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 throughout the addition of an evening imaginative and prescient method, radar, an exterior focusing on pod and new laser-guided guns.
In the Nineteen Seventies the USMC got the AV-8A Harrier from the united kingdom to check V/STOL options for shut air aid. A winning investment conflict used to be for that reason fought within the Nineteen Eighties to safe army, political and fiscal aid to extend this idea to strengthen and box the second one new release AV-8B Harrier II from the overdue Eighties onward. The AV-8B was once, and nonetheless is, the single tactical plane that may set up with Marine forces on amphibious attack ships and supply air conceal and shut air help break away huge deck plane providers. Having visible motion in-theatre in the course of Operation wasteland typhoon in 1991, the Harrier II was once seriously serious about 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 - delivering greater than forty consistent with cent of the third Marine Air Wing's fixed-wing offensive firepower. round 60 of those plane have been sea-based aboard 4 'Harrier carriers', whereas devices flew from Ahmed al Jaber, in Kuwait. in contrast to in 1991, whilst the Harrier II devices hired unguided guns - dumb bombs, cluster bombs and napalm - in 2003 seventy nine in step with cent of the ordnance dropped used to be precision-guided. This was once basically because of the AV-8B's upgrading into evening assault or radar-equipped configuration, and advent of the Litening focusing on pod. Following the career of Iraq by way of Coalition troops, the Harrier IIs remained in-theatre assisting anti-insurgent operations via to 2008 as a part of OIF II. Flying from Al Asad, or 'Harrier providers' within the Northern Arabian Gulf, those devices observed significant motion in southern and western Iraq. This e-book is the second one of 3 volumes on USMC Harrier IIs in wrestle, and it'll be the 1st quantity in print to hide the full tale of the AV-8B's provider employment in Iraq.
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Extra resources for AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operation Iraqi Freedom I-VI
9 The General Electric GAU-12U Equalizer is a 25 mm five-barrel 4 Gatling gun that uses a linkless feed system from a 300-round This 1000-lb GBU-16 LGB is built around the BLU-110 thermally magazine in the Harrier II’s GFK-11/A49E right fuselage pod to protected warhead, as can be seen by the two two-inch wide the 275-lb gun in the GAK-14/A49E-10 left pod (shown here). yellow bands, the first of which is obscured by the guidance The feed system is powered by engine bleed air. The Equalizer section’s adapter collar.
On one occasion near a mosque in Baghdad, Marines were taking sniper fire, and I had a section of VMA-211 jets overhead. One Marine was killed and another wounded, and there was a lot of panic over the radios. My pilots could hear the Marines calling for help on the ground. Their officer said, “Wait a second, we cannot use fixed-wing air here. We have too many friendlies in close and I can’t put a 500-lb bomb into the side of a Mosque to kill a sniper. We are going to have to figure out another way to do this”.
On 5 March Maj Gen Amos visited Bonhomme Richard and briefed us on the order of battle and expected near-term events. Due to poor weather, we were not able to fly our scheduled OSW mission that day. The next day Majs Annibale and Blake flew VMA-311’s first OSW missions, the pilots identifying tactical targets on the ground in Iraq on these first sorties. Night OSW missions commenced on 10 March, and we also used the FOB at Ahmed Al Jaber to support combat flights from this date onwards. ’ Preceding VMA-311 in-theatre by a full two weeks was its six-aircraft Detachment A, which had joined 15th MEU-SOC and its air component, HMM-161, aboard Tarawa just prior to the vessel departing San Diego for the CENTCOM AOR on 6 January 2003.
AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operation Iraqi Freedom I-VI by Lon Nordeen, Jim Laurier