F-35B Lightning II arrives in Okinawa

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Marine Corps photograph by Lance Cpl. Charles Plouffe

A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II aircraft with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, conducted a training flight from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa, Japan, June 26, 2017. The Marines with VMFA- 121 worked alongside Airmen with the 18th Wing. This event marked the first time an F-35B Lightning II landed in Okinawa.

Two F-35B Lightning II aircraft, belonging to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, Marine Aircraft Group 12, flew from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa, Japan, June 26, to familiarize the VMFA-121 team with the airfield, marking the first arrival of the aircraft to Okinawa. 

The F-35B represents the future of Marine Corps tactical aviation and incorporates the mission capabilities of the current Marine Corps platforms it is replacing—the AV-8B Harrier, F/A-18 Hornet,—within a single airframe. 

As with current AV-8B and F/A-18 aircraft, the F-35B is planned to visit Kadena Air Base in Okinawa on a transient basis and operate in designated military airspace and ranges in a similar manner as the aircraft they are replacing.