Our Tornado squadron was tasked to take out a bridge north of Kunsan; apparently the North Koreans will be needing this….
This BMS 4.33 AAR was written by guest writer “Manic” – we hope you enjoy it….
I knew better than to drink from the “Campaign Pond” with so little stick time. The fire hose is sure to be on, and all I have is my sippycup. The following was a dynamic campaign generated mission from Day 1 of Iron Fortress, Korea.
Our Tornado squadron was tasked to take out a bridge north of Kunsan; apparently the North Koreans will be needing this. Located here, near what appears to be a lot of angry red dots (several North Korean divisions), massed for a push toward Kunsan. How hard could it be?
Recon photos indicate that, being somewhat isolated, it shouldn’t be too hard to spot the target; few distractions about to muck up our Mark 1 Eyeball Target Acquisition Feature. (Did I mention I’m still on Chapter One of avionics & weapons employment? No guts, no glory!)
- Problem 1) SA-2 battalion just south of target. HQ has generated a few SEAD/DEAD (and CAP) packages to sanitize the local area just prior to our ingress (the thin black route lines here). Hope those guys studied!
- Problem 2) An entire armored division is camped out just to the east. They probably have a lot of pointy things to throw at me. Best stay away!
The plan is to skim in at treetop level, from the south, as fast as my pony will go (and that’s pretty fast!). Popup, acquire, pickle, then get out of there. Easy peasy, lemon squeasy.
Startup, taxi, and takeoff went fine. Lot of other flights getting on with their business. Hopefully paving the way for us! Air Traffic Control seemed to be well in control; constant radio chatter back and forth. They even used the parallel runways, one for departures, one for arrivals. Nice.
I don’t speak a lick of German, beyond ordering a beer (which everyone should know how to do in any country) yet they let me fly one of their very expensive toys! What a great bunch of guys.
Fence Check. Lights off. ECM On. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Gives me peace of mind. Steer points came and went. There goes Kunsan AFB (wave as you go by). Lotta noise from that RWR thingy. Crossing the FLOT. Time to get low. Get fast. Some guy’s in my ear yacking about MiGs departing east of me. Go faster. Whip those ponies! Weeee…..
So far, so good. In fact, I was doing just fine thank you (navigating, pushing buttons, not running into anything or anyone) until they started shooting at me! Get lower! Go Faster!
Rats, I’m already 4 point something from the target. Where is it? Climb! The chicken-scratchin’ on the HUD says I’m pointed at it. Or did I mess that up? Yes, I was playing with the cursor earlier, I admit it. But I swear I put it back where it belonged. I did.
Arrrrgg. That dang RWR is making a lot more noise now. How do I turn that off? Finally, there it is! The bridge! Kinda ugly in person.
Roll over, pull (did I set all the switches up right??). Pull harrrrddder! The thing…is…on…the…thing. Mash the button. Lot of explosions off to my right. No time to take pictures…don’t have enough arms & hands for that. Probably that armored division engaging someone. Me?
I’d love to look at the video BUT I FORGOT TO TURN ON THE CAMERA! I even left a note-to-self, at the top of my mission cheatsheet; tied a string around my joystick too. In my defense things went a little crazy there for the last 20 nautical miles. Maybe next time. No problem, the Intel guys will figure it all out. They’ll buy me drinks tonight too! And I still have enough gas to get back. No embarrassing, bogus, manhood deflating emergency call from me today. Disco!
RTB was a sleeper. RWR thing calmed down a bit. AWACS guy was yacking about MiGs in the area. They’ll never catch me. No idea where lead went. Last I saw he was circling circling above the area. He did have a nice stereo in his room. Maybe I’ll get that after he’s gone. And his girlfriend…
Debrief / Hero To Zero:
The debriefing was going well, in my head. Just why, exactly, does the CO want to see me? Odd. Could it be the made-for-CNN video of the “perfect strike” I made (hope not, cuz, well, uh…)…
Not that we plan to go North. Right? We don’t do that stuff. I mean, hey, it would’ve been toast at some point anyway, ya know? Strategic Importance you say? Naw, can’t be. What do you mean you’re taking my keys away? Back to training? Me? Hey….
What I learned*:
- Never, ever, let the AI lead a flight. At least not when you’re trying “to do harm”.
- Use the Recon feature. A lot. Zoom out. Spin it around. Imagine your flight path into the area (and out while we’re at it).
- Take copious notes.
- Don’t forget to turn on the camera (AVTR default key “f”).
* These would seem to apply to the “high tech” attacks too; LGB, TGP, LMNOP….
Even though you’re looking through a gizmo, at a presumably safe distance, you still need to visualize the target area have a good mental picture of it. Those shiny things can break. Your cursor can get all catty-whompus on you. Etc, etc.
Oh, and number 5: Practice. A lot.
PS by “Manic” – The images were slightly touched up for this AAR. I wanted to make them less ‘clean’.