Operation Iraqi Freedom (F-16 Combat History)

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Henrik

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Unread post26 Jan 2006, 11:38

Hello J.J.,

Many thanks for Your great previews!! Keep up the good work.

Unfortunately I have no additional info about the "borrowed" "MO" F-16s - only that 91-0370 and 93-0541 were seen/photographed several times in the rows of 169 FW F-16s during OIF.

As a side note the 169 FW was the only F-16 unit during OIF to employ the AN/ASQ-213 HTS system, the AN/AAQ-14 target pod as well as the AN/AAQ-28 Litening II target pod.

Many greetings,

Henrik.
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HazF16

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Unread post26 Jan 2006, 12:31

J.J. wrote:Please definite the correct squadron numbers and also the related deployment time frames, ghettobird! I think, so you would get the right answer.


he's refering to the 555th Triple Nickel and the 510th Buzzards from Aviano during the inital OIF combat phase. They were somewhere in Kuwait so I guess it's either Al Jaber or Ali Al Salem.

here's a pic of a 510th and a 555th Viper during A/R over Kuwait/Iraq.
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Unread post26 Jan 2006, 12:42

ghettobird, here's some more pics of 555th/510th Kuwait deployment.

ps: nice nickname, ice cube is the mother****in sh*t
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Unread post26 Jan 2006, 12:47

HazF16 wrote:
J.J. wrote:Thanks a lot, guys, for your additional stuff! Currently I rework my posted previews. Next preview will cover the "Swamp Foxes".


your welcome, JJ. here's some tail #s (confirmed) of some of the deployed 157th jets: 93-535, 93-549, 92-909, 92-903, 92-911, 92-902. The two 389th jets with the 157th were 93-541 and 92-880.

here's some further additions (2003 OIF deployments)
510th: 88-446
555th: 90-773
421st: 88-115, 88-501, 89-064


hope it helps..

Haz


the third MO jet is 91-401, I just found another pic on my HD.
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J.J.

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Unread post26 Jan 2006, 21:49

Special reply to ghettobird and HazF16: the 510th FS "Buzzards" and the 555th FS "Triple Nickel", 31st FW (USAFE), Aviano AB, Italy, were definitely not involved in OIF´s main combat phase. Elements of the 510th FS deployed for OSW to the 332nd AEG at Ahmed Al Jaber AB, Kuwait, as part of the regularly scheduled AEF 5/6 (Cycle 3) rotation (September – November 2002). Elements of the 555th FS deployed for ONW to the 39th Wing at Incirlik AB, Turkey, as part of the regularly scheduled AEF 7/8 (Cycle 3) rotation (December – February 2003). It´s possible that the 555th FS´s deployment was extended by DoD for the OIF force build-up. But as widely known, Turkey not allowed any offensive combat actions against Iraq from their territory. (Anyone who can and will tell me the 555th FS´s homecoming date?)

After OIF´s main combat phase, elements of the 510th FS deployed to the 379th AEW at Al Udeid AB, Qatar, as part of the "interim" AEF Silver (Cycle 4) rotation (November 2003 – February 2004). As their F-16 replacement, elements of the 555th FS also deployed to Al Udeid AB as part of the regularly scheduled AEF 7/8 (Cycle 4) rotation (March – May 2004). Assigned to the 379th AEW, the deployed F-16 Expeditionary Fighter Squadrons were both tasked with OIF and OEF missions.

HazF16! According to my sources, during OSW up today U.S. fighter jets were never deployed to Ali Al Salem AB, Kuwait. After the terrorist attacks on the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in June 1998, U.S. CENTCOM relocated some of their assets (Operation Desert Shift). Since them (up to OEF), deployed OSW F-16 units were only deployed to the 332nd AEG/AEW at Ahmed Al Jaber AB, Kuwait, and to the 363rd AEW at Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia.
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HazF16

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Unread post26 Jan 2006, 22:09

J.J. wrote:Special reply to ghettobird and HazF16: the 510th FS "Buzzards" and the 555th FS "Triple Nickel", 31st FW (USAFE), Aviano AB, Italy, were definitely not involved in OIF´s main combat phase. Elements of the 510th FS deployed for OSW to the 332nd AEG at Ahmed Al Jaber AB, Kuwait, as part of the regularly scheduled AEF 5/6 (Cycle 3) rotation (September – November 2002). Elements of the 555th FS deployed for ONW to the 39th Wing at Incirlik AB, Turkey, as part of the regularly scheduled AEF 7/8 (Cycle 3) rotation (December – February 2003). It´s possible that the 555th FS´s deployment was extended by DoD for the OIF force build-up. But as widely known, Turkey not allowed any offensive combat actions against Iraq from their territory. (Anyone who can and will tell me the 555th FS´s homecoming date?)


