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NIGHTHAWKS OVER IRAQ
unclassified account of the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing’s
accomplishments during Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM was
prepared to permit members of the “Team Stealth” community to reflect
with pride on their contribution to sustained world peace. They proved
their mettle in battle and have earned the title of American warrior”
It is a testament to their love for country and their willingness to
sacrifice for the ideals they defend every day of their lives. The
peoples of the
over Iraq is
based entirely on the contingency historical reports developed by SMSgt
Phil Myers during his visit to
October 1989, the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) relocated to
proof of the pudding for stealth technology came during the F-117A’s
second combat employment. On 19 August 1990, the 37 TFW deployed to
Operation DESERT STORM featured the F-117A in its first real world test against a modern, integrated air defense. The “Nighthawks” of the 37 TFW repeatedly flew into and through intense anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air missile fire, accurately employing 2,000 tons of precision guided munitions during 1,300 combat sorties. Wing pilots scored 1,600 direct hits against enemy targets in nearly 400 locations. Without suffering a single loss, or experiencing any damage, they destroyed hardened command and control bunkers, aircraft shelters, production and storage facilities for nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, and other heavily defended targets of the highest military and political significance.
just 2.5 percent of the USAF assets in theater, the 37th not only led
the U.N. coalition force against
the wing constantly hit key political and military targets to further
weaken Iraqi resistance and to prepare for the ground campaign. Early
on, and employing only four F-117A’s, Stealth Fighter pilots attacked
Baghdad’s nuclear research facility, obliterating its three reactor
cores. Of significance, the F-117A was the only coalition aircraft
tasked to fly over
another strike, the wing destroyed a whole network of surface-to-air
missile sites in central
The 37th’s performance and devastating air power also drew high praise from military and political leaders. In particular, Senator Sam Nunn, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, stated that: “[The F-117A was] the heart of our offensive power and targeting capability.” Brigadier General Buster C. Glosson, Fourteenth Air Division Commander, called the wing “the backbone of the strategic air campaign.” General Colin S. Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, commented: “You are showing the nation what it’s all about, the combination of the very highest technology with the very best kind of people we can put together in the field as a team.” Secretary of Defense, Richard B. Cheney, stated: “You have gone far beyond anything anybody envisioned. It has been phenomenal.” Statistically, the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing compiled a record that is unparalleled in the chronicles of air warfare: the “Nighthawks” achieved a 75 percent hit rate on pinpoint targets (1669 direct hits and 418 misses) while crippling nearly 40 percent of enemy strategic targets.
Chronology of Events
17 Aug At
1000 hours, Col Alton C. Whitley, Jr., assumed command over the 37th
Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) from Col Anthony J. Tolin. At 1400 hours,
the wing received its deployment orders to
18 Aug The 37
TFW began processing people and cargo for deployment to
19 Aug Twenty
one F-117A Stealth Fighters from the 415th Tactical Fighter Squadron
(TFS) deployed to Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, completing their
first leg to
20 Aug The first C-5 touched down at King Khalid Air Base in Saudi Arabia, with Colonel Whitley and Lt Col Ralph W. Getchell III, 415 TFS Commander, on board. They were officially greeted by Brig Gen Abdulaziz Bin Khalid Al Sudairi, Base Commander, and Col Faisal Eurwailli, Flying Wing Commander.
21 Aug Eighteen 37 TFW F-117As arrived from Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, at King Khalid Air Base, Saudi Arabia.
23 Aug The 415 TFS launched eight orientation sorties with the Saudis. The host wing used four F-5s, three F-15s, and one Tornado to chase 37 TFW aircraft.
26 Aug The.F-117A assumed alert duty for the first time in its history.
4 Sep Maj Guy C. Fowl, the deployed Deputy Commander for Maintenance, initiated Shade Tree Aircraft Repair (STAR) procedures to repair broken line replaceable units (or avionics boxes). This was another F-117A first.
12 Sep Gen Michael J. Dugan, the Air Force Chief of Staff, visited the wing at King Khalid.
22 Sep Two
C-141s brought the 37 TFW’s avionics maintenance vans from
23 Sep Colonel Whitley issued Special Order #1 to assign all previously attached personnel to the wing for the duration of Operation DESERT SHIELD.
25 Sep General
Norman Schwarzkopf, US Central Command Commander, visited the 37 TFW
(Team Stealth) at King Khalid Air Base,
1 Oct The 1880th Communications Squadron became a TAG unit and joined the 37 TFW as the 37th Communications Squadron.
3 Oct Colonel Whitley initiated Sneaky Sultan I, a limited operational readiness exercise, to challenge the 37 TFW’s response capability.
3 Oct His Royal Highness, Prince Sultan Abdul Azizibn Saud, Saudi Defense Minister, conferred with Colonel Whitley and viewed an F-117A static display.
18 Oct Colonel
Whitley returned to the
12 Nov Colonel Klaus initiated Sneaky Sultan II, an exercise to test the wing’s ability to recall and generate aircraft on short notice to support D-Day planned operations.
