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Trigger

Desert Storm

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The Commander in my Squadron told us the HALF of us would not return...On paper the Iraqi forces were very formidable and had experienced combat in Iran. We had a lot of new weapon systems that were untried in combat, albeit extensively used in training, but we were not completely sure of their effectiveness in the desert environment.

Yeah, there was quite a bit of that kind of management of expectations that was going around in the opening days of the air campaign. The 37th TFW (F-117As) expected a 50% loss rate as was an air operation that I'll discuss further when we get to that day.

Edited by Trigger

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Good observation. We only suffered minimal losses in DS (unless, of course, your kid was one of those KIA). So I guess it was an A$$ KICKING.

In 2003 I heard that we were going to kick A$$ just like DS. How'd that work out?

Sorry to sound cynical bro but I lost friends in both conflicts. Maybe your experience was different then mine.

Or maybe you are just an internet commando.

I was not trying to denigrate those KIA and wounded in action in Desert Storm. But only noted that in Gulf War 1 all too many of the "experts" said that US and its allies were going to suffer lots of casualties and the conflict may take years to end. Again, I noted at the time that they were going to be wrong and that Hussein was going to get his a$$ kicked. That was all I wanted to make of this discussion in my previous post

IMO as time of my life has passed and passes by, I found and find that most of the mouth pieces who are labeled as "experts" at noted especially in this case conflict/war and as such who get their mugs on t.v. are just dolts with some ignorant ideals or agendas and the t.v. hosts who interview them are often seen too as being rather ignorant on the issues, all as they chirp in conversation with the "experts". Sorry if that opinion may offend some but I find most mainstream media types, especially those who ham it up on network t.v. to be rather shallow headed on all too many topics and not just on the topic of conflict and war.

As to the 2003 later war, another story and not one as easily to encapsulated without political jargon from both sides of the topic. But 1991 war was not at all the same as the 2003 war. I'll leave it at that.

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The Commander in my Squadron told us the HALF of us would not return. We all came back! However, there was good reason to believe that casualties were going to be high. There was the threat of chemical and biological weapons which we weren't sure Saddam would use or not. On paper the Iraqi forces were very formidable and had experienced combat in Iran. We had a lot of new weapon systems that were untried in combat, albeit extensively used in training, but we were not completely sure of their effectiveness in the desert environment. It is a credit to our armed forces training that we did so well in that war. Still as 11Bee mentioned, the cost was low to those of us whom did not lose a friend or family member.But to those individuals the cost was extremely high. I was very glad that the losses were far lower than expected.

Agreed about the cost of any lives lost but I saw Hussein as a paper tiger. As a regular person in life, who does care to be generally informed, I saw it as so. However too many of the "experts" seemed back then and IMO often today to lack said vision. Calling oneself an expert or having some dimwitted media type call another person an expert does not always equal one being a true expert.

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Agreed about the cost of any lives lost but I saw Hussein as a paper tiger. As a regular person in life, who does care to be generally informed, I saw it as so. However too many of the "experts" seemed back then and IMO often today to lack said vision. Calling oneself an expert or having some dimwitted media type call another person an expert does not always equal one being a true expert.

You really should have quit while you were ahead. I wasn't upset at your first post, but this one irks me. Hindsight is always 20/20.

Hussein had the fourth largest army in the world. He had 965,000 front line troops and another 600,000 in reserve. The concern was he would use chemical or biological weapons, he had in the past and he did launch scuds, which could have delivered the nasty stuff.

My squadron did a lot of training and we popped a lot of pills before we left. There would have been a lot more coalition casualties had Hussein used chemical and biological weapons.

He was not a paper tiger.

