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Marine Corps stands up a second F-35B squadron at MCAS Iwakuni in Japan

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan — When the Marines take their next delivery of F-35B Lightning II stealth fighters, they’ll have a home waiting for them here.

The Marine Corps on Oct. 16 redesignated an existing unit at MCAS Iwakuni as Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 242, the second Marine squadron overseas to field the F-35B, according to a press release Friday from Marine Aircraft Group 12.

The first was Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, which arrived at MCAS Iwakuni in January 2017.

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Force Multiplier: U.S. Fleet Of Air-Capable Amphibious Warfare Ships

The Navy and Marine Corps are proposing radical changes to their force structures in line with new concepts for maritime and expeditionary operations. All eyes on what is new, such as the Navy’s desire for fleets of unmanned surface and subsurface vessels and, with respect to amphibious warfare, at least two new proposed ship classes.

What has gotten relatively less attention is the growing importance of airpower to the Sea Services’ ability to conduct agile, distributed operations across the vast distances of the Indo-Pacific theater. Proposals to reduce the number of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and aircraft-capable amphibious warships in favor of proliferating smaller, less capable vessels are extremely short-sighted.

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The Marine Corps? ?No. 1 priority? for the F-35 involves a rough landing in hot environments

WASHINGTON ? It was a hot day aboard the amphibious assault ship Essex when a pilot brought his F-35B in for what is known as a ?mode four? flight operation, where the jet enters hover mode near a landing spot, slides over to the target area and then vertically lands onto the ship.

It?s a key part of the F-35B?s short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing capability, known as STOVL. And normally, everything in a ?mode four? landing goes smoothly. But on this day, when the pilot triggered the thrust to slow his descent, something went wrong.

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