Nov The 37 TFW flew thirty-two sorties
for Imminent Thunder, a six day joint and combined exercise that
enhanced warfare skills. Headquarters, Central Air Forces tasked
coalition air forces to attack a simulated “mirror image” of
3 Dec At
1903 hours, the 416 TFS Commander, Lt Col Gregory T. Gonyea, took off
from Langley AFB,
5 Dec Central Air Forces underwent an internal restructure resulting in the creation of the 14th and 15th Air Divisions. The Command assigned the 37 TFW to the 14th Air Division.
11 Dec Team Stealth received a “how goes it” visit from Lt Gen Charles A. Horner, the Commander, Central Air Forces.
14 Dec Representative Dave McCurdy (D-Oklahoma), accompanied by Brig. Gen Buster Glossen, 14th Air Division (prov) Commander, visited the 37 TFW.
20 Dec To standardize and stabilize organizational structure, Central Air Forces redesignated all wings as provisional units. Thus, the 37 TFW deployed became the 37 TFWP (Provisional). The Command also established provisional combat support groups under each wing.
23 Dec Headquarters, Central Air Forces initiated Threat Condition Charlie to heighten the command’s security posture during the Christmas holiday period.
23 Dec Colonel Whitley initiated Sneaky Sultan III to evaluate the wing’s flexibility to accomplish taskings outlined in the D-Day air tasking order.
5 Jan General Merrill A. McPeak, Air Force Chief of Staff, arrived in an F-15 to visit the 37 TFWP.
13 Jan The 37
TFWP started a gradual load out to prepare for hostilities with
15 Jan The Joint Chiefs of Staff declared Defense Condition 2.
16 Jan The
37 TFWP received orders to execute its D-Day tasking against targets in
17 Jan Day 1, Wave One: At
0022 hours, the 415 TFS launched ten F-117As against a combined
integrated operations center/ground control intercept site at Nukhayb,
two air defense control sector headquarters and the Iraqi Air Force
Headquarters in Baghdad, a joint integrated operations center/radar
facility at Al Taqaddum, a telephone center at Ar Ramadi and two in
Baghdad, an integrated operations center at Al Taji, a North Taji
military related facility, and the Presidential grounds at Abu Ghurayb.
The 41Sth paved the way into
Wave Two: The 37
TFWP sent 12 F-117As (three 415th and nine 416th jets) to repeat
strikes on the Iraqi Air Force Headquarters, air defense sector
headquarters, and telephone exchanges in Baghdad; the Al Taqaddum
integrated operations center/ground control intercept facility;
military related facilities at North Taji, and the Presidential grounds
at Abu Ghurayb. New targets included the Salmon Pak troposcatter
station; a television transmitter station, international radio
transmitter, and the Presidential bunker in
Wave Three: A
third wave of eight F-117As proceeded to Salmon Pak, Nukhayb, Ad
Diwamiyah, An Nasiriyah, Ash Shuaybah, Qabatiyan, and
Voice of America reported anti-aircraft fire and bombs exploding in
Pacific Time: eight more F-117As left
Wave One: Late
in the afternoon, the 415 TFS launched 12 F-117As against Iraqi targets
18 Jan Day 2, Wave Two: The
416 TFS sent 12 jets to attack enemy integrated operations centers,
headquarters buildings, communications sites, a nuclear reactor, and
ammunition bunkers. Target areas included
Wave One: The
415 TFS attacked communications sites, integrated operations centers,
a nuclear reactor, sector headquarters, the Ministry of Culture and
Information, Hawk missile sites and training centers, and the Ministry
of Defense. Target areas included Umm Ai Aish, Ai Jahrah, Ali Ai Salem,
19 Jan Day 3, Wave Two: The
416 TFS sent ten F-117As against various targets, including Scud
missile sites, signals intelligence facilities, a highway bridge, and
command, control, and communications facilities. Target locations
Wave One: 415
TFS pilots attacked bridges, command and control bunkers, integrated
operations centers/ground control intercept sites, sector headquarters,
sector operations centers, radio transmitter stations, ammunition
storage dumps, and two telephone exchanges. Target positions included
Ash Shamiyah, Abu Ghurayb, Ai Kut, Ai Amarah, Ar Rutbah, Ai Zubayr, Ali
Ai Salem, Ad Dujayl, Ai Fallujah, and
20 Jan Day
4, Wave Two: Nine
F-117As of the 416 TFS attacked a target list comparable to the
previous three nights. This time the weather cleared up enough to
permit a much higher degree of success: ten hits in 13 attempts. This
wave concentrated on targets at
21 Jan Day 5, Wave One: The
415 TFS initiated the fifth night of combat operations one minute after
midnight. Due to two air aborts, only ten jets flew their missions
against the Taji biological warfare facility, the Salmon Pak
troposcatter station, Tallil Airfield, a Tall King radar station; the
Latifiya satellite ground station, the
Day 5, Wave Two: This wave’s tasking obligated the 416 TFS to fly 14 combat sorties. One jet ground aborted. The other 13 accomplished their missions with weather impaired results against ammunition dumps, surface-to-air missile sites, Scud missile bunkers, a combined integrated operations center / ground control intercept site, a troposcatter station, and a Scud and Frog missile site. Attack areas included Al Qaim, Salmon Pak, Ad Diwamiyah, Balad, Habbaniyah, An Nasiriyah, Abu Ghurayb, and Khan Al Kahawil. A combination of poor weather, unreliable aircraft systems and target acquisition errors attributed to 14 missed targets of 21 attempted.
