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#3584872 - 06/02/12 05:02 PM Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969  
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In August of 1968, the Soviets invade Western Europe. Operation Red Hammer becomes a virtual stalemate.
My squadron VA-12, The Flying Ubangis, has been onboard the USS Shangri-La, at high alert for the past 8 months with almost no action to speak of. A few of the Crusader jockeys have chased off a Bear or two, but nobody has so much as fired a shot in the skies over the Atlantic. The Red fleets are staying close to home. US transports have been sunk, and the Soviet submarines responsible have been hunted down like wild dogs, but all of the real action had been over Germany, until this week.

We've been called North. The Soviets, against all odds, have invaded Iceland. We need to take it back, or the vital supply lines to NATO forces will cease.
Right after World War 3 started, vital resources were diverted away from the Vietnam conflict, and the Atlantic fleet recieved some major upgrades. When I heard we were taking our last flights in our A-4C's, I had assumed that we would be transitioning to the E model. But when we arrived at NAS Meridian we were told we would be flying the latest Skyhawk, the A-4F. After my experiences with SAMs during my tour in Vietnam, I'm very pleased that I'll be flying a plane with the latest RWR and ECM hardware available. My wingman, Ens Lloyd however, is concerned about the "hump they've stuck" onto his "beautiful Skyhawk". When I press him to explain, he remarks "the Skyhawk is a gorgeous girl, and the F model is a gorgeous girl with a hideous growth on her neck."



The Shagri-La joins with the USS Independence and the HMS Ark Royal carrier groups to form an air and sea perimeter to screen a USMC invasion force from attacks. And the Flying Ubangis are the first Navy airmen to fight in this new theatre.
Our target is the runway at Soviet controlled Akureyrie Airport. The furthest west runway currently under the Reds' control, it is vital that we neautralize it as soon as possible.

Scenic Akureyrie


This will be a deep strike, so fuel conservation must be considered. We take off and climb to 20k feet.





Some other flight around us:
A-6A on SEAD


Our sister squadron on CAS



Going feet-dry over friendly territory will let us stay high for a little longer before dropping to a radar avoiding, fuel-sucking low altitude.



Iceland looks like a bright, sunny Hell on Earth. Towards the North of the Island, we get into some interesting canyon terrain. Makes hiding easy, and flying fun.


We come screaming out of a canyon just South of our target, giving defenders virtually no time to react. I pepper the runway with two 500-ponders and two half-ton bombs.



That'll keep it out of commission for a while. I doubt that the Soviets have alot of heavy equipment available to make a quick repair. I egress at full throttle running thru a maze of canyons. There are enemy fighters in the area, but they won't find us today.


About 60 miles away from target, we climb back to a cruise altitude of about 28k feet for the flight home. Should be uneventful at this point. And it would have been , except that my wingman spotted something about 10k feet below us, heading West. It is a large formation of Badger bombers.


We dive on them, spraying 20mm shells, with no consequential hits. Climbing back up, we turn to pursue. The only problem is, those badgers are as fast as we are. As we give chase, a flight of Phantoms is vectored to intercept. We should leave this to the fighters, but we continue pursuit and nip at their heels like jackals in a lions' hunt.




The Phantoms get chewed up pretty bad by those 23mm turrets, but the bombers must abort their mission. We've done well to fend them off.
We're at bingo fuel, so home we go for a safe landing.




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#3584986 - 06/02/12 08:31 PM Re: Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969 [Re: arthur666]  
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Nice! keepem coming!


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#3585136 - 06/03/12 03:08 AM Re: Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969 [Re: arthur666]  
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Great report write-up and awesome screens! Looked pretty intense.


This is Bobby Rahal, thanks for playing the trial version of Microsoft's CART Precision Racing
#3585221 - 06/03/12 09:29 AM Re: Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969 [Re: arthur666]  
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Nicely done!


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America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.


#3585449 - 06/03/12 07:45 PM Re: Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969 [Re: arthur666]  
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By the end of our first day, some nasty weather has rolled in, giving advantage to Red ground forces. Here are the only pics from an attempted CAS mission yestrday evening. Flying virtually blind, we barely took out enough enemy tanks to make a dent in their advance and then returned for the hairiest landing I've ever performed.



During the night, radio transmissions were intercepted from a Soviet surface fleet in our vicinity. They must have snuck thru our sub pickett with the bad weather's high seas. A large air attack was planned immediately.


