According to a Facebook post and press release issued by the United States Marine Corps, the USMC’s version of the new F-35 multi-role fighter has been approved for combat operations.
Here is the Facebook post:
JUST NOW: Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. declares the F-35B Lightning II Initial Operation Capable.
The Corps welcomes the F-35 into its ranks, replacing the Hornet, Harrier and the Prowler as the Corps’ premiere fixed-wing aircraft.
“This airplane, with Marines painted on the side, is going to allow your Corps, our Corps, to go anywhere at anytime against any foe and carry the day.”
— Lt. Gen. Jon M. Davis, Deputy Commandant for Aviation
The Marine variant of the F-35 has the ability to do vertical takeoffs from Marine ships. It is set to ultimately replace the AV-8B Harrier, the F/A-18 Hornet, and the EA-6B Prowler for the Corps.