The Marines are continuing to roll out the new F-35-B Lighting II stealth fighter, with another squadron at Yuma becoming operational late last month.
“This was a critical moment for us because it got the ball rolling for us to have a fully operational squadron,” said Lt. Col. John P. Price, commanding officer of the squadron.
The Flying Leathernecks are the third squadron in the San Diego-headquartered 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing to get the F-35B, but one of those squadrons, VMFA-121, has relocated to MCAS Iwakuni in Japan.
The new fighters, which can take off and land vertically from the Navy’s fleet of amphibious assault ships, are replacing the F/A-18C Hornets seen regularly over San Diego.
At full operation, MCAS Yuma will host five F-35B squadrons, each with 16 aircraft, and one operational test and evaluation squadron with eight aircraft.
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