December 2, 2023
Marine Corps F-35C jets from Miramar strategy a tanker through the flight to Australia. Marine Corps picture

In a trans-Pacific first, 4 F-35C Lighting II jets from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar flew to Australia for coaching, arriving at an airbase in New South Wales on Thursday, the service introduced.

The stealth fighters flew 7,800 miles, conducting 4 stopovers en route. They have been supported with cargo and personnel transported by a Marine KC-130J Tremendous Hercules and refueling by Air Pressure KC-135 Stratotankers.

“The VMFA-314 Black Knights are past excited to carry the primary land-based I MEF fifth-generation stealth fighters all the best way from California to Australia,” mentioned Lt. Col. Michael O’Brien, commanding officer of the fighter-attack squadron.

“Over the previous yr, we’ve skilled in our personal Marine Corps F-35Cs with the Royal Australian Air Pressure F-35As and E-7 Wedgetails within the U.S., and now it’s time to practice with our valued allies on their facet of the globe,” he mentioned.

The Marines will practice on the Royal Australian Air Pressure base in Williamtown via mid July. Extra personnel from San Diego are scheduled to reach as coaching progresses.

“This motion and the coaching to return not solely show the drive mobilization functionality of the F-35C, however the superior stage of tactical and logistical interoperability between the RAAF and USMC,” O-Brien mentioned. “We now have a protracted historical past of safety cooperation relationship again to World Battle II.”

The F-35C is the model of the Lockheed Martin jet with folding wings and a much bigger gas tank designed for plane service operations.