Tag Archives: U.S. Marine Corps

U.S. Marine Corps Harrier flight ops aboard USS Bonhomme Richard. As seen through the Night Vision Goggles.

The following cool video shows AV-8B+ Harrier jump jets (as those destroyed in the Taliban attack on Camp Bastion’s airfield in Afghanistan) belonging to the Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 542, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducting carrier landing qualifications at night aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard at sea.

VMA 542 is the fixed wing asset of the 31st MEU, the only continuously forward deployed MEU and U.S. Marine Corps force in readiness in the Asia Pacific region. Its Harrier jets provide close air support capabilities as well as long range reconnaissance.

VMA-211 mourns its Commander as it pushes forward to complete deployment in Afghanistan

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.

Coalition Forces attend a memorial service in honor of Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible at Camp Bastion, Helmand province, Afghanistan Sept. 19, 2012. Raible, commanding officer of Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 211, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3D Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), was killed in action while repealing an enemy attack on Camp Bastion Sept. 14, 2012.

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.

A U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier sits on the flight line at Camp Bastion, Helmand province, Afghanistan Sept. 26, 2012. The Harrier was one of six relocated to Camp Bastion to increase the overall readiness level of Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 211 and 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.

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

U.S Marine Corps F/A-18A Hornet jets deploying to the Middle East

On Sept. 24, 12 U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18A Hornet jets arrived to Morón airbase, in Spain, coming from Lajes, Azores.

Belonging to the VMFA-314 Black Knights, from MCAS Miramar, California, the aircraft arrived in two waves as “Trend 61-66” and “Trend 71-76”.

Although someone speculated they were deploying to Afghanistan, where the U.S. has recently suffered a deadly attack at Camp Bastion’s airfield, where six Harriers were destroyed and two severely damaged, the VMFA-314 Hornets were enroute to an undisclosed location in the Middle East.

An exercise or a build-up in the Libya, Mali region?

Image credit: Antonio Muñiz Zaragüeta

Photo: This is what remains of a U.S. Marine Corps Harrier jet after the Taliban attack on Camp Bastion

The following picture, sent by a reader of the blog, shows what remains of one of the six Harrier jets in the aftermath of the Taliban attack on Camp Bastion on Sept. 14, 2012.

As a result of the attack, that cost the U.S. the worst air loss to enemy fire in one day since the Vietnam War, two Marines, including the Commanding Officer of Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 211, six AV-8B+ aircraft were destroyed and two more severly damaged (possibly beyond repair).

Whereas the two surviving planes were immediately flown back to the U.S., new airframes (in the unit markings of VMA-211) have arrived at Camp Bastion airfield to replace those destroyed in the Taliban attack.

Source: unknown

Salva

Seeing the target through a Scout Sniper’s observation telescope

The following image, taken on Sept. 15, shows a target as seen through a scout sniper observation telescope of a U.S. Marine with 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

The Marines were involved in high-angle marksmanship training as part of a three-week training package, focused on the application of infantry skills, in rugged mountain terrain, in Djibouti.

The magnification effect of the telescope is impressive and let you imagine what a very well hidden, camouflaged sniper could do from distance, to a target of opportunity, as a pilot flight-checking his gunship helicopter, or an armed guard on patrol.

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps

24th MEU is deployed with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261 operating on board the LHD-7 “Iwo Jima” a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship.

The Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group is a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the Navy’s 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

Since it is capable to perform NEOs (Noncombatant Evacuation Operations), it may be involved in the evacuation of the U.S. diplomatic missions in Sudan, Yemen, or Libya, should the need arise.

A MEU is made of 2,200 Marines and sailors deployed as a Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF) that includes a Marine infantry battalion equipped with tanks, amphibious assault vehicles, light artillery as well as Mv-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, AV-8B Harrier combat planes, UH-1N Huey and AH-1Y Cobra helicopters.