Day 6, Wave One: The night’s first wave against Iraq pitted 14 F-117As from the 415 TFS against a radio relay terminal, Iraqi Air Force Headquarters, the main signals intelligence station, the international radio communications transmitter-receiver, two telephone exchanges, and the nuclear research center in Baghdad, the Ad Dujayl communications satellite terminal, an acquisition and warning site at Bir Akirshah, the troposcatter station at Salmon Paki, a telephone exchange at Ai Fallujah Ubaydah Bin Ai Jahrah Airfield; and a command and control bunker at Abu Ghurayb. Two air aborts reduced the wave to an even dozen Stealth Fighters. Of 23 targets attacked, the squadron pilots registered 20 hits and three misses.
22 Jan Day 6, Wave Two: The
416 TFS sent a wave of 14 F-117As to bomb Iraqi targets at
Day 7, Wave One: With the setting sun in the background, the 415 TFS launched 14 F-117As towards the Balad Southeast airfield. Stealth pilots scored 21 hits on the airfield and one hit on an alternate target. Only four bombs missed their targets.
23 Jan Day 7, Wave Two: The
416 TFS had 14 combat sorties slated for this wave. Insufficient time
for mission planning and photographic support, however, caused the unit
to drop four sorties. The remaining ten aircraft took off on time at
midnight to bomb missile handling facilities, the main signals
intelligence station, and transportation facilities in Baghdadi a very
important person (VIP) residence at Abu Ai Jahish; highway bridges over
Day 8, Wave One: The 415 TFS launched 13 of 14 scheduled jets against road bridges in Iraq; however, bad weather limited the pilots to three bomb drops at Ai Basrah, Urn Ai Aish, and Ai Khirr rendering only two hits, one miss, and 23 no drops.
24 Jan Day 8, Wave Two: The 416 TFS combat schedule also called for 14 sorties against bridges, communication centers, and an airfield. All 14 F-117As launched on schedule, scoring 11 hits and five misses at Taji, As Samawah, Ai Basrah, Al Quanah, An Nasiriyah, Ar Rumaylah, Umm All Aish, Tallil, and Jalibah.
Wave One: To
increase the pressure on
Day 9, Wave Two: The 416 TFS launched the day’s second wave against highway bridges at Ai Quanah, An Nasiriyah, As Samawah, Ai Kut, Ai Fifl, Hachama, Samawa, Muftul, Ar Rumaylah, Ai Madinah, and Saqash. The squadron dropped 20 bombs, scoring 14 direct hits and six misses.
25 Jan Day 9, Wave Three: The wing’s third wave combined resources from both squadrons. Seven 415 TFS and three 416 TFS jets concentrated on enemy airfields; but bad weather made all 20 targets impossible to hit (19 no drops and one miss).
Day 10, Wave One: The 37 TFWP combined unit operations again as the 415 TFS and 416 TFS each sent three F-117As after several bridges at Ai Madinah, Ar Rumaylah, Ai Quanah, Muftul, Ai Fifl, Ai Basrah, An Nasiriyah, and As Samarah and an airfield at Tallil. On these targets, the pilots scored five hits, three misses, and five no drops due to bad weather. Six more F-117As flew from Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, to King Khalid Air Base. These aircraft were assigned to the 416 TFS for maintenance and management.
Wave Two: The
wing launched this wave in two groups: four 415 TFS jets took off at
2200 hours; four more 415 TFS jets launched at 2300 hours. All eight
26 Jan Day 10, Wave Three:
For this wave, the 416 TFS sent eight aircraft to bomb
Wave One: The 37
TFWP launched ten aircraft. F-117As attacked Iraqi airfields at
Wave Two: The
wing dispatched 13 Stealth Fighters (eight 415 TFS and five 416 TFS) to
strike Iraqi airfields at Qayyarah West, Al Assad, Kirkuk AI Muhammad,
and Tikrit. Also at
27 Jan Day 11, Wave Three:
The 37 TFWP dedicated a third wave to the destruction of
Wave One: The 37
TFWP sent three waves of F-117As to strike airfields, shelters,
ammunition dumps, and other miscellaneous targets in
Day 12, Wave Two: The second wave, with six F-117As from the 415 TFS and eight from the 416 TFS, achieved great success bombing’ Balad and Rasheed Airfields, a chemical/ biological warfare research, production, and storage facility at Salmon Pak, highway bridges at An Nasiriyah and Al Madinah, and the Baghdad Nuclear Research Center. Twenty four of 26 bombs found their targets.