Right, so that's where those pics are coming from. Thanks for the clarification, JJ.
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Unread post28 Jan 2006, 21:03

Eight preview:

Deployed F-16 units (Part seven)

(Copyright 2006 by F-16.net, all author rights reserved by Joachim Jacob)

As part of the force build-up for OIF, in mid-February 2003 elements of the 120th FS, 140th Wg (Colorado ANG), Buckley AFB, Aurora, Colorado, and elements of the 160th FS, 187th FW (Alabama ANG), Dannelly Field, Montgomery, Alabama, deployed to the 410th AEW, which was short-time activated especially for OIF. The 120th EFS sent 16 F-16C+ Block 30, the 160th EFS 14 F-16C+ Block 30. Both Expeditionary Fighter Squadrons were joined by pilots and support personnel from the 121st FS, 113th Wg, (D.C. ANG), but no aircraft came from this third ANG unit. All three wings deployed additional support personnel. Lead unit was the 187th FW.


120th FS, 140th Wg (Colorado ANG), Buckley AFB, Aurora, Colorado (tail code: CO)

Identified aircraft (16 of 16, = complete):

86-0338 Block 30E
86-0339 Block 30E (new added)
86-0345 Block 30E
86-0358 Block 30E
86-0360 Block 30E (new added)
86-0367 Block 30E
86-0368 Block 30E (new added)
86-0370 Block 30E (new added)
87-0229 Block 30F (new added)
87-0231 Block 30F
87-0241 Block 30F
87-0254 Block 30F (new added)
87-0279 Block 30H
87-0284 Block 30H
87-0337 Block 30J (new added)
88-0401 Block 30K


160th FS, 187th FW (Alabama ANG), Dannelly Field, Montgomery, Alabama (tail code: AL)

Identified aircraft (14 of 14, = complete):

86-0326 Block 30E (new added)
86-0341 Block 30E (new added)
86-0346 Block 30E
87-0218 Block 30F
87-0219 Block 30F
87-0220 Block 30F
87-0232 Block 30F
87-0263 Block 30F (new added)
87-0276 Block 30H
87-0282 Block 30H
87-0336 Block 30J
88-0398 Block 30K (new added)
88-0399 Block 30K
88-0400 Block 30K

Unfortunately I have no archived departure dates related to the deployed aircraft. But according to the following two USAF photos, the first jets arrived at their destination on February 15, 2003.

Image

Original photo caption: US Air Force (USAF) Air National Guard (ANG), F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft arrive at an undisclosed location in support of Exercise Rugged Arch. Camera Operator: SSGT Bennie J. Davis III, USAF (Date Shot: 15 Feb 2003)

Hi-res version:
http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/Assets/Stil ... 17173.JPEG

Note: At USAF´s website this photo was first released in a "WEEK IN PHOTOS" section (Week of February 28, 2003). The original photo caption was: "OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM – F-16 Fighting Falcons from Colorado, Alabama and Illinois Air National Guard units arrive at an undisclosed location supporting Operation Enduring Freedom." As I remember, sometime later the caption was modified and more related to Rugged Arch, but I have no print-out. And after searching USAF´s online photo archive again I´m sure this pic is not more online. The Illinois ANG must be an USAF editors error.

Image

Original photo caption: A US Air Force (USAF) Air National Guard (ANG), F-16C Fighting Falcon Pilot is greeted by a Crew Chief, from the Jordanian Royal Air Force and USAF 410th Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW) Crew Chiefs, after arriving at an undisclosed location in support of Exercise Rugged Arch. Camera operator: SSGT Bennie J. Davis III, USAF (Date Shot: 15 Feb 2003). Note: This photo was never published at USAF´s website, and also never at DoD´s website. The second aircraft is 86-0346 from the 160th FS.

Hi-res version:
http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/Assets/Stil ... 17174.JPEG


Comment:

Both photos are currently online at www.dodmedia.osd.mil. That´s the website of the Defense Visual Information Center (DVIC) at March Air Reserve Base, Moreno Valley, California. DVIC is a division of the American Forces Information Service (AFIS), which is a field activity of the Secretary of Defense.

The 410th AEW´s deployed location is up today officially still "classified" but already known both by deployed personnel (logically) as well as by well-informed non-military circles.

But if DVIC official states for public that the F-16C pilot was "greeted by a Crew Chief, from the Jordanian Royal Air Force and USAF 410th Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW) Crew Chiefs", then it´s absolutely clear that the 410th AEW was activated somewhere in Jordan. And if USAF stated that the F-16s on the first photo were from Colorado and Alabama Air National Guard units, then it´s also clear that the 120th EFS, the 160th EFS, and all of the related support personnel were deployed to a Jordanian air base. In this case, the U.S. military themselves has disclosed at least the host nation.
(Some more about the 410th AEW in my next preview)


Two more pics:

Image

Original photo caption:
US Air Force (USAF) munitions personnel assigned to the 410th Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW) at a forward deployed location work on guided munitions on the pylon of an USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon. The Falcon has an AIM-120A Advanced Medium Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) a fixed to the wing tip. The 410th AEW prepare the aircraft for take off for sorties on A-Day, the commencement of the air war for Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, at a forward location. Camera Operator: SSGT Bennie J. Davis III (Date Shot: 21 Mar 2003). Note: The aircraft is 87-0282 from the 160th FS.

