Although it suffered the worst hit to enemy fire since WWII, enduring not only the loss of eight AV-8B+ Harrier jets in the Taliban attack on Camp Bastion’s airfiled, Marine Attack Squadron 211 remains fully operational and continues to fly in Helmand province, to provide support to ground troops in Southwest Afghanistan area of operation.
The insurgent attack that cost the life of the squadron’s commanding officer, Lt. Col. Christopher Raible, and wiped out the majority of the American jump jets operating “in theater”, has not prevented the U.S. Marine Corps unit to fly the daily close air support missions for the infantry battalions or the patrol owerwatch sorties, aimed to spot typical ambush positions.
In fact, on Sept. 26, the squadron received six new airframes, both in the VMA-211 “Avengers” and in the VMA-231 “Ace of Spades” markings, to continue the deployment.
One of the aircraft is painted in memory of Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible and Sgt. Bradley W. Atwell, who were killed during an attack on Camp Bastion Sept. 14, 2012.
Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps
- Marine Attack Squadron loses eight Harrier jets in worst U.S. air loss in one day since the Vietnam War (theaviationist.com)
- Commanding Officer of the Harrier squadron decimated at Camp Bastion among the Marines killed in the Taliban attack (theaviationist.com)
- Photo: This is what remains of a U.S. Marine Corps Harrier jet after the Taliban attack on Camp Bastion (theaviationist.com)
- Camp Bastion attack could be U.S. Marine Corps Harrier fleet’s ground zero (theaviationist.com)
- Reaper drone and Apache helicopter involved in the Camp Bastion battle that wiped out the U.S. Marine Corps Harrier force in Afghanistan (theaviationist.com)