The U.S. is finally ready to take its most expensive fighter jets into battle, as the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters sailing aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Essex may soon be called to conduct strikes against insurgent forces in Afghanistan, CNN reported Tuesday.

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Unless the Russian navy is hunting for the Red October in the eastern Mediterranean, it is likely that so many Russian ships have remained there since the end of Moscow's latest naval exercise there primarily to support Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, Pentagon officials said.

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Five days of intensive search efforts for a Marine who fell overboard in the Sulu Sea have ended without locating the Marine, whose status is still officially “missing,” Corps officials said on Tuesday.

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U.S. Navy photo / Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam Brock.

Search and rescue efforts are ongoing for a Marine who fell overboard near the Philippines while embarked on the amphibious assault ship Essex with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Corps officials announced on Friday.

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The U.S. Navy broke with its tradition of hyping up F-35 deployments by sending of the USS Essex jump-jet carrier into the Western Pacific with a deck full of the revolutionary fighter jets — and it could signal a big change in how the U.S. deals with its toughest adversaries.

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