First Marine F-35C

Posted 23 January 2015
Photo by SSgt. Marleah Robertson

The first F-35C Lightning II for the US Marine Corps was delivered to Eglin AFB, Florida, on 13 January 2015. Marine Lt. Col. J.T. Ryan, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 501 detachment commander, flew the aircraft (Bureau Number 169031) from the Lockheed Martin facility in Fort Worth, Texas, to the base near Fort Walton Beach. It is assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 101 (VFA-101), the US Navy’s only F-35C fleet replacement squadron. This aircraft is the first of five Marine Corps F-35Cs that will be delivered to VFA-101. The delivery marks the beginning of Marine training in the F-35 carrier variant. The first operational Marine Corps F-35C fleet squadron, VMFA-115, is scheduled to stand up at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, in 2019.

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