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 in the course of the addition of an evening imaginative and prescient process, radar, an exterior concentrating on pod and new laser-guided guns.
In the Seventies the USMC received the AV-8A Harrier from the united kingdom to check V/STOL thoughts for shut air aid. A winning investment conflict was once hence fought within the 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 past due Nineteen Eighties onward. The AV-8B used to be, and nonetheless is, the single tactical airplane which may set up with Marine forces on amphibious attack ships and supply air hide and shut air help break free huge deck airplane providers. Having noticeable motion in-theatre in the course of Operation barren region hurricane in 1991, the Harrier II was once seriously thinking 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 in step 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 in line with cent of the ordnance dropped was once precision-guided. This used to be essentially because of the AV-8B's upgrading into evening assault or radar-equipped configuration, and advent of the Litening concentrating on pod. Following the career of Iraq via Coalition troops, the Harrier IIs remained in-theatre aiding 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 substantial motion in southern and western Iraq. This booklet 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 entire tale of the AV-8B's provider employment in Iraq.
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Extra info for AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operation Iraqi Freedom I-VI
Lt Col Clyde Woltman was MAG-13’s executive officer during OIF, and he helped Col Savarese and the squadron COs prepare for OIF; 45 CHAPTER FOUR 46 ‘In August 2002, whilst serving at MCAS Yuma, I was picked up as group executive officer for MAG-13. Shortly after I started work in my new post my CO, Col Savarese, told me, “Clyde, we are going to war and I want you to help me make the ‘Harrier Carrier’ concept work”. I subsequently deployed with the rest of the MAG-13 staff aboard Bonhomme Richard.
The helicopter didn’t crash, but I think they had to land close to An Numaniyah. Once on the ground they immediately started receiving fire from enemy artillery, mortars or such, with enemy infantry moving in from the east. We had a section of Harrier IIs airborne at the time, and our pilots engaged, taking out the enemy position closest to the helicopter and providing delaying action against the enemy infantry moving west, allowing Marine rescue helicopters into the landing zone to get those guys out of there.
OIF was a very dynamic, real-time campaign, which proved very challenging for us. As you received coordinates for a new kill box, you had to figure out where the nearest tanker was, how low could I go on fuel and still hit the target, or did I need to land and refuel or go back to Ahmed Al Jaber or even the ship for more ordnance? We had detailed briefing cards in the cockpit to help us figure out the best options, but we still had to stay on our toes. ‘My favourite weapon during OIF was the GBU-12 because it was simple to employ and versatile.
AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operation Iraqi Freedom I-VI by Lon Nordeen, Jim Laurier