II operations aboard a Japanese vessel. The U.S. and Japan continue to work closely together to broaden their operational capabilities, support the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security and maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific.

U.S. Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, conduct the first ever hot load on the F-35B Lightning II in support of Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course 1-17 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., Sept. 22, 2016. The exercise is part of WTI 1-17, a seven-week training event hosted by Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One cadre. MAWTS-1 provides standardized tactical training and certification of unit instructor qualifications to support Marine Aviation Training and Readiness and assists in developing and employing aviation weapons and tactics. - U.S. Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, conduct the first ever hot load on the F-35B Lightning II in support of Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course 1-17 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., Sept. 22, 2016. The exercise is part of WTI 1-17, a seven-week training event hosted by Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One cadre. MAWTS-1 provides standardized tactical training and certification of unit instructor qualifications to support Marine Aviation Training and Readiness and assists in developing and employing aviation weapons and tactics.

Marines perform a weapons functional test on an F-35B Lightning II aircraft during Exercise Steel Knight at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, Dec. 10, 2015. The F-35B is a single seat, single engine stealth multi-role fighter bringing the Marine Corps into a whole new generation of aircraft. Exercise Steel Knight allowed for Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 and Marine Operational and Test Evaluation Squadron 22 to train on integrating the F-35B and find its place in the Marine Air Ground Task Force, while giving the ground forces of 1st Marine Division the ability to become familiar with it. - Marines perform a weapons functional test on an F-35B Lightning II aircraft during Exercise Steel Knight at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, Dec. 10, 2015. The F-35B is a single seat, single engine stealth multi-role fighter bringing the Marine Corps into a whole new generation of aircraft. Exercise Steel Knight allowed for Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 and Marine Operational and Test Evaluation Squadron 22 to train on integrating the F-35B and find its place in the Marine Air Ground Task Force, while giving the ground forces of 1st Marine Division the ability to become familiar with it.

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