US Marines – Wargames at 29 Palms echo real-world conflicts

- Marine Corps Times – As the 13-year counter-insurgency campaign winds down in Afghanistan, Marines are quickly shifting attention to readiness for potential large-scale contingencies, often in not-so-subtle hat tips to regions ripe for instability — like the South China Sea, Ukraine and the Russian-annexed Crimea, and the now incredibly violent swath stretching between Iraq and Syria.

US Marine Corps – Pilot reaction to flying the F-35B

- Aviation Week – Ever since the F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) version of the Joint Strike Fighter first flew in the hands of BAE Systems’ test pilot Graham Tomlinson in June 2008 we have heard plenty about the easy and precise nature of the jet’s controllability. Commenting about STOVL operations in particular, pilots tend to focus on the ‘push button’ ease of vertical landings compared to the Harrier and the unusual (until you get used to it) ‘walnuts in a blender’ sound that comes from the lift fan. However virtually everything we have heard so far has been from seasoned military or industry test pilots who were involved in the development and evaluation of the F-35B, or leading instructor pilots assigned to initial training. But now that an increasing number of regular U.S. Marine Corps squadron pilots are flying the F-35B at MCAS Yuma, Arizona, with VMFA-121, what do they think?