Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Austin McBain, a fire support specialist with 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Information Group, monitors a radio during exercise Summer Fury 20 in Yuma, Ariz., on July 14, 2020. US Marine Corps Photo
This post is part of a series of stories looking back at the top naval news from 2020.
2020 was a turning-point year for the Marine Corps. After previewing changes to come in his Commandant’s Planning Guidance released last year, Commandant Gen. David Berger released a Force Design 2030 document this year outlining major changes in how the service would operate and equip itself. No longer would the Marine Corps be a service schlepping around tanks for sustained ground operations; rather, it would be light and mobile, using small ships to maneuver around islands and shorelines to attack an adversary from all angles and challenge their ability to track and target the small and on-the-move units. Read More
U.S. Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 and Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, conduct a new expeditionary landing demonstration with M-31 arresting gear Interim Flight Clearance (IFC), on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., on Dec. 3, 2020. US Marine Corps Photo
SAN DIEGO, Calif., – The Marine Corps’ first carrier-capable F-35C Lightning II squadron demonstrated, for the first time, the capability to quickly rearm and refuel at expeditionary land bases, a mission key for future island-hopping operations that top leaders envision the U.S. military will face. Read More
U.S. Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, gain the capability of conducting a hot-load of ordnance on an F-35C Lightning II, while being validated at south combat aircraft loading area, during the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course 1-21, at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., on Oct. 6, 2020. US Marine Corps Photo
The Marine Corps’ first carrier-capable squadron of F-35C Lightning II jets reached initial operational capability on Tuesday, a key certification ahead of its first deployment on an aircraft carrier, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing officials announced. Read More
Image of the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson giving the thumbs up outside No10 Downing Street London, after buying his Poppy from Armed Forces Poppy sellers today 23/10/2020.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday committed the British government to an expansion of defense spending that confirms London’s ambitions about improving the Royal Navy through the middle of the century. Read More
Capt Christopher Streicher with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 completes pre-flight checks in an F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aboard Her Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Queen Elizabeth at sea on 28 September, 2020. US Marine Corps Photo
This week a squadron of Marine F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters wrapped up nearly two months of training aboard the U.K. Royal Navy HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08), paving the way for U.S. and U.K. fighters to operate interchangeably when the British aircraft carrier leaves on its first deployment. Read More
F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 “The Wake Island Avengers” and the United Kingdom’s Lightning 617 Squadron shortly after embarking onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth on 22 September, 2020, off the coast of the United Kingdom. (Royal Navy Photo)
Ten U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters got underway aboard U.K. aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) on Tuesday ahead of an upcoming series of drills, the squadron announced. Read More
HMS Queen Elizabeth R08 arriving back in Portsmouth July 2, 2020 after a period at sea conducting Operational Sea Training. UK Royal Navy Photo
U.K.’s new carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) has departed Portsmouth, England for a short cruise ahead of training drills with U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters, the Royal Navy announced on Wednesday. Read More
An F-35B Lightning II fighter aircraft with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), takes off from the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) during an air defense exercise March 23, 2020. US Marine Corps
KUALA LUMPUR — The State Department signed off on a Japanese buy of 105 F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters and associated equipment, according to a Thursday notification to Congress. Read More
USS America (LHA-6), left, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG-52) transit the South China Sea on April 18, 2020. US Navy Photo
Beijing is downplaying the presence of U.S. warships operating near an international maritime dispute between China and Malaysia in the South China Sea, Chinese officials said during a Tuesday briefing with reporters. Read More
The first Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314 “Black Knights” F-35C aircraft from Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore flown by CAPT Tommy Beau Locke from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 “Rough Raiders” flies in formation over the Sierra’s with the VFMA-314 squadron F/A-18A++, flown by LtCol Cedar Hinton aircraft “passing the lead” as part of the F/A-18 Sundown with the Black Knights. US Navy photo.
The first Marine Corps F-35C carrier-variant Joint Strike Fighter squadron reached an important milestone, receiving a “safe for flight” operations certification that will allow them to train and operate independently of the Navy’s fleet replacement squadron. Read More