Marine Harriers to replace Hornet jets in Afghanistan

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AV-8B Harriers with Marine Attack Squadron 513, of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., rest at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, following their May 20 arrival. (Photo by Pfc. Shaun Dennison)

The Marine Corps released an interesting update this morning: An AV-8B Harrier squadron out of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., will soon replace a Hornet squadron out of MCAS Beaufort, S.C. in Afghanistan.

Yuma’s Marine Attack Squadron 513 has arrived at Kandahar Airfield, and will replace Beaufort’s Fighter Attack Squadron 122 beginning today, according to this news release.

Like the Hornet squadron, VMA-513 will operation from KAF to provide close air support to Marine and Afghan forces in southwestern Afghanistan. They’re scrambled in for help when there are “troops in contact” with the enemy on the ground, typically known as a TIC.

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I’m a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.

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