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The First 600 Days of Combat

The First 600 Days of Combat

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IRIS Iress
236 Massachusells Avenue NL
Suile 2O4
Washinglon, DC 2OOO2
Ihone: 2O2.544.213O
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Tnc |irs| 600 Daqs cf Ccm|a|
Copyrighl © 2OO4 IRIS Iress
AII righls reserved.
Irinled in lhe Uniled Slales of Anerica. No parl of lhis
look nay le used or reproduced in any nanner
vhalsoever vilhoul vrillen pernission excepl in lhe
case of lrief quolalions enlodied in crilicaI arlicIes and
revievs. Ior infornalion address:
IRIS Iress
236 Massachusells Avenue NL
Suile 2O4
Washinglon, DC 2OOO2
ISßN# 1-892799-O5-7
Iä| ||1ºI º11 JA\º J| |J¥JAI
Rebecca Grant
IAJ|| J| Contents
Chapter 1: Beyond Desert Storm .......................................................... £
Chapter 2: The Terror Weapon ............................................................. ££
Chapter 3: Noble Eagle .......................................................................... £™
Chapter 4: The Challenge of Afghanistan ............................................ ÎÇÊ
Chapter 5: Victories in November ........................................................ xÎ
Chapter 6: Tora Bora to Anaconda ...................................................... ǣ
Chapter 7: Eyes on Iraq ........................................................................ nx
Chapter 8: Operation Iraqi Freedom Begins ......................................... £ä£
Chapter 9: Unrelenting Airpower ......................................................... £Ó£
Chapter 10: A War Well Begun ............................................................. £{£
Endnotes ................................................................................................. £{n
ÊÊÊ
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Wreckage of the Worla Traae Center on September 15, 2001. (DoD photo)
|äAºI| 1 I. Beyond Desert Storm
F
or almost six hundred days, Irom the morning oI September 11, 2001, until May
1, 2003, the Air Force with its joint and Coalition partners Iought the frst phase
oI the global war on terrorism.
The war was truly global in scope, waged in one Iamiliar setting, Iraq, and in two
unlikely locations: AIghanistan and, even more surprising, over the skies oI the United
States itselI. It included covert and conventional operations, humanitarian airliIts
and debilitating airstrikes. The frst six hundred days saw three major campaigns.
Operation Noble Eagle deIended the air sovereignty oI North America, its cities and
critical inIrastructure. Operation Enduring Freedom broke the Taliban control oI
AIghanistan and tore apart al-Qaeda terrorist nests in that nation. Operation Iraqi
Freedom completed an overthrow oI Saddam Hussein`s regime, designed to ensure that
Iraq could not become a saIe harbor Ior terrorism or Ior the development oI weapons
oI mass destruction.
Above all, this frst six hundred days oI combat sought to counter the constantly
present threat oI terrorist attacks against the people oI the United States. It did not
eradicate that threat, but it diminished it signifcantly. The frst six hundred days did
not bring the campaign against terrorism to an end, but it made substantial progress in
putting terrorists on the deIensive and creating the new security partnerships essential
to a sustained global war on terror.
America`s Airmen played a dominant role in every phase oI the frst six hundred
days, with acts oI everyday proIessionalism, bravery and sacrifce.
This is their story.
They are still engaged in the battle today. The sentry on guard at the base`s main
gate, the tanker aircrew over the Pacifc, the crew chieI Ior the F-16 deployed to Kuwait
or on alert Ior NORAD in the United States: all these Airmen, and thousands more like
them, wage the global war against terrorism.
For that reason, no defnitive or fnal account oI how America`s Airmen helped
deIeat the global threat oI terrorism can yet be written. This is the story oI how it all
began: the frst six hundred days oI combat.
A Decade of Change
The story begins with changes in the Air Force aIter Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
For it took a changed Air Force to wage the global war on terrorism.
Signs oI the change were visible everywhere Airmen operated. All-weather JDAM,
space operations Ior warfghters, Predator, Global Hawk, the B-2 stealth bomber, laser-
£Ê
ºTIc grcai iroullc wiiI siariing anyiIing ncw
is io lrcal away fron iIc conscrvaiivc ¡olicy of
iIosc wIo Iavc gonc lcforc."
Brigaaier General Billy Mitchell
1
guided bombs on F-16s, e-mail to the cockpit, C-17 relieI Iood drops on the frst
night oI the war, data links Ior real-time targeting, women in combat assignments,
ten Air Expeditionary Forces: all these elements oI modern airpower and more did
not exist in 1991.
Ten years later, these and other developments paid oII at the operational level
oI war, where joint campaigns come together and where the impact oI air and space
power is most evident.
How did it happen?
The Air Force aIter Operation Desert Storm transitioned Irom a Cold War Iorce
to an expeditionary Iorce. It was a change in structure, Iorm and character. It was
prompted by many things: new technologies, new operational requirements and,
most oI all, the desire to reshape the Air Force to meet America`s changing security
needs, even as Iuture threats remained amorphous.
TransIormation in military organizations counts only when it makes an impact in
combat. The aim oI this report is to tell what happened in the frst three campaigns
the frst six hundred days oI the global war on terrorism.
It starts in Chapter 1 with an explication oI the Air Force`s internal changes
and their impact on joint warfghting Irom 1991 to 2001. Chapter 2 reviews the
