An F-35B Lightning II fighter aircraft with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), prepares to land on the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) during an air defense exercise. The 31st MEU’s F-35s provide a lethal offensive aviation capability that allows the Expeditionary Strike Force to both project power and defend the amphibious task force from anti-ship threats. America, flagship of the America Expeditionary Strike Group, 31st MEU team, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.