Marines are apparently happy with the performance of the F-35 Lightning II after it participated in its first large joint military exercise.
Over 100 aircraft from the Air Force, Navy and the Marine Corps participated in the Red Flag air-to-air combat training exercise on the Nevada Test and Training Range at Nellis Air Force base this year.
According to Lt. Col. J.T. Bardo, this is the first exercise of this magnitude that the F-35 has participated in and serves as a valuable training opportunity for the squadron.
“We’re very happy with the way the aircraft is performing,” Lt. Col. J.T. Bardo, commanding officer of Fighter Attack Squadron 121, told the San Diego Times. “Amongst all the missions we’ve flown right now, we’re very happy.”
“We’re really working on showcasing our surface-to-air capabilities,” said Maj. Brendan Walsh, an F-35 pilot with VMFA-121, to Marine Corps public affairs. “The F-35 is integrating by doing various roles in air-to-air and air-to-ground training.”
Red Flag had roughly 3,500 service members involved for the entire exercise. The training scenarios require all the branches to come together, which is extremely common in real-life battle scenarios.
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