Naval air ops for Operation Enduring Freedom kicked off the night of October 7, 2001 with 2 strikes from CVW-11 based off CVN-70 in the North Arabian Sea. One was to neutralize air defenses in the Kabul area the other was a combined TARCAP and precision strike in western Afghanistan close to the Iranian border.
This mission is based on the latter sortie flown by Cdr A. Giaini, the XO of VA-213 Blacklions, and his wingman as detailed in “F-14 tomcats in Operation Enduring Freedom” by Tony Holms
This package of 2 aircraft from VA-213 were tasked to provide escort and TARCAP for a division of B1B bombers attacking the Herat airbase then head south to Farah to destroy the Taliban communications center inside the village with LGB’s
After meeting up with the bombers and crossing into Afghanistan the codeword “Indian Country” was passed and they proceeded north to Herat. Well outside the range of AWACS, they relied on the Tomcats radar for any enemy interception. Not showing any airborne threats, and switching to the LANTIRN pod, RIO Lt Cdr Claffy was surprised to see “a pristine Mig-21 sitting on the ramp attached to it’s huffer…as the miles marched down it became apparent there was no activity around this jet…we decided to take it out with a GBU-12. I had never before delivered a LGB, never mind one in combat, and held my breath. I watched the GBU-12 streak towards the target on my FLIR, hitting the MiG-21 amidships blowing chunks all over the airfield. ‘Good kill, good kill’ we said to each other as I switched back to air-air mode…..”
Cdr Gianini and Lt Cdr Claffy went on to successfully locate and destroy the communications complex in Farah with two perfectly placed GBU-12, minimizing collateral damage.
I am no mission designer, but I try to recreate what I can from events I read about for my own enjoyment and thought I would share this one. In all the accounts of OEF and OIF the overarching similarity I gather is the missions were of exceedingly long duration with air to air refueling being of prime importance and, as the war progressed, not a lot of targets. So this tries to capture a bit of that. Herat airbase is fictionally placed on the Persian Gulf map as far north as practical but gives a good feel. The village of Farah is within the real location, as are some other villages. I’ve guessed at the communications node and you will need to find it. To replicate the apprehension of the TARCAP portion, I’ve included a (small) random chance of a Mig-21’s being airborne in the “Herat” area. The Iranian border is active, the IIAF have GCI and CAP, but if you don’t bust the ADIZ they should leave you be. Use the map overlay for borders and air ID zones.
Includes AIRBOSS with overhead persistent tanker, E2 and plane guard helo. The first recovery will begin at 0630 with the carrier turning into the wind and the deck statics “pulling forward” (compliments to Moose and redkite for excellent scripts). The AI should all be off the deck in time but If the deck gets messed up and the AI are jammed up by statics, you can adjust what you need in the F10 menu. Everything went according to plan on my departure, but DCS is DCS so you may need to intervene.
Its long, I’ve flown it once and it took almost 5 hours, with two tanking’s, following as many simulated procedures as I could with an OK 2 wire at the end and good effect on target. So put on some coffee, grab a piddle pack or two and strap in….
Notes: I’m terrible at A-A refueling, so I’ve made this a day mission starting at 0620. I cant imagine trying to fence with a basket in the dark….If you want to try a more historical challenge, change to the actual departure time of 1830 in the mission editor. My AI wingman called “Bingo” just before reaching Farah, and over 200 miles to the closet tanker (500 to the boat)….I ordered him to RTB, then continued to monitor his progress on the map, when he was close to the northernmost tanker, I got him to top up the ordered another RTB and he tried to rejoin. He made it back and trapped a 1 wire. We really need a way of getting the AI to report fuel status…
You'll need the F-14 and Supercarrier.