Armed Forces News

The F-35B Lighting II marked its first deployment aboard a Navy ship March 5, when a detachment of the aircraft landed on the deck of the amphibious assault ship Wasp. The planes, from Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (FMFA-121), are assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). The pilots plan to conduct qualification flights from Wasp in the immediate days following their arrival. Then, they will deploy with the 2,300 Marines attached to the MEU on follow-up operations in the Indian-Pacific Ocean region. Before the Lightning II could deploy to the Wasp, the ship had to undergo structural modifications that began in 2013. The ship is now on a routine patrol of the region, along with the guided missile destroyers Dewey and Sterett. Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35 is embarked on Dewey, while HSM 49 is stationed on Sterett.