USMC Harrier Operations: "Facilites" and "Forward Sites" - ED Forums
 


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Old 12-07-2017, 01:30 PM   #1
Andrei Dragovic
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Default USMC Harrier Operations: "Facilites" and "Forward Sites"

So I was digging around my old sim stuff and came across my copy of the manual for Microprose Harrier Jump Jet - 200+ gleaming pages of Harrier goodness. It has some nice sections on Harrier history, training and tactics. I found an interesting extract on USMC Harrier operations:

"The USMC uses three different types of bases, the largest of which is either an aircraft carrier or an airfield with full facilities. Next is what is known as a "facility": an airstrip 600-800ft long and closer to the battlefront from where AV-8Bs can make short take-offs and landings. The facility has rudimentary provision for maintenance, basic navigational aids, fuel and ordinance. It is the equivalent to the RAF's forward operating base which is known as a flying site. Closest to the battlefront is the forward site where the AV-8Bs operate off rough ground, a stripe of road or a 72ft x 72ft aluminium metal pad. An AV-8B flies fully armed and fuelled from a facility to the forward site where it waits on the ground in a "cab rank" arrangement until called in to attack by a forward air controller." [my emphasis]


Sounds a tad war gamey (in the First Gulf War VMA-311's, -331's & 542's AV-8Bs operated exclusively from Al-Jubayl Air Base in Saudi Arabia) but it would be cool in DCS to do CAS missions where you had to use both a "facility" and a "forward site" in one mission.
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:21 PM   #2
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They did operate from a forward location at Tanajib: https://youtu.be/h1cx4ZdyGyA?t=6m11s
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:35 PM   #3
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Good to know. Thanks.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:18 PM   #4
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Harriers flying from the boat during OIF also made use of Ahmad al-Jaber, the cratered Al/An Numaniyah airfield, and a section of highway south of Baghdad as FARPs for both fuel and ordnance. Numaniyah ("Three Rivers") was used more than 200 times.

In current operations, those locations are called "main air bases," "air facilities," "air sites," and "air points" (which can be FARPs or lager points), each providing different parking, refueling, and rearming capabilities.
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuiGon View Post
They did operate from a forward location at Tanajib: https://youtu.be/h1cx4ZdyGyA?t=6m11s
I was there, and can confirm this, being a member of MWSS-271
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