Modern USMC Air Power
...from Harpia Publishing via Casemate UK
Title: Modern USMC Air Power
Author: Joe Copalman
Publisher: Harpia Publishing
Sub-titled 'Aircraft and Units of the Flying 'Leathernecks'', a 253-page softcover book, full of informative text and some really great images.
The book opens with a chapter on the history of the USMC, the US Marine Corps, and their own air support elements, which operate alongside yet separately from US Navy aviation assets. That leads into the second chapter, which details the current Organisation & Structure of Marine Aviation, with the high level organisation along with tables of the ORBAT (Order of Battle) of Marine Units around the world, and includes their varied equipment and even a map of the world showing bases and operating locations. That moves on to another 13 chapters, each one examining a specific type of equipment, from the Training Syllabus, then Heavy Helicopters; Light Attack Helicopters; the Evolution of Medium Lift, such as the Sea Knight and the newer Osprey; Marine Attack, which features the AV-8B Harrier II; Tactical Electronic Warfare, with the Prowler units; then the F-18s of Fighter Attack; the KC-130Js for air refuelling/transport and one new to me, the 'Battleherk'; the evolving use of UAVs; specialist units such as the helicopters of VMH-1, providing transport for the American President; and lastly a chapter looking forward to what the Future holds for USMC aerial support. It leaves an Appendix to show colour artwork for all the USMC unit badges, and there are lots of them!
The text brings us as up to date as is reasonable for any book publication, so correct up to 2019/20. The level of information is quite detailed, and I learnt a lot. The real gem of the book though I think is the quality of the host of superb colour photographs which illustrate the book throughout, and are just beautiful. Aviation enthusiasts will love them I am certain, and modellers will also like them for the clear detail they offer as references. I am a fan of these Harpia books, and this one is instantly one of my favourites.
Thanks to Harpia, and their distributors, Casemate UK for our review copy.