The USMC close air support ability today will degrade with the F-35.
That is, if the F-35 ever sees service. Note that the JSF Joint Operational Requirement Document (JORD) mentions JSF sortie rates "significantly" better than legacy. This is a minimum requirement.
It will be interesting to see how the flying piano performs that one.
This Vietnam-era propaganda video shows that even the square peg in a round hole F-4 Phantom (with a proper air FAC) beats anything the F-35 could do for CAS. Cheaper to operate, more sorties, more ordnance, back-seater.... "But Eric, what about precision guided munitions?" Well yes, but that can work well with today's aircraft,...before the Just So Farcical concept.
OK then, what about STOVL?
What about it?
Also in the old video you see an A-4 trapping on an airfield.