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Day 2: Thursday 17 January 1991

via the BBC:

1991: Tornado down

_38673795_nichol_1991_238.jpg

Flight Lieutenant John Nichol was shot down on 17 January 1991 on the first low-level daylight raid of Operation Desert Storm. He was captured, tortured and paraded on television by the Iraqis. Twelve years later - and with war in Iraq yet again threatening - the former Tornado navigator told On This Day about his experience. We took the last few drops of fuel from the tanker and then dropped down over the Saudi-Iraq border and we headed straight in towards the target. It was about a 20-minute run-in at low-level high-speed. In the final stages of the attack we were probably flying in at 600 mph [965 kmh] and were maybe 25 or 30 ft [7.6 - 9.1 m] above the desert. No aircraft has any real defence against visually-aimed anti-aircraft fire - apart from trying to dodge it or put your head down in the cockpit and try and make yourself as small as possible. It's not that effective as a weapon, but it's terrifying when you see it. At the time we didn't know we were being hit because we were concentrating on the task of trying to get the weapons on the target.

Knocked sideways

After our attack failed we were running back home when suddenly we were hit by a heat-seeking missile - a SAM 7 or a SAM 14. You certainly know you've been hit by that - it's a supersonic telegraph pole. It knocked the aircraft sideways and almost out of the sky - we were within a few feet of hitting the ground. I can still visualise the missile hitting home and the aircraft tumbling around the sky with absolute clarity.

Panic

John, my pilot, managed to get back in control and righted the aircraft so we could begin to limp home. But all the computer systems and fly-by-wire computer technology had been knocked out and the aircraft was on fire. The first stages of that were absolute chaos and panic. But you've practised for the situation, and the training brought itself to the fore. We were desperately trying to go through the drills that might get us back into a controlled situation and give us enough systems and power to get back to the Saudi border.

"Ejecting from a military combat aircraft is a phenomenal experience"

But it wasn't to be - the aircraft was on fire and the flames were marching steadily to where I was sitting in the rear cockpit. There was no choice but to eject - and ejecting from a military combat aircraft is a phenomenal experience. Technology does all of the work - you pull the black and yellow handle that's on the seat and the straps tighten to hold you in - your arms are dragged in, your legs are dragged in. The Perspex cockpit explodes and the rocket motors in the ejection seat fire - it's like sitting on a large rocket-propelled grenade.

Enemy lines

You're shot out of the aircraft at something like 0 - 200 mph in just under a second and at 18 times the force of gravity. From pulling the handle to the parachute opening is about one and a half seconds - it's over in the snap of a finger. You've gone from a burning aircraft to silence and floating down in a parachute and finding yourself sitting deep behind enemy lines. I think we were on the ground for about three hours. We were trying to make our way to one of the search and rescue points where perhaps some Special Forces would be waiting or a helicopter could come in and rescue us. But this was the first day of the war and it was unlikely that was going to happen immediately. The Iraqis saw us and fired their AK-47 assault rifles at us. It was a surreal situation. Five or six hours before I'd been having breakfast on my military base in Bahrain, and here I was being shot at by Iraqi troops in the middle of the desert.

"Some of my friends didn't make it through the Gulf War - so I guess I'm very lucky"

We were captured pretty quickly and dragged off to Baghdad - there was no point in trying to have a gun battle. I suppose even 12 years after the event I still wish the attack had gone well and we had got back to base. But it's because of my blackest cloud that everything I now do has come about. Some of my friends didn't make it through the Gulf War - so I guess I'm very lucky.

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The Commander in my Squadron told us the HALF of us would not return. We all came back! However, there was good reason to believe that casualties were going to be high. There was the threat of chemical and biological weapons which we weren't sure Saddam would use or not. On paper the Iraqi forces were very formidable and had experienced combat in Iran. We had a lot of new weapon systems that were untried in combat, albeit extensively used in training, but we were not completely sure of their effectiveness in the desert environment. It is a credit to our armed forces training that we did so well in that war. Still as 11Bee mentioned, the cost was low to those of us whom did not lose a friend or family member.But to those individuals the cost was extremely high. I was very glad that the losses were far lower than expected.

There was 60 of us in the C-5 as we flew over. Looking at each other among the equipment and the 4 helos neatly folded up inside. Talking with the CO and departments heads coming along, and he says, well boys are we ready? Our Senior Chief, says well sir as ready as we can be, the men chosen are the best in their fields, the helo has performed as well as expected, we are motivated and yes sir we are ready to go. 60 went over, 60 returned. Were we scared? Absolutely!!

