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We rotate into the Korean Theater of Operations late in the war as the Allied forces have turned back the initial attacks by the leading member of the “Axis of Evil”. Our unit has been stationed at Seoul International airbase, the airfield normally serves as a hub for civilian traffic serving all of Asia but since the initiation of hostilities from the north the airfield has changed hands a couple of time but now is the largest military airbase on the peninsula. Our squadron has been in action for only a few days but already we have distinguished ourselves in combat. Our primary mission was to remove the air threat posed by enemy forces. Although shooting down an enemy airplane is sexy and the measure of all Hollywood fighter pilots, the realities are that the bulk of our missions are flown against ground targets. The easiest way to kill an enemy airplane is while it is setting on the tarmac. Our first missions were to go after the enemy airfields and take out as much of their air combat infrastructure as possible, as quickly as possible. By doing this we would insure that the Hogs and our heavy buddies would only need worry about surface to air threats and thus have a much easier time of it.
Our first target was Mirim just south east of Pyong-Yang. This base was home of a particularly nasty MIG29 squadron that was hindering Allied efforts to penetrate the north.
For this campaign I decided to take direct control of the ground forces as well as manage and fly the air war.
Just to the south, about 15 clicks rest a couple of Marine infantry units and one artillery platoon. I order those units to advance on Mirim. In the vicinity of Mirim is an SA 2 Site and accompanying radar and guarding the base is a significant air defense artillery battery. We will attrit these forces after making the airfield unusable.
At 0645 I taxi my heavy Falcon (Stud 51) onto the active runway. I am right of the center line with 52 slightly behind and on my left. I work my switchology, master arm on, set up my defensive countermeasures, program four, semi auto. I decide to leave my lights burning for the time being. Looking over to my left I see the second element of this flight holding behind the taxi line the bellies heavy with runway denial munitions and cluster bombs. I set my second radio to guard and listen to the world as I await permission to lift off. The whine of the GE turbines is hypnotic but barely audible in the air conditioned office. “Fury 51 you are clear for take off” with that I push my head into the head rest and move the throttle forward slowly at first, as I accelerate down the runway, I push the throttle past the afterburner stops into full afterburner. Now the jet is hurtling down the runway picking up speed rapidly. The noise of the jet cuts the morning air and breaks the serenity of my enclosed world. At 160 knots I lightly pull back on the control stick. The jet clumsily pulls itself off the runway. I hold course climbing out at a reasonable 5 degrees. Pulling my gear into the belly reduces drag and makes the plane feel more like the killing machine it was designed to be. “Fury 51, resume own navigation” With that I select the sound steer point and bank gently to the right to pick up a course of 010. I listen as the rest of my flight lifts off and I call them to close in and assume echelon formation left. I pull back on the throttle holding a speed of 350 knots until the formation is formed. I look left and see that the boys are where they need to be before punching up our speed to 400. I don’t know how long it will take before our ground forces can close on the Mirim area but I want to make sure that we inflict as much damage on the enemy as we can before they make contact.
We level off at 12000 feet, just high enough to avoid shoulder fired missiles but well within the lethal envelope for triple A and most Surface to Air Missiles (SAMs). However, this altitude gives us the ability to duck down into the valleys quickly if the need arises. I anticipate that the need will arise as we get closer to Mirim. Fortunately the sky is filled with F15s, F18, and F16s. Thus I am not too worried about air to air but we fly in air-to-mode as a matter of routine. As we get closer to the target my Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) warns of sweeping radar emanating from the general direction of the aforementioned SA2 site. OK, now it is time to get down to business. “Fury 5 go trail, close up” I start a shallow dive into a valley below. We are about 25 miles from the target and surprise will make the difference as I would hope to make a run on the target before the guns can react. The runway runs east to west, taking it from the west end to east would bring us right over the southern tip of Pyongyang, not a good proposition so I decide to swing the flight to the east and come in from the east side. This profile will take us perilously close to the SA2 site but I figure that this is a better alternative. As we swing out I look down to see dust trails, I did not notice the movement on the ground and thankfully, they are our Marines one the move. Had they been enemy I would have flown my flight right into them and we would have been in big trouble (dumb ass). Ok, after a moment I get back to business. We fly east about 10 miles and I back hard to come 180. I look forward and can see the runway coming into view. I switch over to air-to-ground mode. “Fury 5 Jam it” I flick on my ECM. To my left front I start to make out the SAM site. I quickly run my cursor over a target and lock on. “Fury 53, attack my target” I command. “Fury 52 close up”, I watch as 53 and 54 pull up into an attack profile.