Hi-res version:
http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/Assets/Stil ... 01367.JPEG

Image

Original photo caption: A moment's rest
OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM -- F-16 Fighting Falcon crew chiefs relax while their aircraft are flying combat sorties supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Forward deployed in an undisclosed location, the 410th Air Expeditionary Wing is responsible for critical sorties flown in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel A. Park)

Hi-res version;
http://www.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/ ... 1P-018.jpg


According to a single AP news photo, at least most of the 14 deployed jets from the 160th FS probably returned home to Danelly Field, Alabama, on April 25, 2003. Among the returned pilots was Lt. Col. Lou Drumheller. Also deployed with the 160th EFS was Maj. Edward H. Linch III who was awarded with the Distinguished Flying Cross. Also deployed with this squadron was Capt. Brian Wolf who won (together with Maj. Linch III) the 2003 Joe Bill Dryden Semper Viper Award for an OIF mission.


All of the 16 deployed aircraft from the 120th FS returned home to Buckley AFB on April 30, 2003.
According to the "Rocky Mountain News", the jets "thundered overhead in four diamond formations, then lined up in two neat rows in front of the flag-waving crowd".
Among the returned pilots were: Col. John Mooney, Maj. Tim Conklin, Maj. Jerome Dick, Maj. James Reeman, Maj. Brian Patterson, Maj. Bill Orton and Maj. Tracy Sailer (the only deployed female pilot from the 120th FS). Another deployed pilot was Lt. Col. Michael A. Loh. For his outstanding performance during OIF as the "D" flight commander for the 120th FS he was awarded with the 2003 Mile High Flight 18 Distinguished Pilot Award.

Note: As I prepared this preview there were originally included some exclusive photos from the homecoming ceremony on April 30, 2003, which were still online yesterday at the website of Aurora Public Schools. But just during my upload process, there was no access to the related links. So I must cancel this nice stuff. But that´s no problem. All interesting pics are on my PC. So I can post the pics in an update (about in a hour or so) and independently from the original source.


According to the "Capital Flyer" (base newspaper of Andrews AFB, Maryland), the 121st FS deployed 28 pilots, including Lt. Col. J. C. Witham.
According to "The On Guard" (newspaper of the Army and Air National Guard), "thirteen" pilots from the 121st FS "roared home in jet fighters on Monday, April 28". The 113th Wg and their 121st FS are located at Andrews AFB, Maryland, southeast from D.C. That suggests the "thirteen" returned jets were from the 120th FS, probably flown by 121st FS pilots during their trans-Atlantic re-deployment. After a stop-over at Andrews AFB, and meanwhile joined by the remaining three jets, all 16 aircraft departed for Buckley AFB on April 30.


Anyone who can and will add pilot names, photos (I´ve registrated all related pics at F-16.net) or other additional info? Corrections are also welcome.
Last edited by J.J. on 28 Nov 2007, 06:55, edited 3 times in total.
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Unread post28 Jan 2006, 21:38

J.J. wrote:Image

Original photo caption: A US Air Force (USAF) Air National Guard (ANG), F-16C Fighting Falcon Pilot is greeted by a Crew Chief, from the Jordanian Royal Air Force and USAF 410th Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW) Crew Chiefs, after arriving at an undisclosed location in support of Exercise Rugged Arch. Camera operator: SSGT Bennie J. Davis III, USAF (Date Shot: 15 Feb 2003). Note: This phote was never published at USAF´s website, and also never at DoD´s website. The second aircraft is 86-0346 from the 160th FS.


yeah, that pic pretty much broke the "secret" lol. you dont even need that caption, it's pretty obvious that the dude on the ladder is not a USAF CC.
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Unread post28 Jan 2006, 23:17

O.K. Here´s the announced update with the missed pictures related to my seventh preview.

These pics were taken during the 120th FS´s homecoming ceremony at Buckley AFB on April 30, 2003 (all photos by Michelle Ancell). If the main link should be work again, please click http://www.aps.k12.co.us/rangeview/spec ... 302003.htm

For my seventh preview originally I selected the following four pics:

Image

Members from the Rangeview Band probably together with returned pilots in front of 87-0279.

Hi-res version:
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a299/ ... C00127.jpg

Image

Some returned aircraft of one of the „two neat rows“ with eight aircraft each (see „Rocky Mountain News“ in my seventh preview above). In the foreground 86-0367, followed by 86-0345, 86-0338 and 86-0358.

Hi-res version:
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a299/ ... C00123.jpg

Image

That´s a look of the other „neat row“, also with eight aircraft. In the foreground at left 87-0279.

