After the little bit of good news about the Air Force's F-35As potentially coming in a little bit cheaper, we have some more good news from the Marines! The USS America (LHA-6) - the first of a new America-class amphibious assault ship - is finally (probably) ready for action!
The America, which was commissioned in October of 2014, has spent the last 40 weeks undergoing construction and upgrades for...you guessed it...operating the F-35B.
Expeditionary Force 21 - the US Marine Corps' road map for the coming decade - describes a Marine Corps that is self-sufficient, lighter, and more tightly integrated than the USMC of today.
The term "Close Air Support", at least to me, bring up images of A-10s making strafing runs with their big guns, or maybe F-15Es or F-16s dropping laser-guided bombs from several thousand feet. The Marines, though, they definitely put the Close into "Close Air Support"!
Here's a video of what the training looks like for a Huey door gunner - spoiler alert: it looks like fun!
The US Marine Corps is currently in Norway right now, performing cold weather combat and logistics training, but that doesn't mean that the don't get to have a little bit of fun!
One of the crucial skills for USMC tank and heavy vehicle operators is the ability to drive on ice and snow, and that means they have to practice! It just so happens, of course, that practicing looks like a hell of a lot of fun!
Starting in January, Defense Secretary Carter announced Thursday, all military jobs in all branches will be open and available to women. Carter said that his decision to open all jobs to women was shared by the secretaries of the Navy, Army and Air Force and the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command. Only one military leader, Gen. Joseph Dunford - then the Marine Corps Commandant, now Chairman of the Joint Chiefs - recommended keeping some positions closed to women.
The push for gender equality in all branches of the US military will likely mean that women will have to register for the draft, according to Army Secretary John McHugh. Currently just males 18-25 have to register for the Selective Services System, an independent government agency. Failure to register is a felony and can limit access to things like student loans and government jobs.
Despite stretched budgets across the military, the US Marine Corps Forces Reserve will continue to give Reserve Marines opportunities to participate in international deployments and large scale exercises, to help keep Reservists busy as the active-duty Corps begins to take back some missions that they passed off to the Reserve forces over the past 14 years.
According to a report released by DefenseNews.com it looks like the F-35 may be much more dangerous for some pilots than others.
Remember when we reported the success of the USMC's Initial Operational test aboard the USS Wasp last May? It turns out that that announcement of success may have been a little bit premature!
For the past nine months the Marine Corps has been experimenting with a gender-integrated task force at both Twentynine Palms and Camp Lejeune, to see how women would fare in various combat roles in the USMC.