Skip to comments.Marine Attack Squadron loses eight Harrier jets
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
Nuking is looking like more of an option every day...: )
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...
Were those British or US Harriers???
Two Yuma based Marines were killed in the attack also. Our community is feeling the impact of the loss. Yuma loves it’s Marines.
All USMC Harriers.
And what happened to the attackers?
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.
I hate hate hate — really hate -— the mainstream media.
How much fencing is required to put the base out of mortar range?
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...
Harrier Boom! music video.
Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. Thats 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.
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.
Correction - I just saw the post: 18 killed, 1 captured.
Holy CRAP! This is unreal. And you’re right- I missed this story completely.
12 or so dead, 1 captured and “being taken care of.”
We didn’t lose them. They were destroyed.
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