Hi-res version:
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a299/ ... C00122.jpg

Image

Anyone who can and will identify this returned pilot (whit either 410th AEW or 410th EOG patch)

Hi-res version:
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a299/ ... C00118.jpg


Sorry again! I downloaded all related hi-res pics, but after posting there are only mid-res pics. So I think I have a problem. sh*t! See you later!
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Unread post29 Jan 2006, 08:56

Good news! The hi-res versions of 120th FS´s homecoming pics from Buckley AFB on April 30, 2003 are online again at http://www.aps.k12.co.us/rangeview/spec ... 302003.htm
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Unread post29 Jan 2006, 22:11

great pics of those aviano birds Haz....

also glad you caught where I took my name from, an old fuel shop bro of mine named my fave tail 89-2018 ghettobird while we were there.

If you have any more pics, especially of 2018 or 2009 I'd love to add them to my personal hard drive.
If it aint broke dont fix it, and yes Sir its supposed to leak like that ;)
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Unread post29 Jan 2006, 23:05

I think I can be of some help with the original post by JJ. I was stationed at Mt. Home in the 389th during the kick off to OIF. If my memory serves me correct it was Jan or Feb 03 when we gave the 157th 6 jets (2 non-CCIP and 4 CCIP). We (the 389th) did not deploy to the desert at all, we just loaned six aircraft to the SC gaurd. They ended up returning two aircraft (the non-CCIP jets) prior to deploying and took four jets with them. I think we got the short end of the deal because part of the agreement was that we do the acceptance inspections on their jets returning from depot. So we had at least four or five different configurations to maintain (talk about an ass-pain). Hope this info helps.
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Unread post30 Jan 2006, 03:39

Thank you very much, Viper-Spec! That very helps. Could be your info is related to the following statement in "Code One" magazine´s "Operation Iraqi Freedom Debrief" (or not?):

Three Versions
We had three different versions of the F-16 in one unit. Operating successfully involved more than just preparing an aircraft to fly. We had to have the right software and ordnance combination as well. Flight leads flew the latest version of the software, which is MMC 3.1. We had six jets equipped with 3.1 software, which gives the F-16 the ability to carry targeting pods and self-designate LGBs. MMC 3.1 also gives the aircraft air-to-air interrogator as well as all the capability provided by previous software. Six other jets had MMC 2.3 software with color displays and the remaining three jets had Tape 50T5, which provides our standard HARM, HTS, and inertially aided munitions. Getting all these versions to work together was a pain, but worth it. The experience of the maintainers and the experience of the pilots made it all possible.
Maj. Boris Armstrong


Unfortunately, "Code One" did not refer to any squadron designation. But with the 157th EFS definitely 15 aircraft were deployed. Anyone who can and will verify the unit of Maj. Boris Armstrong?
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Unread post31 Jan 2006, 23:47

In a couple of days I will post my ninth preview, related to the 410th AEW and their subordinated 387th AEG. Because this preview would be very "sensitive" (solely related to their officially undisclosed or still "classified" deployed locations), at first I will post some excerpts of my main research sources for my individual "chain of proof" – all online-published for public. So I think, you can some better understand my considerations. All of this stuff should make clear that the 410th AEW and the 387th AEG really were activated in the Kingdom of Jordan. And at last I will finally reveal an "open secret" – the exactly location of the 410th AEW. In my opinion, nearly three years after OIF´s main combat phase that´s military history. But step by step. And please scroll not to the end immediately! Rather than please simple follow the thread.

Related to two posted official USAF photos, in my eight preview I stated:

Comment:

Both photos are currently online at www.dodmedia.osd.mil. That´s the website of the Defense Visual Information Center (DVIC) at March Air Reserve Base, Moreno Valley, California. DVIC is a division of the American Forces Information Service (AFIS), which is a field activity of the Secretary of Defense.

The 410th AEW´s deployed location is up today officially still "classified" but already known both by deployed personnel (logically) as well as by well-informed non-military circles.

But if DVIC official states for public that the F-16C pilot was "greeted by a Crew Chief, from the Jordanian Royal Air Force and USAF 410th Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW) Crew Chiefs", then it´s absolutely clear that the 410th AEW was activated somewhere in Jordan. And if USAF stated that the F-16s on the first photo were from Colorado and Alabama Air National Guard units, then it´s also clear that the 120th EFS, the 160th EFS, and all of the related support personnel were deployed to a Jordanian air base. In this case, the U.S. military themselves has disclosed at least the host nation.
(Some more about the 410th AEW in my next preview)


And here starts the huge new thread:

187th FW history (official public online version):

The 187th was again called to active duty in January 2003 until April 2003 as part of the largest military mobilization since the 1991Gulf War. This marked the largest unit activation in the units 50 year history with over 500 personnel being deployed along with aircraft and equipment for Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 187th, as an integral part of the Total Force, deployed to an undisclosed Middle Eastern location as the lead unit, commanding a mixture of Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, Active Air Force and British Air Force units comprising the 410th Air Expeditionary Wing. This marked the largest integration of coalition Air and Special Forces Operations in history with over 3,500 personnel operating out of this location. The 410th‘s mission was to prevent Iraqi missile launches against coalition forces and neighboring countries.


