GAO: F35 Strike Fighter facing challenges in Pacific region

Amid China’s announcement that its new missile called the "Guam killer" is now in service, the U.S. Government Accountability Office has released a report noting some operational impediments being faced in the Pacific by the U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35 Joint Strike Fighter based in Iwakuni, Japan.

“While the Marine Corps recognizes the advanced warfighting capabilities the F-35 will bring to the Pacific, it is facing challenges operating in the area,” GAO said, releasing portions of its classified report in March.

One of the findings cited by GAO pointed to the Department of Defense’s failure to communicate with the Navy and the Air Force the F35 service’s operational challenges.

“While the Marine Corps records F-35 operational lessons learned on its own, service-specific website, these lessons are not currently shared or made available across the F-35 program,” GAO said.

“Instead, Marine Corps officials stated that they currently rely on personal relationships to share lessons learned with other services, through methods such as phone calls to colleagues in the Air Force or the Navy.”