First new joint strike fighter arrives in Beaufort

The first F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 arrived at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort on Thursday. The aircraft is the first to join VMFAT-501 at MCAS Beaufort since relocating from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. last week.

BEAUFORT, S.C. - The first of the nation's new F-35B Joint Strike Fighters has arrived at the Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station.

The Beaufort Gazette reports the plane landed Thursday afternoon, the first of 15 expected to arrive in Beaufort during the coming year.

Squadron commander Lt. Col. Joseph Bachmann flew the plane in from Eglin Air Force Base in Florida where the squadron currently trains.

Training in Beaufort is to begin in October. Squadron members began arriving in Beaufort earlier this month.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the next-generation of aircraft for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

Military officials expect some of the jets to also be based at Shaw Air Force Base near Sumter.

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Information from: The Beaufort Gazette, http://www.beaufortgazette.com