ARABIAN GULF (Jan. 3, 2019) A Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), takes off from the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), Jan. 3, 2019. 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)
Note: the F-35B uses thrust vectoring to assist in vertical lift. The thrust vectoring nozzle along with the duct fan behind the cockpit allows the F-35B to perform vertical takeoff and landings (VTOL) and short takeoff and landings (STOL).