Another hint you may or may not be familiar with. In LB2, anyway. Not sure if this applies to LBG...calling for an Airstrike with an friendly helo targeted results in an F-16 essentially flying escort. I usually do this in Escort missions to help protect the Chinooks or Blackhawks against enemy helos, but, again the F-16 is vulnerable to SAMS along the path.
I played LB2 for 12 years and completely missed this. Boy, this would have taken the stress out of all of those insertion missions