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Tampa Bay skies welcome Marine fighter jets

Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 is in town for training through April 1.
MacDill Air Force Base is hosting F-35B Lighting II fighter jets this month as they conduct training.
MacDill Air Force Base is hosting F-35B Lighting II fighter jets this month as they conduct training. [ Courtesy of MacDill Air Force Base ]
Published Mar. 16
Updated Mar. 16

The Tampa Bay skies will be louder than usual this month as MacDill Air Force Base hosts F-35B Lighting II fighter jets for training, according to a release.

Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 is conducting fighter jet training over central Florida through April 1. All flying will be done during daylight hours.

The 11 F-35B’s come from the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina.

It’s not uncommon to see military aircraft from other bases flying in the area in February and March, because central Florida’s weather this time of year allows them to keep training, said Terry Montrose a spokesman for the 6th Air Refueling Wing at MacDill.

In fact, C-17 Globemasters are flying missions nearby almost weekly, Montrose added. The 6th Air Refueling Wing refuels aircraft over the Gulf.