Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Marine Attack Squadron loses eight Harrier jets
The Aviationist ^ | 9/16/2012 | David Cenciotti

Posted on 09/17/2012 9:40:42 AM PDT by Daus

Marine Attack Squadron loses eight Harrier jets in worst U.S. air loss in one day since the Vietnam War

On Friday Sept. 14, at around 10.15 p.m. local time, a force of Taliban gunmen attacked Camp Bastion, in Helmand Province, the main strategic base in southwestern Afghanistan.

About 15 insurgents (19 according to some reports), wearing U.S. Army uniforms, organized into three teams, breached the perimeter fence and launched an assault on the airfield, that includes the U.S. Camp Leatherneck and the UK’s Camp Bastion, where British royal Prince Harry, an AH-64 Apache pilot (initially believed to be the main target of the attack) is stationed.

The attackers fired machine guns, rocket propelled grenades and possibly mortars against aircraft parked next to the airport’s runway. Two U.S. Marines were killed in the subsequent fighting whereas eight of 10 AV-8B+ Harrier jets of the Yuma-based Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 211 were destroyed (6) or heavily damaged (2): the worst U.S. air loss in one day since the Vietnam War.

The VMA-211 “Avengers” is part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing headquartered in San Diego at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. It deployed to Afghanistan in April and relocated from Kandahar Airfield to Camp Bastion on Jul. 1.

According to Wikipedia, the VMA-211 last suffered this level of losses on Dec. 8, 1941.

Considered that the U.S. Marine Corps are believed to be equipped with slightly more than 120 AV-8B+, the attack on Camp Bastion has wiped out 1/15th of the entire U.S. Jump Jet fleet and a large slice of the Yuma-based squadron. A serious problem for the USMC, that was compelled to buy second hand RAF Harrier GR9s to keep the AV-8B+ in service beyond 2030, when it will be replaced by the F-35B.

Furthermore, the VMA-211 was the only Marine Harrier unit in Afghanistan: until the destroyed airframes will be replaced (most probably, by another Squadron), the coalition ground forces can’t count on the CAS (Close Air Support) provided by the Harrier.

Tom Meyer has contributed to this post.

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; US: Arizona; US: California
KEYWORDS: aerospace; afghanistan; av8b; campbastion; gwot; harrier; helmandprovince; marineaviation; navair; rpg; taliban; vma211
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-59 next last
An very under-reported part of this weeks attacks on US installations.
1 posted on 09/17/2012 9:40:45 AM PDT by Daus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Daus

Nuking is looking like more of an option every day...: )


2 posted on 09/17/2012 9:44:55 AM PDT by jsanders2001
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daus

of course it is under-reported...

Just like the Egan-Jones Credit Downgrade, the Initial Joblass Claims report, the Horrible Manufacturing Index Report, the QE3 Banks bailout, etc, it’s all news that might make OBAMA LOOK BAD, so it must be ignored....

Just look at what is happening with the Middle East Video story...


3 posted on 09/17/2012 9:45:07 AM PDT by tcrlaf (Election 2012: THE RAPTURE OF THE DEMOCRATS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daus

Were those British or US Harriers???


4 posted on 09/17/2012 9:47:58 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daus

Two Yuma based Marines were killed in the attack also. Our community is feeling the impact of the loss. Yuma loves it’s Marines.


5 posted on 09/17/2012 9:48:33 AM PDT by pfflier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Uncle Chip

All USMC Harriers.


6 posted on 09/17/2012 9:50:18 AM PDT by pfflier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: pfflier

And what happened to the attackers?


7 posted on 09/17/2012 9:52:48 AM PDT by nikos1121
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Daus

Assuming this base only had one fence surrounding it, You got to ask yourself why do we only have one fence surrounding our military installations, you would think they would have at least two fences minimum with motion detectors in between them.


8 posted on 09/17/2012 9:54:50 AM PDT by ReformedBeckite (1 of 3 I'm only allowing my self each day)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tcrlaf

I hate hate hate — really hate -— the mainstream media.


