Operation Iraqi Freedom (F-16 Combat History)

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J.J.

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Unread post06 Jan 2006, 22:25

Hi all! Unfortunately, the discussion thread in the topic "OIF Vipers" (created by Henrik on August 24, 2005) was very, very short. I will create this totally new OIF related topic to post some previews of my planned fact file "Operation Iraqi Freedom" for F-16.net´s upcoming brand new section "F-16 Combat History". This topic also should be an open discussion platform for related questions and answers, and also for additional info and corrections. I would be very grateful for any support, especially from people who were involved. With your help I will finally edit a very well researched fact file, which is authentic and should be provide a lot of the true OIF Viper story.

In this special case I also look forward for Osprey Publishing´s upcoming title "<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1841769940/threefournineA">F-16 Fighting Falcon Units of Operation Iraqi Freedom</a>" (Osprey Combat Aircraft 61), written by Steve Davies and Doug Dildy, and illustrated by Chris Davey. This book is announced for February 28, 2006.

Originally, my first preview should give a short overview of all deployed F-16 units and their deployed locations (including their host units). The second preview should cover the 410th AEW.

But instead of that, I must start this topic with an important question.

To this day I overlooked the fact that elements of the 389th FS "Thunderbolts", 366th FW "Gunfighters" (ACC), Mountain Home AFB (tail code MO), with at least two F-16s were also deployed to the 379th AEW at Al Udeid AB, Qatar, for OIF´s main combat phase.

Here´s one of at least two related photo proofs:

Image

Two 389th FS birds are visible in the background, in a row with other Vipers from the 157th FS "Swamp Fox", 169th FW (South Carolina ANG), McEntire ANGS.

Hi-res version:
http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/Assets/Stil ... 05158.JPEG

Another proof is a 389th EFS OIF patch (desert style) in F-16.net´s patch collection (Asif Shamim Collection): http://www.f-16.net/f-16_patches_album138-patchaao.html

Deployed to the 379th AEW for OIF´s main combat phase were mainly 24 F-16CJs from the 22nd FS "Stingers" and the 23rd FS "Fighting Hawks", both of the 52nd FW (USAFE), Spangdahlem AB, Germany. They were mainly joined by 15 F-16CJs from the 157th FS "Swamp Fox", 169th FW (South Carolina ANG), McEntire ANGS.

Anyone who can and will explain a little bit more about this 389th FS deployment?

During the next couple of days I will post some of my originally planned previews.
Last edited by J.J. on 28 Nov 2007, 07:14, edited 6 times in total.
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HazF16

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Unread post06 Jan 2006, 23:28

damn that pic is nice as hell. I just got a new wallpaper. thanks for the good work JJ, I'm lookin forward to the next part(s).

Haz
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JakeMelampy

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Unread post07 Jan 2006, 01:16

It was my understanding that two 389FS jets were loaned to the 169FW as replacements, as the 169FW had several jets at depot getting CCIP'd. I believe the two jets in question were operated by 169FW personnel.

Jake
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J.J.

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Unread post07 Jan 2006, 02:35

JakeMelampy wrote:
It was my understanding that two 389FS jets were loaned to the 169FW as replacements, as the 169FW had several jets at depot getting CCIP'd. I believe the two jets in question were operated by 169FW personnel.


Wow!!! And thank you very, very much, JakeMelampy! If you are correct, there were really only two 389th FS jets “loaned” to the 169th FW. Another question: were these two individual aircraft integrated parts of the deployed 157th EFS (169th FW)?
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Boman

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Unread post07 Jan 2006, 11:56

Does anyone have a date for this excellent photo ?
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HazF16

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Unread post07 Jan 2006, 15:03

Boman wrote:Does anyone have a date for this excellent photo ?

it says 4/7/2003
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J.J.

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Unread post07 Jan 2006, 23:12

Boman! The search mode at www.dodmedia.osd.mil is very, very inconstant. On some days you get all what you want, on other days you get nothing. Today I would search again for this photo release date and their original caption - but zero!!! To get all F-16 related dodmedia pictures for OIF´s main combat phase, I spend about five hours on my PC (including the time to identify the aircraft´s serial numbers). In the next couple of days I will download all related OSW/ONW/OEF/OIF pictures from this great online photo archive, and I will also made a lot of print-outs to secure all of the photo captions. In German words: Ich will auf Nummer sicher gehen!
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J.J.

