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Warbird Wednesday @ 2359 hrs KST - LAST CALL !

Wild Weasels from my old stompin' grounds - Spangdahlem Airbase... One of the smallest USAFE bases in Germany (at the time) with perhaps the most important tactical mission - 'Radar Suppression'. "First in, last out !" was the motto.

The TTP for their missions was to fly in pairs. One aircraft flies lower and 'slower' to bait the SAM radar sites. Once they turn on their radar, the wingman (usually flying higher and faster) would lock on and prosecute the target. Within seconds, the radar site would go offline as the fragmentation warhead rendered the radar site useless.


In the early days, the WW mission utilized the AGM-45 Shrike missile... We still had these in the inventory in the early 1990's with DOM's from the late 1960's !!! Thankfully, Saddam gave us a reason to deplete this inventory during Operation Desert Shield.

The replacement for the AGM-45 Shrike was the AGM-88 or 'HARM' which stood for "High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile". The HARM had onboard GPS and "fire and forget" capability. This was a keen capability to have when you were flying high exposure missions with SAM sites popping up out in woods - or desert.


The WW aircraft carried other weapons as well. Besides the 20mm gun on the F-16, they carried AIM-9 L/M, AIM-7, AGM-65, and had the ability to employ all manner of guided and unguided MK-82 and MK-84 bomb configurations. The old AIM-9 L/M sidewinder was accompanied by the AIM-120 AMRAAM and the _old_ inventory of AIM-7 Sparrows we had were shipped out for demilitarization... It was a great place to work in the Precision Guided Munitions Maintenance Shop... IYAAYAS.


This Viper is racked and stacked: AIM-120 AMRAAM, AIM-9 SIdewinder, and AGM-88 HARM. Speedy death awaits the bad guy that crosses this Viper.


Shortly after I left Spangdahlem, Bitburg Airbase closed and one of the squadrons in the 52nd FW picked up some of their F-15's. Later, Spangdahlem gained a squadron of A-10's, rounding out the full Close Air Support (CAS) deck of cards.... There was no bad-guy that could hide from the 52nd FW.

[Images compliments of wikimedia and wikipedia]

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