US Marine Corps aviators Major Joseph "OD" Bachmann and Lt Col Matt "Squirt" Kelly flew a pair of Lockheed Martin F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) production jets to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The aircraft were the 9th and 10th B-model jets built for the USMC.
Lockheed Martin photo by Fred Clingerman, Jr
At Eglin, the two aircraft will serve with VMFA-501, which resides with the US Air Force's 33d Fighter Wing, where they will be used for pilot and maintainer training. VMFA-501's parent unit is the 2nd Marine Air Wing.
One other STOVL jet, BF-11, was formally accepted by the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) 5 May. That jet will fly to Eglin soon.
Meanwhile, the Marines at Eglin could start local area flights as early as tomorrow, 11 May.