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Unread post08 Jan 2006, 07:46

Bingo, Boman! The photo was taken (or registered by VIRIN) on April 8, 2003.

Original photo caption: These GBU-31A 1000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) will be loaded on F-16CJ Fighting Falcon Fighters assigned to the 157th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron (EFS), at a forward-deployed location, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Camera Operator: SMSGT Edward E. Snyder, USAF. (Photo ID: DFSD0505158 / 030408F9448S014)

Associated is the following picture:

Image

Original photo caption: US Air Force (USAF) Technical Sergeant (TSGT) Anthony King, right and TSGT Art Cavannaugh, Weapons Technicians with the 157TH Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMXU), begin loading these GBU-31A 1000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) on waiting F-16CJ Fighting Falcon Fighters assigned to the 157th Expeditionary Fighter Sqadron (EFS), at a forward-deployed location, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Camera Operator: SMSGT Edward E. Snyder, USAF (Photo ID: DFSD0505159 / 030408F9448S016)

Hi-res version:
http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/Assets/Stil ... 05159.JPEG
Last edited by J.J. on 28 Nov 2007, 07:17, edited 2 times in total.
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J.J.

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Unread post08 Jan 2006, 09:53

HazF16! Another wallpaper for you:

Image

Original photo caption:
A US Air Force (USAF) F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft assigned to the 52nd Fighter Wing, 22nd Fighter Squadron (FS) Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, attached to the 409th Air Expeditionary Group, flies an observation mission near Camp Sarafovo, Bulgaria, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. The aircraft is armed with AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (ARAAM), an AIM-9 Sidewinder missile, and two CBU-87 Combined Effects Munitions.


Hi-res version:
http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/Assets/Stil ... 04056.JPEG

Note from me: In parts, this caption is incorrect. In fact, the picture was taken on April 9, 2003, somewhere over northern Iraq. On that day, photographer MSGT Dave Ahlschwede (USAF) flew with a KC-10A Extender which refueled some OIF aircraft, including F-16s, U.S. Navy F/A-18C Hornets, and a RC-135 Rivet Joint. For OIF, USAF had deployed some KC-10As to the 409th AEG at Burgas IAP, Bulgaria (Camp Sarafovo), for air refueling missions.
Elements of the 22nd FS "Stingers" and of the 23rd FS "Fighting Hawks", 52nd FW (USAFE), Spangdahlem AB, Germany, were deployed as 22nd EFS and 23rd EFS to the 379th AEW at Al Udeid AB, Qatar. The picture shows the 22nd FS´s flagship (91-0339) with "The Big 22" on the flash. A second photo (see below) shows the same bird together with 92-3915 from the 23rd EFS.
Question: Are that really CBU-87s or CBU-103 WCMDs (CBU-87s with WCMD tail kit)?

Image

Hi-res version:
http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/Assets/Stil ... 04055.JPEG
Last edited by J.J. on 28 Nov 2007, 07:19, edited 1 time in total.
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HazF16

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Unread post08 Jan 2006, 12:53

awesome pics, JJ and good job on the research.

anyone know what those white diamond shaped figures right in front of the yellow stripes on the CBUs mean? I think they don't have any ammo identification color coding significance but what the heck does they stand for? I've never seen such ammo ID markings on a CBU (the ammo ID color white usually stands for illuminating ammo IIRC, but the diamonds say it doesn't have any coding significance-- so what?).
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J.J.

