First East Coast USMC F-35B unit achieves IOC

Gepubliceerd op 13 februari 2024 om 19:03

© Giovanni van Erven

On 5 February 2024, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 542 Flying Tigers ('WH-xx') became the first East Coast F-35B Lightning II squadron to achieve Initial Operational Capability (IOC). The unit started the transition from the AV-8B Harrier II to the F-35B on 1 December 2022 and received their first Lightning II on 31 May 2023.

IOC means that the unit has enough operational Lightning IIs, trained pilots, maintainers, and support equipment to self-sustain its Mission Essential Tasks (METs). These METs include conducting close-air support, offensive anti-air warfare, strike coordination and reconnaissance, and electronic attacks.

VMFA-542 is a subordinate unit of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), the aviation combat element of II Marine Expeditionary Force.

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