9 posted on 09/17/2012 9:55:19 AM PDT by Yaelle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ReformedBeckite
You got to ask yourself why do we only have one fence surrounding our military installations

How much fencing is required to put the base out of mortar range?

10 posted on 09/17/2012 10:06:36 AM PDT by Yo-Yo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Daus

Why is this being called an “air loss”? That connotes a plane being shot down, which most certainly was not the case here. Words mean things...


11 posted on 09/17/2012 10:08:41 AM PDT by jagusafr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daus

Harrier Boom! music video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjJFnhfpW34


12 posted on 09/17/2012 10:08:46 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ReformedBeckite
See This Link for how the base is protected.
13 posted on 09/17/2012 10:15:15 AM PDT by Daus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: nikos1121
And what happened to the attackers?

18 killed. 1 captured.
14 posted on 09/17/2012 10:17:07 AM PDT by Daus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Daus

“Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That’s critical,” Biden said. “There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy, because it threatens U.S. interests.

http://nation.foxnews.com/joe-biden/2011/12/20/biden-does-it-again-taliban-not-our-enemy


15 posted on 09/17/2012 10:23:20 AM PDT by lowbridge (Joe Biden: "Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ReformedBeckite

Granted that this is not my area of expertise, but it seems to me that something is seriously wrong, when, in this day and age, we can’t protect our planes from a small (15 or 19 attackers) lightly armed ground force.

From our enemies’ standpoint, this was a very successful attack. And if the attackers all died, so much the better: They are heroic martyrs.

As for this not being in the news, maybe we should be deluging those media outlets and commentators that might push this story, with e-mails asking for coverage... Eventually, perhaps it might get traction with, oh, say, Fox, and then the others might be under more pressure to report on it too.


16 posted on 09/17/2012 10:24:12 AM PDT by Paul R. (We are in a break in an Ice Age. A brief break at that...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Paul R.

Correction - I just saw the post: 18 killed, 1 captured.


17 posted on 09/17/2012 10:26:20 AM PDT by Paul R. (We are in a break in an Ice Age. A brief break at that...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Daus

Holy CRAP! This is unreal. And you’re right- I missed this story completely.


18 posted on 09/17/2012 10:27:44 AM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nikos1121

12 or so dead, 1 captured and “being taken care of.”


19 posted on 09/17/2012 10:28:30 AM PDT by huldah1776
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Daus

We didn’t lose them. They were destroyed.


20 posted on 09/17/2012 10:28:37 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you really want to annoy someone, point out something obvious that they are trying hard to ignore)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nikos1121
And what happened to the attackers?

They received a general but very prompt apology from the White House.

21 posted on 09/17/2012 10:41:31 AM PDT by tbpiper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Paul R.

Title of coverage? Maybe:

Worst one day planes loss since Vietnam.


22 posted on 09/17/2012 10:43:39 AM PDT by Paul R. (We are in a break in an Ice Age. A brief break at that...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Daus

I’m a little surprised those Harriers weren’t parked in hardened aircraft shelters for overhead protection (mortors) although useless from an RPG at the doorway.


23 posted on 09/17/2012 10:48:41 AM PDT by BerryDingle (I know how to deal with communists, I still wear their scars on my back from Hollywood-Ronald Reagan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Paul R.

In a combat zone why weren’t these planes protected by revetments? You can’t tell from the pictures, but it appears that the temporary hangars shown are not concrete.

I seem to recall that lining up planes without protection was a problem at Pear Harbor, over 50 years ago.

Never underestimate your enemy’s capacity to achieve tactical successes.


24 posted on 09/17/2012 10:51:54 AM PDT by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk oMnly to me.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Daus

Ahem. VMA-211 is properly named the “Wake Island Avengers”


25 posted on 09/17/2012 11:08:06 AM PDT by tanknetter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daus

Well, might as well roto-rooter more of the problem....Panetta needs to be dismissed.


26 posted on 09/17/2012 11:15:49 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daus

Oh, and regarding 1/15th of the USMC Harrier force being wiped out, the Marines just bought the ENTIRE RAF Harrier GR.9 fleet (except for two that went to museums). That’s 70+ aircraft, engines and spares, for less than $200 million total. While most are destined for storage and parts reclaimation, the Marines do plan to put some back into service as attrition replacements. So they’ll now need to pull another 6-8 from Davis Monthan.


