United States Marine Corps F-35B DEMO Team

The United States Marine Corps F-35B DEMO Team is comprised of active-duty Naval Aviators flying the F-35B Lightning II and the maintainers who keep the aircraft flying. The F-35B is the world’s first short-takeoff, vertical landing, or “STOVL,” 5th generation fighter. The aerial demonstration showcases the aircraft’s performance in both its conventional and STOVL modes of flight.

The team has two components, representing the East Coast and the West Coast. Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 (VMFAT-501), also known as the “Warlords,” are stationed in Beaufort, South Carolina. Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 502 (VMFAT-502), also known as the “Flying Nightmares,” are stationed in Miramar, California. These two components allow for a combined area of responsibility, ensuring that the F-35B DEMO Team can support aerial demonstrations, flyovers, and static displays at events nationwide. Both VMFAT-501 and VMFAT-502 are the Marine Corps’ F-35B Fleet Replacement Squadrons, tasked with conducting core introduction Fighter/Attack training to produce capable pilots and maintainers ready to serve in the Fleet.

In 2023, the USMC F-35B DEMO Team will be performing at some of the largest air shows in the country, as well as supporting a number of shows at military bases and official functions.

Photo by Dan Mcleod