11/18//2013: In our discussion in the ready room of VMFAT501with Lt. Col. Steve Gillette and Major Michael Rountree, Major Rountree discussed how the Harrier has been used the flexibility which the jet brings to MAGTF operations.
SLD: The V of STOVL is really the important point.
The flexibility of the aircraft to operate with a short field take off and as necessary return with a vertical landing can make much better combat use of runways and landing zones. This is an important contributor by the Harrier, which is not widely realized outside USMC and UK.
Could you describe your experience with the jet from this point of view?
Major Rountree: You are right.
The plane needs to be supported so you could land it in the middle of an austere location, but you still need to support it.
The reality is that we have operated from relatively static facilities because of the need for support.
But the vertical liftoff capabilities mean that I can use much more of an airfield than a classic airplane.
In this video the Harrier is seen operating off of a LHD. An AV-8B Harrier assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 266 (Reinforced), 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) lands on the flight deck of the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) at sea, Sept. 24, 2013.
Credit:26th Marine Expeditionary Unit:9/24/13