US Marine Corps’ (USMC) Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 242 has successfully achieved full operational capability (FOC) as a F-35B Lightning II squadron.
Based at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Japan, the squadron is now ready to support a full set of safety and security missions in the Indo-Pacific region.
With the FOC, around 32 F-35B aircraft have been permanently forward-based as part of the USMC’s Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 12.
With the VMFA-242’s addition, the MAG-12 now has two F-35B squadrons. The first, VMFA-121, was forward-based in January 2017.
MAG-12 is the Indo-Pacific region’s only forward-based unit with two permanently based F-35B squadrons.
According to the USMC, the F-35 Lightning II aircraft will replace the USMC’s existing tactical aviation fleet in the near future. The existing fleet includes F/A-18 Hornet, EA-6B Prowler and AV-8B Harrier aircraft.
How well do you really know your competitors?
Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.
Your download email will arrive shortly
Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample
We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below formBy GlobalData
The transition has taken place as per the schedule of annual USMC’s aviation plan.
Also called Bats, VMFA-242 was re-designated as a F-35B squadron on 16 October 2020, after which the squadron attained initial operational capability (IOC) last year in September.
VMFA-242 commanding officer lieutenant colonel Michael Wyrsch said: “The FOC milestone is the culmination of well over two years of planning and execution, all while being forward deployed and in the face of a global pandemic.
“In my 20 plus years of service, I have never seen a unit come together in a way that our marines and sailors have while overcoming many challenges.”
“I am incredibly proud to say that I was a member of this team and I look forward to seeing where the Bats’ lasting culture of excellence will take them.”