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NEWS


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 pilot’s 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 they’ve happened, are as follows:

Jan. 7

At approximately 11:20 a.m. Iraqi time, Saddam Hussein’s 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.

Jan. 11

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.

Jan. 12

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.

Jan. 13

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.

Jan. 14

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.

Jan. 24

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.

Jan. 25

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.

Jan. 26

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.