Luckily, we have better visibility this morning the attack is given the greenlight. My flight consists of 8 ships, and we have both our shipmates from VA-172 and new A-7C's from VA-64 off of the Independence flying naval SEAD to clear our path.




We locate the fleet, and prepare our ingress.


The two SEAD squadrons do their work. Most radar masts are knocked out and we enter into bombing range with little resistance.

I order the second flight to engage a new, deadly Krivak class frigate

while me and the first engage the Kashin flagship.


There is also a Kotlin and a Kidlin class destroyer in the group, which look a lot like Sumner and Gearing class US destoyers wink .


Diving on the Kashin, I release my Walleyes too soon and they plunge into the sea 100m to the stern of my target.


Turning to make a strafing run, I catch my wingman's bombs finding their mark, and by the time I make a second pass, the Kashin is half sunk.





The Krivak has been sunk as well, so I tell my squadron to engage at will, while I make a strafing run on a second Kashin. Thankfully, the point defenses on these ships are weak.




When I run out of ammo, I move out of range and monitor my squadron until calling them home. We managed to sink 4 ships in all out of a 7 ship fleet. Focusing on the more modern missle boats leaves the fleet composed of mostly old gun destoyers, significantly reducing the threat to our fleet. The USS Forrestal, which is providing a close escort to the USMC invasion force should be within air-operations range by now, and we'll need their assistance retaking the Island in the days to come.

(grey weather makes for ugly screenies, but hey, whaddya gonna do? ) piggy

#3585531 - 06/03/12 09:59 PM Re: Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969 [Re: arthur666]  
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Who cares about the weather and screenshot quality?

This is a war and not a glamorous Jane Fonda hippie Playboy photoshoot. wink

Last edited by Heretic; 06/03/12 09:59 PM.
#3585535 - 06/03/12 10:02 PM Re: Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969 [Re: Heretic]  
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Originally Posted By: Heretic

...Jane Fonda hippie Playboy photoshoot.


eeeewwwwwww


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#3585549 - 06/03/12 10:30 PM Re: Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969 [Re: arthur666]  
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Very nice!

#3585832 - 06/04/12 12:19 PM Re: Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969 [Re: arthur666]  
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Great use of a 60s scenario!


'Crashing and Burning since 1987'
#3585876 - 06/04/12 02:00 PM Re: Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969 [Re: MigBuster]  
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Originally Posted By: MigBuster
Great use of a 60s scenario!


Thanks. Tried to make it as plausible as possible. In reality, due to Vietnam I suppose, the Atlantic Fleet attack squadrons were mostly flying older A-4C at this time. And, the KrivakI wasn't commissioned until 1970, but it probably could've been rushed thru for this operation. We'll see what happens when the Soviets launch a cruise missle attack. Without a lot of modern ships and no Tomcats on my side, it might get ugly. Won't be any Backfires at least. When they attack, I will try to document it well. We will see.

#3586193 - 06/04/12 10:41 PM Re: Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969 [Re: arthur666]  
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Superb stuff! thumbsup

#3586361 - 06/05/12 04:49 AM Re: Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969 [Re: arthur666]  
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Cool read. thumbsup


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#3586379 - 06/05/12 05:46 AM Re: Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969 [Re: arthur666]  
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Moar!
Moar!

#3586846 - 06/06/12 01:58 AM Re: Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969 [Re: arthur666]  
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Our next mission is a mop-up after the naval strike. What's left of the Soviet fleet it decimated with no losses on our side. We return to the Ship for a hot meal and a short break before we're back in the air. We receive our orders. I don't like them. The ugliest four-letter word I know: SEAD. And the weather is not letting up. We're going up North again to pave the way for the Marauders on an airstrip strike.


Taking off into the gloom, and climb to angels 25.


Ens Lloyd seems more grim than usual. It's not a surprise. On a SEAD mission over Haiphong, his plane, shot to hell, lost most of it's hydraulics, and he had to bail out less than a half mile off the coast. A fishing trawler, obviously being used by the NVA, was closing in on him when the chopper picked him up. He's mentioned it, just to me, several times. Bobbing there, helpless in the water, watching it get closer and closer. Knowing we was gonna be POW, tortured, locked in a pit. They were less than 200 meters away when the Green Giant's door-gunner opened up on them. The boat turned and ran.

