The F-35B is the central pillar in the future of US Marine Corps aviation. The challenge of realizing the capabilities and potential of such an advanced aircraft is felt across the Aviation Combat Element (ACE), but nowhere more so than at VMX-1 — the Marine Corps’ specialist operational test unit.


With the magnificent Picacho Peak in the background, Maj Jack Cronan flies a VMX-1 F-35B at sunset during a mission from MCAS Yuma.

LT GEN JON ‘Dog’ Davis, the US Marine Corps’ Deputy Commandant for Aviation, has a vision of air power. His name has become synonymous with the ambitious plans that are set to transform the way the Marine Corps does business. Pivotal to the vision of the Corps’ most senior aviator is the establishment of a single unit to oversee the advances that are in train and ensure the harmonization of various advanced platforms. This unit is Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron (VMX) 1.

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