A LOMAC Mission Report: The Great Escape Page 7

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“Colt 1-1, IP.”

“Two, running in.”

“Springfield flight, one minute to IP.”

“788, IP.”

Colonel Martin smiled into his oxygen mask as his RWR lit up with the first questing trace of the SA-8 missile system. They’d all arrived on time.

And now, it’s showtime.

Martin kicked left rudder, putting the A-10's nose nearer to the enemy SAM system... Martin kicked left rudder, putting the A-10’s nose nearer to the enemy SAM system, and pitched into a dive.
The Sukhumi airbase loomed large in his canopy. The Sukhumi airbase loomed large in his canopy as he thumbed up his TVM display and locked a Maverick onto the SA-8 system’s loader vehicle.Behind him, Major Carl Smith was cursing, trying to get a lock on the lead vehicle, the SAM system itself.
"Colt 1-1, rifle!" “Colt 1-1, rifle!”The Maverick screamed off the rail, aimed for the loader slowly driving along the perimeter road behind its parent.
The SAM vehicle's crew hit the brakes and elevated the launcher, tracking. The SAM vehicle’s crew hit the brakes and elevated the launcher, tracking. Finding what they were looking for, the IRLF crew locked on to their target.
"Nuts! Missile launch, eleven o'clock...." “Ahhh, crap! Colt 1-1 is defensive, SA-8.” The SAM had him locked up.“Nuts! Missile launch, eleven o’clock….”
"Roger that. Rifle from two." “….T-Dog, do something about that vehicle, please.”“Roger that. Rifle from two.”

...the SA-8 detonated harmlessly...

Once the command-guided missile lost its command wave, the SA-8 detonated harmlessly in mid-air. Martin’s RWR still warbled a danger tone, however; the Shilka was highballing around the tank farm’s perimeter fence, its Gun Dish radar tracking the A-10, its mean-looking quad-30mm cannon spewing yellow tracers.

The Shilka was highballing around the tank farm's perimeter fence...

These IRLF operators were looking to notch another allied aircraft to their tally.

I am ashamed to say that I… how you say… was indecisive? I did not know what to do. I stood at the corner of the ground-control building, hiding next to a large articulated fuel tanker, helplessly waiting for a free path to my beautiful MiG, waiting there in its sandy camouflage, the scorpion on its tail beckoning me. But the Syrians were in the way!

Suddenly, salvation!

Sirens began wailing. It’s a drill? Or a raid? I stand and step around the truck. As I do, I feel a blow to my helmet from behind. I turn, my heart sinking.

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