28 Jan Day 12, Wave Three:
Ten F-117As raided Iraqi airfields, ammunition stores, and a missile
site. Six 415 TFS jets concentrated on ammunition storage facilities at
Ad Diwamiyah, Ash Shuaybah, and An Nasiriyah, as well as H-3 airfield
shelters, and a surface-to-air missile site at Ar Rutbah. Four pilots
of the 416 TFS spent their bombs exclusively on targets at
Wave One: The
415 TFS and 416 TFS contributed four and six aircraft, respectively, to
this night’s first wave. These aircraft, except for two jets that air
aborted, hit various missile and communications facilities at
Wave Two: Wave
two tasked eight 415 TFS and six 416 TFS F-117As to attack chemical and
biological warfare facilities, Republican Guard barracks, one missile
facility, an airfield, ammunition stores, Central Intelligence
Headquarters, Security Service Headquarters, and several highway
bridges. Target locations included Samawah,
29 Jan Day 13, Wave Three:
The 415 TFS and 416 TFS repeated the pattern of the first wave by
flying four and six sorties, respectively. All ten F-117As took off as
scheduled, but due to an air abort only nine jets reached their
targets. Objectives for the wave included Rasheed airfield, chemical
and biological warfare facilities at Salmon Pak, the Republican Guard
Wave One: The
415 TFS launched the first wave against enemy targets with ten F-117As.
A few hours later, the Stealth Fighters arrived over their prospective
targets only to find most obscured by foul weather. Nevertheless,
alternate targeting enabled the pilots to strike heavy blows on highway
bridges at Al Kifl, Ar Ramadi and Al Fifl; an ammunition depot at
Day 14, Wave Two: Thirty-seven minutes after the 415 TFS’s departure, the 416 TFS sent the second wave on its way to enemy targets. One aircraft ground aborted. Nine others hit out at ammunitions dumps in Karbala and An Nasiriyah; the Taji steel fabrication plant; the Presidential grounds at Abu Ghurayb; and the Iraqi Air Force Headquarters, Intelligence Service Headquarters, and Nuclear Research Center in Baghdad. Bad weather and weapons system problems limited the squadron’s effectiveness to six hits, eight misses, and two no drops.
30 Jan Day 14, Wave Three: The 415 TFS and 416 TFS combined forces in the last wave of the day. The 415 TFS bombed bridges at Al Fifl, An Nasiriyah, and Al Madina while the 4l6th went scoreless against chemical and biological facilities at Salmon Pak and an ammunition depot at Tikrit due to foul weather. Strike reports reflected four hits, five misses, and nine no drops.
Day 15, Wave One: The squadrons again combined operations for the first combat wave of the night. Four F-117As of the 415 TFS joined with six 416 TFS aircraft to attack bridges at Al Basrah, Saqash, and Ash Shuaybah; the Ash Shuaybah telephone exchange; and the sector operations center at Ali Al Salem Air Base; and various communication facilities. Pilots were again plagued by bad weather and managed only nine hits in 14 attempts.
Day 15, Wave Two: Just before midnight, 14 F-117As took off to strike bridges at Al Basrah, Saqash, and Tannunah; airfield facilities at Ali Al Salem, Ubaydah Bin Al Jahrah, and Tallil; and communications systems at Al Basrah, and Urn Qasr. The Stealth pilots struck cleanly on 16 of 28 attempts.
31 Jan Day 15, Wave Three: Of
ten scheduled sorties, the 415 TFS lost one due to a ground abort and
the 416 TFS lost two due to non-availability of aircraft. Seven jets
still launched to bomb stores of ammunition at An Nasiriyah, Ad
Day 16, Wave One: The wing began alternating between two and three waves per day, sending nine F-117As from the 415 TFS and seven from the 416 TFS on the first wave. Targets included enemy bridges at Al Basrah, Tannunah, Al Madina, and Saqash; communication systems at As Samawah, Tallil, Ad Diwamiyah, and Al Kuwayt; and ammunition stores at Ash Shuaybah, Ad Diwamiyah, and An Nasiriyah. On the way, one 415 TFS jet aborted, but the other F-117As hit on 23 of 28 tries.
1 Feb Day 16, Wave Two: The two squadrons combined operations once again with six aircraft each for the second wave. This wave concentrated on bridges at Al Basrah, Al Quanah, Ar Rumaylah, and Al Fifl; communications facilities at Al Kut, Al Amarah, and An Nasiriyah; chemical warfare bunkers at Tallil; ammunition storage facilities at An Nasiriyah and Ash Shuaybah; and Ubaydah Bin Al Jahrah Airfield. Stealth pilots hit 13 targets on 23 attempts.
Day 17, Wave One: The 37 TFWP formed the evening’s first combat wave against Iraqi targets with six F-117As from the 415 TFS and four from the 416 TFS. Roughly two and a half hours into the mission, the Stealth Fighters reached their objectives: bridges at Ai Basrah, Ai Madina, Tannunah, Ar Rumaylah, and An Nasiriyah; communications installations at Jalibah and Tall Af Lahm; ammunition dumps at Ash Shuaybah and An Nasiriyah; and Ubaydah Bin Ai Jahrah Airfield. In this strike, Stealth pilots achieved 18 hits and missed only once.
Day 17, Wave Two: This wave concentrated on communications installations at Ai Amarah, Ai Kut, Az Zawr, Shaibah, As Samawah, and Ai Ahmadi; military headquarters buildings at Az Zubayr; and airfields at Ahmed Ai Jabber and Tallil. Six 415 TFS and seven 416 TFS jets joined in the attacks scoring 20 hits and one miss.
