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The second of two F-35B Lightning IIs arrives aboard the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) on Oct. 28.
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PACIFIC OCEAN (Oct. 28, 2016) The second of two F-35B Lightning II short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft from Air Test & Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland arrives aboard the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) on Oct. 28. Major John "IKE" Dirk piloted Lightning 65 as he joined the highly diverse cadre of Pax River Integrated Test Force (ITF) technicians, maintainers, engineers, logisticians, support staff and test pilots embarked for the third and final developmental test phase (DT-III) of F-35B carrier suitability and integration. Dirk, a U.S. Marine Corps test pilot, is the officer-in-charge of the detachment. ? Also aboard USS America with the Salty Dogs of VX-23 are Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron (VMX) 1 from Edwards AFB, California and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 from MCAS Yuma, Arizona. (U.S. Navy Photo by Darin Russell/Released)

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