After retiring the Marine Fighter Attack (314) squadron’s F/A-18C Hornets, the US Marine Corps, which usually operates the F-35B short takeoff vertical landing (STOVL) variant, also started using the F-35C. Until now, only the US Navy has been operating the ‘C’ variant.

The EurAsian Times earlier reported that the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314 had in July 2021 announced that its fifth-generation F-35C fighters, designated as ‘Black Knights’ have achieved full operational capability (FOC). Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California, is home to the ‘Black Knights’.

USS Abraham Lincoln, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, left its homeport in San Diego, California on January 3, 2022. The carrier strike group includes guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG-53), Carrier Air Wing Nine and guided-missile destroyers USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62), USS Gridley (DDG-101), USS Sampson (DDG-102) and USS Spruance (DDG-111). 

According to a Navy press release, the US 3rd Fleet, which is part of the US Pacific Fleet, is in charge of naval forces in the Indo-Pacific and intends to deliver the realistic, relevant training required to perfectly execute the US Navy’s responsibilities throughout the whole spectrum of combat operations.

The strike group will also cooperate with US allies and partners to strengthen freedom of navigation, the rule of law, and other values that underlie security in the Indo-Pacific region, according to the statement.