Saturday, January 24, 2015

Marines get first F-35C

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The first F-35C for the U.S. Marine Corps arrived on the flight line earlier this month from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to begin training in support of carrier-based operations. Lt. Col. J.T. "Tank" Ryan, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 501 detachment commander and F-35 pilot, delivered the new F-35C to Strike Fighter Squadron 101, the Navy's only F-35 fleet replacement squadron. This aircraft is the first of five Marine Corps F-35Cs that will be delivered to VFA-101 at Eglin. Marine F-35 pilots primarily fly F-35Bs, the short take-off vertical landing variant. The F-35C is the carrier variant, designed to catapult from a carrier. It has a longer range and a larger weapons bay. The first operational Marine Corps F-35C fleet squadron, VMFA-115, is scheduled to stand up at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., in 2019. (Source: 33rd Fighter Wing via DVIDS, 01/23/15)