USMC F-35s arrive in UK ahead of QE embarkation


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US Marine Corps (USMC) Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II combat aircraft have arrived in the United Kingdom, ahead of their first embarkation aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth .


Ten F-35Bs from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma, Arizona, arrived at Royal Air Force (RAF) Marham in England on 3 September, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced.

“VMFA-211 will conduct synthetic training in the purpose-built simulators at RAF Marham to familiarise themselves with the local airspace and procedures before they take to the Norfolk skies to fly training sorties alongside 617 Squadron in preparation for their embarkation with the [ Queen Elizabeth ] carrier later this month. They will also be participating in Exercise ‘Point Blank’ with their [US military] colleagues from local base RAF Lakenheath along with other NATO partners,” the MoD said.

As noted by the MoD, once on board Queen Elizabeth both VMFA-211 and 617 Squadron will conduct carrier qualification training to ensure all pilots are proficient to operate from the ship during both day and night. With the training complete the aircraft will then conduct Exercise ‘Joint Warrior’ from Queen Elizabeth , after which both squadrons will return to RAF Marham where they will then prepare to take part in Exercise ‘Crimson Warrior’.


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