2 Feb Day 17, Wave Three:
Five F-117As (three 415 TFS and two 416 TFS) attacked Tallil Airfield
and ammunition storage facilities at
Wave One: Poor
weather resulted in only two launches against an ammunition storage
Day 18, Wave Two: The 415 TFS and 416 TFS launched a combined attack (six aircraft from each squadron) against hardened aircraft shelters at Ubaydah Bin Ai Jarrah Airfield. Stealth pilots scored 11 hits on 13 attempts. Eleven additional drops cancelled due to bad weather.
3 Feb Day 19, Wave One: Each squadron launched. eight F-117As against Baghdad telephone exchanges, highway bridges, and the Nuclear Research Center; Ai Taqaddum and Mudaysis Airfields; and chemical/biological warfare facilities at Samarra and Abu Ghurayb. Bad weather limited attack results to 17 hits (mostly on secondary targets) and six misses.
4 Feb Day 19, Wave Two: The
second wave also involved mixed unit operations with six F-117As from
each squadron. Stealth pilots attacked chemical warfare bunkers at
Day 20, Wave One: The first wave of four 415 TFS and five 416 TFS jets left before sunset to bomb Iraqi communications (primarily radio and television) sites at Az Zubayr, Al Kuwayt, Ar Rawdatayn, Al Jahrah, and An Nasiriyah. The pilots successfully dropped 14 bombs on target; four others missed.
Wave Two: The
two squadrons combined forces for strikes against chemical warfare
5 Feb Day 20, Wave Three:
Five 415 TFS and four 416 TFS aircraft joined in a concentrated attack
against the chemical and biological warfare research laboratories at
Salmon Pak. Independent operations on the part of the 416 TFS squadron
featured strikes on the short-range ballistic missile assembly plant in
Day 21, Wave One: Six 415 TFS and four 416 TFS jets attacked various missile production and launch facilities. Pilots of the of the 415 TFS struck production targets in Al Maiden and Baghdad while the 416 TFS went after launch sites in Iskandiriyah and Al Taqaddum. Both squadrons mounted attacks on the steel fabrication plant at Taji. Wing aircraft released 17 of 18 bombs (one no drop) and scored 17 direct hits. One aircraft aborted.
Wave Two: For
this offensive, Headquarters Central. Air Forces tasked the 37 TFWP to
send 12 F-117As (six from each squadron) against hardened aircraft
shelters on Balad Airfield. Also on the agenda were a
telecommunications center at Jenoub; the Al Jamahiriya fiber optics
bridge; a biological warfare facility at Taji; and several key targets
6 Feb Day 21, Wave Three: Twelve F-1l7As (six from each squadron) accomplished this early morning raid on enemy chemical and biological warfare targets at Salmon Pak and Samarra, and ammunition depots at Tikrit and Kirkuk. Pilots racked up 16 direct hits and five misses.
Day 22, Wave One: Hardened aircraft shelters, ammunition stores, the fuel farm, and the main runway at Rasheed Airfield became the objects of attention on this raid as six pilots of the 416 TFS and four of the 415 TFS squadrons crippled yet another cog in the Iraqi war machine. Fifteen direct hits, two misses, and three no drops for bad weather left a memorable impression on Iraqi airmen at Rasheed.
Day 22, Wave Two: The wing sent 14 jets (eight 415 TFS and. six 416 TFS) to attack possible chemical warfare sites at Habbaniyah, the Saddam International Airport, communications and Presidential facilities in Baghdad, and a newly built airfield at Wadi Ai Khirr. Above the designated targets, the pilots lashed out with uncanny accuracy, hitting 26 of their 27 targets.
7 Feb Day 22, Wave Three: For the third wave of the day, the wing cut its sorties to ten. Once underway, four 415 TFS and six 416 TFS F-117As went after the Baghdad nuclear reactor, the Habbaniyah Airfield, a biological warfare facility at Taji, a Baghdad petroleum refinery, and an ammunition storage depot at Latifiya. At the targets, the pilots scored 15 hits in 20 attempts.
Wave One: Twelve
jets (six from each squadron) took off to attack communications sites
in Ar Ramadi, Sawaij Ad Dacha, and Ai Kuwayt; the Balad Air Defense
Operations Center; the Presidential command, control, and
communications bunker; the Air Force Air Defense Headquarters and
Ministry of Industry in Baghdad; an integrated operations center and
radar facility at
Another 12 F-117As, (six’ from each squadron) participated in
the day’s second wave. This attack converged on the
chemical warfare facilities at
Wave Two, Milestone Event: A 416
TFS pilot, Capt Scott Stimpert achieved a milestone for the 37 TFWP as
he delivered the 1000th bomb against
8 Feb Day 23, Wave Three:
The wing decreased its sortie load to ten jets for the third wave. For
target objectives, the wing again sent a few aircraft to
Day 24, Wave One: Six pilots and F-117As from each squadron traveled to Tallil Airfield to once again attack various bunkers. At Tallil, the pilots dropped 20 bombs perfectly onto their targets. Four bombs missed the mark.
