The Marine Corps has declared initial operational capability for the F-35C, the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing announced yesterday.
The declaration means the Marine Corps has enough mission-ready aircraft and trained Marines and pilots to deploy the F-35C onto aircraft carriers, a Marine Corps press release said.
Maj. Gen. Christopher Mahoney, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing commanding general, said in the press release the F-35 will extend the reach of the Marines and increase the service's ability to support allies.
"By effectively employing the F-35, MAGTF [Marine Air-Ground Task Force] commanders have the potential to dominate our adversaries in a joint battlespace, in the air and out at sea," Mahoney said.
The wing received its first F-35C in January.