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Republican Guard complex destroyed by jets
JPost ^ | 03-24-03 | JANINE ZACHARIA

Posted on 03/24/2003 4:56:45 AM PST by veronica

ABOARD THE USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN SEA

Fighter aircraft from this carrier destroyed a Republican Guard complex, including barracks, in Al-Falluja, just west of Baghdad, early Sunday.

Later in the day, three ships accompanying it and the USS Harry Truman fired the first Tomahawk cruise missiles into Iraq from the eastern Mediterranean. The cruisers Anzio and Cape St. George and the destroyer Winston Churchill fired roughly 30 missiles into undisclosed targets.

Sunday's strike mission on Al-Falluja was the carrier's second combat operation. "The anticipation is we are going to be flying a little bit more than we had in the past," commanding officer Capt. Richard O'Hanlon told reporters aboard.

Some pilots have expressed feeling underutilized. "I fully expect within a couple of days, we'll be doing the numbers of sorties that we're capable of doing," O'Hanlon said.

The ship relocated on Sunday, but details on its new position are classified.

During the morning raid on the Republic Guard complex, Iraqi forces responded with anti-aircraft guns and a number of missiles, which failed to reach the aircraft.

"I didn't see any actually guided on us," said David Newland, the ship's air wing commander, who flew an F-14 Tomcat. He described the resistance as "ineffectual."

The pilots dropped GPS-guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), which allowed them to fly out of anti-aircraft range.

The Republican Guard complex included barracks, headquarters, and a maintenance facility. It was not clear how many casualties were caused.

Al-Falluja was visited by UN weapons inspectors in January.

All two dozen planes involved in the six-hour mission returned safely. They were joined by F-15 and F-16CJ fighters, launched from air bases in the region, which provided support and cover.

Pilots could see huge smoke clouds and explosions from the target site as they left. The F-14s and F/A-18s had to be refueled several times before returning.

Reporters asked O'Hanlon to comment on the POWs taken by Iraqi forces.

O'Hanlon, an experienced F/A-18 pilot, said he did not think the taking of American POWs would impact the pilots' morale.

"You wouldn't be a military aviator in the world's finest navy unless you had that personality that assumed that you were going to have success. You have to plan for the worst. You have to prepare for the worst. But we go into every mission expecting success," he said.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alfalluja; anzio; capestgeorge; cas; f14tomcats; fa18s; jdams; missiles; republicanguard; roadtobaghdad; tomahawk; ussharrytruman; winstonchurchill

1 posted on 03/24/2003 4:56:45 AM PST by veronica
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To: veronica
and that's just the opening...B-52's are coming for you today
2 posted on 03/24/2003 5:02:49 AM PST by The Wizard (Saddamocrats are enemies of America)
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To: veronica
Just got in to work. Wondered why I didn't he this on the radio on the drive. heard plenty about downed apaches, Sadaam's speech, executed POW's etc.
3 posted on 03/24/2003 5:09:45 AM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: veronica
Some pilots have expressed feeling underutilized.

Great news! Pilots are fresh and champing at the bit to get into the fray.

4 posted on 03/24/2003 5:25:09 AM PST by randita
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To: randita
God knows I am no military expert but I'm wondering why more strategic airstrikes to specifically support ground troops fighting rag-tag Iraqi pockets of resistance are not being utilized. Maybe someone who knows more about this stuff will address it on this thread.
5 posted on 03/24/2003 5:30:35 AM PST by veronica (On to Baghdad...)
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To: The Wizard
When did the B-52s take off?
6 posted on 03/24/2003 5:34:54 AM PST by hawkaw
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To: veronica
Hi Veronica

There was an excellent post last night about how troops are getting great air support. I'll try to dig it up today for you.

A_R

7 posted on 03/24/2003 5:43:40 AM PST by arkady_renko
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To: arkady_renko
Our troops are doing a SUPERB JOB! Damn proud of them!!!!
8 posted on 03/24/2003 5:47:47 AM PST by smiley
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To: smiley
We get such a small amount of news of what is really going on, and much of that is distorted. Then the analysis starts by the folks like Greta on Fox. All is lost. She was so negative last night I remembered why I quit watching her. A military guy there told her she was a great laywer, but a horrible war commentator. Fortunately, we have great people on FR who grab news from around the world and get it to us.

The expectations of a 3 day war were a set-up by someone, somewhere.