Operation Iraqi Freedom Debrief ("Code One" magazine, first quarter 2004 issue), published by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company):

410th Air Expeditionary Wing
The 410th AEW operated from two bare-base locations. Fighting alongside their fully integrated special operations ground task forces, the 410 AEW´s pilots, flying F-16 and A-10 aircraft, pursued enemy equipment, personnel, and high-value targets, including regime leadership. In total, the wing flew 9,651 fighter and attack hours in twenty-six days flying counter-tactical ballistic-missile missions and never left the special operations forces in western Iraq without air cover. Often flying in extremely hazardous conditions in and around Iraq, the wing's crews generated 2,547 sorties, providing around-the-clock, time-sensitive targeting, interdiction, OCA, CAS, ISR, and CSAR missions deep within enemy territory. These missions were flown from bare bases with little supporting infrastructure and necessary logistics. The wing accurately employed more than 600 precision-guided munitions and expended a total of 800,000 pounds of weapons. In addition to eliminating TBM support equipment, the wing is credited with destroying aircraft, armored vehicles, artillery pieces, surfacetoair missile systems, ammunition supply dumps, radars, and enemy troops. The wing is also credited with the destruction of two Baath Party headquarters buildings in western and central Iraq. Although the wing was engaged in more than 200 troopsincontact scenarios, there were no fratricide events. During OIF, 410th personnel supplied thirty F16s, four HH60s, four HC130s, eight RAF GR.7 Harriers, and two PR.9 Canberras with 130,000 gallons of fuel per day for twenty-three days.


104th Fighter Wing recognized with Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor (published by "abc40" on March 17, 2004):

(Westfield-) -- The 104th Fighter Wing (FW), Massachusetts Air National Guard, Barnes Air National Guard Base has been awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor by the U.S. Air Force for its role in Operation Iraqi Freedom from January 1, 2003 to May 21, 2003.

During that period, the 104th FW deployed about half its personnel, some 500, and 11 of its 17 A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft to a classified location in Southwest Asia. There, under the overall command of the 410th Air Expeditionary Wing, U.S. Central Command Air Forces, the 104th FW was the lead unit of the 387th Air Expeditionary Group, a combined unit consisting of 1300 personnel housed at an austere location near the Iraqi border. The 387th AEG was further comprised of an A-10 squadron, a Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron, an Emergency Field Medical Squadron and Hospital and other Special Operations personnel. The commander of the 387th AEG was Col. Michael R. Boulanger, 104th FW Commander. The Outstanding Unit Award was awarded to all of the ten units that comprised the 410th AEW.

The mission of the 104th FW/387th AEG/410th AEW was to accomplish the President of the United States' goal of preventing the entry of neighboring countries into the conflict by denying battle space necessary to launch Theatre Ballistic Missiles from western Iraq, essentially, an "anti-Scud" effort. Other mission parameters were to operate as the primary Combat Search and Rescue airborne platform for the entire theater and to provide Close Air Support and Air Interdiction in support of ground troops.

Backed by hundreds of support and maintenance personnel, the 104th FW's A-10s and their pilots flew every day of the war, amassing 1119 sorties, 892 during the war, for a total of 3821 hours with no combat losses, battle damage or significant personal injury, compiling a 99 percent Mission Effectiveness Rate. They also flew 35 Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) missions in support of ground personnel. These flying totals represent the equivalent of 75 percent of the flying done in a "normal" year done in a few weeks.

As part of the war preparations, the 104th FW was selected to be the first A-10 unit to implement the Litening II Targeting Pod Program. The Litening II Pod is a precision targeting pod system that significantly increases the combat effectiveness of the aircraft. The addition of this pod to an A-10 by the 104th was a pioneering effort - no pods had existed on any A-10s, in the Air Force up to this point. In a very short timeframe, beginning in fall of '02, wing personnel installed, trained maintainers and pilots and made adjustments, resulting in 34 modified aircraft, 18 modified pods and 54 qualified pilots in less than three months.


Note: As an exception that´s the full article, probably widely based on the award citation. Anyone from involved personnel who can and will me provide a copy of the original citation? I would be very grateful.

F-16s Attacked From Jordon, Despite Denials (published online by "Aviation Week & Space Technology", April 28, 2003):

A large number of U.S. strike missions to suppress military activity in western Iraq were quietly launched from an airbase in eastern Jordan, despite that government's denial that U.S. forces there carried out offensive military operations against Iraq.
Publicly, Jordan's leaders said they were not a party to the conflict and there was no activity from inside their country against Iraq. The U.S. presence was limited, they said, to several hundred troops, most of whom manned Patriot air defense missile batteries.
Of particular concern to U.S. planners were moving targets around or in the Scud boxes along the border with Syria. Scud boxes are pre-measured launch areas in Iraq from which a Scud could be fired with some hope of hitting Tel Aviv or other large targets in Israel.
A total of 24 F-16s, equipped with advanced Litening II targeting pods and GBU-27 laser-guided bombs, along with their pilots and ground crews, were pulled from the Colorado, District of Columbia and Alabama Air National Guards for the assignment, according to one of the pilots involved and a senior Air Force official. Such amalgamations are called "Rainbow" units, and this one served as the 120th Expeditionary Fighter Sqdn., under the 410 Air Expeditionary Wing. Officials of the D.C. Air National Guard would only say that pilots and ground crews from their 113th Wing were at a "classified location" in the Middle East.
Pilots and ground crews have begun returning home after flying 700 sorties. In addition to preventing Scuds from being fired into Israel, they supported ground operations in the occupation of the H-1, H-2 and H-3 airfields in Iraq as well as participating in the battles for Baghdad and Al Qaim. The latter, near the border with Syria, was one of the last strongholds for organized Iraqi defense. During the fighting, an associated HH-60-equipped combat search and rescue unit shifted its operational site forward from Jordan to Iraq's H-1 base much nearer Baghdad.