Chuck

Fly Navy

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\

I've contemplated building that plane but I'm not sure about the crew names, or 664 which Capt. Paul Johnson flew when his plane hit by a SAM. . Theer's a Discovery Channel Wings episode where Capt. P Johnson talks about how they didn't have as much of a cost as other wars, but it was a very personal cost with one of his squadron killed when his plane was shot down.

Being I was interested in planes as a kid back then, and seeing all the news footage of them, got my interest in modeling this subject. My goal was to model each combat aircraft type, some I did duplicates. My earlier ones look terrible so need to be replaced. So my built models at the moment include:

United States

2 F-14s, 3 A-7Es, S-3B, E-2C, KA-6D, from the USS Kennedy

3 A-10s, F-16A, F-15E, F-15C, F-111E, EF-111A, F-111F (nearly complete), RF-4C, F-117A

F/A-18A, F/A-18C, F/A-18D, AV-8B, OV-10D

Canada

CF-188A

France

Jaguar A, Mirage F1CR, Mirage 2000C

UAE

Mirage 2000C

Qatar

Mirage F1EDA

Kuwait

Mirage F1CK, A-4KU (needs a refit)

United Kingdom

Tornado GR1, Tornado FMk3, Jaguar GrMk1, Buccaneer S2B

Italy

Tornado

Saudi Arabia

Tornado

Bahrain

F-5E

to do: F-4G, A-6E, Saudi F-5E, F-16C

I have over the years followed your Desert Storm collection. I am not as far along as you are, as I started to plan my project when I got home. I have builds in 72nd and 48th scale and will probably have a couple in 32nd scale. But as the years go by since the Gulf War, kits that were not available have since appeared to fill in the holes on both coalition and Iraqi aircraft. Some aircraft only available in 72nd scale such as the RAF Victor a tough build. But most will be in 48th scale. Capt Johnson flew 681 on the Sandy mission that took place in Jan 21st 1991, helping to locate and rescue Lt Devon Jones of VF-301 when his F-14A+ Tomcat went down.

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1453000053[/url]' post='2774265']

With this being the 25th, what about a Desert Storm Group Build?

I was only 11-12 at the time when DS started. All I really remember about it it was the reagarded as the TV war

As for a GB, I would be up for itBrendon

Edited by Aussie_superbug

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I was in college at Baylor when the war kicked off and remember sitting in the dorm watching on TV. I grew up in Syracuse, and remember getting a little home-town pride when the 174th Vipers were shown on the screen. I still have a soft spot for those markings.

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Day 3: Friday 18 January 1991

  • B-52s and Marine F/A-18s attacked the Tawakalna and Medina units of the Republican Guard. Eight F/A-18s began bombing the Hammurabi Division, Iraq's other elite armored force in the theater.
  • Iraq attacks Tel Aviv, and Haifa, with Scud missiles. Fears of the use of chemical weapons run high. President George H.W. Bush issues an appeal to Israel to hold back from retaliation.
  • A-6E 152928 was shot down by AAA two miles from the Iraqi shore after dropping mines on a waterway linking the Iraqi naval base of Umm Qasr with the Persian Gulf. The pilot (Lieutenant William Thomas Costen) and navigator/bombardier (Lieutenant Charlie Turner) were killed.
  • OV-10D 155435 was shot down by a SAM. The pilot (Lieutenant Colonel Clifford M. Acree) and observer (Chief Warrant Officer Guy L. Hunter, Jr.) were captured. They were released on March 6.

Edited by Trigger

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What was your squadron?

I was in a Security Police Squadron

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What happend with those pilots who where POW ???

I still remember footage of that A-6 Crew-member on TV .

Did they return to active duty ater there realease and debriefing ??

Or where they used in training programs or became instructors for some programms ?

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What happend with those pilots who where POW ???

I still remember footage of that A-6 Crew-member on TV .

Did they return to active duty ater there realease and debriefing ??

Or where they used in training programs or became instructors for some programms ?

Here's an article on the A-6 pilot, LT Jeffery Zaun.

