Watch The Pentagon Send The F-35 Into Combat For The First Time

Bullet Points

After years of anticipation, the Department of Defense has officially sent the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter into combat for the first time.


  • A Marine Corps F-35B variant from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211, currently embarked aboard the USS Essex, conducted its first air strike on Thursday in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel in Afghanistan, officials announced.
  • The strike was carried out against a "fixed Taliban target," according to CNN, which first reported news of the operation ahead of the official DoD announcement. The Pentagon characterized the operation as a strike "in support of ground clearance operations."

  • "The F-35B is a significant enhancement in theater amphibious and air warfighting capability, operational flexibility, and tactical supremacy," U.S. Naval Forces Central Command chief Vice Adm. Scott Stearney said in a statement. "As part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, this platform supports operations on the ground from international waters, all while enabling maritime superiority that enhances stability and security."
  • According to the DoD, the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit is the first combat-deployed MEU to completely replace its fleet of AV-8B Harriers with the F-35B. The 13th MEU is currently part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, which initially deployed to the Pacific back in July before rolling up in the Middle East in September.
  • The long-troubled F-35 first saw combat back in May when the Israeli Air Force deployed F-35A fighters for air strikes against unspecified targets.

WATCH NEXT:

An undated image of Hoda Muthana provided by her attorney, Hassan Shibly. (Associated Press)

Attorneys for the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America have filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr and President Donald Trump asking the court to recognize the citizenship of an Alabama woman who left the U.S. to join ISIS and allow she and her young son to return to the United States.

Read More Show Less
U.S. soldiers surveil the area during a combined joint patrol in Manbij, Syria, November 1, 2018. Picture taken November 1, 2018. (U.S. Army/Zoe Garbarino/Handout via Reuters)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will leave "a small peacekeeping group" of 200 American troops in Syria for a period of time after a U.S. pullout, the White House said on Thursday, as President Donald Trump pulled back from a complete withdrawal.

Read More Show Less
Construction crews staged material needed for the Santa Teresa Border Wall Replacement project near the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol/Mani Albrecht)

With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.

On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted a time-lapse video of wall construction in New Mexico; the next day, he proclaimed that "THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW"

But there's a big problem: The footage, which was filmed more than five months ago on Sep. 18, 2018, isn't really new wall construction at all, and certainly not part of the ongoing construction of "the wall" that Trump has been haggling with Congress over.

Read More Show Less
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton

A group comprised of former U.S. military veterans and security contractors who were detained in Haiti on weapons charges has been brought back to the United States and arrested upon landing, The Miami-Herald reported.

The men — five Americans, two Serbs, and one Haitian — were stopped at a Port-au-Prince police checkpoint on Sunday while riding in two vehicles without license plates, according to police. When questioned, the heavily-armed men allegedly told police they were on a "government mission" before being taken into custody.

Read More Show Less
Army Sgt. Jeremy Seals died on Oct. 31, 2018, following a protracted battle with stomach cancer. His widow, Cheryl Seals is mounting a lawsuit alleging that military care providers missed her husband's cancer. Task & Purpose photo illustration by Aaron Provost

The widow of a soldier whose stomach cancer was allegedly overlooked by Army doctors for four years is mounting a medical malpractice lawsuit against the military, but due to a decades-old legal rule known as the Feres Doctrine, her case will likely be dismissed before it ever goes to trial.

Read More Show Less