SAN DIEGO – The Marine Corps is forming its first squadron of pilots to fly the latest fighter jet months after lawmakers voiced concern the Defense Department was rushing the end of the testing phase for the aircraft.
Two veteran Marine pilots of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing will become the first members of the squadron that will make its official debut Tuesday at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Ariz.
The Marines are the first in the military taking the steps toward putting the next-generation strike fighter jet in operation.
The F-35B was beleaguered by technical problems in its development
It is replacing Cold War-era aircraft such as the F/A-18 Hornet and AV-8B Harrier.