By Lon Nordeen, Jim Laurier
Within the Nineteen Seventies the USMC obtained the AV-8A Harrier from the united kingdom to check V/STOL ideas for shut air aid. A winning investment conflict was once thus fought within the Eighties to safe army, political and financial help to extend this idea to boost and box the second one iteration AV-8B Harrier II from the past due Nineteen Eighties onward. The AV-8B used to be, and nonetheless is, the single tactical airplane that can install with Marine forces on amphibious attack ships and supply air conceal and shut air aid break free huge deck plane providers. while Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, a coalition of countries introduced Operation barren region guard as a way to shield Saudi Arabia. The Harrier II was once one of the first tactical air resources to be deployed to the area to help flooring forces of their efforts to halt the improvement of Iraqi forces on the border with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. in the course of Operation wilderness hurricane, the 5 devices flying the AV-8B in-theatre turned many of the best tactical squadrons of selection via air challenge planners for allied battlefield training and shut air aid. This used to be as a result of the AV-8B's features, proximity to the conflict region and the confirmed skills of Marine pilots and ahead air controllers, who have been heavily built-in with flooring forces and knew their enterprise so good. The untold tale of the AV-8B during this clash is vividly dropped at lifestyles through the writer via firsthand debts and interval images sourced from those who have been there, in addition to authentic data. this can be deliberate to be the 1st of 3 volumes on USMC Harrier IIs in wrestle, with follow-on titles protecting the jet's operations in Iraq in 2003-08 and Afghanistan in 2001-2009
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Extra resources for AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm
We had aircraft on strip alert, and that was recorded on the ATO. These jets gave us a modicum of flexibility when it came to answering emergency calls for CAS. For example, I flew a mission on 29 January that was directed by a FastFAC F/A-18D. We saw a conglomeration of vehicles milling around. We were at 15,000 ft and still taking AAA. I had six Rockeye IIs and my wingman had four 1000-lb bombs. My wingman saw a lot of AAA fire and he aborted his first run, but we hit the vehicles minutes later after approaching them from a different direction.
I had been studying night attack tactics and systems for months with VMA-214, and once I joined the “Tomcats” I had to re-learn day attack avionics. I recall that flying the day attack aircraft at night was very restrictive, but both jets handled the same way in the V/STOL environment, as both units still focused their training on preparing pilots for forward deployment utilising small airfields close to the battle zone in order to reduce response times for troops in contact with the enemy. ‘Once in Saudi Arabia, all of our tactical training was geared towards us flying low-threat, high-altitude missions, either in two- or four-ship formations, flown in a combat spread with visual lookout.
Senior Coalition commanders were worried that the enemy would fire up the oil when our mechanised troops tried to pass through them. We were now charged with neutralising this threat as part of our battlefieldshaping mission. We would approach the trench lines in a ten-degree dive and hit them with Mk 82 Snakeyes and napalm. ‘I could see Iraqi troops firing at us as we flew these battlefield prep missions. We were really low, and they were firing at us with assault rifles and numerous other weapons.