FIRST USMC F-35C SQUADRON DEPLOYS

5 JAN 2022 by 1stLt. Charles Allen, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

MCAS MIRAMAR, Calif. -- Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing has marked a key milestone for Marine Corps history as they departed San Diego Bay with Carrier Air Wing Nine aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln as the first Marine squadron to deploy the F-35C on an aircraft carrier.

“The Black Knight’s deployment of F-35C Lightning II aboard USS Abraham Lincoln is the newest chapter in the Marine Corps’ long history of naval integration,” said Maj. Gen. Bradford J. Gering, 3rd MAW commanding general. The upcoming deployment represents years of hard work and innovation by the Marines and Sailors of VMFA-314, MAG-11, and 3rd MAW. It also reinforces our commitment to fielding the most lethal and ready Navy-Marine Corps force as we project warfighting capabilities throughout the Indo-Pacific region, or globally wherever our nation calls.”

The Marine Corps possessing the capability to deploy the F-35C is significant as the F-35C was designed and built specifically for aircraft carrier operations and brings with it the ability to enhance the inherent battlespace awareness of all naval aircraft it operates alongside. Deploying this asset in a contested maritime region provides the Marine Corps a flexible, mobile force that provides security to the United States and allied nations abroad, contributes to regional stability and expands the U.S. military advantage at sea.

“Our ability to operate the F-35C in the Pacific greatly increases the Marine Corps’ naval expeditionary force capabilities by providing us the capacity to employ the most advanced electronic warfare capabilities..."

Lt. Col. Brendan M. Walsh, VMFA-314 commanding officer