The U.S. Marine Corps plans to pair its 3rd Battalion 5th Marines unit with ground units from its experimental infantry battalion for training exercises on the F-35B jet fighter, Military.com reported Monday.
Hope Hodge Seck writes the units will undergo training in Link 16, the military tactical exchange network used in the Lockheed Martin-built F-35, before they deploy to the Pacific with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2017.
Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh, head of Marine Corps Combat Development Command, told the publication that the training efforts are meant to help Marines understand the aircraft’s use in ground combat missions.
“We’ll get them together now and start operating together, and start to wring out ideas about how you can use the F-35 differently,” he told Military.com.
Walsh also plans to supply ground troops with mobile devices connected to the Link 16 network for real-time transmissions of data from airborne assets, according to the report.