The newest US Marine Corps’ (USMC) fighter, the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning-II, is deploying to Japan, and is currently en route to the country.
The USMC has deployed to this end its Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121), the first unit to go operational with the F-35B, Iwakuni airbase, in the south of Honshu Island. The first ten F-35Bs arrived at their new station on 11th January. The F-35B is the short-take-off- and landing version of the F-35A/B/C family which can operate from ships, expeditionary air strips, and even front line pads.
A Third Marine Air Wing spokesperson revealed that this permanent move will see the squadron later this year deploy elements onto the USS Wasp ‘Wasp’ class amphibious assault ship for operations in the Asia-Pacific.