Photo Information

Plane captain Lance Cpl. Joseph Crescenzo, of Ocala, Fla., signals stand clear to maintainers while directing an AV-8B Harrier assigned to the Bulldogs of Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 223 at Key West, Florida March 24. Naval Air Station Key West is a state-of-the-art facility for air-to-air combat fighter aircraft of all military services and provides world-class pierside support to U.S. and foreign naval vessels. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian Morales/ Released)

Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brian Morales

VMA-223 conducts air-to-air training above Florida Keys

14 Apr 2015 | Cpl. U.B. Roberts The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Marines with Marine Attack Squadron 223 traveled to Key West, Fla. to conduct air-to-air training March 18 through April 12.

The squadron conducted the training to hone their skills to provide offensive air support, armed reconnaissance, and air defense for the Marine Air-Ground Task Force.

During the training, the Marines trained to build air-to-air flight leadership for potential section and division leaders, according to a pilot with VMA-223.

The training provided the Marines with an opportunity to train realistically with live air-to-air missiles and complete training sorties that are needed for qualifications.

“All Harrier pilots seek to maintain air-to-air proficiency both as a potential mission set and as an exercise to increase overall situational awareness. The air-to-air arena affords the opportunity to make rapid decisions while handling the aircraft at the extreme edge of its operating envelope,” explained the pilot.