27 posted on 09/17/2012 11:16:31 AM PDT by tanknetter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daus

wonder how such valuable US assets were so carelessly stored?
Who approved that? Some lisping generallette?


28 posted on 09/17/2012 11:20:26 AM PDT by mo (If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daus

So, at US$24–30 million apiece that’s 192-240 million somebody owes us. Who should we send the bill to?

(And by bill I mean ass-kicking.)


29 posted on 09/17/2012 11:24:04 AM PDT by servo1969
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Uncle Chip

Posting without reading.


30 posted on 09/17/2012 11:25:31 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Yaelle
the mainstream media.(sic)

The DLEMM - Dominant Liberal Establishment Mass Media - is not mainstream. Referring to the DLEMM as mainstream means you're willingly drinking their kool-aid

31 posted on 09/17/2012 11:28:14 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: tanknetter


32 posted on 09/17/2012 11:42:08 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Daus

Were the guards allowed to have ammunition at this base? I hope the base commander is relieved of duty.


33 posted on 09/17/2012 11:45:20 AM PDT by Brooklyn Attitude (The left wants to discredit capitalism so that people will accept marxism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pfflier

I heard about the loss of “two [more] Marines,” but had not heard this was within the Harrier community. OMG, will be saying more prayers with extra heart. Damn it. Were the two Marines pilots or Marines assigned to 211, or assigned elsewhere?

SsOBs. Damn it.

Can’t believe those old a/c are still flying. I swear, Marines could teach MacGyver a thing or two.


34 posted on 09/17/2012 11:55:07 AM PDT by getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL (What if you woke up today having only those things for which you thanked God last night?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: nikos1121

There were reported to be 12 or 18 in US Army uniforms. All but one were whacked. The one survivor is in captivity.


35 posted on 09/17/2012 11:55:07 AM PDT by pfflier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Daus
I was a Marine jet engine mechanic on the F/A-18's. I worked side-by-side with Harrier mechs while stationed in both Japan and in California.

This calls for nukes. If you don't make them fear you, they will continue to do sh*t like this.

36 posted on 09/17/2012 11:55:53 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ReformedBeckite

Nope. 30’ outer fence with triple concertina wire. Center section with 6’ tall bails of more concertina wire Inner “blast wall” that stretches around all 26 miles of perimeter apparently. Motion sensors and cameras too apparently.


37 posted on 09/17/2012 12:00:38 PM PDT by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: tanknetter

We were passed today on the interstate by a truck carrying something from D-M. It was not a Harrier. Hubby did a triple-take but did not comment. I immediately thought of these destroyed Harriers. :(


38 posted on 09/17/2012 12:10:20 PM PDT by petitfour
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Yo-Yo
How much fencing is required to put the base out of mortar range?

I didn't think about that, but it appears from a link on this posting that they blasted through the fence before they started shooting their mortars

39 posted on 09/17/2012 12:11:11 PM PDT by ReformedBeckite (1 of 3 I'm only allowing my self each day)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL
Six VMA211 Harriers were completely destroyed, two seriously damaged, all on the ground and probably in their soft shelters. That virtually wiped out the flying assets of the squadron.

Don't know the duties of the two KIAs yet. I'm assuming they were maintenance/ground crew in the proximity of the destroyed planes.

Later this year, Yuma will get the first F-35Bs. These are long overdue replacements for the tired Harriers.

40 posted on 09/17/2012 12:20:40 PM PDT by pfflier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: pfflier

Harriers made too many widows of friends of ours. Dh would still give a toe to take one for one more spin, though. I’d much rather we retire them then have them go out by enemy hands. I’m so pi#$ed hearing about this.


41 posted on 09/17/2012 12:35:58 PM PDT by getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL (What if you woke up today having only those things for which you thanked God last night?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Daus

This attack sounds a lot like the commando raid on the Pak Navy base that took out Pak P3 Orions.

