Unready for War: America’s F-35 Gets a Bad Report Card

National Interest – Last July, the United States Marine Corps declared their short takeoff/vertical-landing (STOVL) version of the stealthy Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter operational. However, a new Pentagon operational test and evaluation report shows that the jet is far from ready. Even at the time, many had suspected that the service’s initial operational capability (IOC) was more hope than reality—now there is data to back that up.

Marine Corps Aviation Must Adapt To Become More ‘Value-Added’ to Naval Force

USNI News – The Navy and Marine Corps should explore ways to make Marine aircraft a more useful part of the naval battle force – using alternate mixes of aircraft types on amphibious ship flight decks, finding additional missions for those aircraft, and pursuing increased connectivity to the rest of the naval fleet.

Commandant on women in combat: They are your teammates

San Diego Union Tribune – When Gen. Robert Neller was promoted to commandant about 10 days ago, he inherited one of the most contentious issues in Marine Corps history – whether women should serve as infantry. During a talk Monday at Camp Pendleton, the new leader of Marines made it clear they would salute and carry on whether or not restrictions barring women from ground combat jobs are lifted by year’s end, ensuring that combat effectiveness does not suffer.

Marines Declare F-35B Operational, But Is It Really Ready For Combat?

Foxtrot Alpha – The Marine Corp has declared initial operational capability for their first squadron of F-35Bs. The announcement is seen by some as more of PR achievement as the aircraft still has years of testing ahead of it. Others will argue that it represents a major accomplishment for the beleaguered F-35 program. But regardless of who you agree with, the USMC have succeeded at ramming the aircraft through a marker post that has always been a huge point of contention.

Lt. Col. Kate Germano on the Marines and Women

New York Times – For decades the Marine Corps has tolerated, even encouraged, lower performance from the young women who enlist in its ranks, an insidious gender bias that begins with the way women are treated immediately after they sign up and continues through their training at boot camp. The results are predictable – female Marines risk being less confident and less fully accepted than their male counterparts, because the Corps has failed them from the outset. That is the position of Lt. Col. Kate Germano, an active-duty Marine officer who commanded both a Marine recruiting station in San Diego and a segregated all-female training battalion at Parris Island, the Corps’ boot camp in South Carolina.

SP-MAGTF Commander Details ISIL Strikes; Notes 1st Marines ‘Could Clear’ Iraq

Breaking Defense – Since early November, three Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys and 26 marines have been on alert at Al Jaber Air Base in Kuwait, on 30-minute alert to fly in and rescue a U.S. or coalition pilot downed while bombing or shooting at the Islamic State in Iraq or Syria. On 29 occasions between Nov. 1 and April 24, two Ospreys and a KC-130J aerial refueling tanker assigned to this Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP) mission have spent 145 hours loitering in the air as large coalition airstrikes were underway, “ready to swoop in if required,” their former commander says.