Marine Corps Welcomes First F-35B Aircraft to Yuma, Ariz.

The Marine Corps welcomed its first operational F-35B aircraft, the Marine Corps variant of the F-35 Lightning II also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, to Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. Friday, Nov. 16, 2012. The F-35B, one of three variants of the Joint Strike Fighter, is a tactical fixed-wing aircraft that is to be the replacement for aging jets within the Marine Corps. 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing's first F-35 squadron, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, is based at MCAS Yuma and is the first operational F-35 squadron in the Marine Corps and the Department of Defense. Marine F-35B pilot Maj. Aric Liberman delivered the first F-35B, BF-19, to MCAS Yuma at 1:05 p.m. MST. This aircraft will be used to conduct a full spectrum of aviation operations in support of combat missions and maritime readiness worldwide.