By Lon Nordeen, Jim Laurier

Within the Nineteen Seventies the USMC received the AV-8A Harrier from the united kingdom to check V/STOL recommendations for shut air aid. A profitable investment conflict used to be for that reason fought within the Eighties to safe army, political and monetary help to extend this idea to improve and box the second one iteration AV-8B Harrier II from the overdue Eighties onward. The AV-8B used to be, and nonetheless is, the one tactical airplane which could install with Marine forces on amphibious attack ships and supply air hide and shut air help break away huge deck airplane vendors. while Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, a coalition of countries introduced Operation desolate tract defend so as to guard Saudi Arabia. The Harrier II used to be one of the first tactical air resources to be deployed to the zone 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 typhoon, the 5 devices flying the AV-8B in-theatre grew to become many of the best tactical squadrons of selection by way of air challenge planners for allied battlefield coaching and shut air aid. This used to be end result of the AV-8B's services, proximity to the conflict quarter and the confirmed talents of Marine pilots and ahead air controllers, who have been heavily built-in with flooring forces and knew their company so good. The untold tale of the AV-8B during this clash is vividly dropped at existence through the writer via firsthand money owed and interval images sourced from those who have been there, in addition to legit information. this can be deliberate to be the 1st of 3 volumes on USMC Harrier IIs in wrestle, with follow-on titles masking the jet's operations in Iraq in 2003-08 and Afghanistan in 2001-2009

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Additional resources for AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm

Example text

I had a similar experience, for on at least two occasions my wingman called me and said a missile had just flown by my aircraft, having failed to guide. ‘In an effort to defeat the IR missiles we used plenty of chaff and flare expendables as standard operating procedure. When we came off bombing a target, the chaff and flares were liberally pumped out. That was our most vulnerable time as we tried to get back up to a safe altitude, out of the SAM and AAA zone. And this is when it seems that all of the AV-8B losses were suffered, coming off the target.

About three weeks after arriving in Bahrain, ships carrying additional support systems, spare parts and equipment docked at nearby Al Jubail Naval Base. Included in the cargo was a contingency support package for the AV-8B, as well as other critical maintenance equipment. Combined, these allowed the squadron’s maintenance personnel to provide the full range of support required to keep the AV-8B operational on a long-term basis. At this time VMA-542 consisted of 32 Marine officers and 203 enlisted personnel, two US Navy officers, four enlisted medical corpsmen and one RAF pilot on exchange.

When we first arrived we stood alerts, as no one knew what was going to happen in Kuwait, and whether the Iraqis were going to drive further south into Saudi Arabia. Initially, we stood armed alerts, ready to launch within 15 minutes. Often, that meant we sat in the cockpit in the heat of the day. As the weeks ran on, we changed to a one-hour alert, with the pilots out of the aircraft. ‘For the first few weeks of Desert Shield we flew only to keep pilots and crews current, and to exercise the aeroplanes so as to keep them ready for war.

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AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operations Desert Shield and by Lon Nordeen, Jim Laurier
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