f-35b

A computer-generated image of a Royal Navy F-35B taking off vertically from the new carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, which will be commissioned July 4th.

WASHINGTON: Prompted by the recent increase in aggressive actions by Russia, Britain’s head of defense procurement says his country is shifting its strategy in reaction. “We are refreshing our national risk assessment, which is influencing our national security strategy,” said Philip Dunne. It is the first time since 2010 that the U.K. has reviewed its strategy,… Keep reading →

Marines perform first F-35B vertical take-off, landing at Eglin

UPDATED with Frank Kendall’s vote of confidence WASHINGTON: During the Marine’s recent operational readiness test of the F-35B, four of the Marine aircraft went up against nine enemy aircraft. “It went very poorly for the bad guys,” Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, deputy commandant for aviation, told me this afternoon. Davis provided few details, saying they… Keep reading →

Osprey formation

The V-22 Osprey will reach the eight-year mark in its operational deployment history this September. The Osprey-enabled assault force is redefining ways to think about the insertion and withdrawal of force and new ways to engage, prevail and disengage. The program has reached a critical turning point – can the Osprey be purchased by allies, and be… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

CAPITOL HILL: UPDATE BEGINS The administration’s nominee for Marine Corps Commandant, Lt. Gen. Bob Neller, set off a firestorm from Sen. John McCain this morning. After two hours of an otherwise congenial confirmation hearing, the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman erupted over Neller’s description of the current administration strategy against the Islamic State. That strategy relies on airpower and advisors… Keep reading →

f-35b

WASHINGTON: A select group of 12 Marines in Yuma, Ariz. began testing the first squadron of F-35B pilots, inspecting their aircraft and checking maintenance procedures and personnel yesterday as the end game for declaring Initial Operating Capability for the aircraft before the end of July. “Initial operating capability (IOC) for the Marine Corps F-35B is… Keep reading →

BA14 LPD Arlington & Dutch boats from bridge of DE WITT IMG_0309

WASHINGTON: Is the US Navy really so short of warships that Marines must catch a ride on foreign vessels, like heavily armed hitchhikers? The answer is, well, sort of. Where there’s smoke, there’s often fire — the Marines definitely could use more amphibious warfare ships — but on this story, politicians, lobbyists, and some of… Keep reading →

A computer-generated image of a Royal Navy F-35B taking off vertically from the new carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, which will be commissioned July 4th.

This isn’t that significant for the United states, but the first ski-jump takeoffs for the F-35B were an important milestone for the British and Italians. For those who wonder why anyone uses the ski jump, it allows planes to take off with heavier loads and to do it more efficiently than they would taking off… Keep reading →

Kai Boyce makes a repair in the APU compartment on the aft right side of an F/A-18 hornet at Cecil Commerce Center.

CAPITOL HILL: Marines pride themselves on being ready for anything. But as of today, 19 percent of their air fleet is out of action “long-term” awaiting repairs and spares, the deputy commandant for aviation said today. “It’s 158 — actually, today, 159 aircraft — that the taxpayer paid $8.4 billion dollars for,” said Lt. Gen.… Keep reading →

F-35B

ABOARD USS WASP: When the Marines decided to bring the press aboard the USS Wasp for the F-35B’s first set of operational tests — takeoffs, landings and flights designed to nearly simulate combat conditions — they provided the world with a glimpse of how they will fight using amphibious ships, F-35Bs and V-22 Ospreys. We… Keep reading →

F-35B

WASHINGTON: As I watched the seemingly endless string of F-35Bs take off from the deck of the USS Wasp earlier this week, I was struck by how routine it all seemed. During eight days of flying, the F-35Bs flew 108 sorties, racking up 85.5 hours, deputy Marine Commandant for aviation, Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, told us on… Keep reading →

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