We'll need to get low at the first sign of enemy fighters. Iceland is thick with MiG-21, not something I want to face in my Skyhawk. Can't run, gotta hide.


I tangled with a MiG-17 over North Vietnam, and that was no picnic. Lucky for us there are plenty of Phantoms in the air, ready to lend a hand to a strike fighter in trouble. A lot of them are on Bear hunts, as the Soviets are desperately attempting to locate our fleets for the inevitable cruise-missle attack.



As we close on our objective, things start to heat up. The MiG's have shown up, and the Phantoms are pouncing. Air combat in this weather is a radar intensive affair. Advantage: NATO.




Husavik Airport is protected by AAA units exclusively.




My Shrikes are next to worthless, so I dive into the fray with Rockeyes and cannon. I seem to do better with the Rockeyes than I thought I would, and each one dropped takes out at least one target.



The Marauders show up and do their thing.


A lone MiG-21 tries to engage, so I send my wingman to deal with him until a Phantom can assist, but surprisingly, Lloyd gets a lucky shot and takes him out.

I owe him for that. Owe him what, I'm not sure yet.

On the way home I listen to the radio traffic. Somewhere to our west, some F-102's from the 57th FIS are chasing off some more badgers. I think about those 23mm turrets and think to myself, Godspeed, Airforce. Hope you have better luck against them than we did yesterday.




We catch sight of a lone F-4 from the Jolly Rogers, about 10k above us. I secretly wish that he was on my other wing, for the long flight home.


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#3587162 - 06/06/12 04:03 PM Re: Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969 [Re: arthur666]  
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Seems to be a lot going on there.

This ain't a default campaign, right?

#3587202 - 06/06/12 04:46 PM Re: Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969 [Re: arthur666]  
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It looks great, has it been properly patched yet?

#3587534 - 06/07/12 01:57 AM Re: Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969 [Re: arthur666]  
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The Marines have landed and the weather has lifted! Overnight, a high pressure system has moved in clearing the skies, and 300 heavy tanks landed near Reykjavik and are now steamrolling across Iceland. The Soviet light tanks of their airborne divisions are no match for the M48 Patton.
Our first mission is a dawn raid on a warehouse near the coast. Mission accomplished, and back to ship with nothing of interest to report.
We get about an hour of rest before it back on deck for a CAS mission. Finally. Some real ground-pounding. Marines are taking a small town in the northwest, and we're providing support. I load up with 4 Rockeyes and 32 FFAR rockets. My 4 ship formation launches and we climb to angels 24.



Near the target area, we loiter and wait.


The call is made, and we dive down to 8k feet to acquire targets. A small group of PT-76 tanks guard the town supported by a few older AAA units.


Piece of cake. I engage one AAA and order my wingman to take the other. I tell the other 2 Skyhawks to engage ground targets at will. I quickly neutralize the AAA truck with my cannon while he's trying to draw a bead on someone else.


After both AAA vehicles are gone, it's pretty much a turkey shoot.
Rockeye on the way...


...boom


Around for another pass





By the time the Marines roll in, we're mopping up.


20mm cannon is quite effective against light armor


We turn south to egress and listen to nearby units on the radio. Quite a few strike packages are in the area.
A-4E


A-7C


F-4K


F-4B


Wingmates dump their loads in prep for landing.


While on final, I'm too busy trying to get a shot of a Destroyer,


and totally botch the landing. Lightly snag the last wire and lose too much speed to get back in the air.



I eject just in time, but my self respect may never return.

#3587536 - 06/07/12 02:01 AM Re: Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969 [Re: arthur666]  
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arthur666 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Heretic
Seems to be a lot going on there.

This ain't a default campaign, right?

No, just a custom one I made (by editing .ini files, not with the official campaign creator).

Originally Posted By: RSColonel_131st
It looks great, has it been properly patched yet?


I guess so. If I finish the campaign with no game-breaking bugs, I'll say yes.

#3587589 - 06/07/12 05:28 AM Re: Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969 [Re: arthur666]  
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Looks like one of my many landings on a carrier. biggrin


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#3587690 - 06/07/12 12:26 PM Re: Skyhawks, North Atlantic, 1969 [Re: arthur666]  
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Originally Posted By: arthur666

No, just a custom one I made (by editing .ini files, not with the official campaign creator).


The only way to go. biggrin

So the framework is basically the same and you just swapped out equipment, right?

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