ARABIAN GULF (Nov. 5, 2018)

An F-35B Lightning II fighter jet, attached to the “Avengers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, launches from the flight deck of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) during a scheduled deployment with the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). The Essex ARG and 13th MEU is the first U.S. Navy and Marine Corps team to deploy to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations with the transformational warfighting capabilities of the F-35B Lightning II, making it a more lethal, flexible and persistent force, leading to a more stable region for our partner nations. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jenna Dobson (Released) 181105-N-RP442-1016

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