F-35B stealth fighter to headline Iwakuni’s annual air-show festival May 5
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan — For the first time, America’s most advanced stealth fighter will perform aerial maneuvers at an air show in Asia during next month’s Friendship Day at MCAS Iwakuni.
The F-35B Lightning II will demonstrate its hovering, vertical landing and short takeoff capabilities for the more than 210,000 people expected to attend the 42nd annual festival on May 5, Marine 1st Lt. Melissa Heisterburg, deputy director for MCAS Iwakuni Communication and Strategy Operations, said Thursday.
This year also marks the first time that the Navy’s Carrier Air Wing 5 — which recently relocated to Iwakuni from Naval Air Facility Atsugi — will be heavily involved in the event. The wing will provide a variety of static displays, including F/A-18E and F Super Hornets, E-2D Hawkeyes, E/A 18G Growlers and Black Hawk helicopters, she said.
Another first: the Army’s parachute team, nicknamed the Golden Knights, will present the American and Japanese flags for the opening ceremony, Heisterburg said. The group has never before delivered both flags for an air show.
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