According to a report on the website of the US "Defense News" weekly on January 13, the US Marine Corps' F-35 program made new progress again in early January, deploying an F-35C squadron on an aircraft carrier for the first time.
The Marine Corps' 314th Fighter Strike Squadron, stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, left San Diego on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on January 3, citing a Marine Corps press release.
The squadron, also known as the "Black Knights," is the first Marine Corps unit to transition to the F-35C, the report said.
"The Black Knight's deployment of F-35C fighter jets aboard the USS Lincoln is part of the Marine Corps' longstanding experience," said Gen. Bradford Green, commander of the Marine Corps' 3rd Air Wing, in a press release. The latest chapter in the history of naval fusion."
According to the report, the F-35C was originally designed to take off from the large aircraft carriers of the US Navy. The Marine Corps also fielded the F-35B vertical take-off and landing model.
"The upcoming deployment is the result of years of hard work and innovation by Marines and sailors from the 314th Fighter Strike Squadron, 11th Marine Air Group, and 3rd Air Wing," the general said. It also reinforces our commitment to deploy the most lethal and ready Navy-Marine Corps force as we project warfighting capabilities to the entire Indo-Pacific region or wherever our nation demands.”
The Marine Corps hopes the long-range firepower and electronic warfare capabilities of the F-35C will improve the force's ability to fight in the Pacific, the report said.
"Having these assets will greatly enhance the Marine Corps' ability to provide security to allies and maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific," Squadron Commander Brendan Walsh said in a release.
The deployment of the F-35Cs is not the only historic moment for the USS Lincoln.
The report pointed out that the commander of the "Lincoln" aircraft carrier Amy Bowenschmidt is the first woman in the history of the US Navy to serve as the captain of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. She took over command of the USS Lincoln in August 2021.