Photo Information

An AV-8B Harrier with Marine Attack Squadron 513 Detachment A, currently attached to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 166 (Rein), approaches the flight deck of USS Cleveland during deck landing qualifications July 26. Six Harrier pilots with HMM-166, the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s aviation combat element, qualified in landing on the small amphibious ship so they can execute planned and emergency operations if needed.

Photo by Cpl. Shawn M. Spitler

'Flying Nightmares' increase readiness at sea

26 Jul 2009 | Sgt. Scott M. Biscuiti 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Six AV-8B Harrier pilots with Marine Attack Squadron 513 Detachment A, part of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s aviation combat element, conducted deck landing qualifications on the flight deck of USS Cleveland July 26 in preparation for their deployment later this year.

The Marines of the “Flying Nightmares” flew sorties from USS Bonhomme Richard to USS Cleveland, qualifying the pilots in small amphibious ship operations and completing required training to certify the Cleveland’s air department in AV-8B shipboard operations, according to Maj. Bret Ritterby, the detachments officer-in-charge.

“This training is vital to the pre-deployment training of both the AV-8B detachment and the USS Cleveland as the LPD represents the only blue water divert option for AV-8’s during deployment,” Ritterby said. “Conducting this training ensures the readiness of both aircrews and ship’s companies to execute planned and emergency operations if the need arises.”

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