A_R

9 posted on 03/24/2003 5:59:13 AM PST by arkady_renko
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To: arkady_renko
The problem with "embedding" is that these clowns can't see the forest for all the trees. We are witnessing the biggest ASS-KICKING in history, yet they reporters call a couple troglodytes in a pickup taking on a M1A1 "Major Resistance".
10 posted on 03/24/2003 6:06:00 AM PST by Spruce
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To: veronica
I'm wondering why more strategic airstrikes to specifically support ground troops fighting rag-tag Iraqi pockets of resistance are not being utilized. Maybe someone who knows more about this stuff will address it on this thread.

Such airstrikes would actually be tactical in nature, not strategic. And there is certainly some close air support (missions aiding ground troops) going on, especially by the Marines. But this resistance is being done by scattered pockets, often by cowards wearing civilian clothes. So such airstrikes would undoubtedly kill innocent civilians, perhaps making our problems worse. But I can guarantee you if our troops are in trouble and the enemy location is identified, they can call in an air strike. I saw the Marines do it the night before last. Rather than advance by foot on heavy gunfire coming from a house, the Marines sat back and let an aircraft take out the house.

11 posted on 03/24/2003 6:25:25 AM PST by Coop (God bless our troops!)
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To: Spruce
We are witnessing the biggest ASS-KICKING in history, yet they reporters call a couple troglodytes in a pickup taking on a M1A1 "Major Resistance".

I think you are 100% correct. The probelem is we are not used to taking ANY casualties. We are too used to war being antiseptic and if we sustain a few dozen casualties in the eye of the press, they report it as if we are losing.

My take is progress is going so fast, that our airforces are too busy taking care of strategic targets first before they can engage tactical targets in full. That will change very very soon.

12 posted on 03/24/2003 7:00:28 AM PST by finnman69 (!)
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To: smiley
Our troops are doing a SUPERB JOB! Damn proud of them!!!!

Amen!!!

13 posted on 03/24/2003 7:12:16 AM PST by TonyRo76
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To: finnman69
My take is progress is going so fast, that our airforces are too busy taking care of strategic targets first before they can engage tactical targets in full. That will change very very soon.

Close Air Support (CAS) is too important to leave to the USAF -- no offense to the blue-suiters. This is why the US Army has so many armed helicopters & gunships.

14 posted on 03/24/2003 7:52:01 AM PST by Tallguy
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To: Spruce
In their defense, they are just seeing that part of the war. They can't report on what they don't see.
15 posted on 03/24/2003 8:13:57 AM PST by tiki
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To: arkady_renko
i was hoping i was not the only one who hated greta

why is she even covering the war

she is a lawyer

where is bill o'rielly
16 posted on 03/24/2003 8:14:02 AM PST by tru_degenerate (that which is hidden will eventually come to light)
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To: hawkaw
The B-52s left England about 2 p.m. Baghdad time for their 6-hour flight.
17 posted on 03/24/2003 8:16:31 AM PST by glennaro
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To: glennaro
"The B-52s left England about 2 p.m. Baghdad time for their 6-hour flight."

Notice how no-one is reporting on the B-52's, B-1's and B-2's out of Diego Garcia. A lot more going on that we know about.

18 posted on 03/24/2003 8:20:26 AM PST by blam
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To: arkady_renko
We get such a small amount of news of what is really going on, and much of that is distorted. Then the analysis starts by the folks like Greta on Fox. All is lost. She was so negative last night I remembered why I quit watching her. A military guy there told her she was a great laywer, but a horrible war commentator. Fortunately, we have great people on FR who grab news from around the world and get it to us.

The expectations of a 3 day war were a set-up by someone, somewhere.

The person talking with Greta made a very good point: On the first day of Operation Iraqi Freedom, there were +3k known Iraqi targets targets that needed to be hit. The combined US / British Air Force, Army, Marine and Navy air assets have been flying an average of +2k combat missions per day since the beginning. Now, we are down to around +250 known targets and still flying the same average number of combat missions per day.

Greta perceives this information as meaning that the war is becoming ineffective; however, our forces are now concentrating our firepower on fewer targets that have to be hit over-and-over like troop and armor concentrations. This "battlefield preperation" will make things easier for ground force movement. As fewer targets are identified, more "attention" can be brought to bear until nothing remains.

Greta needs to keep looking for the "real killer"...

19 posted on 03/24/2003 8:25:58 AM PST by jriemer (We are a Republic not a Democracy)
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