Hap Arnold Club
March Air Reserve Base, CA
HISTORY OF THE TILT ROTOR - PART II
L ieutenant Colonel Gary Coach Harrison joined the Marine Corps in 1995 and completed flight school in Pensacola FL in 1998. His first assignment was to MCAS El Toro with HMM-166, a CH-46 squadron. When the El Toro base closed in 1999 the MAG-16 squadrons relocated to MCAS Miramar, San Diego CA. Capt Harrison deployed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard in 2000. After completing the western pacific deployment, Captain Harrison was selected to attend the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course at MCAS Yuma, AZ. This is the Marine Corps' top tactical flying course run by Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One, that incorporates Marine Corps planning and implementation of advanced air and ground tactics though a series of tactical exercises. After the 9/11 attacks, Captain Harrison deployed on the 13th MEU to the Middle East for combat operations. The 13th MEU (aboard USS Boxer) pursued fleeing Al Qaeda terrorists to Yemen and conducted some of the earliest phases of Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2003 Captain Harrison joined HMM-165 to lead assault support air operations during the invasion of Iraq. He earned 3 air medals for combat sorties flown in direct support of the 1st Marine Division. Gary transitioned from the CH-46 to the V-22 in 2013. He has 2100 flight hours with 250 in the V-22. Lt Col Harrisons aviation qualifications include the following: Air Mission Commander, Weapons and Tactics Instructor, Assault Flight Leader, Night Systems Instructor, Functional Check Pilot. He currently resides in San Diego CA with his wife Annica and sons Luke and Jake. He is assigned to VMM-764 (MV-22 squadron) at MCAS Miramar.
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