The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is the largest marine force in the world, and it makes no bones about it.
Last week, MCAS Miramar Marine Base in San Diego, California, was the scene of an air festival in which the USMC put on a spectacular air assault demonstration using several types of aircraft: F/A-18C/D Hornet and F-35B Lightning II fighter jets, a KC-130J Super Hercules tanker aircraft, MV-22 Osprey converter planes, AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, CH-53E Super Stallion heavy transport helicopters and UH-1Y Venom medium transport helicopters. All this seasoned with explosions and low-altitude flights: a spectacle worthy of a movie.
A few days ago, Elwyn R published this video of that formidable demonstration:
Spencerhughes2255 has published a somewhat longer video about this Marine demonstration:
You can see below some photos of this exhibition that have been published by the USMC on the DVIDS multimedia portal of the United States Armed Forces.
A Bell UH-1Y Venom transport helicopter from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing during the display. The helicopter was armed with a Hydra 70 rocket launcher positioned next to its starboard sliding door. On the left we see the nose of a Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter.
A CH-53E Super Stallion heavy helicopter of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing transporting an Oskosh JLTV tactical vehicle with its slings.
Two two-seat Marine F/A-18D that participated in this demonstration. The first aircraft belongs to VMFAT-101, a fighter and attack training squadron, based at MCAS Miramar. The fighter on the right does not identify its unit. It has a characteristic scheme of aggressor units, with a large red star in the drift.
A KC-130J Super Hercules tanker aircraft from Marine Air Refueling Squadron 352 (VMGR-352), based at MCAS Miramar, also participated in the demonstration. This aircraft can be used for both in-flight refueling and transport roles.
A spectacular photo of the air assault demonstration taken from a UH-1Y Venom. We see two AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, three MV-22 Osprey converter planes and a CH-53E Super Stallion heavy helicopter.
A gunner aboard a UH-1Y Venom leaning on his M-134 Minigun rotary machine gun, on a flight over MCAS Miramar. Next to the helicopter door we see the launcher for seven Hydra 70 rockets.
A 1st Marine Division Ultralight Tactical Vehicle (ULTV) descending the ramp of a KC-130J Super Hercules tanker from VMGR-352 during the demonstration. The 1st Marine Division received its new ULTVs this year, whose purpose is to improve the mobility of air assault units using CH-53E helicopters and MV-22 converter planes.
An MV-22 Osprey converter plane and a CH-53E Super Stallion heavy helicopter approaching their landing zone during the demonstration. The CH-53E, already very old, are giving way to a new, more modern variant of this model, the CH-53K King Stallion, of which the Marines have contracted 227 units.
Riflemen of the 1st Marine Division during the air assault display. The Marine we see in the foreground carries a 5.56 mm caliber M-27 assault rifle, based on the German Heckler & Koch HK-416 rifle. The Marines are replacing their M-249 SAW light machine guns with this type of rifle, a decision that has generated much debate, replacing tactical doctrine based on suppressive fire with more precise fire.
An AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter and a UH-1Y Venom transport helicopter during the air assault demonstration. The USMC has shown great confidence in these Bell helicopters, heirs of the AH-1 Cobra and UH-1 Huey used during the Vietnam War.
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