The U.S. Marine Corps has deployed AV/8B Harrier short takeoff, vertical landing strike aircraft, Airmen, and associated equipment to Kuwait, from the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma.
The Harrier, based on the British-designed Hawker-Siddley Kestrel, entered service in the Marine Corps in the 1980s. Its twin intake Rolls Royce engine produces more than 23,000 pounds of thrust, enough to rocket the sleek 24,000 pound aircraft into flight in less than 844 feet, the length of the Bonhomme Richard.
With a maximum speed of nearly 650 miles per hour and a range of 2,400 miles, the Harrier has extended the reach of the Marine Corps across entire regions and strategic sea-lanes during the last three decades.
The U.S. Central Command has released photos showed as U.S. Marine Corps Attack Squadron (VMA) 311 AV/8B Harrier flown by a Marine attached to Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command attaches its refueling system to a KC-130J Super Hercules during aerial refueling in Kuwait on August 10.
The SPMAGTF-CR-CC is designed to move with speed and precision to support operations throughout the Middle East.
It is a self-mobile, self-sustaining force of Marines and sailors, capable of responding to a range of crises. The unit is specifically trained to support U.S. and partner interests throughout the United States Central Command area of responsibility, to include embassy reinforcement, support to noncombatant evacuation operations, tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief. The unit also takes part in bilateral and multilateral training exercises with regional partners.