support naval infantry. Another term used to describe the Harrier is “Jump Jet,” because it can take off and land on a relatively small runway, or no runway at all. It is being used in the fight against ISIS in Iraq, and has been a key component of the advances that the Iraqi Security Forces.
Harriers were designed to support the Island hopping tactics of naval warfare. They are able to land in and take off from small clearings which negates the need for runways. They can operate to support infantry without having to go through the trouble of constructing runways which is costly, time consuming, and leaves the workers vulnerable to enemy attack as they work.
Ground support Harriers are able to keep up with the battle so that infantry troops will have continual air support as they advance. Harriers can even remain in the clearings that they land on to be sort of a quick reaction force able to respond almost instantly in times of trouble. this saves on the extra time, fuel, wear and tear, and necessary maintenance which may be necessary should the jet have to go to a rear based carrier before returning to the battle. If the commander decides to use his Harriers as forward supplied air support he must have a logistics system in place to insure that they are rearmed, and serviced.