I was living in the Norfolk area during the war and I remember when this guy came home, the local news crews where there at his house wanting to get a word. I recall him coming out of his house and just trying to get in his car and go get something to eat or whatever and he pretty much just wanted things to be normal.

http://pilotonline.com/news/whatever-happened-to-the-oceana-pilot-held-as-a-pow/article_9cd1cb4d-5294-5b16-af83-92d91c1e0f3e.html

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25 years, damn that makes me feel old.

As a 6 year old I remember coming home from lunch with my grandparents to see Saddam on tv. It was either just before or just after the first strikes. At the time everyone was worried that Saddam would use chemical weapons, thankfully he didn't.

I was lucky enough to see F-15 84-027 depart Lakenheath last year. It's hard to believe it's been 25 years since it earned 2 kills in one day.

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Trigger,

Thanks for posting, some things worth pointing out:

Rob "Cheese" Graeter, flying the F-15C, scored a double-kill against two Mirages, one withan AIM-7 missiles and the second was a maneuvering killl. Greater stated, “(the) guy went into a hard right turn to the west to get away from us, got spatial disorientation, and flew into the ground”. His wingman, Steve "Tater" Tate, scored another kill on a third Mirage F1, for a total of three kills in the dogfight.

"Cheese" Grater was an Eglin pilot, and "Tater" Tate was a Langley pilot. They flew in two different four ships, so "Tater" wasn't his wingman.

Two Iraqi MiG-29s attempted to engage a flight of USAF F-15Es. One of the MiGs crashed while flying at low altitude but the other MiG pressed on. One of the F-15Es fired an AIM-9 Sidewinder when the MiG locked him up but missed. Several other F-15Es simultaneously tried to engage the lone MiG-29 but were unable to get the kill. One F-15E was actually flying past the Iraqi jet and maneuvered in for the kill but the pilot hesitated to take the shot because he was unsure of his wingmen's location and because he did not get a good tone with the Sidewinder missile.

I knew the pilot of the Strike Eagle that took the AIM-9 shot; we had flown together in the 95th. The missile was bad off the rail.

An Iraqi MiG-23 fired a R-24T missile at a F-111 on a bombing run and scored a hit, although the bomber made it safely back to base. Another similar incident occurred with the same Iraqi interceptor several minutes later, this F-111 also made it back to base despite the severe damage to the aircraft. This is Iraq's only success of the Persian Gulf War using MiG-23s.

First I've ever heard of that, and the repair crews would certainly have noticed the difference in damage between an air to air missile warhead and AAA. Given the size of the Apex it's highly unlikely one, much less two, Varks would have been able to recover after being hit by them. Not to mention, the F-111s were still using low level tactics at that point, so a single MiG-23 finding two of them at night is very surprising to begin with.

Regards,

Murph

Edited by Murph

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I was 14 in 1991, I remember with Desert Shield/Storm worrying about my brother who was a Corpsman with the Marines at the time. He ended up not going to the Persian Gulf though. I still have a couple hundred Desert Storm trading cards. I think Desert Storm had a lot to do with my decision to join the military a few years later.

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You really should have quit while you were ahead. I wasn't upset at your first post, but this one irks me. Hindsight is always 20/20.

Hussein had the fourth largest army in the world. He had 965,000 front line troops and another 600,000 in reserve. The concern was he would use chemical or biological weapons, he had in the past and he did launch scuds, which could have delivered the nasty stuff.

My squadron did a lot of training and we popped a lot of pills before we left. There would have been a lot more coalition casualties had Hussein used chemical and biological weapons.

He was not a paper tiger.

I don't know why you should be upset with my earlier posts, :hmmm: I was in reality celebrating the fact that the US led coalition was superior to what Iraq could have thrown into the fight in any and every way. :worship: My previous posts only related as to what I said back then to people around me who when we would talk about the build up of these forces from August 1990 to Jan 1991 that Hussein was going to get his a$$ kicked. I'm sorry if what I was saying about the then soon to be conflict and as noted here earlier by me, during discussing such at so called water cooler talks upsets you. It was/is not my intent.

