The U.S. Marine Corps will redesignate a Yuma, Arizona-based squadron as marine fighter attack squadron 211 on June 30 as the unit transitions from AV-8B Harrier aircraft to Lockheed Martin-built F-35B fighter jets, DoD Buzz reported Tuesday.
Hope Hodge Seck writes the redesignation of VMA 211 squadron comes after it accepted the first two F-35Bs on May 9 and as the service branch prepares to field the first operational unit of the fighter jets – VMFA-121 – to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Japan in January.
VMA 211 will become the second squadron to operate the fighter jets, which achieved initial operating capability in July 2015.
Lt. Col. Chad Vaughn is also scheduled Thursday to succeed Lt. Col. William Maples as commanding officer of the squadron, Seck reports.
The service branch will eventually replace the Harrier, EA-6B Prowler and F/A-18 Hornet jets with the F-35 aircraft, according to the report.
Marine Corps officials told DoD Buzz that the Prowler is scheduled to retire in 2016, followed by the Harrier in 2026 and Hornet and Super Hornet jets by 2030s.