Tag Archives: 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


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.

Reaper drone and Apache helicopter involved in the Camp Bastion battle that wiped out the U.S. Marine Corps Harrier force in Afghanistan

Further details of the attack on Camp Bastion in Afghanistan by a squad of 15 Taliban fighters on Friday Sept. 14, that took out several US Marine Corp Harriers with the loss of two Marines including the Harrier squadron commander have begun to emerge.

The British tabloid newspaper “The Sun” has run an article in which the battle against the insurgence is described in a little more detail.

Although highly embellished, the article was linked to from the RAF Facebook account, meaning that some of the points described must be fairly accurate. It would appear, once the scale of the attack became apparent, a British Reaper (Predator B) drone was diverted from its normal operations to provide over-watch of the battle whilst members of the RAF regiment, whom provide airfield protection, joined the U.S. Marines in repelling the Taliban attackers some 12 minutes after the attack began.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

The RAF soldiers used the main runway (although this might be just the ramp the Harriers were parked on) to advance towards the fight using their Jackel Armoured fighting vehicles, whilst at the same time the US Marines out flanked the Taliban to stop their escape and pinned them to one part of the huge sprawling complex.

Whilst this was taking place the British scrambled an Apache helicopter to provide air support, which indeed engaged several of the attackers, killing them.

During the fight it’s thought that the British Airmen used some 10,000 rounds.

CNN has an excellent video that describes the attack along with actual footage taken after the attack and shows smoke rising into the air.

Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com

Camouflage color schemes: how many Marines can you count in this photo?

Camouflage color schemes are not only important for fighter planes’ survival in combat.

The following image, released by the U.S. Marine Corps shows Marines with Scout Sniper Platoon as they mingle with members of Special Shooting Team at the Hijudai Maneuver Area, Oita, Japan on Aug. 21.

The team were taking part to Exercise Forest Light 12-01, a series of bilateral training exercises with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force,  practicing stealth and proper shooting techniques.

The effectiveness of camouflage was already proved by the Israeli Defense Forces with a stunning image of the guerrilla warfare specialists from the elite Egoz reconnaissance unit blended with the landscape of northern Israel.

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps