F-35Cs embark on maiden operational deployment
The USMC is deploying F-35C Lightning II aircraft operationally for the first time in a USN carrier strike group (CSG) that departed from San Diego on 3 January for a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific region.
F-35Cs from VMFA-314 (part of Carrier Air Wing 9) are aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. VMFA-314 declared FOC in July 2021.
In addition, USN CMV-22B Osprey tiltrotors from the VRM-30 fleet logistics squadron will also deploy for the first time.
The CSG also comprises the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Fitzgerald, USS Gridley, USS Sampson and USS Spruance.
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