Day 24, Wave Two: Twelve more F-117As, with six again from each unit, participated in the second wave. The pilots headed for their objectives: targets at the Rasheed and Al Taqaddam Airfields; a liquid fuel rocket facility at Shahiyat; and a motor production plant and chemical warfare production factory at Habbaniyah. The results were almost as gratifying as the first wave’s outcome with 18 hits in 22 attempts.
9 Feb Day 24, Wave Three:
For this wave, the wing dropped its mission load to ten sorties, four
by 415 TFS pilots and six by 416 TFS pilots. All ten then traveled to
Attacks on the enemy targeted possible chemical warfare production
facilities at Habbaniyah; an aircraft engine repair and test factory at
Al Taji; bridges at Ash Shuad and
Day 25, Wave Two: About three hours after the first wave took off, the wing launched six 415 TFS and eight 416 TFS F-117As. 415 TFS pilots concentrated on various surface-to-air missile sites and the Shab Al Hiri tropospheric center, while the 416 TFS assailed a suspected missile facility at Ash Sharqat, the Ministry of Military Industry in Baghdad, and the Al Yusufiyah military facility. At their assigned objectives the pilots executed flawlessly, achieving 24 hits in as many attempts.
10 Feb Day 25, Wave Three:
The last wave of the day featured ten F-117As striking ammunition
Wave One: The
415 TFS and 416 TFS squadrons launched four and six F-l17A Stealth
Fighters, respectively, to bomb. Iraqi surface-to-air.missi1e sites,
exclusively. Al Taji, Saad,
Wave Two: The
two Stealth squadrons increased their pressure on
11 Feb Day 26, Wave Three: The 415 TFS and 416 TFS launched four and six F-117As, respectively, towards a different target set. This wave primarily focused on Iraqi communications centers at Salmon Pak, Al Jahrah, Aydahah, Al Basrah, Al Kuwayt, and Shaibah, but in addition the jets dropped bombs on a commando camp at Al Jahrah. This wave achieved the night’s greatest success with 18 targets hit in 20 attempts.
Wave One: The
415 TFS led off with six F-l17As, while the 416 TFS followed in the
takeoff sequence with four more jets. Once in the air, the Stealth
aircraft winged their way towards the evening’s first targets: the
airfield and ammunition stores at Qayyarah West and the ammunition
Day 27, Wave Two: The 416 TFS dispatched nine F-117As to bomb hardened aircraft shelters at Kut Al Havy and Ubaydah Bin Al Jarrah. Additional bombing raids laid waste to the Iraqi Intelligence Services, Ministry of Information, and, Ba’ath Party Headquarters. The 415th sent six jets to bomb hardened aircraft shelters at Qalat Salih Airfield and Kut Al Havy. Pilots involved in this wave registered 23 hits and four misses.
12 Feb Day 27, Wave Three: Six 415 TFS and four 416 TFS jets worked in concert, bombing hardened aircraft shelters at Ubaydah Bin Al Jarrah Airfield, Saddam International Airfield, the Baghdad Military Intelligence Headquarters, the Iraqi Central Intelligence Agency, the Abu Ghurayb command, control, and communications bunker, and the Ministry of Information and Culture. The pilots again demonstrated the effectiveness of the Stealth Fighter by striking 17 targets in 19 tries.
Wave One: This
wave’s objectives included military related facilities in North Taji,
Wave Two: A
larger wave continued the night’s assault against Iraqi targets. Eight
415 TFS and six 416 TFS jets took part in the evening’s work. The 415
TFS bombed a fighter direction post/interceptor operations center at Al
Kut various radio, television, and communications centers; and the
headquarters for military intelligence and the Iraqi Central
Intelligence Agency in
13 Feb Day 28, Wave Three: For the last wave of the day, the wing dispatched four 415 TFS and six 416 TFS F-117As to bomb miscellaneous bridges, a missile site in Al Adbaliyah, a command, control, and a communications bunker at Al Firdos, and various headquarters buildings in Baghdad. Pilot’s scored seventeen hits in twenty tries.
Day 29, Wave One: Six 415 TFS and four 416 TFS jets went after a military barracks. at Al Jahrah, communications facilities at Al Basrah, Ad Darraji, An Naayim, and Al Maqwa, command posts at Hsiu Az Zabi and An Naayim, and a commando camp at Al Matla Umm Al Aish. This wave achieved 15 direct scores and four misses.
14 Feb Saudi officials at King Khalid Air Base approved the wing’s request to broadcast Armed Forces Radio and Television Station programs.
Day 29, Wave Two: Iraqi military barracks at Dibdibba and garrisons at AI. Abrad; communications sites at Al Qashaniyah, Tall Af Lahm, Hsiu Az Zabi, Dibdibba, Baghdad, Jenoub, Maidan Square, Shemal, and Al Hillah; and airfield bunkers at Kirkuk were selected as this wave’s targets. The 37th committed 14 F-117As (six from the 415 TFS and eight from the 416 TFS) to the attack. Over the targets, the pilots precisely dropped 17 bombs and missed with three others.
