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The Joint Strike Fighter F-35 is undergoing flight tests and evaluations at Naval Air Station  Patuxent River, Md
U.S. Marine Corps test pilot Maj. Richard Rusnok goes over his pre-flight check list in the cockpit of the F-35B Lightning II aircraft BF-4p prior to a test flight at Naval Air Station Patuxent River on March 7, 2013 in Patuxent, MD Jonathan Newton—The Washington Post/Getty Images

New F-35 Fighter Jets Are Ready for Combat

Jul 31, 2015

The U.S. Marine Corps declared a new squadron of F-35 fighter jets ready for deployment on Friday, yielding the first shipment from a controversial $400 billion fighter program that has struggled through years of costly delays.

A squadron of 10 F-35B Lightning II aircraft passed a final round of inspections on July 18, according to a statement by the U.S. Marine Corps.

"The F-35B's ability to conduct operations from expeditionary airstrips or sea-based carriers provides our Nation with its first 5th generation strike fighter, which will transform the way we fight and win," Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford said in a public statement. More than 50 pilots and 500 maintenance crew members have been trained on the newest variant of F-35 fighter jet.

See Air Force One's Transformation Over 70 Years

A view of Air Force One on the runway.
After the original Air Force One, a C-87A Liberator Express nicknamed Guess Where II, was deemed unsafe for presidential use, this Douglas C-54 Skymaster, nicknamed Sacred Cow was introduced for President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945. It was equipped with a radio telephone, sleeping area, and elevator for President Roosevelt's wheelchair.Thomas D. McAvoy—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
A view of Air Force One on the runway.
Faded color photograph of the Independence in flight.Date: ca. 1947 The Independence
President Dwight Eisenhower’s private plane
British Royalty, Royal Tour of the United States, pic: October 1957, Washington, USA, HM, Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh pictured alongside US, President Dwight Eisenhower at the airport welcome
Air Force One
AIR FORCE ONE REAGAN
Barack Obama,
Airplane Takeoffs And Landings At Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
This Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental jetliner, the first VIP-configured aircraft, rolls out for an undisclosed customer for takeoff from Paine Field in Everett, Washington
After the original Air Force One, a C-87A Liberator Express nicknamed Guess Where II, was deemed unsafe for presidential
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Thomas D. McAvoy—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
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