Should I have lied here and stated that I too saw years of struggle and tens of thousands of coalition deaths, visions of such just like all too many of the so called experts were saying back then? Why should I lie to anyone here? It's the GOD'S HONEST TRUTH :pray: on my part that I noted Desert Storm was going to be a rout and over in a short while, months at worst, with few coalition casualties. And yes, I called Hussein a paper tiger back then and stand by it today.

Should I be sorry that I got it right back then when all too many of so called experts on the t.v. networks got it wrong? NO! I'm not going to apologize for being right in this case.

It was not and is not my intent in recollecting my thoughts on Desert Storm now 25 years ago, to upset anyone. In fact again other than just noting my then point of view here on this thread, it was me HIGH FIVING :cheers: the efforts of build up, the varied collection and use of the US led coalition forces to go over there and KICK SOME A$$! :fight:

The fact it was done so quickly and with so few losses was a great thing.

So I guess you may choose to be upset, I can't help that, but I still do not know why as I was only posting my recollections as noted here.

But if you are still upset, I guess I give an apology for making you and maybe others for feeling that way. :huh:

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Trigger,

Thanks for posting, some things worth pointing out:

"Cheese" Grater was an Eglin pilot, and "Tater" Tate was a Langley pilot. They flew in two different four ships, so "Tater" wasn't his wingman.

I knew the pilot of the Strike Eagle that took the AIM-9 shot; we had flown together in the 95th. The missile was bad off the rail.

First I've ever heard of that, and the repair crews would certainly have noticed the difference in damage between an air to air missile warhead and AAA. Given the size of the Apex it's highly unlikely one, much less two, Varks would have been able to recover after being hit by them. Not to mention, the F-111s were still using low level tactics at that point, so a single MiG-23 finding two of them at night is very surprising to begin with.

Regards,

Murph

Thank you Murph

I decided to do this half-assed "project" at the last minute on saturday, so it was rushed. Not an excuse, just an explanation. But it's been fun; there's been stuff that I'd forgotten about and other stuff that I didn't know about. There is SO much information out there, it's easy to overlook and/or miss something, so I really appreciate your feedback. :thumbsup:

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Thank you Murph

I decided to do this half-assed "project" at the last minute on saturday, so it was rushed. Not an excuse, just an explanation. But it's been fun; there's been stuff that I'd forgotten about and other stuff that I didn't know about. There is SO much information out there, it's easy to overlook and/or miss something, so I really appreciate your feedback. :thumbsup:/>/>/>

It certainly is a lot of work and time to compile everything, me and Pete did a chronology for the Desert Storm Group Build that started August 2nd 2010. We tried to make a post per day for the given day 20 years ago then. Now, I have more info and pictures on topics, like the first French Air Force attack in which four planes where hit. ... imagine that one French pilot landing after taking a AK-47 wound to the head.

Edited by Benner

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Day 4: Saturday 19 January 1991

  • At least three Scuds explode in Tel Aviv, Israel, injuring about 17. Israel vows to defend itself but refrains. United States rushes in Patriots, making Army crews first U.S. soldiers to defend Israel.
  • The Hammurabi unit of the Republican Guard is attacked by 32 F-16s, six F/A-18s, eight F-15Es and twelve B-52s
  • U.S. Marines raid oil platforms off Kuwait, capturing first Iraqi prisoners of war. The platforms were being used by the Iraqis as anti-aircraft artillery and missile sites.
  • An F-4G Wild Weasel crashed in the Saudi Arabian desert after attacking Iraqi air defenses. An investigation found that a single enemy 23mm AAA round had punctured the fuel tank, causing fuel starvation. Both pilots ejected over friendly territory and were rescued.
  • F-15E 88-1692 was shot down by a V-750AK (SA-2E) surface-to-air missile. The pilot (Colonel David W. Eberly) and WSO (Major Thomas E. Griffith) were captured. They were released on March 6 and March 3 respectively.