Note: The number of 24 F-16s is incorrect (see my eight preview). The word "Jordon" in the headline is not a spelling mistake from me, it´s really online.

D.C. Guard recieves a welcome home ("The On Guard", Newspaper of the Army and Air National Guard, June 2003 issue):

The 250 DC Guard members supported one of the war's most sensitive missions with members of two other Air Guard wings from a base whose location cannot be disclosed, it was explained. Their job was to prevent Iraq from launching Scud missiles at Israel and against the U.S-led coalition forces.
"It was very important for us to prevent anything that would draw Israel into the war," one of the fighter pilots said.
The DC Guard members shared that mission with members of the Air Guard's 187th Fighter Wing from Montgomery, Ala., and the 140th Wing from Aurora, Col.
The fact that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's ill-fated regime did not launch any Scuds or torch the oil fields or employ chemical weapons was one of the big surprises of the war, DC Guard members explained. So was the fact that they all got to come home a lot sooner than they had originally expected.
Most of the 1,200 members of the three Air Guard units that helped to watch over Israel have either come home or are returning, it was explained.


DCANG receives 11th Outstanding Unit Award ("The National Guard", June 25, 2004):

Contributing considerably to the award, during OIF the 121st Fighter Squadron, as a component of the 410th Air Expeditionary Wing, flew 1,345 flight hours in support of OIF, dropping 638 precision bombs, said MSgt Jeffrey A. Thacker, 113th Equipment Maintenance Flight.

Additionally while evading enemy anti-aircraft artillery and surface to air missiles the 121st FS pilots carried out its primary mission of offensive Counter-Tactical Ballistic Missile (C-TBM) operations as well as support for Coalition Special Forces, non traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance without a single loss or casualty, said Col. Redman

The selection committee also recognized the DCANG’s ability to contribute and adapt to the Total Force concept. The then 113th Logistics Group Commander, Col. Donald C. Mozeley, deployed with the advanced team to Southwest Asia to make preparations for a logistics wartime contingency, then commanded the 410th Expeditionary Logistics Group (ELG). The 410th ELG comprised of three ANG and one Air Force Reserve Command F-16 units and three active duty Combat Search and Rescue units.

The aircraft maintainers (ground crews, technicians, and managers) of the 113th Logistics Group serving with the 410th AEW, contributed to the overwhelming successful achievement of flying 1,962 aircraft sorties with no maintenance non-deliveries (the inability to launch because of mechanical problems) said Master Sgt. Julie A. Wood, 113th Maintenance Group.


Air Force Navigates Gulf´s Political Map ("AP" news article, March 23, 2003):

Taking his KC-10 Extender southwest across Bulgaria, Neill threads through the Greek islands before swinging southeast over the Mediterranean and across the Sinai Desert in Egypt. He then makes a 90 degree turn to the northwest at the southern tip of Israel to narrowly avoid Israeli airspace and the political fallout that would result from U.S. warplanes crossing over the territory into Arab countries – even the KC-10 tankers that are modified versions of a civilian DC-10 jet. […] From there, it´s a quick trip through Jordan, where some of the six F-16 fighters that Neill refueled Saturday night were based. But there are no refueling "boxes" laid out near the Iraqi-Jordanian border, again because of diplomatic haggling over who can do what, where and when.


Joint fires support, the joint fires element and the CGRS: keys to success for CJSOTF-West (by Robert B. Green, "Special Warfare", April, 2005):

During the early, pre-deployment planning phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the combined-force commander gave Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-West, or CJSOTF-W, the mission of interdicting ground-based time-sensitive targets, or TSTs, in the western desert of Iraq in support of the combined force air-component commander, or CFACC, and the CFACC's counter-SCUD mission.

The mission marked two firsts: (1) For the first time, the CFACC had operational control of an extensive piece of ground--the entire western desert of Iraq, which was his assigned area of operations, or AO; (2) CJSOTF-W, a subcomponent of the Combined Force Special Operations Component commander, or CFSOCC, was designated as the supporting commander for the mission--the first instance of a SOF task-force commander serving as a supporting commander to the CFACC.

