USMC F-35B Conducts First Combat Strike in CENTCOM AOR


Story Number: NNS180927-18Release Date: 9/27/2018 2:26:00 PM
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From U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs

NSA BAHRAIN, Bahrain (NNS) -- The Marine Corps F-35B, Lightning II, conducted its first combat strike in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan, Sept. 27. 
 
During this mission, the F-35B conducted an air strike in support of ground clearance operations, and the strike was deemed successful by the ground force commander. 

“The F-35B is a significant enhancement in theater amphibious and air warfighting capability, operational flexibility, and tactical supremacy,” said Vice Adm. Scott Stearney, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. “As part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, this platform supports operations on the ground from international waters, all while enabling maritime superiority that enhances stability and security.” 
 
The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) is the first combat-deployed MEU to replace the AV-8B Harrier with the F35B Lightning II. The F-35Bs from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 are currently embarked on the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) as part of Essex Amphibious Ready Group. 


 

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/
 

 
RELATED PHOTOS
Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 1st Class Isaac Berwick launches an F-35B Lightning II aircraft.
180927-N-AT135-1144 U.S. 5th FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS (Sept. 27, 2018) Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 1st Class Isaac Berwick launches an F-35B Lightning II aircraft, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) as part of the F-35B's first combat strike, Sept. 27, 2018. The Essex ARG and 13th MEU is the first U.S. Navy/Marine Corps team to deploy to U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations with the transformational warfighting capabilities of the F-35B Lightning II, making it a more lethal, flexible and persistent force, leading to a more stable region for our partner nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Freeman/Released)
September 27, 2018
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