The news reached us last night that SCUDs had been launched at Israel. Hours later the the U.S. was verbally threatened, citing a possible attack on U.S. forces in the theater. Washington has determined that our forces shall not be intimidated by this threat. Therefore, we have been tasked with the eradication of all SCUD forces in the area.
Our operations area will be just northwest of Basra. There appear to be a few AAA elements left in the area to watch out for. All in all this will be a large area to search, especially considering we do not have much intel on the precise location of the SCUD launchers. Intel did suggest that they might be hidden near schools or mosques. We will have to diligently search any populated areas between wp 4 and wp 5.
Standard SCUD hunting munitions are loaded on all 8 aircraft.
Early morning pink and purple greet us as we roll off the deck.
After establishing a climb and circling to collect all my wingmen, I call Shovelhead for a bogey dope. To my surprise, he calls a bogey quite close by. There are no other fighters available at the moment, so I search for and find a contact in the general vicinity. I push the throttles up and close for an intercept.
The aircraft in question does not seem to be flying an aggressive profile. In fact, it almost seems to be circling. Nevertheless, repeated calls to Shovelhead to declare continuously receive a “bogey” reply. Unwilling to let even a potential threat close to mother, I proceed with the interception.
Only to find an Airforce AWACS plane… Wow, somebody on that E-2 needs to get his act together. Good thing I decided to close to visual range before shooting.
All this flying around in circles has made my jet extremely thirsty, so I make a pit stop on my way toward Basra.
I soon identify the split in the river that announces our ingress into the combat area.
And sure enough, as I begin to sweep the first populated area with my FLIR, I spot an ominous shape.
My first Mav shot goes wide, but I follow up the attack with a CBU and take the SCUD out of commission permanently.
I circle the area and spot tracers cutting fiery arcs through the morning sky.
I’m not going to allow them any free shots at my flight today. I line up and drop 2 of my remaining CBU’s on the cluster of AAA guns.
As I’m checking my work, I spot another SCUD launcher almost hidden behind some smokestacks.
He proves to be most elusive though, my FLIR loses lock just as I hit the pickle button and the missile never even begins to track. Grr… I circle to try again, but my CBU drop goes long.
I can just hear that SCUD crew mocking me.
Out of munitions, I finally command #2 to attack the launcher. He succeeds where I failed, and the SCUD crew is forced to stop laughing.
I search the area for a few more minutes, trying to find more targets for my wingmen. Alas fuel concerns finally force us to abandon further efforts.
It’s good to see the fleet is still sailing along, not at all under threat from any rogue AWACS….
All in all we claim three SCUDs and a few 23mm guns. There may still be a few launchers in the area, but Washington has determined that any further threat of attack is negligible at this time.