Video and photos released Monday by 1st Marine Aircraft Wing show U.S. Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115 and Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 participated in the Harpoon training exercise aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni.
According to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, during the exercise, Marine Aircraft Group 12 squadrons focused on naval missions and simulated anti-ship long range fires in order to enhance the Marine Corps’ ability to effect sea control and denial in the Indo-Pacific, in-line with Force Design 2030.
Also noted that U.S. Marines loaded AGM-84D Harpoon missiles onto an F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets aboard Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS).
The Harpoon missile is the world’s most successful anti-ship missile and is in service with the armed forces of more than 30 countries.
The Harpoon is capable of executing both land-strike and anti-ship missions. To strike targets on land and ships in port, the missile uses GPS-aided inertial navigation to hit a designated target aimpoint. The 500-pound blast warhead delivers lethal firepower against a wide variety of land-based targets, including coastal defense sites, surface-to-air missile sites, exposed aircraft, port/industrial facilities and ships in port. For conventional anti-ship missions, such as open ocean or near-land, the GPS/INS improves midcourse guidance to the target area. The accurate navigation solution allows users to discriminate target ships from islands or other nearby land masses or ships.
According to The Drive, the F/A-18C/Ds that participated in the exercise, which took place on Apr. 28 at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni, came from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115 (VMFA-115) and Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 (VMFA[AW]-242), also known as the “Silver Eagles” and “Bats,” respectively. VMFA(AW)-242 is forward-deployed to Iwakuni, while VMFA-115 is presently on a rotational deployment there. Both are assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 12 (MAG-12), which is part of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.