CJSOTF-W comprised units from the U.S. 5th Special Forces Group and the British and Australian Special Air Service regiments. Its C-SCUD mission would become the largest coalition SOF operation in history. To plan the mission, CJSOTF-W established a coalition working group consisting of planners from the U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command, or ACC; the U.S. Central Command Air Force, or CENTAF; other government agencies and coalition special-operations planners from CJSOTF-W's U.S., British and Australian contingents.

In addition to traditional staff planning, CJSOTF-W conducted a series of three live-fly exercises at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., to develop and test the mission's tactics, techniques and procedures, or TTPs; and its concepts of operation, or CONOPS. The live-flys consisted of joint air-ground operations on the Nellis ranges conducted by portions of CJSOTF-W; the Joint Special Operations Aviation Detachment-West, or JSOAD-W; and CENTAF assets who would later deploy together to conduct the mission. Assets in the live-flys included SF operational detachments and patrols; infiltration platforms; bomber and strike platforms; tanker and airborne command-and-control, or [C.sup.2], support; and a complete combined air operations center, or CAOC.

The CFACC established a dedicated air wing, the 410th Air Expeditionary Wing, or AEW, which consisted of strike assets from the Air National Guard, the Air Force Reserve and the British Royal Air Force, to support the C-SCUD mission. The operation became the first instance in which a SOF task force received all of its apportioned close air support, or CAS, as well as much of its support for air-interdiction, or AI, from a single, dedicated air wing.

Dedicated joint-fires support available to CJSOTF-W included CAS from the 410th AEW, AI support from both the 410th AEW and other CENTAF assets, and AC-130 gunship support from JSOAD-W. Additional joint-fires support was available, upon request, from U.S. Army high-mobility artillery rocket systems, with Army tactical-missile-system capability, that were operating within the area. Other potential joint-fires support assets available in theater included Navy Tomahawk cruise missiles and Air Force air-launched cruise missiles.


Note: The author, Col. Robert B. Green, was the CJSOTF-West Joint Fires Element Director for OIF. The Combined Forces Air Component Commander (CFACC) during OIF´s main combat phase was Lt. Gen. T. Michael "Buzz" Moseley, at this time U.S. Central Command Air Forces commander. Copyrights of this article are by the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, and by the Gale Group.

General Tommy Franks discusses conductiong the war in Iraq (Edited transcript of an interview by "Knight Ridder Newspapers", published on June 19, 2003):

"The second front: We knew that one of the strategic dislocators, as it had been in 1991, would be an attack on either Jordan or Israel, or perhaps both. So we knew we needed to gain control of the western desert, 25 percent of Iraq, as quickly as possible, and we decided that the best way to do that was with Special Operations forces. We decided that the number of SF operators would need to be rather large, 25 to 50 A Teams, and others from three other nations. So control of western desert was a second front, and we knew we needed to do that very, very early."

"We said one of the first things we better do is get the Special Operators out and in control of the western 25 percent of Iraq, so we better introduce them first. A little known fact is that the introduction of those forces in the west was ahead of the operations that were much reported, air and ground operations, from the south. By the time operations started in the south, we already had between 25 and 40 SF teams operating in the west."

"They were able to do this without being compromised, except that the regime knew they were there. They knew they were there and they didn´t know why. On of the ingredients of that was the taking out of 100 visual observation posts between the border with Jordan and Iraq, and between the border with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. So we took out half of those one night, introduced SF operators, and took out the other half the next night."

"You may recall the embedding of reporters. Well, we did not embed reporters with special operations forces at this point because we did not want to take any chance of this leaking into the press about operations in the west until we had denied the regime the opportunity to use the SCUD missiles. So SF was first."


Note: At this time General Tommy Franks was the U.S. Central Command commander.

The exactly location of the 387th AEG was mainly disclosed by U.S. news media reports about Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, Florida National Guard:

"USA Today" (July 16, 2003)

After several weeks of training, his company arrived at Prince Hassan Air Base in Jordan on Feb. 16. Their mission was to provide security and search-and-rescue support to the special operations forces.
Because of diplomatic sensitivities in Jordan, coalition operations launched from there before and during the war were cloaked in secrecy. Much of what went on has still not been fully disclosed. But Wershow´s [Army Spc. Jeffrey Wershow] unit became one of the first to enter Iraq as the war began. Under cover of darkness and using night-vision googles to see, they breached dirt berms on Iraq´s borders with Jordan and Saudi Arabia to allow special operations forces to drive through


"Military Times" (via "Air Force Times", September 10, 2003)

From day one it was intense. The "secret" commando base was set up at a Jordanian airfield, dubbed "H-5", in the rocky eastern desert along the Iraq border. […] At the time, Jordanian officials strenuously denied that any coalition forces based in the country would be used for an assault against Iraq. But tell that to an Orlando guardsman who was inside the mission buildup, and you will get an eye-rolling chuckle in response. […] As the prewar preparations increased, the number of troops at H-5 swelled to nearly 6,000. The base eventually played host to the "Nightstalkers" of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, operatives from the British and Australian Special Air service, officers from "other government agencies" – the term often used to describe the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency – and even a detachment of Air Force A-10 "Warthog" attack jets.


