THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
The US Marine Corps Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 (VMFA-211), better known as the Wake Island Avengers, have been in the UK since early September, ready to participate in a NATO exercise off the Scottish coast.The Squadron has been based at RAF Mahram, after pilots flew six F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters across the Atlantic on September 3.
Lt Col Joseph Freshour, the commanding officer of VMFA-211, explained that "During this training we will conduct realistic, relevant training to validate our digital interoperability and joint tactics, techniques, and procedures. The Wake Island Avengers will work tirelessly alongside Squadron 617 to develop and hone our mission skills to deploy as a combined naval force."
617 Squadron is the RAF unit known as The Dambusters. During the training it, and the Wake Island Avengers, will operate from HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest warship ever built by the Royal Navy, which began service in 2017.
Continuing, Lt Col Freshour said that "It has been a busy three months for the Wake Island Avengers. COVID-19 presented a unique challenge but didn’t stop the Marines from dominating a recent joint exercise in Nevada, packing more than 240,000 pounds of equipment and stepping off for this DFT [Deployment for Training]. I am proud of the Marines and looking forward to participating in the special relationship our service has with the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force."
As the US and UK groups prepared for the exercise, the Ministry of Defence published some photography showing the aircraft which are currently operating from the HMS Queen Elizabeth. You can see those photographs via the Ministry of Defence website
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