AV-8B Harriers assigned to the “Greyhawks” of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 161 (Reinforced) began flying sorties from the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) Aug. 16 in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR).
The Harriers were prepared to execute strike missions in Iraq to dismantle and ultimately defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as part of the multinational coalition participating in OIR in the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility
VMM-161(Rein.) is the aviation combat element of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), which is currently embarked with the Essex Amphibious Ready Group and deployed to maintain regional security in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
In addition to supporting sorties in support of OIR, the MEU’s Marines and Sailors are deployed to several other locations throughout the 5th Fleet AOR executing sustainment training and engaging regional partners.
Image: US Navy