Marine Corps readies for F-35B IOC

VMFA-121 ‘Green Knights’ at MCAS Yuma are gearing up to declare initial operating capability in July

VMFA-121 ‘Green Knights’ — the Marine Corps’ first front line F-35B Lightning II unit — is preparing to declare Initial Operating Capability (IOC) on July 1.

Led by Lt Col Steve ‘Glibby’ Gillette and currently forming part of Yuma’s Marine Air Group (MAG) 13, all eyes are currently on the ‘Green Knights’.

Lt Col Gillette told Combat Aircraft that the big things that are still needed in order for his squadron to make IOC ‘aren’t really in our sphere of influence or control — these are big programmatic things.’

‘For us, the end user, at VMFA-121 there are things that the programme must deliver’, he continues. ‘Primarily 10 aircraft in IOC configuration, of which we are set to receive our first in the next few days.’

Whilst all of Lt Col Gillette’s aircraft are in Block 2B software configuration, the IOC-configured aircraft are further modified to so-called Group 1 standard.

More from our exclusive interview with Lt Col Gillette will appear in the July issue of Combat Aircraft.

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