Wave Three: This
night’s final wave concentrated on communications sites at
Day 30, Wave One: No rest for the Iraqi military machine this night as the 37 TFWP routed ten F-117A sorties over enemy targets in the first of three waves. The first wave chiefly attacked hardened aircraft shelters at Al Asad and Shayka Mazhar Airfields, along with a surface-to-air missile site at Shayka Mazhar and a rocket motor test facility at Al Musayyib. Stealth pilots struck successfully on 15 of 18 attempts.
Day 30, Wave Two: The wing launched 14 F-117As against a possible nuclear facility at Tarmiya, Rasheed Airfield, Karbala and Taji ammunition depots, Dibdibba command post, and communications sites at Al Basrah, Tall Af Lahm, Jalibah, and Sayyidaat. Pilots scored 22 direct hits in 25 attempts.
15 Feb Day 30, Wave Three: Ten more sorties closed out this day of combat for the 37 TFWP. Four 415 TFS jets bombed communications sites at Al Zubayr, As Shubar, An Nasiriyah, Al Kut, Al Basrah, Ar Rumaylah, and Ad Darraji while six 416 TFS aircraft attacked an assortment of targets, including the military garrison at Al Abrad, a radar facility at Ash Shuaybah, and communications sites at Al Basrah, Al Rubishin, Al Kut, Al Amara, Qualat Salih Dibdibba, and As Zubayr. Stealth pilots scored 16 hits and two misses.
Day 31, Wave One: Six 415 TFS aircraft went after Baghdad’s aircraft repair depot, the Salmon Pak chemical/biological facility, a possible Scud missile production facility at Basrah, and two surface-to-air missile sites. The 416 TFS also directed four planes to five missile sites, the Salmon Pak chemical / biological research plant, and the Batra probable missile production site. Over their appointed targets, the F-117A pilots administered the severest form of punishment, 16 direct hits of explosive destruction. Three bombs missed their mark.
Wave Two: The
night’s second wave worked to prevent a raging firestorm. Headquarters
Central Air Forces tasked the wing to negate the trench defensive
system that surrounded
16 Feb Day 31,
Wave Three: The
evening’s last wave pitched the 415 TFS squadron against a missile
research and development facility and a missile production plant at
Day 32, Wave One: The 37 TFWP radically altered its flying schedule this evening. Rather than three waves with intermixed squadron forces, the wing set up a wave of 14 jets from each unit. The 416 TFS took off first to conduct strikes on hardened aircraft shelters at three airfields, Tallil, Ubaydah Bin Al Jarrah, and Kut Al Havy. Two pilots also traveled to Al Basra to attack the railroad yard there. One jet air aborted. The other 13 reached their objectives and hit 21 of 24 targets attempted.
Day 32, Wave Two: The 415 TFS launched its 14 jets some two hours after the 416 TFS’s takeoff. Four pilots revisited the Al Basrah railroad yard, while others sought out the tactical direction finding site at Dibdibba, radio transmitters, receivers, and relays at Al Jahrah, and a repeater station at As Samawah; the Um Qasr military barracks; and missile support facilities at Al Jahrah. This wave delivered 24 precise hits in 27 attempts.
17 Feb Day 33,
Wave One: For
the thirty-third day of Operation DESERT STORM, Headquarters Central
Air Forces tasked the 37 TFWP to fly 34 combat missions against Iraqi
targets. Ten first .wave pilots attacked an ammunition depot and a
steel fabrication plant at Taji surface-to-air missile sites at Saad,
Day 33, Wave Two. The day’s second wave of Stealth Fighters attacked the Salmon Pak chemical/biological warfare research facilities; an arms plant at Al Iskandariyah; the Wadi Al Kir Airfield; Taji’s surface-to-surface missile storage plant; a Scud assembly factory at Fallujah; and a motor case production plant and an artillery production plant at Habbiniyah. Stealth pilots demolished 23 of 28 possible targets.
18 Feb Day 33, Wave Three: The night’s final wave sent ten more fighters on bombing raids to a Scud plant at Taji, a solid propellant plant at Latifiya, and a probable Scud assembly plant at Fallujah. One aircraft air aborted, but the remaining nine pilots delivered their bombs scoring 14 direct hits and four misses. The Central Air Forces Commander, Lt Gen Charles D. Horner, escorted four US Senators to King Khalid Air Base to visit the 37 TFWP. These visitors included Senators .Sam Nunn (D-Ga), John Warner (R-Va), Daniel Inouye (D-Hi), and Ted Stevens(R-Alaska).
Wave One: Pilots
of the 415 TFS and 416 TFS set out at dusk to destroy nuclear research
Wave Two: -The
night’s second mission package called for the F-117A Stealth pilots to
attack hangers at Baghdad Muthenna Airfield, an ammunition storage dump
19 Feb Day 34, Wave Three: The third wave featured attacks on Al Asad Airfield and an unidentified tunnel at Al Qaim. Pilots put 14 of.19 bombs on target.
Wave One: The
night’s first wave concentrated on three familiar targets in
20 Feb Day 35, Wave Two: Jalibah Southeast Airfield was the sole target for ten F-117As. in the night’s second wave. Bad weather inhibited all ten sorties and no bombs were dropped.
