"The last time VMA-211 was combat ineffective was in December 1941, when the squadron was wiped out during the 13-day defense of Wake Island against the Japanese."That squadron commander was Lieutenant Colonel Otis Raible, reportedly a hell of a Marine. I've heard a lot of good things about him in backchannels since the attack.
He spells out some more of the details of the attack:
Eight irreplaceable aircraft (the AV-8B has been out of production since 1999) have been destroyed or put out of action – approximately 7 percent of the total flying USMC Harrier fleet. Worse yet, the aircraft involved were the AV-B+ variant equipped with the APG-65 radar and AAQ-28 Litening II targeting pods – the most capable in the force. Given the current funding situation, it’s likely that the two damaged AV-8Bs will become spare parts “hangar queens” and never fly again. A Harrier squadron commander is dead, along with another Marine. Another nine personnel have been wounded, and the nearby Marines at Camp Freedom are now without effective fixed-wing air support. The USMC’s response to this disaster will be a telling report card on its leadership and organizational agility.
The recent attack on Bastion in Afghanistan has delivered the United States its worst airpower defeat since, depending on how you count, either Vietnam or WWII.
By Grim on Saturday, September 22, 2012