. . . exists for no
other reason than to organize and make accessible, imagery from a single pilot's tour of duty
in a U.S. Marine Corps Harrier Squadron. There is no agenda
or particular endstate; just an attempt to accurately capture a sense of the greatest job on
earth and perhaps attract qualified citizens to similar service. In the left margin, the reader
can find links to the squadron's history, information on how to become a U.S. Marine,
and a month-by-month photo album that has been carefully
screened for operational security. No information regarding military
plans, activities, or goals; the names of other Marines; or aircraft technical data can
be found here. Everything on this unofficial site is available via open sources, with the
exception of the images, which are the property of the author and can be used by permission.
This site is presented at no cost to the government.
This scrapbook benefits (and suffers from) a single-point perspective, in this case, that of
the squadron's Commanding Officer.
It was created on Martin Luther King Day, Monday the 15th of
January, 2001 in sunny Yuma, Arizona. The author is slated to assume command on January 26th.
This site will be updated on a monthly basis until command is relinquished to a
successor in 18 months or so. The chronological format will begin with the
change of command on the last Friday of January, 2001. The unclassified mission
of Marine Attack Squadron 513 is outlined below:
In support of Marine Corps Infantry . . .
"Attack and destroy surface targets under day and night visual meteorological conditions and
The included tasks:
1. Conduct close air support.
2. Conduct armed reconnaissance, interdiction operations and strikes against enemy installations,
utilizing all types of conventional munitions compatible with assigned aircraft.
3. Conduct air defense operations within the capability of assigned aircraft.
4. Maintain the capability to operate during darkness and under instrument conditions to
include ordnance delivery under the control of tactical support radar teams.
5. Maintain the capability to deploy or conduct extended range operations employing aerial
6. Maintain the capability to operate from aboard carriers, other suitable seagoing platforms,
expeditionary airfields, and remote tactical landing sites.
7. Conduct armed escort missions in support of helicopter operations.
8. Perform organizational maintenance on assigned aircraft.
Concept of organization
This squadron will function either as an integral unit of 16 aircraft, or as a squadron (-)
of ten, with a deployed six aircraft detachment.
This concept of organization facilitates dual site operations,
provides for the support of simultaneous contingencies, and allows for the fulfillment of
continuous unit deployment program requirements.
I hope that you find this "Nightmare Scrapbook" entertaining, and perhaps enlightening.
Hollywood and the media are fond of stereotypes and do a very poor job of portraying
contemporary military life; often intentionally.
My hope is that these images will contribute to a more realistic view of the
excitement and adventure that service in the United States Marine Corps holds. If you are a
young man or woman, consider a career where independent thought, initiative,
and continuing education are not just encouraged; they're demanded.
The Nightmares beyond 2002: Immediately after I relinquished command of the Nightmares,
they deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan for a year of combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and
have since enjoyed many adventures. I know this because, they have been sending me images with great frequency and it is past time that I
posted them here, under the last link in the left margin labeled: "VMA-513." Because I have been a member of--or augmented--seven
of the nine USMC Harrier squadrons over the years, I shall include images that I have been sent from
all of them. They were almost exclusively submitted by my former squadronmates. In December of 2006, my Aircraft Maintenance
Officer and aircraft carrier detachment OIC, LtCol "Screech" Parkhurst assumed command of the Nightmares. It is a great pleasure
for the Cow to know that VMA-513 will be in such capable hands! To see recent imagery from their current activities, click