A Marine AV-8B Harrier was severely damaged last week after it caught fire while preparing to take off from the amphibious assault ship Kearsarge for a mission in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. , said Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, a spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.

The incident happened about 1 p.m. on March 8 in the Persian Gulf, said Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, a spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Central CommandStephens said in an email to Marine Corps Times. The Harrier was assigned to Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 162 (Reinforced), which is currently deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

No one was hurt in the mishap, Stephens said. Investigators are trying to determine what caused the fire and if the Harrier can be returned to service.

The review of this mishap is expected to take between three and eight months, said Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Sarah Burns.

"The Marine Corps rigorously investigates all aviation mishaps to identify the causes, learn from them, and rectify the problems that occurred," Burns said in an email to Marine Corps Times. "The investigation into the March 8 AV-8B Harrier II mishap just began.

"The investigatory process is very thorough and is intended to find the cause of the mishap in order to prevent the same thing from happening again. The findings and recommendations from this comprehensive process could potentially save future lives. Because the process is so thorough, it takes time."

The incident is listed as a Class A mishap, meaning it involved loss of life or damage of more than $2 million, Burns said. So far in fiscal 2016, the Marine Corps has experienced four Class A mishaps — the March 8 incident is the only one involving an AV-8B Harrier, she said.

Since the fiscal year began, the Marine Corps has also experienced one Class B aviation mishap, which cause between $500,000 and $2 million in damage or led to service members receiving partial permanent disabilities.

In fiscal 2015, the Marine Corps recorded seven Class A and nine Class B mishaps, Burns said. One of the Class B mishaps last fiscal year involved an AV-8B, she said.

The Marine Corps has launched the Harrier Independent Readiness Review to make sure that as many Harriers are ready to fly on any given day as possible, Burns said. The Marine Corps expects that by June, 66 Harriers per day will be available to fly if needed.

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