VMA-238, was established in 1942, while flying the Vought F4U corsair and participating in many of the large engagements in the pacific. The Squadron, was deactivated in 1946 and re-established in January, 1992. The pilots of VMA-238 were tasked with standing up a squadron around the AV-8B II N/A Harrier and rapidly prepare for combat deployment. These pilots flew with such deadly and fierce precision while leaving incredbile destruction, that the squadron was often described as “rabid dogs”. Upon, returning from a sortie in Iraq, their CO deemed them the “SeaDogs”. He shook each of the pilots hands and said something they’ll never forget; “may the world forever fear the bite from dogs like you”.
Today, VMA-238 is based out of MCAS Cherry Point, as a part of 5th MAW. The squadron has served with distinction over Iraq and Afghanistan and stands at the ready to face any foe at a moments notice.
As a part of VCW13, the Seadogs serve primarily in the BAI and CAS roles. Equipped with both the Angle Rates Bombing system and the LITENING targeting pod, the aircraft can employ both guided and unguided munitions during day or night operations. The squadron may operate from both the sea and the land in support of operations. Pilots, choosing to operate this aircraft should expect to find a plane that is both challenging and rewarding.
The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) AV-8B Harrier II is a single-engine ground-attack aircraft that constitutes the second generation of the Harrier Jump Jet family. Capable of vertical or short takeoff and landing(V/STOL), the aircraft was designed in the late 1970s as an Anglo-American development of the British Hawker Siddeley Harrier, the first operational V/STOL aircraft. The aircraft is primarily employed on light attack or multi-role missions, ranging from close air support of ground troops to armed reconnaissance. The AV-8B is used by the United States Marine Corps (USMC), the Spanish Navy, and the Italian Navy. A variant of the AV-8B, the British Aerospace Harrier II, was developed for the British military, while another, the TAV-8B, is a dedicated two-seat trainer.
The project that eventually led to the AV-8B’s creation started in the early 1970s as a cooperative effort between the United States and United Kingdom (UK), aimed at addressing the operational inadequacies of the first-generation Harrier. Early efforts centered on a larger, more powerful Pegasus engine to dramatically improve the capabilities of the Harrier. Due to budgetary constraints, the UK abandoned the project in 1975.
Following the withdrawal of the UK, McDonnell Douglas extensively redesigned the earlier AV-8A Harrier to create the AV-8B. While retaining the general layout of its predecessor, the aircraft incorporates a new wing, an elevated cockpit, a redesigned fuselage, one extra hardpoint per wing, and other structural and aerodynamic refinements. The aircraft is powered by an upgraded version of the Pegasus, which gives the aircraft its V/STOL ability. The AV-8B made its maiden flight in November 1981 and entered service with the USMC in January 1985. Later upgrades added a night-attack capability and radar, resulting in the AV-8B(NA) and AV-8B Harrier II Plus, respectively. An enlarged version named Harrier III was also studied, but not pursued. The UK, through British Aerospace, re-joined the improved Harrier project as a partner in 1981, giving it a significant work-share in the project. After corporate mergers in the 1990s, Boeing and BAE Systems have jointly supported the program. Approximately 340 aircraft were produced in a 22-year production program that ended in 2003.