Above & Beyond: “Cleared in Hot”

Above & Beyond: “Cleared in Hot”

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(Continued from page 3)

“Duke, Sting, not sure we got it. Recommend re-attack.”

We felt for the F-16 pilots. Nothing was more embarrassing than to miss with everybody watching. Their painful admission, however, allowed us to re-attack while the area of responsibility was still hot.

“Panther, Duke. Your turn. Cleared

in hot.”

The airborne commander had just called in F-15Es, the two-seat strike model, to roll in with their 2,000-pound “crowd pleasers.” This was going to be spectacular.

“Duke, Rambo, we’re going to reposition closer to Panther for a better look downrange.”

“Cleared.”

We moved about 15 miles to the west and were about five miles away as the F-15Es began their strike runs. Using laser-guided 2,000-pound bombs, it really wasn’t a matter of if they were going to hit the target, it was which window of the truck they wanted to guide the bombs through.

As the F-15Es pulled off target, we saw the bombs hit the missile site. While the remaining missiles on the SAM site cooked off, a black mushroom cloud billowed 5,000 feet.

“Duke, Panther, good secondaries.”

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