NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — An F-35B is officially aboard the assault ship USS Wasp, launching a new era of increased Navy-Marine capabilities.
The landing marks the first time the aircraft has deployed aboard a U.S. Navy ship and with a Marine Expeditionary Unit in the Indo-Pacific.
Navy officials say the F-35B is capable of conducting precision strikes inland or providing air defense for the expeditionary strike group.
“This is a historic deployment,” Col. Tye R. Wallace, 31st MEU Commanding Officer said in a statement. “The F-35B is the most capable aircraft ever to support a Marine rifleman on the ground. It brings a range of new capabilities to the MEU that make us a more lethal and effective Marine Air-Ground Task Force.”
The Wasp completed an overhaul last year and departed Norfolk for Sasebo, Japan.