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However, Marine aviators adopted a completely different mindset once we knew that our brethren on the ground were getting shot at. ’ Col Bioty also flew a handful of CAS sorties in VMA-331 jets during the final days of Desert Storm; ‘I can tell you that of the 33 missions I completed, only three fit the classic definition of CAS. That is, within the fire-support coordination line and in terminal control with a FAC in support of friendly troops. VMA-311 AV-8B BuNo 163517 is flown low over the KTO at the end of Desert Storm.

From a pilot’s perspective, the Harrier II cockpit was ideally set up for the attack mission. The ARBS with the TV camera was good, although it had some limitations. It was not the ideal systems for all battlefield conditions, but when you could lock on to a high-contrast target, it was very accurate. I saw studies at the time that said it was even more accurate than the Hornet with radar ranging. ‘We felt very comfortable with the AV-8B, knew how to use the systems and had a lot of opportunity to practise with the jet.

However, Marine aviators adopted a completely different mindset once we knew that our brethren on the ground were getting shot at. ’ Col Bioty also flew a handful of CAS sorties in VMA-331 jets during the final days of Desert Storm; ‘I can tell you that of the 33 missions I completed, only three fit the classic definition of CAS. That is, within the fire-support coordination line and in terminal control with a FAC in support of friendly troops. VMA-311 AV-8B BuNo 163517 is flown low over the KTO at the end of Desert Storm.

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Air War - Desert Storm


by Christopher
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