Iraqi aggression keeping Northern Watch forces busy
RELEASED: Jan. 28, 1999
by Senior Airman Adam Stump
Operation Northern Watch Public Affairs
INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- On Dec. 29, 1998, people from around the world tuned in to the Cable News Network and watched wide-screen video footage aboard an F-15E Strike Eagle as a small plume of smoke erupted from the ground. The tense words from the pilot could be heard thousands of feet in the air: "SAM, SAM, SAM."
Moments later, CNN shows side-by-side, split-screen video footage with the pilots view out the front of his F-15E on the left-hand side and a ground picture of the surface-to-air missile site on the right.
In a calm, but confident tone, the pilot then said "splash," as seconds later, the SAM site exploded into a fireball as a GBU-12 500 pound precision guided munition found its target.
Since that time, the ONW team has been keeping busy.
The events, as theyve happened, are as follows:
At approximately 11:20 a.m. Iraqi time, Saddam Husseins regime locked a surface-to-air missile radar on to coalition forces.
An Air Force F-16CJ acted in self defense, and fired a high-speed anti-radiation missile (HARM) to suppress the offensive site.
At approximately 10:45 a.m. Iraqi time, coalition aircraft were illuminated by multiple Iraqi surface-to-air missile systems.
The aircrews acted in self-defense and suppressed one ground-based missile launch site because it posed a threat to coalition forces. A flight of two U.S. F-15Es launched two AGM-130s and an U.S. F-16CJ fired a HARM.
At approximately 11:01 a.m. Iraqi time, coalition aircraft were illuminated by an Iraqi surface-to-air missile system.
An F-16CJ acted in self-defense, firing a HARM in response to this hostile act. The incident occurred near Mosul.
During the morning, coalition aircraft were illuminated by several Iraqi surface-to-air missile systems. The aircraft were fired upon by at least one surface-to-air missile.
The aircrews acting in self-defense suppressed the ground-based missile launch sites because they posed a significant threat to coalition forces. A flight of four U.S. Air Force F-15Es fired two AGM-130s, and an F-16CJ and U.S. Marine Corps EA-6B each fired a HARM. The incident occurred near Mosul. The two AGM-130s were direct hits on the Iraqi SAM sites.
During the morning, an F-16CJ fired a HARM at an Iraqi surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery system that posed a threat to coalition forces in the area. In a separate incident, an F-15E launched an AGM-130 precision guided missile at a surface-to-air missile system that threatened coalition forces.
Between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Iraqi time, coalition aircraft were again targeted by Iraqi surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery systems near Mosul.
An EA-6B Prowler and two F-16CJs fired HARMs in self defense. The aircraft responded to being targeted by Iraqi radars used to guide anti-aircraft artillery. Another F-16CJ fired a HARM at an Iraqi surface-to-air missile system.
Earlier in the day, an F-15E Strike Eagle scored a direct hit on an Iraqi SA-3 SAM site with an AGM-130, which posed a threat to coalition forces in the region.
Between 1:57 and 2:30 p.m. Iraqi time, coalition aircraft were again illuminated and fired upon by Iraqi surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery systems in several incidents.
An F-15E was fired upon by an anti-aircraft artillery system. Two F-15Es then dropped one GBU-12 each on the system.
In another incident, an EA-6B launched a HARM at an SA-2 SAM site that posed a threat to coalition forces in the area.
An F-16CJ launched a HARM at a different SA-2 SAM site that posed a threat to coalition forces in the area.
Coalition forces observed an Iraqi SAM launch in the vicinity of coalition aircraft. Coalition aircraft departed the area and continued operations.
Between 1:25 and 1:50 p.m. Iraqi time, coalition aircraft were targeted by Iraqi surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery systems in three separate incidents near Mosul.
An EA-6B Prowler, acting in self defense after being targeted by Iraqi radar, launched a HARM at an Iraqi radar site.
An F-15E dropped a GBU-12 500-pound precision-guided munition in response to an anti-aircraft artillery system which posed a threat to coalition aircraft.
In another incident, two F-15Es fired one AGM-130 each at a radar site which had targeted coalition aircraft.
In another incident between 3 and 3:30 p.m. Iraqi time, coalition aircraft were again targeted by anti-aircraft artillery systems near Mosul.
Three F-15Es, acting in self defense after being targeted by Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery systems, dropped GBU-12 500-pound precision-guided munitions.