First Marine F-35B squadron operational in 2015

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Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos said yesterday that the Marine Corps’ first squadron of F-35B Lightning IIs would achieve “initial operational capability” in the summer of 2015 and be ready to deploy by 2017. Service officials have previously resisted giving Congress an “IOC” on F-35, so much so that lawmakers included a mandate in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act that service leaders come up with one this summer.

Amos told HASC that Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, based at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., now has 4 F-35Bs and would have 16 by the end of the year, with its IOC in June, July or August of 2015. Overall, Amos said, “I feel pretty good about where we are right now” with the F-35B.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.