AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operation Iraqi Freedom I-VI

AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operation Iraqi Freedom I-VI

Combat Aircraft 99
  • Author: Lon Nordeen
  • Illustrator: Jim Laurier
  • Short code: COM 99
  • Publication Date: 20 Oct 2013
  • Number of Pages: 96
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9781780963105
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About this Product

The AV-8B Harrier was, and still is, the only tactical aircraft that can deploy with the US Marine Corps on amphibious assault ships and provide air cover and close air support separate from large deck aircraft carriers. Having seen action during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, the Harrier II returned to the theatre from March 2003 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In the initial conflict some 76 AV-8Bs were deployed, providing more than 40 per cent of the 3rd Marine Air Wing's fixed-wing offensive firepower. Around 60 of these aircraft were sea-based aboard four ‘Harrier Carriers', while a unit flew jets from Ahmed al Jaber, in Kuwait. Unlike in 1991, when Harrier IIs employed unguided weapons, 79 per cent of the ordnance dropped was precision-guided. This was primarily due to the AV-8B's upgrading to Night Attack or radar-equipped configuration, and the introduction of the Litening II targeting pod. Following the occupation of Iraq by Coalition troops, Harrier IIs remained in-theatre supporting anti-insurgent operations through to 2008 as part of OIF II-VI.

Biographical Note

Lon Nordeen has more than 35 years of aerospace industry and editorial experience. He has been employed on the staff of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, McDonnell-Douglas and Boeing, where he worked in the areas of market research, communications and field marketing. He is also the author of eight books (including COM 90 - AV-8B Units of Desert Storm) and more than 150 articles, and has been highlighted as a historian on multiple History Channel television programmes covering air warfare such as the Dogfight series. Jim Laurier is a native of New England, growing up in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. He has been drawing since he could hold a pencil and throughout his life he has worked in many mediums creating artwork on a variety of subjects. He has worked on the Osprey Aviation list since 2000, and in that time he has produced some of the finest artwork seen in these volumes. He has specialised in aircraft of the Vietnam War period.

Contents

Introduction
USMC and AV-8B Air Support
Operation Southernwatch
OIF-I - VMA-214
OIF I - VMA-311 and VMA-211
OIF I - VMA-542, VMA-233 and VMA-231
OIF II
III
OIF IV
OIF V
VI
Appendices

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