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From: (Ed Rasimus)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: Real stories wanted...
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 13:58:03 GMT (Matthew Hamer) wrote:

>In the spirit of agreeing with the author below, would the order have been
>issued in context?  For example, Paul Gillcrist the F8 Admiral who authored
>"Feet Wet" had a cardinal rule for his aircrews vis "never duel with a flak

From the individual's point of view, no target is worth dying for, but
the fact that many combat aviators do die for a target remains. Few
worthwhile targets are undefended, so there comes a point in combat
where you suck it up and go downtown.

Many commanders have told their troops "never duel with a flak site."
Yet there is a standard mission called SEAD, which often contains the
sub-set of "flak suppression." The very essence of the mission is to
duel with the guns.

As with all tactical decisions, however, some judgement must be
applied. Attacking AAA sites with ARMs to shut down the radar or with
CBU to remove the gunners or with iron bombs to bend the barrels all
can make a lot of sense. Conversely, going nose to nose for several
passes with 20 MM vs larger bore AAA guns is unwise.

Adm. Gillcrist's admonition to his F-8 crews referred to strafing of
AAA sites, not necessarily to flak suppression per se. We all do
stupid things occasionally, and gun dueling is one. I recall one
afternoon in Cambodia making four passes in an F-4E under a 800 foot
ceiling against a 23MM ZPU dropping pairs of Mk-82s while my
back-seater screamed continually that we were going to die. We didn't,
the gunners did.

But it was dumb.

 Ed Rasimus                   *** Peak Computing Magazine
  Fighter Pilot (ret)         ***   (
                              *** Ziff-Davis Interactive
                              ***   (

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