Flight Operations aboard the USS Essex (LHD 2)
ARABIAN SEA – An F-35B Lightning II assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 (VMFA), 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), makes final preparations to land aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), Jan. 9, 2019. The Essex is the flagship for the Essex Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 13th MEU, is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. A. J. Van Fredenberg/Released)