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2011/05/pakistani_navy_base.php#ixzz1N8gwxXaZ

By Bill Roggio - The Long War Journal - May 22, 2011

Terrorists attacked a Pakistani naval airbase in the city of Karachi today, sparking an hours-long battle in which several people have been killed and at least two naval aircraft were destroyed. Fighting is still ongoing and hostages have been taken, according to reports.

A large terrorist assault team, thought to be between 15 to 20 men strong, stormed Pakistani Naval Station Mehran Sunday night in a coordinated, complex attack.

The heavily armed gunmen penetrated security at the base from three gates and fanned out, attacking aircraft hangars and military personnel. Two Pakistani naval aircraft are reported to have been destroyed. The military confirmed that one P-3 Orion maritime surveillance plane was destroyed. At least three other aircraft are said to have been damaged in the attack.


42 posted on 09/17/2012 12:36:21 PM PDT by Seizethecarp
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pfflier

Michael Yon reported that this event has seriously hampered the local air activity. Probably the Taliban’s most successful raid in 10 years.

Effectively, they:

1. Put on US uniforms.
2. Drove past outer security on a “moonless night.”
3. Picked up pre-hidden weapons right outside the maximum security fence.
4. Dug under the wire.
5. Went to town.

What a mess. Obama’s leadership is amazing.


43 posted on 09/17/2012 12:40:47 PM PDT by Noamie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: wildbill
I seem to recall that lining up planes without protection was a problem at Pear Harbor, over 50 years ago.

My thought exactly. Especially since I was watching a documentary on Pearl Harbor, yesterday. :-(

Plus, you'd think all 19(?) attackers should have been dead 60 seconds after they cut that fence. It's not like we don't have the means. The Israeli commenter after the orig. article is spot on, IMO. "Never underestimate..." is a good way to put it.

I've e-mailed Rush, Hannity, Beck, Levin, and Malkin, during (my) lunch. Gotta get back to real work.

44 posted on 09/17/2012 12:44:49 PM PDT by Paul R. (We are in a break in an Ice Age. A brief break at that...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: A.A. Cunningham
Posting without reading.

No -- that would be you:

Considered that the U.S. Marine Corps are believed to be equipped with slightly more than 120 AV-8B+, the attack on Camp Bastion has wiped out 1/15th of the entire U.S. Jump Jet fleet and a large slice of the Yuma-based squadron. A serious problem for the USMC, that was compelled to buy second hand RAF Harrier GR9s to keep the AV-8B+ in service beyond 2030, when it will be replaced by the F-35B.

45 posted on 09/17/2012 12:53:30 PM PDT by Uncle Chip
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: pfflier
Don't know the duties of the two KIAs yet

If the comments on the source URL are to be believed, the Commanding Officer of the squadron was one of the KIAs.
46 posted on 09/17/2012 12:55:16 PM PDT by Daus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Paul R.

A friend sent me this - HAD to come back and post it...

(Details on Camp Bastion raid)

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/killing-prince-harry-could-the-taliban-do-it.htm


47 posted on 09/17/2012 1:02:54 PM PDT by Paul R. (We are in a break in an Ice Age. A brief break at that...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL
The Yuma Daily Sun just released the names of the Marines killed:

Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible C/O of VMA-211 and

Sgt. Bradley W. Atwell. He was assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 13.

Read more: http://www.yumasun.com/articles/marine-81810-aircraft-yuma.html#ixzz26lHdrOyt

48 posted on 09/17/2012 1:43:38 PM PDT by pfflier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: pfflier
Sadly confirmed.

Commanding Officer of the Harrier squadron decimated at Camp Bastion among the Marines killed in the Taliban attack
49 posted on 09/17/2012 2:01:37 PM PDT by Daus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: pfflier

I am heartsick. Their CO. I had a bad feeling it was one of the pilots.

We need a new CiC so Marines can blow up the Al Q’s freaking sandbox and be the pointy edge that they are trained to be. Instead, B. Hussein O. has them using a broom and pan to sweep up after the fact. This is BS and a crime.


50 posted on 09/17/2012 5:11:43 PM PDT by getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL (What if you woke up today having only those things for which you thanked God last night?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-59 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson