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An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant, assigned to the Grim Reapers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, the Navy's F-35C Fleet replacement squadron, takes off.
160815-N-KC543-153
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 18, 2016) An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant, assigned to the Grim Reapers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, the Navy's F-35C Fleet replacement squadron, takes off while another F-35C, assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, waits to take off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). VX-23 is conducting its third and final developmental test (DT-III) phase of the F-35C. VFA-101 is conducting its first carrier qualifications with the aircraft. The F-35C is expected to be Fleet operational in 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alora R. Blosch)

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