US Marines conducted hot-reload exercises with the F-35B Lightning II in Japan

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Photo By: Lance Cpl. Joseph Abrego

Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 conducted hot-reload exercises at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, April 6, 2017.

That was reported by Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni.

This signified the first time the squadron loaded ordnance onto a running F-35B Lightning II aircraft at the air station in order to prepare for real-world scenarios.

“We concentrated less on time today and more on execution of procedures,” said Maj. Adam Perlin, aircraft maintenance officer for VMFA-121. “We went step-by-step ensuring all the correct precautions were taken and getting every detail right.”

The safety of Marines during the training was emphasized through procedures the squadron has in place.

“I filled the billet as a quality assurance safety officer,” said Sgt. John Page, ordnance technician with VMFA-121. “I witnessed the bombs being loaded in a safe manner on the aircraft. Anytime we do training like this, we have to safeguard the Marines and equipment.”

While the Marines played their part in the exercise, the aircraft also played its part with its engines still turning.

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