General Says Zarqawi Strike Showed Aerial Flexibility Of Armed Forces | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date






Airborne On ANN

Airborne 11.23.15

Airborne 11.24.15

Airborne 11.18.15

Airborne 11.19.15

Airborne 11.20.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 11.23.15

Airborne 11.24.15

Airborne 11.18.15

Airborne 11.19.15

Airborne 11.20.15

EAA/ANN AirVenture Innovation Preview

AIP-#1 Vimeo

AIP-#2 Vimeo

AIP-Part 1 YouTube

AIP-Part 2 YouTube

Sat, Jun 17, 2006

General Says Zarqawi Strike Showed Aerial Flexibility Of Armed Forces

Establishes Timeline Of Attack That Killed al-Qaeda Leader

The attack that killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi demonstrates the flexibility that air assets give commanders, officials in Baghdad said earlier this week.

Air Force Brigadier General Stephen Hoog, an air planner with Multinational Force Iraq, gave a timeline of the operation that resulted in the death of the most wanted terrorist in Iraq June 7.

As Aero-News reported, an F-16 Fighting Falcon jet dropped two precision bombs on a safe house near Baqubah, killing Zarqawi and his spiritual adviser.

Nothing indicated this day would be different from any other for Air Force pilots over the country, Hoog said. A flight of two F-16s were originally conducting surveillance to detect improvised explosive devices buried in or along highways in Iraq -- their pilots having no idea of what was to come.

The two aircraft topped off fuel from a KC-10 air-to-air tanker, and controllers then redirected the aircraft to support coalition operations northeast of Baghdad, Hoog said.

"Soon after 6 pm, the flight passed the location of a safe house where Zarqawi was hiding," he said.

At 6:11 pm, one F-16 dropped one bomb on the house and scored a direct hit. Minutes later, the jet dropped another bomb on the same house and again scored another direct hit, the general said. The F-16 did not rely on people on the ground pointing a laser at the house -- the aircraft "lased" the target from the air.

The raid was successful, ending the life and career of the wanted terrorist in rubble.

The aircraft were the only coalition assets that could act on the intelligence quickly, officials said. In fact, while the bombs dropped at 6:11, the first coalition soldiers did not arrive at the site until 6:40, and that was an 11-man military training team embedded with a nearby Iraqi Army unit.

Officials speaking on background said it was the prudent thing to do to spare American lives. Rumors in Baghdad said that Zarqawi always wore a suicide vest, ready to pull the trigger if confronted by coalition soldiers.

"In fact, we did not know the state of the defenses in that house," said the official. "It would have unnecessarily put Americans at risk to send them in when you have the aerial option like that."

Adding to the decision, officials said was the fact that the house was isolated and chances of collateral damage was minimal. "We could still have done it in a city, but it would have been a much more involved decision," the official said.

The F-16s continued to fly cover over the site until relieved. It wasn't until the next day, Hoog said, that the still-unidentified pilot learned who was the target.

The general emphasized that the attack was a team effort. Persistent surveillance over the battlefield comes from unmanned aerial vehicles such as the Global Hawk and Predator. Hoog said satellite surveillance also helped in pinpointing the precise global positioning system coordinates for dropping the second bomb.

(Aero-News thanks Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service)



More News

Blue Origin Makes History, But Is The System Practical

Only Time Will Tell If The Booster Is Truly Reusable On November 23, 2015 Blue Origin achieved a first in rocketry and spaceflight history when their New Shepard launch vehicle suc>[...]

Dassault Falcon Jet Completes New Little Rock Expansion

Facility Earmarked For Work On Falcon 8X And Falcon 5X Airplanes Dassault Falcon Jet has completed another major expansion of its Little Rock Completion Center that will add 350,00>[...]

ICAO World Aviation Forum Charts Course To Sustainable Aviation Benefits

First-Ever Forum Of Its Type Draws Over 800 International Officials Over 800 Ministers and senior officials from States, UN and international organizations have gathered at the Hea>[...]

Russian Warplane Shot Down By Turkey On Syrian Border

Kremlin Say There Was No Violation Of Turkish Airspace Tensions between Russia and Turkey, and by extension NATO, escalated Tuesday when a Russian Su-24 was shot down by Turkey aft>[...]

AD: Airbus Airplanes

AD NUMBER: 2015-23-06 PRODUCT: Certain Airbus Model A330-200, A330-300, and A340-300 series airplanes.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus





© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC