By Lon Nordeen, Jim Laurier
The Harrier II jet observed clash in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (Gulf War), Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Iraqi Freedom (Iraq War). The airplane has matured right into a multi-role platform during the addition of an evening imaginative and prescient approach, radar, an exterior concentrating on pod and new laser-guided guns.
In the Seventies the USMC got the AV-8A Harrier from the united kingdom to check V/STOL thoughts for shut air help. A profitable investment conflict was once consequently fought within the Eighties to safe army, political and financial aid to extend this idea to advance and box the second one new release AV-8B Harrier II from the overdue Nineteen Eighties onward. The AV-8B was once, and nonetheless is, the single tactical airplane which may set up with Marine forces on amphibious attack ships and supply air conceal and shut air aid cut loose huge deck plane vendors. Having obvious motion in-theatre in the course of Operation desolate tract hurricane in 1991, the Harrier II was once seriously considering motion once more over Iraq from March 2003 as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom I/II. within the preliminary clash, a few seventy six AV-8s have been deployed - offering greater than forty in line with cent of the third Marine Air Wing's fixed-wing offensive firepower. round 60 of those airplane have been sea-based aboard 4 'Harrier carriers', whereas devices flew from Ahmed al Jaber, in Kuwait. not like in 1991, whilst the Harrier II devices hired unguided guns - dumb bombs, cluster bombs and napalm - in 2003 seventy nine according to cent of the ordnance dropped was once precision-guided. This was once essentially a result of AV-8B's upgrading into evening assault or radar-equipped configuration, and advent of the Litening concentrating on pod. Following the profession of Iraq by means of Coalition troops, the Harrier IIs remained in-theatre helping anti-insurgent operations via to 2008 as a part of OIF II. Flying from Al Asad, or 'Harrier vendors' within the Northern Arabian Gulf, those devices observed huge motion in southern and western Iraq. This booklet is the second one of 3 volumes on USMC Harrier IIs in strive against, and it'll be the 1st quantity in print to hide the total tale of the AV-8B's carrier employment in Iraq.
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Additional resources for AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operation Iraqi Freedom I-VI
I never saw anything so pretty as when that missile came off and smashed exactly on target”, Locher said. “The entire top of that tower turned into rubble. We didn’t get shot at from there anymore”. ‘Above him, Butler arced the two Harriers into a climbing turn to the southeast. ’ The battle for Azimiyah Palace and Imam Abu Hanifah Mosque fought itself out by the next morning. Estimates of Iraqi and Fedayeen dead ran into several hundreds. The Marines of First Battalion Fifth Marines sustained heavy casualties as well, with the Purple Heart (awarded for injuries sustained in combat) being presented to 98 men.
This particular vessel had never previously operated as an exclusively fixed-wing aircraft carrier. com OIF I – VMA-311 AND VMA-211 A mix of AV-8B Night Attack and AV-8B Harrier II+ aircraft from VMA-311 and VMA-211 sit alongside a CH-53E on the bow of LHD-6 as the carrier heads for the NAG on the eve of OIF I. The 24 Harrier IIs embarked in Bonhomme Richard flew more than 850 sorties during the conflict (Col Brad Gering) squadrons in it. We used our transit time to the NAG to iron the bugs out on how the two squadrons and the ship’s company would work together on take offs and landings and the loading of ordnance.
Thirty-two per cent of the missions flown during the cruise were OSW tactical reconnaissance sorties, 50 per cent were in support of OIF operations and the remaining 18 per cent were training missions. Overall, VMA-311/211 pilots flew 680 sorties for a total of 1230 flying hours. Despite the intensive operational tempo throughout March and April, the AV-8B full-mission capable rate for the team was between 80-85 per cent. During OIF, VMA-311/211 delivered 601 GBU-12s, 271 GBU-16s, 141 Mk 82s, 64 CBU/Rockeye cluster bombs, 49 Mk 83s, ten AGM-65E Maverick laser-guided missiles and four Zuni rockets.