Over western Iraq on day one of Operation Desert Storm, United States Navy F/A-18C Hornets operating off the USS Saratoga in the Red Sea racked up the first air-to-air kills by Hornets. This mission also showcased the Hornet’s ability to rapidly transition from an air-to-air engagement to delivering bombs on target. This mission is not a recreation of that mission, but rather takes inspiration from it.
An outstanding insight into the historical engagement can be found here on the Fighterpilot Podcast:
Ahead of you at waypoint 3 is Shiraz airbase with the Sector Operations Command (SOC) as your primary target. Bullseye MANNY is less 1 nm at your waypoint 3.
The second element is assigned the POL facility. Fight your way to the target and destroy it with Mk-83 bombs to accomplish your mission.
Bringing up the rear is a flight of Hornet’s with AGM-88 HARMs to suppress SA-6 SAMs in the area.
Communication: All Flights CAP Colt 1 305 Mhz (Ch1) SEAD Dodge 1 306 Mhz (Ch1) GAttack Pontiac 1 307 Mhz (Ch1) Carrier Stennis TCN 74X ICLS 11 BRC 304 127.5 Mhz (Ch2) Tanker Shell TCN 51X 251 Mhz (Ch3) Awacs Focus 252 Mhz (Ch4) Date: 03.08.2001 ToD : 17:42 local Temp: 20 C QNH : 760.476 hPa / 29.94 inHg Wind: 2.0616 m/s Dir : 112 (from W) cloudy from 3609ft up to 6496ft Primary Flight: Destroy the SOC at waypoint 4, ref briefing images. Secondary: Fuel tanks at WP5 Multiple SA-6 SAM sites are situated in the Shiraz area. These will be targeted by the SEAD flight. Short-range air defenses in the target area include 23m AAA and SA-13 SAMs.