Beaufort air station greets squadron for F-35 jets

The Associated PressJuly 11, 2014 

An F-35 fighter jet.

TOM REYNOLDS — Tom Reynolds

— Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort is preparing to welcoming training squadron VMFAT-501 in support of the installation's yet-to-arrive F-35B Joint Strike Fighter jets.

Spokesman Capt. Jordan Cochran says Friday's event is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at the air station.

The unit is making a transition from Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where it was activated in April 2010 to prepare infrastructure improvements and training needed for the advanced jet program.

The Pentagon has grounded the entire F-35 fleet following a June 23 fire that severely damaged a Lockheed Martin F-35 at Eglin. The Marine Corps is preparing to fly one of the three variants of the new aircraft. Others are designed for the Air Force and Navy.

The jets are to arrive some time later this year.

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