U.S. Amphibious Assault Ship In South China Sea With Unprecedentedly Large Load of F-35Bs

War Zone – The U.S. Navy’s first-in-class amphibious assault ship USS Wasp recently arrived in the Philippines for a major annual exercise carrying a U.S. Marine Corps contingent that includes at least 10 F-35B Joint Strike Fighters. This is a larger than average number of the combat jets than Wasp-class ships normally embark, but is a force structure that the Navy and Marines are looking to standardize. It’s also one that could help lay the groundwork for a future operating concept that could turn amphibious assault ships into light carriers, as necessary.