Stunning photos of U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornets launching night air strikes on ISIS

A U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force—Crisis Response—Central Command, launches for a strike mission in Southwest Asia, June 10, 2015. Pilots of VMFA-232 support Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve with a combination of surveillance flights and kinetic strike missions, enabling Iraqi Security Forces in their fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Leah Agler)

Some cool shots of U.S. Marine Corps Hornets launching for a mission in support of Operation Inherent Resolve missions.

Taken on Jun. 10, the following photographs show U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force—Crisis Response—Central Command, preparing and launching for a strike mission against Islamic State targets.

Deployed from their homebase at MCAS Miramar, VMFA-232 fly the “Legacy” Hornets in a combination of surveillance flights and kinetic strike missions in support of Iraqi Security Forces in their fight against ISIS.

Noteworthy, the Marines F-18s appear to have been removed of their IFR (In-Flight Refueling) probe cover. In the past, other U.S. warplanes, including the U.S. Navy F-14s involved in Desert Storm, conducted combat operations without the probe hatch in order to prevent it to get jammed with the basket used by some aerial refuelers (like the U.S. Air Force KC-135s) or because it blocked during AAR (Air-to-Air Refueling) ops as a consequence of low temperatures at night.

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps

 

About David Cenciotti 4419 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.

7 Comments

  1. Sometimes I think Marines should obtain more economically sustainable and light-multirole aeroplanes over jets that cost a kidney per hour to operate. It makes sense even for rapid reaction CAS mission as modern multirole light jets and trainers are capable of supersonic speeds. Leave the “air superiority” portion to the Air Force, but than again these guys have too big of an ego and pride.

  2. Those boys are doing a cracking job, oil is now down to $50 a barrel. Not sure if that is protecting sovereign territories or corporate interests but damn those flames look good in the night!

  3. Excuse me, are they going to fly from the US to Iraq and back?

  4. jae.34 Pride has nothing to do with it, it’s simply a matter of trust. We trust our own to protect us with close air support, something we have had problems with getting from the Air Force throughout history.
    Red
    Semper Fi

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