The amateurish and slimy is clearly this piece of "reporting" without facts. The landing surface is a concrete pad made for Harriers and F-35B, it used to be Aluminum matting until it was so worn and prone to foreign object debris damage the Harriers stopped using it. It was built before the F-35 arrived and Harriers use it mostly. The darker color of the surrounding area is the infield of the airfield, it is simply a light coat of asphalt over dirt and rocks to reduce rocks, in most airfields this is grass, the desert southwest has a lot of rocks and this is a Mitigation that was in place for many years prior to F-35. This pad is not on the runway, it is a offshoot of the taxiway and the taxiway is the same light color. The author's homework clearly did not involve going to Yuma and looking at anything or speaking to anyone with direct knowledge. Armchair statements or quoting armchair observers, like Mr. Sweetman, make for poor journalism. And Vstillwell wishing this plane would go away would certainly stop you from hearing the garbage sensationalism in the negative about this plane, but would just have these vultures of less than misinformed journalists focus on whatever other hot topic was out there to get people riled up. USMC plans to use this airplane takeoff and landing like a Harrier, primarily from L-class ships with other aircraft. The current ships have to be very slightly modified (yellow tram line offset) and the new ships are simply replacements for the Navy's aging fleet, they are simply building in the few F-35 differences into those ships. As for runway length...at best it is not 3,000-4,000 foot runways, it will be 750 foot L-class amphibs parked close to the fight, closer than any CV much like happened in Libya. When there is more runway, the F-35 will operate like other aircraft, or do slow landings. The vertical capability, much like the Harrier, is primarily for recovering to a ship. It can land on short runways or long ones, or vertical land on ships. The pilot had less experience than some of the pilots in the operational squadron, since it was the first the squadron flew someone with test experience who brought that stovl flying test experience to the current operational pilots so they can learn and fly it as we'll, nothing slimy or hyped up as the author would lead you to believe. The event was real, it was the first STOVL event conducted without test engineers in instrumented aircraft monitoring everything in the jet, it was a pilot who had stovl experience flying a jet that is in operational use with no special instrumentation on the jet flying operational procedures, nothing test about it. Mr. Rusnock was selected because of his experience flying STOVL to bring that training to the operational forces, not for any of his test report flying training. Just so happens the test pilots are the only ones with that experience to bring to the operational forces, nothing slimy or hyped up as the author would also have people believe. I could go on and on...the comment about the Navy being forced to have a stubby winged variant because of the USMC is another laughable lie, the Navy version has entirely different wings, the USAF version chose to keep the standard wingspan of 35 feet vice the Navy's 43 feet. I can't find much correct with the article or most these days, but this one was particularly lacking in facts.