15th MEU, Makin Island ARG enhance bilateral partnership in Indo-Pacific

10 April 2021

From 1st Lt. Pedro Caballero, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

F-35B Lighting IIs from VMM-164, 15th MEU conducted joint training with fighter jets from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).
U.S. Sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) clear out of the way of a U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164 (Reinforced), 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), in preparation for takeoff from the flight deck of the ship. The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and embarked 15th MEU are operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
Sailors aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) clear out of the way of an F-35B Lightning II assigned to VMM-164 (Rein.) preparing for takeoff. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Patrick Crosley)
U.S. Sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) clear out of the way of a U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164 (Reinforced), 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), in preparation for takeoff from the flight deck of the ship. The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and embarked 15th MEU are operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
210408-M-UY835-1024
Sailors aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) clear out of the way of an F-35B Lightning II assigned to VMM-164 (Rein.) preparing for takeoff. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Patrick Crosley)
Photo By: Cpl. Patrick Crosley
VIRIN: 210408-M-UY835-1024

SOUTH CHINA SEA - Marines with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) embarked aboard the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) conducted flight-training operations near Singapore within international waters, April 8, 2021.

During these operations, U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning IIs assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 164 (Reinforced), 15th MEU also conducted joint training with F-15SG and F-16D multi-role fighter jets from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).

"It‘s a professional privilege to work and fly with our longstanding partners from the Republic of Singapore while operating in the southern reaches of the South China Sea," said Maj. Benjamin Boera, future operations officer with F-35B Detachment, VMM-164 (Rein.), 15th MEU. "Flying alongside pilots with the RSAF is a great experience for us all and helps further promote the F-35B‘s 5th-generation capabilities, while reinforcing our support and commitment to all partner nations in the Indo-Pacific region."

Conducting maritime-based engagements with partner nations provides a unique capability to learn and understand each partner‘s skills, prepare for real-world operations and further strengthen the longstanding relationships between countries and militaries.

A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164 (Reinforced), 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, takes off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8). The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and embarked 15th MEU are operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
210408-M-UY835-1014 An F-35B Lightning II assigned to VMM-164 (Rein.) takes off from the flight deck of USS Makin Island (LHD 8). (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Patrick Crosley)
SLIDESHOW | 4 images | 210408-M-UY835-1014 An F-35B Lightning II assigned to VMM-164 (Rein.) takes off from the flight deck of USS Makin Island (LHD 8). (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Patrick Crosley)
A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164 (Reinforced), 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, takes off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8). The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and embarked 15th MEU are operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
210408-M-UY835-1017 An F-35B Lightning II assigned to VMM-164 (Rein.) takes off from the flight deck of USS Makin Island (LHD 8). (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Patrick Crosley)
SLIDESHOW | 4 images | 210408-M-UY835-1017 An F-35B Lightning II assigned to VMM-164 (Rein.) takes off from the flight deck of USS Makin Island (LHD 8). (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Patrick Crosley)
U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning IIs assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164 (Reinforced), 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, land on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8). The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and embarked 15th MEU are operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
210408-M-UY835-1056 F-35B Lightning II fighter aircraft assigned to VMM-164 (Rein.) land on the flight deck of USS Makin Island (LHD 8). (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Patrick Crosley)
SLIDESHOW | 4 images | 210408-M-UY835-1056 F-35B Lightning II fighter aircraft assigned to VMM-164 (Rein.) land on the flight deck of USS Makin Island (LHD 8). (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Patrick Crosley)
U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning IIs assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164 (Reinforced), 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, perform a fly by over the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8). The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and embarked 15th MEU are operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
210408-M-UY835-1037 F-35B Lightning IIs assigned to VM-164 (Rein.) perform a fly by over USS Makin Island (LHD 8).
SLIDESHOW | 4 images | 210408-M-UY835-1037 F-35B Lightning IIs assigned to VM-164 (Rein.) perform a fly by over USS Makin Island (LHD 8).

"These operations highlight both the capabilities of our fifth generation aircraft and our interoperability with the Republic of Singapore, a deeply valued partner," said Rear Adm. Fred Kacher, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 7. "The F-35B has been a game-changer in this theater, and I‘m grateful for the flexibility and lethality that the entire USS Makin Island/15th MEU team provides our combatant commanders as we contribute to security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region."

The Makin Island ARG and embarked 15th MEU is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

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