Book Review: Joint Force Harrier

It’s been a while since my last review but they won’t end that easily.

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This book is Joint Force Harrier by Commander Ade Orchard RN.   As the title suggests this book is about the Harrier. Unlike my last book on the Harrier this one is from the British perspective, specifically the Royal Navy.

A bit of background though. The Harrier originally designed by Hawker Siddely had two main variants the “Sea Harrier” for the Royal Navy and the GR variants for the Royal Air Force. Eventually the Sea Harrier was decommissioned and both services now use one of the GR Variants (this book refers specifically to the GR7).

The book is about (and written by) the CO of 800 NAS (Naval Air Squadron) the first dedicated Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm squadron to fly the GR7 in combat and their 4 month deployment to Afghanistan. During those 4 months they dropped more bombs and weapons than the RAF in the deployment prior to them.

It’s good to get a different perspective on the war compared to my last Harrier book. The differences between the US and British Harrier forces seems so far apart let alone between the RN and RAF. The book has some good details about the Harrier itself about how the pilots would deal with certain situations, how to start up and things like that, something the last book didn’t really cover.

It also has the sort of things you would expect, the fact that most of the pilots act like children (but not as bad as the American’s it seems). But it does seem good to have it from a British perspective who obviously operation differently.

Highly recommend this book for someone looking for a different take on the Air War in Afghanistan, especially if you want to read about Close Air Support for the troops.

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