U.S. Marine Corps F-35B aircraft departed from the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island to execute long-range strikes in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Operation Inherent Resolve is the U.S. military’s operational name for the International military intervention against Islamic State/Daesh in Iraq and Syria.
“Long range F-35B Lightning II strike operations demonstrate the ARG/MEU’s ability to project air power well beyond the shore,” said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Christopher J. Bronzi, the 15th MEU commanding officer.
“We look forward to exercising the capabilities in our arsenal while in theatre and remain ready to deliver those capabilities at any time if called upon.”
The U.S. Navy say that the Makin Island ARG transited through the Strait of Hormuz and into the Persian Gulf on February the 8th.
“The MEU’s ability to source combat sorties from the Makin Island, while simultaneously supporting training and operations, is a testament to the flexibility and responsiveness of our Navy and Marine Corps team,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Stewart Bateshansky, Makin Island ARG commodore.
“We are proud and excited to be able to support missions in areas of the world where we are most needed,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Christopher Kelly, VMM-164 (Rein.) executive officer.
“Conducting a long range strike mission with fifth generation F-35B fighters from amphibious assault ships demonstrates the versatility this platform brings to the joint force.”
The U.S. 5th Fleet AOO encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water and includes the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.