As the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter project continues to lag down the road of extravagant spending, the U.S. Marine Corps has decided to reach back for technology from the early 80’s to get the job done against ISIS.
Marine Corps AV-8B Harriers flew on Thursday from aboard the USS Boxer in the Persian Gulf to provide what Vice Adm. Kevin Donegan, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, called simultaneous strikes with combat planes flying off the USS Harry S. Truman in the Mediterranean. The Truman aircraft carrier strike group had been flying combat missions over Iraq and Syria from the Gulf, prior to moving into the Mediterranean about two weeks ago.
The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) AV-8B Harrier is known for its quick maneuverability in and out of strikes as it provides close support to combat Marines. The project that eventually led to the AV-8B’s creation started in the early 1970s and was complete in 1981.
This is not the first time that the U.S. military has had to reach back in its inventory to get the job done.
In April of this year, the B-52 bomber made its first combat deployment to the Mideast since the 1991 Gulf War.