|Falcon 4.0: Snake3 SEAD Escort
Maj. Robert " Vexx " Yurystowski 469th
Mission: Suppression of Enemy Air Defences
Arming: 1x AGM88
Intel reports the following enemy squadrons are operating out of the 2nd infantry corps located 12 nm east of T'osan: 86th Mi24 helo attack squadron, 5th KA50 helo attack squadron.
Air command would like to damage or destroy facilities in order to reduce sortie rate. Primary target for OCA flight: Ammo dump. Known air defences ZSU 57 AAA. No enemy air activity reported over the target area.
First tasking of the day. Fly minutes ahead of the main strike package and thin out the the AAA. I was a little relieved that intel reported no known SAM launchers in the target area, but getting dirty with the AAA can be just as deadly. The OCA strike group would be counting on my Two ship to make it a little easier on them.
The crew chief SGT. MacNamara goes over the arming with me: 5 combined effects munitions- cluster bomb units, (CBU 87 CEM) and 1 AGM88 anti-radiatiom missile, just in case a SAM unit decides to make an appearance. With arming checklist complete, Mac pats me an the back, and with a nod for good luck, " Get some for me Sir". " smiling, I will bring her back in one piece" After a final walk around, it's into the cockpit for spool up then taxi.
"Tower, permission to taxi? " "Snake3 permission to taxi runway7_3" We are just ahead of the OCA strike package and I salute Mac as we leave the chalks and head to the strip. Passing 2 A10's holdling on the taxi way, I notice they are returning 'weapons gone'. This conflict is getting hotter by the hour.
I glance over my right shoulder to check on my wingman 2nd LT. Diggs. This is "Mongo's" first combat mission. I don't know him well, but his flight record is top notch.
Ok, busy as hell, Tower asks me to hold short to let another Viper two-ship to clear the runway. "Snake3 , you are cleared for takeoff".
As I taxi to final position , my hearts skips a couple of beats; "here we go again!" The familiar feeling of a combat sortie takeoff reminds me of my last combat missions in F15E's over the Gulf.
The engine lights up as I push the throttle quadrent to full afterburner. Pushed down the runway, I gain momentum to the point where gravity doesn't have a grip on my jet anymore. I lift off the strip, the after burning engine thundering. Ka-thunk, gear is up, set coms, and get ready to check in with Sentry.
Reaching steerpoint 2 and checking in with AWACS, I tell Mongo to go echelon, and close it up. As we pull through the clouds and level off, my wingman comfirms, "2 in position." Ok, its 15 minutes to IP, then to 5000 ft. for run in on target at SEAD 4. AWACS reports multiple groups of bogies, with none in our vicinity. Good, we will have our hands full with the AAA.
Arriving at IP, we steer into the flight path to target. My RWR, has been chirping continually for 5 minutes, as EWR and other ground units, both friendly and unknown have been painting me. Decending to 5000. Wings level, I push it up a notch. No point in giving those guys down there an easy target.
A/G on, select HRM display/AGM88..... Good, no SAM sights over the target area..... yet. Select CBU CCIP mode, declutter HUD, pair bombing mode. height burst is 750.
"Snake3_2, kick out, weapons free......"
Check TOT; Good, a little early but only by seconds. Nose down, I pick up some targets on the right side of the compound. I see puffs of smoke, a few seconds before tracers and flak start pounding the air.
Thud thud thud, the air is violated by the bursting of shells... Almost there.... Pickle! 2 away. A second and a half later the tell tail rattling of CBU bomblets and secondaries is music to my ears as I violently jink several times to avoid the tracers. Dropping flares and chaff , I egress to the north. As my wing man lines up on the left side of the compound he confirms 3 of my kills.
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