10. FINAL SHOT OF WHISKEY
This has got to be a drill, this is not real. This is not Real. What the hell is going on. Lieutenant Alson's mind raced as he followed his Squadron Commander racing forward high above CENTAG to Intercept the Su-25’s 70 miles east of them.
He was panicked, he knew the MIG-29’s were there somewhere behind him, the other two F-15 of their flight had broken to cover their attack on the Floggers. The Air-controller just seconds earlier had calmly reported the loss of his two squadron mates. He was in a state a flux, they were RED flag veterans damn fine fighter jocks most certainly better than him. Now they were gone, they may have ejected but he knew the chances were slim. 4 men lost in the blink of an eye. This cannot be real.....
“TALLY Bogey’s Confirmed Bandits - Eyeball Floggers” called the Squadron Commander
“WHISKEY You are Weapons Free” replied the AWACS Controller.
They streaked towards the formation of Su-25’s, his Commander Called “FOX-TWO” and Alson simultaneously fired an AIM Sidewinder at the rightmost target as per the flight SOP’s working his targets from outside-in as his commander worked from the opposite side of the formation. Two of the formation exploded as the formation split, he stayed glued to his flight leader, his WSO watching the rear calling the split of the Enemy formation. “Splash Two” called the Boss mechanically.
“WHISKEY – Green South” called the AWACS controller“ROGER - Deathstar” replied the Commander tonelessly.
“WHISKEY – Gadget Confirmed Fulcrum inbound Strength 4 – Entering FURBALL – RETROGRADE”
“NEGAT - COMMITTED” replied the Squadron Leader evenly “ROGER WHISKEY – Good luck sir”
His flight commander swung into a right roll and downward spiral, calling “FOX TWO” and seconds late “SPLASH ONE”.
Alson heard “FOX – TWO” and he knew the Boss had completed his Vector Roll successfully. He waited for a good tone, and watched as the MIG-29 panicked increased to max speed and dove, the sudden output spike on the engines gave an instant IR lock and he fired simultaneously calling “FOX-TWO” on the radio net, he didn’t watch the missile, he dived left and pulled up. His Boss called “SPLASH ONE” a second later, damn he was chalking up a score. His own WSO screamed ”3 O’clock high!!!”, and he saw the flash of Tracer fire stitching close to his aircraft. Shit, he had lost track of him during his manoeuvring. The sound of tearing and punching metal, rattling along the fuselage and the sudden vibration in the airframe confirmed to him his aircraft had been hit.
He banked right and saw the thin film of fuel in vapour trail, leaking out of the right wing.
“Shit, were damaged and losing fuel” Said Davies his WSO,“Disengage, we need to disengage”
“ROGER” replied Alson as he dived away from the fight whilst rolling vertically over “Watch our six”
“WHISKEY LEAD this is WHISKEY TWO, were hit bad, losing Fuel ”
“ROGER WHISKEY TWO – Will cover you head South RTB HOMEPLATE” replied his Squadron Commander before switching channel and transmitting “DEATHSTAR This is WHISKEY- BUGGING OUT”
“ROGER WHISKEY – GOOD WORK WE COUNT 5 KILLS” Replied the Air-controller mechanically.
As the two aircraft made for home they formed up, and headed south while another flight of F-15’s flew Escort 100 miles astern of them to nurse them home fending off other Soviet Aircraft to allow them to get clear. One Aircraft damaged and two lost, it was not a good day. They never even saw the pair of MIG-27 approaching from low-level which punched up from tree top level ahead of the Fighter Screen and well behind NATO lines. The unsuspecting F-15 Pilots jumped when they heard the Warning alarms in the ears seconds before the Soviet missiles struck them. They didn't have time to register their fate, or even acknowledge the AWACS warning shouted to just seconds too late.