“****”, I think as I see a puff of white smoke and a streak across the sky. The Site is open for business. The missile is not tracking me but the other element. As we streak past we here a distress call coming from the other element, “Fury 53 heading for alternate airfield” never good. We press on towards the target and I am working my switches, air-to-ground, switch to durandal anti-runway munitions, set to drop in pairs, Continuous Computed Impact Point (CCIP). I padlock the first set of guns just as they start to fill the airspace with flak. “Fury 52 attack targets” Since there is only one runway at Mirim I should be able to take it out assuming I don’t get fragged by all the flak. “Rockeye, Rockeyes” a call from Fury 54. I did not see the destruction but we would learn at the out brief that it was significant. Now I am fangs out and locked into the enemy runway. Flak burst all around me as it seems everyone with a weapon is shooting at my. I cross the runway threshold at about 200 feet just over 400 knots. Pickle, a pair of bombs falls away from my plane, followed by another pair and then another. Punching in the burners, I climb out as fast as I can looking back over my shoulder at the black smoking holes that ensure that this runway will not be used anytime soon. I also catch yellow streaks passing my canopy as the *******s on the ground try to ensure that I will not be used ever again…MIGs are moving around on the tarmac but now they have no way of getting airborne…I supposed they could use the taxi way but I intend to plaster them before any such plan can come to fruition. Rockeye, rockeyes, my wing leans into the attack on the triple A. I see the speckle of bomblets as they impact around the target area. I switch over to my cluster munitions and wing over pointing my nose back earthward. On the breaks I maneuver my death dot in the middle of a couple of planes moving about the tarmac. “Pickle” the bombs fall from the rails. As I pull out of the dive I line up a gun emplacement and maneuver, I quick look over my shoulder shows that I have destroyed a couple of planes and some accompanying support equipment. Pulling the trigger, again I release a couple of Rockeyes over another gun emplacement. The bombs fall from my plane and I can see the casing separate and the bomblets form a wide pattern as they continue the descent. I roll and bank right looking over my shoulder as the bombs impact directly center the gun emplacement. “Damn, those poor *******s” I think as I continue to the south. I call my flight to regroup as we clear the target area. “weapons check. I have only a pair of rocks left as does Fury 52 and 54. “Ok, I think, lets go get some of those guns” I swing the formation back to north and get my ground radar to GMT. Expanded view, looking for dots that would signify targets, it does not take long before a line of enemy is in view. I lock the middle of the column. “Fury attack target” I order. I pull off, and swing around to watch my wingmen display their craft. First 52 rolls in, “Rockeye, rockeye” he calls as he pulls off target. His bombs make a mess of the center of the column, 54 attacks with equal vigor and destruction. “Out****ingstanding” I think as my wing does a number on the column. Finally it is my turn to display my skill. I roll in from 10000 feet maneuvering my death dot to the only part of the column that is not burning. Just before I press the trigger, yellow tennis balls leap up from the ground and surround my airplane.
My HUD goes blank, my Multifunction Displays also go dead. Master warning on, “awh sheeeeeit, I can’t believe it” the one remaining vehicle in the column has delivered a lucky but crippling blow to my Falcon. He will live, at least for now. I am not too sure about my own future. My controls are still responding so I should at least be able to get back to friendly territory. However, my ego has taken a serious beating. Pulling away I order the other two ships to return to base. A quick outside view shows me streaming a little black smoke but I seem to be flying alright. I jettison my stores to lighten the plane and clean the configuration. Ok, I start heading south,
I make it back to Seoul and declare an emergency. The plane is responding well as I bring her in and gently touch down right on the numbers.
Mirim was completely shut down; I was credited with two air-to-air kills (actually planes on the ground) and five other ground kills. Fury 52 had five ground kills, 54 had nine. 53 was listed as missing.
Several hours after our mission the Marines took Mirim airfield and the nearby SAM site.
OK, moving my troops around seems to have worked pretty well. Now let’s do it in earnest. I have several units that are on a defensive line just north of the DMZ. Time to convert from a defensive posture to the offense, I order several units to take the airfield at Wonson and all the accompanying support facilities. These include SAM sites, Army Bases, Bridges, and supply depots. I will have about 20 units on the move.
I do the same with my forces near Pyongyang. So just about all forces on the front line will be moving north, some of the routes we need to take will take some forces as far north as the Chinese border.
In preparation for the pending advance we fly several missions to attrit the enemy forces in and around the areas where our ground forces will be moving. Day four, we take Wonson, and several supporting bridges, Army Bases, and SAM sites. Day five, Pyongyang falls along with most of important facilities supporting the North’s war effort.
I anticipate that the Chinese will join on the side of the North any day now as our Intel is that there is much movement on the Northern side of the Border.
We keep up the pressure, Toksan airbase falls, along with Onchon, Nampo Naval base, Nampo shipyard. We control Sunan Kaech’on Mirim, Sunch’on and Pukch’an-up. Day six…the Chinese intervene in a big way.
