Another Marine Squadron at Yuma Operational with F-35B Stealth Fighter

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An F-35B of VMFA-122 landing at Yuma. Marine Corps photo

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.

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Fighter Attack Squadron VMFA-122 — The Flying Leathernecks — conducted their first flight operations at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma on March 29.

“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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