By Lon Nordeen, Jim Laurier
Within the Nineteen Seventies the USMC got the AV-8A Harrier from the united kingdom to check V/STOL suggestions for shut air help. A profitable investment conflict used to be thus fought within the Eighties to safe army, political and fiscal aid to extend this idea to increase and box the second one iteration AV-8B Harrier II from the overdue Eighties onward. The AV-8B was once, and nonetheless is, the single tactical airplane that may installation with Marine forces on amphibious attack ships and supply air hide and shut air help become independent from huge deck airplane companies. while Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, a coalition of countries introduced Operation wilderness defend which will protect Saudi Arabia. The Harrier II used to be one of the first tactical air resources to be deployed to the zone to help floor forces of their efforts to halt the development of Iraqi forces on the border with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. in the course of Operation barren region hurricane, the 5 devices flying the AV-8B in-theatre grew to become the various most sensible tactical squadrons of selection through air undertaking planners for allied battlefield guidance and shut air help. This was once because of the AV-8B's functions, proximity to the conflict area and the confirmed skills 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 delivered to existence by way of the writer via firsthand debts and interval images sourced from those who have been there, in addition to legitimate data. 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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Extra resources for AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm
Capt Scott Walsh found himself in the thick of the action on 24 February as Coalition forces penetrated the Kuwaiti border and drove north; ‘“Salt” (Maj Peters) and I were proceeding to grid reference B-10 on our second mission of the day when we heard FAC(A) “Combat 53” call a priority mission for any “Jump” (the AV-8B call-sign of the day) flight jets. The FAC(A) said he had an active artillery battery with people running around. Another “Jump” flight responded first, and we came in two minutes later and made three passes each, dropping a total of 12 Mk 20 CBUs and shooting more than 200 cannon rounds at the battery.
They also fired 14,826 rounds of 25 mm cannon ammunition. ‘As a result of our extensive defence suppression attacks at the start of the air war, it was rare that we heard SA-2 or SA-3 alerts on our electronic countermeasures systems during these late war missions’, Col Tomassetti recalled. ‘This was because it soon became apparent to Iraqi radar operators that when they turned on their tracking equipment we would destroy it with either a HARM anti-radar missile or some other weapon. After the first few days of the conflict the Iraqis chose not to turn on their radars much at all.
Southeastern Kuwait was our area of operations, approximately 35 x 70 miles in size. One could see the east coast from the western border. All of our targets were accessible within a ten-minute run – usually less – from the farthest border. We spoke of areas in nicknames, such as the “Army Barracks”, the “Golf Course” and the “Pentagon”, all of which were easily recognisable from the air. Within that small area there were more than 12 Iraqi divisions. ‘By transiting at high altitude – 20,000-30,000 ft, depending on the weather – and employing high dives, we negated most of the Iraqi AAA 53 CHAPTER THREE 54 and SAMs.