F-35B fighters arrive in Japan for inaugural overseas mission

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An F-35B Lightning II with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 lands at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Jan. 18, 2017. VMFA-121 conducted a permanent change of station to MCAS Iwakuni, from MCAS Yuma, Ariz. (JOSEPH ABREGO/U.S. MARINE CORPS)
From Stripes.com
An F-35B Lightning II with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 lands at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Jan. 18, 2017. VMFA-121 conducted a permanent change of station to MCAS Iwakuni, from MCAS Yuma, Ariz. (JOSEPH ABREGO/U.S. MARINE CORPS)

F-35B fighters arrive in Japan for inaugural overseas mission

by: Seth Robson | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: January 19, 2017

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — A squadron of F-35B Lightning II stealth fighters touched down Wednesday at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, to begin the aircraft’s first overseas mission, Marine Corps officials said.

The controversial high-tech jets from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 came from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., but they will be permanently based at Iwakuni, the officials said in a statement.

VMFA 121’s Green Knights fly a “short takeoff vertical landing” version of the aircraft, which is designed to replace F/A-18 Hornet, AV-8B Harrier and EA-6B Prowler jets.

"The arrival of the F-35B embodies our commitment to the defense of Japan and the regional-security of the Pacific," Maj. Gen. Russell Sanborn, the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing commander, said in the statement. "We are bringing the most advanced technology to the Pacific to respond to the wide range of missions we take part in and provide greater support to our regional allies."

Read more at: http://www.stripes.com/1.449407

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