A squadron of F-35B Lightning II stealth fighters landed safely Wednesday at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Marine Corps officials said.
This is the first overseas deployment for the F-35B. The jets are from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona and the deployment is actually a permanent change of station for VMFA-121 as they will now be permanently based at Iwakuni, the official statement said.
“There’s definitely been a lot of challenges . . . moving our aircraft here, the logistics and we have a lot of people to move,” said U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Vincent Koscienlniak, an avionics technician with VMFA-121. “One of our biggest issues was the physical movement and preparing everything to come here. There has been a lot of cooperation within the unit and most of the Marines here are very good at what they do. They are hand-selected, and it has shown the last few months.”
VMFA-121 consists of the F-35B Lighting II aircraft, which is planned to replace the F/A-18 Hornet and AV-8B Harrier II aircraft currently based at the air station. – United States Marine Corps
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