Warplanes: April 30, 2003

Archives

The Iraq air campaign won't get as much attention as it should, partly because there was so much action on the ground, with so many embedded journalists reporting every action. But there was another reason that the air campaign went off pretty much without a hitch. Much of this was due to the high experience and training levels of the bomber pilots. Some 70 percent of the crews in the strike aircraft (bombers, mainly) had combat experience. Some were around during the 1991 Gulf War, and some had flown missions in Afghanistan. But the bulk of the experience came from twelve years of enforcing the northern and southern no-fly zones in Iraq. Thousands of pilots rotated through the squadrons running the patrols. The Iraqis cooperated by constantly firing guns and missiles at the American and British warplanes. So there were ample opportunities to fire back.  No coalition planes were ever brought down. So one could thank the Iraqis for providing this splendid, realistic, and not too dangerous, combat training exercise. As a result, when war did come with Iraq, the pilots were much better trained than they were during the 1991 war. 

 


Article Archive

Warplanes: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close