Tuesday, May 17, 2011

AV-8B Harrier II

Chief Aviation Boatswains Mate Louis K. Peterson gives the launch signal to an AV-8B II Harrier assigned to the “Black Knights” of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 264 (HMM-264) from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7). HMM-264 is part of the Aviation Combat Element (ACE) for the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Special Operations Capable (SOC) embarked aboard USS Iwo Jima. The AV-8B II is a second generation, vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) light-attack jet aircraft utilized by the Marine Corps. The primary mission of the Harrier is to provide responsive close air support for ground forces. Iwo Jima is home ported in Norfolk, Va., and is on deployment supporting missions under Operation Enduring Freedom. (Photo: U.S. Navy/Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class R. J. Stratchko)

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