Day 36, Wave One: Four pilots of the 415 TFS and six of the 416 TFS attacked strategic railroad bridges in Umm Al Wasum and Al Haqlaniyah, and a super phosphate fertilizer plant in Al Qaim. The 415 TFS took responsibility for targets in Al Qaim and, upon reaching the phosphate and fertilizer facility, four F-117As put eight bombs directly on target. The 416 TFS pilots flew against the bridges in Umm Al Wasum and Al Haqlaniyah and successfully put nine of ten bombs on their targets. Two of the six 410 TFS pilots also visited Al Qaim, but their bombing attempts were unsuccessful.
21 Feb Day 36, Wave Two: Targets for this wave included an ammunition storage facility in Ad Diwamiyah, an arms plant in Al Iskandariyah, a rocket motor test facility in Al Musayyib, an ammunition depot in Habbaniyah, and Al Taqaddum Airfield. Pilots of the 415 TFS concentrated on the test facility in Al Musayyib, and achieved a perfect 12 for 12 bombing score against it. The 416 TFS’s pilots took on the balance of the night’s work and put 14 of 15 bombs on target.
Day 37, Wave One: Radio relays, bridges, bunkers, and an early warning facility were targets for Stealth pilots on this day. In the first wave the 415 TFS sent six F-117As against the Al Taqaddum Airfield, an early warning site at Al Habbaniyah, and communications facilities at Al Amarah and An Nasiriyah. Meanwhile, four 416 TFS jets targeted an international radio communications transmitter in Baghdad, a biological warfare facility at Taji, and a possible chemical warfare production facility at Habbaniyah. 415 TFS pilots put nine of ten bombs on target while 416 TFS pilots scored with eight of eight.
Fourteen F-117As attacked suspected chemical and biological weapons
storage and production facilities in Habbaniyah and Latifiya; fiber
optics repeater stations in
22 Feb Day 37, Wave Three: Targets for this night’s final attack included a railroad yard, radio communications equipment, and highway bridges at Tikrit; chemical warfare weapons and ammunition storage’ bunkers Hat Qayyarah West and Mosul Airfields; the Scud missile plant at Taji; and an underground nuclear facility. Five fighters from the 415 TFS arrived over target only to be plagued with weapons guidance and target identification problems. Of the ten munitions expended, only four found the mark. The 416 TFS had a better time of it, putting seven of eight bombs directly on target.
Wave One: For
wave one of Day 38, Headquarters Central Air Forces tasked the wing to
concentrate on a suspected research facility in
Wave Two: A
nuclear research facility in
23 Feb Day 38,
Wave Three: Wing
pilots pooled their resources once again and attacked the Iraqi
Intelligence and Special Operations headquarters in this night’s third
wave. Ten jets from the 415 TFS and 416 TFS (four. and six, respectively)
launched as planned to destroy these strategic targets. One aircraft
air aborted. The others flew on to
Wave One: On
this day, the F-117A strike force began in earnest to pave the way for
a coalition ground invasion of
24 Feb Day 39,
Wave Two: The
day’s second wave featured 37 TFWP attacks on communications equipment
and facilities in
Wave One: First
wave targets for this night included a probable Presidential facility
in Abu Ghurayb; a possible fuse plant in Al Narawan; and a
Wave Two: The 37
TFWP launched 14 Stealth Fighters to revisit the site of a probable
Presidential complex in Abu Ghurayb, a fuse factory in Al Narawan, the
special security services facility in
25 Feb Day 40,
Wave Three: For
wave three, the 37 TFWP hit the Abu Ghurayb probable Presidential
complex and the
Day 41, Waves 1, 2, and 3: Headquarters Central Air Forces cancelled all 34 Stealth missions due to poor weather.
26 Feb Day 42,
Concentrating on a myriad of targets in
27 Feb D Day 42, Wave Two: Poor weather continued to inhibit Stealth Fighter operations as the 37 TFWP took position over a Tarmiya rocket facility, a fuse factory at Narawan, the Al Musayyib rocket motor production works; a terrorist camp at Salmon Pak, the Ba’ath Party Headquarters in Baghdad, the Shahiyat rocket test facility, an artillery plant in Habbaniyah, Baghdad’s Muthena Airfield, and H-2 Airfield. The wing managed to drop only eight of the 54 weapons it had brought over target, but all eight were direct hits.
Wave One: Team
Stealth got back on track with ten launches from each fighter squadron
and a bomb score of 32 for 32 as they devastated the Ba’ath Party
Headquarters and Muthenna Airfield in
Day 43, Wave Two: For the second wave, the 37 TFWP sent ten (five from each squadron) F-117As to destroy a possible missile research, development, and production plant, as well as the rocket motor test facility at Al Musayyib. Stealth pilots achieved 14 hits on 20 attempts at target. At 2330 hours, Headquarters Central Air Forces canceled the night’s third wave. The headquarters also told Colonel Whitley to put future attacks against Iraqi targets on hold, but to stand by in case events dictated a renewed assault.
28 Feb At 0015 hours, Headquarters Central Air Forces relayed good news: all operations were suspended to give the Iraqis an opportunity to sign a cease fire agreement.