An F-35B Lightning II assigned to the “Avengers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 sits on the flight deck of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) on March 7, 2018. US Navy Photo
USNI News polled its writers, naval analysts and service members on what they consider the most important military and maritime stories in 2018. This story is part of a series; please also see U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy Operations.
The Marine Corps spent 2018 preparing the force for a new era of warfare, modernizing how it conducts its business in ways large and small. Read More
An F-35B Lightning II, attached to the “Avengers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, launches from the flight deck of Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). Navy photo.
The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (CSG) and the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) started integrated operations in the Arabian Sea on Wednesday, supporting operations in Afghanistan. Read More
Two Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, transit the Pacific Ocean on Jan. 9, 2017. US Marine Corps Photo
The Pentagon modified its current F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter contract with Lockheed Martin to include an additional $6 billion intended to keep the production line going as details of a future contract are negotiated. Read More
An artist’s rendering of the LHA-8 amphibious assault ship. Huntington Ingalls Industries image.
Fabrication of the future USS Bougainville (LHA-8) started at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss following a successful pre-production review, Naval Sea Systems Command announced on Tuesday. Read More
Capt. Andrew “Dojo” Olson, F-35 Heritage Flight Team pilot and commander, performs a tactical pitch maneuver in an F-35A Lightning II during the California Capital Airshow on Sept. 23, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif.
After being grounded last week, 80 percent of the operational U.S. and international F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter variants are now cleared to resume flight operations, following a fleet-wide fuel line inspection. Read More
Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) John Jacob directs an F-35B Lightning II with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD-1) on March 5, 2018. US Navy Photo
THE PENTAGON — All U.S. and international variants of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter operations were paused to conduct a fleet-wide inspection of a part in the aircraft’s engine, according to a Thursday morning statement. Read More
An F-35B launches off the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD-1) on March 11, 2018. US Navy Photo
This post has been updated, and will be updated as more information becomes available.
A Marine Corps F-35B Joint Strike Fighter crashed near Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina today, the Marine Corps confirmed. Read More
U.S. Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), stage ordnance before loading it into an F-35B Lightning II aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) in preparation for the F-35B’s first combat strike, Sept. 27, 2018. US Marine Corps photo.
This post has been updated to include additional information from U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.
The Marine Corps’ F-35B Joint Strike Fighter has conducted its first-ever combat strike, completing a mission in Afghanistan today in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Read More
The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) leads a formation of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5 ships as U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress aircraft and U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornets pass overhead for a photo exercise during Valiant Shield 2018 on Sept. 17. US Navy photo.
This post has been updated to correct the hull number of the former USS St. Louis. It’s LKA-116, not LKA-117.
The high-end biennial Valiant Shield exercise kicked off in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands on Sunday, with some of the Navy’s and Marine Corps’ most advanced platforms participating in the weeklong event. Read More
F-35B Lightning II, attached to the “Avengers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, sit on the flight deck of Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) on Sept. 4, 2018, while transiting the Indian Ocean with San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23) during a regularly scheduled deployment of Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). The Essex ARG and 13th MEU is the first U.S. Navy/Marine Corps team to deploy to U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations with the F-35B Lightning II. US Navy photo.
The Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters are the only ship-based fixed-wing aircraft in the Middle East right now, and service leaders say the new jets are ready to handle any fight in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan they may be tasked with. Read More