Several large Chinese units suddenly materialize behind my lines. My troops are tired to exhausted from all the movement and fighting. Additionally, they have been diminished somewhat from fighting the North Korean forces. Actually, the North has not put up much resistance but I imagine the Chinese will put up much more a fight.
I will lead several flights north to try and inflict as much pain and discomfort on the enemy as possible before they are able to come into contact with my ground forces. I will use a mix of Cluster munitions and Maverick Anti-Armor weapons to reduce the enemy strength. I hijack several BARCAP missions and turn them into search and destroy missions. (Yes, even in Allied Force, I still have a long list of BARCAP missions) On the first flight up we will attack the Chinese 588th Mechanized Infantry Battalion that is advancing on Mirim.
We lift off first thing in the morning and start our ingress north. This is a two ship, Cowboy 2, we are armed for this mission with four mavericks each along with six Rockeyes. We take off right into a flight of C130s that is coming in on the same runway…”what the hell is this” I think as I maneuver out of the way of the oncoming C130. “Cowboy 21 close up” I call as I climb to Angels 20000 and head north. It is only 15 miles to the second steer point so we close in tight and as we head into battle. With most of the airfields in friendly hands we are not overly concerned with the possibility of enemy air activity. Not just destroying but taking as many airfields as possible before the Chinese could intervene was a stroke of genius…Ok that might be a stretch, but it did mean that the enemy had to fly very long distances to conduct any offensive actions.
Master arm on, I switch my MFD to GMT, cursor in snow plow mode, and punch my mavericks as the active weapon. Looking through the seeker head on my missile, I expand my view and using the MFD/GMT as a guide I slew the seeker head into the area where we expect to find the enemy. After sighting some friendly units, I finally lock on to the enemy tanks. “Cowboy 22 attack targets”, I command as I move my aim to the front of the tank formation. I am still a bit out of range but within only a matter of seconds; my range line starts to drop until it indicates that my weapons are in range. Without hesitation, I pull the trigger. A bright flash illuminates the cockpit as the warhead falls from my plane and the rocket motor ignites. I pull off to keep clear of the shoulder fired missiles that are sure to be a part of this enemy formation.
Once my plane is established pulling away from the threat I take a look at the weapons view and watch as my missile flies true into an enemy BTR. Four enemy soldiers mill about around the vehicle so I can only assume that this missile ruined their day. I listen as Cowboy 22 leans into the attack firing a volley of missiles into the formation. I turn back and immediately lock onto another target firing a missile, then another and another. Cowboy 22 is doing equal damage to the enemy formation. Pulling off again well outside of the enemies ability to retaliate I feel like the fight is hardly fair…what the hell who wants a fair fight anyway! With my mavericks gone I make the Rockeyes the active weapon.
I stage my bombs to drop in pairs and turn back in towards the target. The enemy has dispersed somewhat now and I am seeing rounds flying horizontal. Which indicates to me that the enemy has now come in contact with friendly forces. The stress level is elevated as now vehicle /enemy identification is critical. No problem, there seems to be several thousand yards between friend and foe so I continue on my line padlocking the first vehicle I can find, calling Cowboy 22 to attack. 22 confirms and that is good enough to ease my apprehension. I move up the column a bit and pickle off a couple of bombs.
I am able to punch off another pair off bombs as I over fly the formation. By now their are burning hulks littering the field. I think our mission has been more than successful but I still have a couple of bombs.
I listen as Cowboy 22 drops his final pair of bombs. Looking back over my shoulder I watch as he makes some defensive moves after the release. I call for 22 to knock off and call him to close up formation. It is time to head home and maybe we can get some good BDA to see how we have done and what kind of follow-up mission might be needed.
Our return to base is uneventful and we land without incident.
It looks like we did do some damage on the mission with each plane being credited with eight ground kills. When I go back and check the status of the unit it does not look like we have done that much damage. However, their fatigue level has gone from normal to tired. this is very good. Now we have some other units to work over and I take several more flight into the Chinese ground forces.
OK, now time to play General again. I have several units moving north. Wonson and Pyongyang are firmly under our control, it used to be that capturing both of these strategic areas would me the surrender of the enemy. The Chinese units that have been inserted behind my lines have been reduced to a negligible fighting force and are completely surrounded by sizable Allied forces. Also, they have no way to get supplies, replacements or air cover so I let them to their fate and concentrate on taking more territory to the north. I give several units orders to move north focusing on the major airfields, Supply Depots, and SAM sites. I set things in motion and...go to bed.
I wake up to find that at 0445 of day ten a peace settlement was reached...well I hope it was a good one. All of the objectives that I set had been met. We control the better part of 85 percent of the entire Korean peninsula.
It took ten days to win the campaign with me taking the role of ground commander as well as orchestrating the air campaign. After several months of flying, I have yet to finish a campaign in allied force where I did not take control of the ground forces. I don't know how long the average campaign lasts without manipulation from the player. Does anybody know?
Puma - Out