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Unread post20 Jan 2006, 23:15

After some days and nights of remembering and searching my archives here´s my first "official" preview:

General F-16 Deployment Overview

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

During the main combat phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), deployed U.S. F-16 units operated out of four different Southwest Asian air bases:

Used air bases and their associated U.S. CENTAF (Forward) host units:

- Ahmed Al Jaber AB, Kuwait: 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing (332nd AEW)
- Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia: 363rd Air Expeditionary Wing (363rd AEW)
- Al Udeid AB, Qatar: 379th Air Expeditionary Wing (379th AEW)
- "Classified" location: 410th Air Expeditionary Wing (410th AEW)

Note: The deployed location of the 410th AEW is officially still "classified". But this location is already known, both by deployed personnel as well as by well-informed non-military circles. On this "open" public forum I will not disclose the location by name (I think, some of the OPSEC/COMSEC guys would give me a "Kick-Ass"), but in a future preview I will give a lot of official, semi-official and privately info which I gathered from USAF, news media or involved military personnel. I think, most of you should be able to interpret these facts which were all published for public on the web.

Deployed Aircraft

On April 30, 2003, U.S. CENTAF´s Assessment and Analysis Division released an "unclassified" version of "Operation IRAQI FREEDOM – By The Numbers". This initial report (up today never updated for the public), based on the "best available" data in the closing days of OIF´s main combat phase. The report was produced at Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia (where OIF´s Coalition Air Operations Center – CAOC – was located), for the commander, U.S. Central Command Air Forces (shortened als dubbed Central Air Forces) [CENTAF Forward] – at this time Lt. Gen. T. Michael "Buzz" Moseley. During OIF, Moseley was also the Combined Forces Air Component Commander (CFACC).

According to this official report, 60 "F-16" and 71 "F-16CJ" were "deployed for OIF". The report also states that the related deployment time frame included 45 ANG F-16s and 6 AFRC F-16s (Check out the finally notes further below).

According to my own researches, elements of the following F-16 units were deployed for OIF:



332nd AEW, Ahmed Al Jaber AB, Kuwait

(Altogether 12 F-16CG Block 40)

524th FS "Hounds of Heaven", 27th FW (ACC), Cannon AFB, New Mexico (tail code: CC)
(12 F-16CG Block 40)



363rd AEW, Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia

(Altogether 18 F-16CJ Block 50)

14th FS, 35th FW (PACAF), Misawa AB, Japan (tail code: WW)
(6 F-16CJ Block 50)

77th FS "Gamblers", 20th FW (ACC), Shaw AFB, near Sumter, South Carolina (tail code: SW)
(12 F-16CJ Block 50)



379th AEW, Al Udeid AB, Qatar

(Altogether 39 F-16CJ Block 50/52)

22nd FS "Stingers", 52nd FW (USAFE), Spangdahlem AB, Germany (tail code SP)
(~12) F-16CJ Block 50

23rd FS "Fighting Hawks", 52nd FW (USAFE), Spangdahlem AB, Germany (tail code SP)
(~12) F-16CJ Block 50

(Note: Altogether the 52nd FW deployed 24 aircraft.)

157th FS "Swamp Fox", 169th FW (South Carolina ANG), McEntire ANGS, near Eastover (tail sign: SOUTH CAROLINA)
15 F-16CJ Block 52
(Note: The deployed 157th EFS included 2 or 6 F-16CJ Block 52 from the
389th FS "Thunderbolts", 366th FW "Gunfighters" (ACC), Mountain Home AFB, (tail code: MO)
(Altogether 15 aircraft were deployed.)



410th AEW, still "classified" location

(Altogether 36 F-16C+ Block 30)

160th FS, 187th FW (Alabama ANG), Dannelly Field, Montgomery, Alabama (tail code: AL)
14 F-16C+ Block 30

120th FS, 140th Wg (Colorado ANG), Buckley AFB, Aurora, Colorado (tail code: CO)
16 F-16+ Block 30

121st FS, 113th Wg (D.C. ANG)
(only personnel, no aircraft deployed)

466th FS "Diamondbacks", 419th FW (AFRC), Hill AFB, Utah (tail code: HI)
2 F-16+ Block 30

457th FS, 301st FW (AFRC), NAS Fort Worth JRB (Carswell Field), Texas (tail code: TX)
2 F-16+ Block 30

93rd FS, 482nd FW (AFRC), Homestead ARB, Florida (tail code: FM)
2 F-16+ Block 30

Note: The AFRC jets were originally deployed for Operation Southern Watch (OSW) to the 363rd AEW at Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia, but later were relocated to the 410th AEW.



