Feb. 16 (UPI) -- The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit began air operations in the Arabian Gulf this week, the Marine Corps announced on Tuesday.
U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II aircraft departed from the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island to execute a long-range strike as part of broader U.S. Central Command counterterrorism operations in the region.
"We look forward to exercising the capabilities in our arsenal while in theater and remain ready to deliver those capabilities at any time if called upon," U.S. Marine Corps Col. Christopher J. Bronzi, the 15th MEU commanding officer, said in a press release.
The USS Makin Island is the flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, which entered the Arabian Gulf last week to support Operation Inherent Resolve.
"The MEU's ability to source combat sorties from the Makin Island, while simultaneously supporting training and operations, is a testament to the flexibility and responsiveness of our Navy and Marine Corps team," said U.S. Navy Capt. Stewart Bateshansky, commodore of the Makin Island ARG.