According to an U.S. military PowerPoint presentation, related to the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command (32nd AAMDC), during the force build-up for OIF the U.S. military deployed Patriot batteries to the following four Jordanian locations:

King Faisal (= King Faisal Air Base)
Amman (= Jordan´s capital)
Azraq (= Shahid Muafaq Al-Salti Air Base near Azraq)
Prince Hassan (= Prince Hassan Air Base – also called H5, one of some oil pumping stations in Iraq and Jordan which were dubbed as „H“s originally by the Brits)


Final 410th AEW deployed Jordan air base identification

After all of that in this very huge post (Sorry!) the only remaining question is: To which Jordanian air base the 410th AEW and their F-16s were deployed?

Maybe you would be surprised. But again, the definite answer was given by U.S. military personnel. The key were only a handful posts from 410th AEW personnel via their public and non-secured web and e-mail accesses - not only to family members and friends, but also to open forums, alumni websites and church websites. In all cases the main part of the related e-mail adress was …@azab.aorcentaf.af.mil (azab = Azraq Air Base, aorcentaf = Area of Responsibility, Central Command Air Forces, af = Air Force, mil = Military). The related e-mail adress for Prince Hassan Air Base (or H5) was …@phab.aorcentaf.af.mil.

And so, it´s finally clear: The 410th AEW and their assigned F-16s were definitely deployed to Shahid Muafaq Al-Salti Air Base near Azraq, called Azraq AB by U.S. CENTAF.

In Latin: Quod erat demonstrandum

Only one small request to F-16.net´s webmasters. If there any OPSEC/COMSEC guy should say :nono:, please remove only this post and not the entire topic.
Last edited by J.J. on 02 Feb 2006, 23:18, edited 1 time in total.
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J.J.

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Unread post01 Feb 2006, 22:44

Some additions to my previous post:

Rescue Operations in the Second Gulf War (by Col. Darrel D. Whitcomb, retired, "Air & Space Power Journal", spring 2005)

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, three Air Force rescue task forces deployed to the theater. One task force – consisting of the 66th Rescue Squadron (RQS), flying the HH-60 helicopter; the 71st RQS, flying the HC-130 tanker aircraft; and the 38th RQS, providing pararescue jumpers (PJ) – deployed to locations in Jordan. These active duty units came from Nellis AFB, Nevada, and Moody AFB, Georgia. […] Additionally, all three task forces were collocated with A-10 units to allow close coordination between the recovery helicopters and their support aircraft. Anticipating a swift-moving ground campaign, the task forces were organized and equipped to move forward into Iraq as coalition forces seized enemy airfields.



According to a declassified military PowerPoint presentation (given by an U.S. Navy officer), "CJSOTF-W (Jordan)" included 30 Teams and 46 A/C (aircraft).


A look back:

From March 30 to June 28, 1996, USAF deployed a second "experimental“ Aerospace Expeditionary Force (AEF II) to the CENTCOM AOR to conduct OSW missions. Their designation was 4417th Air Expeditionary Force. This deployment included 34 aircraft and 1,200 personnel. The personnel and the assigned 30 fighter aircraft (12 F-15Cs from the 94th FS, Langley AFB, 12 F-16CGs from the 68th FS, Moody AFB, and 6 F-16CJs from the 389th FS, Mountain Home AFB, were located at "Shaheed Mwaffaq Air Base" near Azraq. Four KC-135Rs from the 96th ARS, Fairchild AFB, were located at Prince Hassan AB.

To make comparisons, here are some "Azraq Air Base" pictures from 1996 (OSW) and 2003 (OIF). Look at the probable unique "walls" behind! Anyone who can and will tell me their purpose? Either blast deflection or splinter protection?

Image

1996: An F-15C from the 94th FS (USAF photo)

Hi-res version:
http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/Assets/Stil ... 05256.JPEG

Image

2003: 85-1449 from the 457th FS (Photo by Gregory Murano via smugmug.com)

Mid-res version:
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a299/ ... 5385-O.jpg

Image

2003: 85-1402 from the 457th FS (Photo by Gregory Murano via smugmug.com)

Mid-res version:
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a299/ ... 5384-O.jpg

Note: These and some more online published photos taken by Greg currently are not more online at smugmug.com (a private photo album website). Fortunately I secured the pics, originally posted by Bob and Janet (Greg´s parents). Greg was deployed for OIF to Jordan (Prince Hassan AB) with the 104th FW, an A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II ("Warthog") unit. But he took these and some other interesting pics definitely at Azraq AB.


Hangars at "Azraq Air Base":

Image

1996: An F-16CJ from the 389th FS. (USAF photo)

Hi-res version:
http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/Assets/Stil ... 05248.JPEG

Image

1996: An F-16 from the 68th FS. (USAF photo) (No hi-res version online)

(As I know, in F-16.net´s photo gallery are some more related pics.)

ViperLoader! Would you describe some more details about "Azraq AB"?
Last edited by J.J. on 28 Nov 2007, 07:00, edited 2 times in total.
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