The US Marine Corps were looking for a way of supporting their infantry soldiers during the 1960s, and they examined an aircraft that the United Kingdom had put into service, the Harrier Aviation Jet. It was an aircraft created by the British, and it could land and take off vertically. After a lot of testing, the US Marine Corps arranged to license a version of the aircraft, and it was put into service by General Dynamics. The Harrier has a proud 30-year tradition serving in the Marine Expeditionary Forces; the US Marine Corps is the only force in the Armed Services that fly the Harrier.
The Marine Corps Found that the Harrier was ideal as a vertical take off and landing aircraft that would give close order support and air cover for members in the US Marine Corps. A Lieutenant General in the Marines traveled to the United Kingdom, and test flew the UK Harrier and was convinced of its ability, and the American Marine Corps Harrier Jump jet was born. The aircraft is a good production aviation platform, but it is very labor intensive. It is the most labor intensive Aviation aircraft in the US Arsenal. The US Marines Corps are currently using Harrier AV-8B jets in both Afghanistan and in Iraq successfully.
Life After Basic Training
After Basic Training you will advance to a technical school where you will spend approximately 17 weeks learning how to maintain, inspect, and perform both routine maintenance and in depth repair on all the different AV-8B mechanical and flight systems. A mechanic for a Harrier is on call 24 hours a day seven days a week, especially when their unit is deployed to a forward battle area. For every four hours of flight time, an average of 100 hours of Maintenance is needed to keep each Marine Corps Harrier in the Air. The Mechanic for a Harrier Jump jet has to first attend Marine Corps Basic combat training, where they learn the basics of military form and how to be a Marine Corps Rifleman.
A mechanic who works on the Harrier provides technical support and repair for any of the issues involved to help keep the Harrier in the Air. You will work to learn engine and avionics repair, as well as training on the different weapons and flight fuselage systems that make the Harrier the most unique aircraft currently flying for the United States.