Package Q

The air campaign against Iraq was going very well for the Coalition; thousands of sorties had been flown around the clock across targets in Kuwait and Iraq. The Iraqi Air Force had proven to be very reluctant to attack the overwhelming Coalition air power. The Package Q Airstrike of 19 January, consisting of fifty-six F-16s from the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing and 401st Tactical Fighter Wing, along with some F-4s from the 561st Fighter Squadron and F-15Cs from the 53d Fighter Squadron would be the largest strike of the war and the largest F-16 strike in history. The F-16s were going to make a daylight attack onto Baghdad.

The main target of the strike was the Tawaitha nuclear research facility near Baghdad, which was the site of the Osirak Nuclear Reactor that was attacked by the Iranian Air Force in 1980 and again by the Israeli Air Force in 1981, along with many other military sites across the city.

However, the organization was confused, with many air commanders not receiving their orders until the night of 18 January. Overnight three more main targets, in downtown Baghdad, were added. This meant that once the attack force had hit the reactor, which was in the southeast corner of the city, it would have to proceed to the downtown area, which necessitated flying through hundreds of alerted SAMs and AAA, making them easy pickings. However, there was no time to change the mission plans, and the attack went ahead anyway.

Because of the distance between the airfields and Baghdad, the F-4s were lightly loaded, each only carrying two HARM anti-radiation missiles because of their high fuel consumption rate. This limited the number of targets the SEAD aircraft could attack. The F-16s on the other hand were very heavily loaded, each carrying Mark-84 bombs, two external fuel tanks, two air-air missiles to protect them from Iraqi aircraft, and 90 bundles of chaff, with fifteen flares.

The Iraqi forces had several air bases within striking distance of the city that could be ready in minutes, all housing MIG-29s. The Iraqi forces also had thousands of AAA and SAM sites throughout the city, ranging from World War II-era flak guns to surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles on state of the art interceptors and fighters. Overall the Iraqis had the resources to inflict many casualties on the strike force.

On the afternoon of 19 January, all the aircraft took off from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. From there, they all met with tankers in Saudi Arabia, near the border of Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Link-up and refueling with the tankers ran into problems. There was bad weather along the tanker tracks, and the tankers approached the release point too early. Consequently, they throttled back to minimum speed, which in turn seriously affected the accompanying fighters. The F-16s were soon close to stalling out, and some had to light afterburners just to stay airborne; four fighters coming off the last tanker fell so far behind that their mission commander ordered them to return to base.

After the refueling, all the aircraft turned towards Baghdad, and headed out in force. They had to dodge AAA and SAMs sporadically along the trip, though as the package reached Baghdad airspace, it broke out into the open. Iraqi gunners greeted the Americans with a couple of high-altitude shots in the middle of several formations. Not surprisingly, there were difficulties in communicating among mission groups in the package; the mission commander of the flight attacking downtown Baghdad estimated that he received approximately 80 percent of the calls.

Adding to the disarray of the flak exploding below, the Iraqis threw 100-mm shells into the formations. From the moment the package approached Baghdad's air defenses, the Weasels engaged enemy SAM sites. However, there was a problem with the Weasels allocated to the mission; either because of fuel, timing, or the decision of the package commander, not all made it to Baghdad; moreover, some Weasels did not fire all their HARMs, which suggests that they had to leave because of fuel problems.

Approaching their targets, the “downtown” aircraft (flying F-16s with newer model engines) passed F-16s on the way to, rolling in on, and leaving targets all in a hostile environment. On their way to downtown, the F-4 "Wild Weasels" left, being low on fuel. This left the F-16s and F-15Cs alone against the air defenses. As Maj. John Nichols rolled in to strike his target, the Iraqi Air Force Headquarters, he heard the Weasels call that they were leaving. Cloud cover obscured the target; Nichols rolled off to turn to an alternate target, an oil refinery which was under attack by a portion of his formation.

Up to this point, the Iraqis had fired most of their SAMs ballistically. Within a short time of the Weasel call that they were leaving, SAMs directly engaged Nichols' flight. Many SAMs were now guided and most of his flight had to take evasive action, which included “last-ditch maneuvers” such as jettisoning fuel tanks and bombs. Approximately half of the flight struck the oil refinery; others were en route to alternate targets when SAMs engaged and forced them to jettison ordnance.