Summary of my own researches:

F-16s (F-16C+ and F-16CG):
12 F-16CG at Ahmed Al Jaber AB, Kuwait
36 F-16C+ at a "classified" location (including 30 ANG aircraft and 6 AFRC aircraft)
= 48

F-16CJs:
18 at Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia
39 at Al Udeid AB, Qatar
= 57

In comparison to the CENTAF report, there are "missing" the following numbers:
12 F-16s (that´s a typically full F-16 EFS worth!) and 4 F-16CJs

Should the CENTAF report possibly include the last two F-16 contingents for Operation Northern Watch (ONW), which were "frozen" at Incirlik AB, Turkey? Or are there some leaks in my own researches? As a sample: Were there really only 6 jets deployed from Misawa, possible together with the 6 AFRC jets as an originally "Rainbow Team" at Prince Sultan AB?


Finally notes:
CENTAF´s number of deployed AFRC F-16s is absolutely correct and well verified. In contrast, the number of deployed ANG F-16s (according to CENTAF 45 aircraft) need some corrections. It´s absolutely clear, that all of the 30 ANG F-16s deployed to the 410th AEW were really ANG jets (definitely 14 from Alabama and 16 from Colorado). These numbers (together with the 6 assigned AFRC F-16s) were first-hand confirmed by involved personnel via PM to me.
But, in fact, some of the 15 jets which deployed with the 157th EFS to the 379th AEW at Al Udeid AB, Qatar, were "borrowed" from the 389th FS "Thunderbolts", 366th FW "Gunfighters" (ACC), Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. A single dodmedia photo which I posted earlier on this topic shows only two 389th FS jets together with some 157th FS aircraft. But according to the "Operation Iraqi Freedom Debrief", published in the 1st Quarter 2004 online issue of Lockheed Martin´s "Code One" magazine (edited by Eric Hehs), this deployed aircraft package included six Block 52 F-16s from the 366th FW, accompanied by four active-duty pilots from this unit.
In a reply to this topic, JakeMelampy wrote: "It was my understanding that two 389FS jets were loaned to the 169FW as replacements, as the 169FW had several jets at depot getting CCIP'd. I believe the two jets in question were operated by 169FW personnel."
Anyone who can and will confirm definitely the really numbers of deployed jets from the 157th FS and the 389th FS? On the web, I verified definitely nine deployed 157th FS jets.


I would be very grateful for any comments, corrections or additional info! My second preview will cover deployment and re-deployment details of all involved F-16 units.
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Henrik

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Unread post20 Jan 2006, 23:47

Hello all,

This topic is very, very cool!! Many thanks J.J.

To comment on the topic about the "Swamp Foxes" and their borrowed "MO" F-16CJs, I have only heard and seen these mentioned two machines.

These two F-16s in question were;

91-0370
93-0541

Both were CCIP´ed and as far as I am concerned, were used/maintained by the 169th.

Hope it helps.

Many greetings,

Henrik.
Last edited by Henrik on 08 May 2006, 01:18, edited 1 time in total.
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J.J.

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Unread post21 Jan 2006, 00:16

Thank you very much for your reply, Henrik! And please enjoy this "rebirth" of your former topic "OIF Vipers", originally created on August 24, 2005. I also identified definitely 91-0370, deployed from the 389th FS. But even with glasses I could not identify the aircraft of my posted dodmedia pic (see above). Have you any photo proof for 93-0541?
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Henrik

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Unread post21 Jan 2006, 00:48

Hello J.J.,

Many thanks for Your reply!! I have already enjoyed this "rebirth" :cheers: !!

There are a couple of pics of both "MO" F-16s in the book "Shock and Awe" by Greg "Cactus" Davies from TwoBobs Publications - - really recommendable. They are displayed in a row of "Swamp Foxes" parked at Al Udeid AB. The serials are clearly visible in these shots.

Greetings,

Henrik.
Last edited by Henrik on 27 Jan 2007, 16:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post21 Jan 2006, 01:19

Henrik wrote:Both were non-CCIP´ed and as far as I am concerned, were used/maintained by the 169th.

Hope it helps.

Many greetings,

Henrik.


The high res photo above shows both the 'MO' birds CCIP'd.
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