With the first British F-35Bs having arrived at RAF Marham this week, what better time to catch up on the Marine Corps’ squadron VMFA-211 ‘Avengers’.
VMFA-211 is stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, in Arizona. The local authorities say this area enjoys the most hours of sunshine year round of any location on the planet. Despite the searing summer temperatures, it makes for a great flying location. Current plans call for four Lightning II squadrons to be fielded at Yuma. Alongside the ‘Avengers’ will be VMFA-122 ‘The Flying Leathernecks’, which will fly 16 F-35Bs, VMA-214 ‘Black Sheep’, which will swap its AV-8B Harrier IIs for 16 F-35Bs by mid-2023, and VMA-311 ‘Tomcats’ will exit the VSTOL (Vertical Short-Take-Off and Landing) business when it trades its Harriers for 10 F-35Cs, the big-deck carrier-optimized variant being developed primarily for the Navy. The Marines will purchase 353 F-35Bs and 67 F-35Cs on current plans.
Read the full ‘Wake Island Avengers’ story in the January issue of Combat Aircraft: http://shop.keypublishing.com/issue/View/issue/CAM1901