SAMs hit one F-16 just as the last bombs were striking the oil refinery. As the flight egressed Baghdad, evading SAMs, another missile impacted near another F-16. Both aircraft were lost, but their pilots survived the war as POWs. One of the two lost aircraft managed to fly for 150 miles on the return route after taking an SA-3 missile just south of Baghdad, before the engine quit. In all, the participants in the wild ride over the capital counted twenty SAMs in the air; one pilot dodged no fewer than six. 

F-16C, callsign Stroke 3, dodging 6 SAM launches

Many of the F-16s sustained major or minor damage, but stayed airworthy.

The commotion for the survivors of the strike did not end when they left Baghdad. To bring an end to their day, eight MiG-29s started closing toward the rear of the F-16s as they exited the capital's environs; the F-15C top cover had apparently left earlier after the F-4s. When F-16s attacked the MiGs, the Iraqis fled. By the time that the F-16s approached the border some were almost out of fuel. One fighter would have crashed short of Coalition territory had a KC-135 tanker from the Kansas National Guard not crossed over into enemy territory. When the F-16s began refueling in Iraqi territory, it had only 800 pounds of fuel on board, in the words of the wing commander, flying as a wingman, “an eye-watering situation.”

  • F-16C 87-0228 was shot down by a 2K12 Kub (SA-6) surface-to-air missile. The pilot (Captain Harry 'Mike' Roberts) was captured. He was released on March 6.
  • F-16C 87-0257 was shot down by a S-125 (SA-3) surface-to-air missile. The pilot (Major Jeffrey Scott Tice) was captured. He was released on March 6

USAF_F16C_block_87-0257_remains_zps7jbjxt7c.jpg

Result

This primary mission goal was not met, with the reactors of the research facility only slightly damaged, although many of the secondary targets were hit. F-117 aircraft re-attacked the facility later causing significant damage.

The loss of two F-16s can be attributed to a series of stresses, the lateness of the Air Tasking Order, not enough coordination time, a tactical approach that provided the Iraqis considerable warning, fuel problems for the Weasels and other aircraft, bad weather, and insufficient attrition of the defenses combined to create a dangerous situation.

There were a number of crucial lessons from Package Q. The most obvious was that Iraqi defenses in Baghdad remained lethal: future strikes on Baghdad would be mostly assigned to F-117s, but conventional air assets with better coordination would still strike targets downtown Baghdad.

There was, however, a crucial operational turn that the mission's failure caused. Planners had hoped that destruction or at least degradation of Baghdad's air defenses would have allowed them to send large groups packages of F-16s into the capital during the daytime. Their targets, as on the morning of day three, would have been the larger command headquarters and symbols of the regime, such as those of the Ba'ath Party, Republican Guard, and Directorate of General Military Intelligence. These structures were so big that unguided bombs dropped by F-16s, even though less accurate, could hit them with a fair probability of success. As symbols of the regime, the destruction of such headquarters was hoped to have had major political and military effects.

The difficulties that Package Q encountered, as well as the potential for inadvertent bomb release by aircraft under SAM attack, however caused General Chuck Horner and his planners to decide against sending an F-16 group against downtown Baghdad on the next day. What speaks well for the American leadership in this air war was the fact that it did not repeat Package Q to prove some doctrinal beliefs of the high command at the expense of aircrew lives. American air commanders adapted to the situation as it was. Moreover, F-16 packages would remain smaller, and thus more manageable and easier to coordinate and fly for the remainder of the war.

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Many of the F-16s sustained major or minor damage, but stayed airworthy.

wonder where that came from?

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Day 5 : Sunday 20 January 1991

  • Iraqi TV begins to air interviews with captured allied airmen.

zaun-cbs.jpg

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  • Iraq fires 10 Scuds at Saudi Arabia; nine are intercepted, one falls offshore.
  • The first British SAS Teams are inserted behind Iraqi lines to conduct effective harassment and sabotage missions

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