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A Marine Corps test pilot salutes before launching an F-35B Lightning II aircraft from the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6).
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PACIFIC OCEAN (Oct. 30, 2016) A Marine Corps test pilot salutes before launching an F-35B Lightning II aircraft from the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6). The F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant is the world's first supersonic STOVL stealth aircraft. America, with Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1 (VMX-1), Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 (VMFA-211) and Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) embarked, are underway conducting operational testing and the third phase of developmental testing for the F-35B Lightning II aircraft, respectively. The tests will evaluate the full spectrum of joint strike fighter measures of suitability and effectiveness in an at-sea environment. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyle Goldberg/Released)

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