Story by Capt. Tyler Hopkins, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
Five F-35B aircraft with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, 3d MAW, known as the “Wake Island Avengers,” based out of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., arrived in the United Kingdom to conduct final training for a first of its kind carrier deployment aboard Her Majesty’s Ship Queen Elizabeth as part of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 21.
During CSG-21, VMFA-211 will integrate with the UK’s 617 Squadron, “The Dambusters”, to form the largest 5th-generation carrier air wing in the world.
“Moving the Marines, aircraft and equipment to the United Kingdom required coordinated planning, complex logistical effort, diligent maintenance and seamless execution,” said Lt. Col. Andrew D’Ambrogi, the commanding officer of VMFA-211. “Now that we have arrived in the United Kingdom, we are reintegrating with our UK counterparts and focused on providing both the commodore of CSG-21 and U.S. combatant commanders with ready, combat-capable, 5th-generation aircraft.”
This deployment comes ahead of CSG-21’s worldwide deployment later this year, marking the first full operational deployment of a U.S. F-35B squadron aboard a British aircraft carrier. This combined deployment marks another high water mark in the United States’ special relationship with the UK and 3d MAW’s employment of the Marine Corps most advanced aircraft anywhere in the world.
“3d MAW continues to be actively engaged in operations around the world. We have trained extremely hard and are looking forward to partnering with our British allies aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth. She is a beautiful ship and represents a great capability,” said Maj. Gen. Christopher Mahoney, 3d MAW commanding general. “This deployment will demonstrate the superior lethality that highly trained Marine crews and our fifth generation aircraft bring to the U.S. and UK team.”
In preparation for this deployment, VMFA-211 has trained in all aspects of F-35 employment and sustainment. The Avengers previously completed a qualification and training deployment last fall as part of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s air wing in the UK.
3rd MAW continues to “Fix, Fly and Fight” as the Marine Corps’ largest aircraft wing, and remains combat-ready, deployable on short notice, and lethal when called into action.
For questions regarding this release, please contact 1st Lt. Zachary Bodner at HMSQNLZ-VMFA211-SNRfirstname.lastname@example.org or the 3d MAW Communication Strategy and Operations Office at email@example.com