The Navy will conduct at-sea Joint Strike Fighter testing off the coast of California this week instead of the East Coast as initially planned because service assets are tied up responding to hurricane relief efforts.
The service was supposed to test the F-35C carrier variant aboard the Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), but Hurricane Irma postponed that, Inside Defense previously reported.
Strike Fighter Squadron-125 is participating in F-35 carrier qualification testing this week aboard the Carl Vinson (CVN-70), according to the service. Test pilots will fly wearing a new helmet with an organic LED configuration. The new helmet is supposed to reduce green-glow, which typically occurs at night and makes it difficult for pilots to see certain objects. Green-glow is one of the items that must be rectified before the Navy declares the F-35 wartime ready.
The F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing jet will also be at-sea this week participating in the amphibious exercise, Dawn Blitz, aboard the Essex (LHD-2). Dawn Blitz is a multinational exercise that takes place on the West Coast. This is the first time the F-35B and F-35C have operated on vessels at the same time.