rise oI terrorist threats to the United States and the world. Chapter 3 documents
September 11, 2001, and the ongoing campaign oI sovereign air deIense known as
Operation Noble Eagle. Chapter 4 opens with the decision to rout out al-Qaeda
in AIghanistan and describes the beginning oI that campaign, known as Operation
Enduring Freedom (OEF). Chapter 5 covers OEF`s major successes in ending
Taliban control oI AIghanistan in November and early December 2001. Chapter 6
analyzes the shiIting nature oI Operation Enduring Freedom aIter December 2001
and the lessons oI Operation Anaconda in March 2002.
With Chapter 7, the Iocus turns to Iraq, and the development oI war plans, the
stepped-up activity in the no-fy zones, and the political and diplomatic developments
leading up to March 2003. Chapter 8 marks the beginning oI Operation Iraqi
Freedom and details the many contributions oI airpower to fghting and sustaining
the campaign. Chapter 9 Iocuses on the critical period leading up to the capture
oI Baghdad. Chapter 10 tracks the aItermath oI Operation Iraqi Freedom and the
impact oI the frst two years oI the global war on terrorism.
Lessons of Desert Storm
Success in Operation Desert Storm over a decade earlier was an achievement carved
out in large measure by airpower. The joint air weapon and at its core, the US Air
Force was so dominant in the short campaign that President George H. W. Bush said,
'GulI War lesson one is the value oI airpower.¨
2
From the air, Coalition fghters made short work oI the well-equipped Iraqi Air
Force. Laser-guided bombs proved eIIective against buildings, bridges and tanks.
Iraqi divisions massed on the border saw a third oI their artillery destroyed outright,
and armored units lost substantial percentages oI their vehicles. The six-week air
war paved the way Ior Phase IV, the ground oIIensive, and in just one hundred hours,
the war was over. This was 'the frst time in history that an army was deIeated by
airpower,¨ said Air Force ChieI oI StaII General Tony McPeak.
3
Another kind oI military might have been content with that high-water mark, the
never-to-be-repeated signature victory. But the Air Force that led the Coalition to victory
Ó
Î
in Operation Desert Storm had transIormed itselI only just enough. Barely one hundred
Air Force aircraIt in theater F-117s, F-111s, and a handIul oI F-15Es could deliver
selI-designating laser-guided bombs. The Joint Surveillance Target Attack System (or
JSTARS) that detected the attack at KhaIji and saIeguarded the massive Coalition ground
Iorce repositioning was a test platIorm rushed into combat with engineers and Ph.D.
scientists aboard to keep the system running. For the frst time, control oI airpower
came under a Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC), Lieutenant General
Charles Horner; but internal to the Air Force, Strategic Air Command kept custody oI
bombers and tankers during the confict. It was Iortunate, too, that Operation Desert
Shield oIIered fve months to build up Iorces since they had to be extracted Irom Cold
War battle plans to be deployed. A handIul oI unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) saw
service but except Ior a Iew salvos oI expendable counter-air drones, none oI the
UAVs belonged to the Air Force. Scuds largely eluded Coalition Airmen. Operation
Desert Storm was quickly dubbed 'the frst space war¨ in spite oI the major cultural and
operational isolation oI the space proIession within the Air Force.
Victory can be a poor teacher. However, Ior the Air Force, a new period oI radical
change was just about to start.
F-16A, F-15C ana F-15E ßying auring Desert Storm. (U.S. Air Force photo)
{
Reorganization
Secretary oI the Air Force Donald B. Rice and ChieI oI StaII General Tony McPeak
began to alter the very Iabric oI the Air Force in the Iall oI 1991. There was no doubt
that Operation Desert Storm had proved the soundness oI the doctrine oI centralized
control via Horner`s perIormance as the JFACC. True, a Iew Marine air assets had
evaded centralized control, but the Air Force, Navy and several Coalition Air Forces
all few on the air tasking order.
But the USAF itselI was still organized Ior the Cold War. Three giant commands
known as SAC, TAC and MAC, dominated the Iorce. Strategic Air Command, Tactical
Air Command and Military AirliIt Command each had its own Iour-star commander and
its own culture. Systems Command, Logistics Command, and other baronies refected
the sprawling nature oI the Cold War Iorce. 'Our own basic doctrine calls Ior command
structures that are clear, simple and easily understood,¨ McPeak said in the Iall oI 1991.
'No one would describe our Desert Storm command arrangements that way.¨
4
General
John P. Jumper, USAF, who became Air Force ChieI oI StaII ten years later, refected
that Desert Storm exposed 'the Iact that we had neglected to comply with the basic
doctrine oI airpower oI centralized control and decentralized execution.¨
5
McPeak announced in September 1991 that SAC, TAC and MAC were going
away. His goal was to provide integrated airpower in units 'organized in peacetime
the way we intend to use them in combat.¨
6

By June 1, 1992, the Air Force had an all-new combat command structure that leIt
it in a better position to prepare Ior the Iuture. Air Combat Command included fghters
and bombers. Air Mobility Command became the home oI airliIts and tankers. A unifed
Strategic Command took over control oI nuclear retaliatory strikes. Intercontinental
ballistic missiles moved eventually to Space Command. Another major change came
just one month later as the Systems and Logistics Commands consolidated into the
new Air Force Materiel Command headquartered at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The
reorganization also reached deep to simpliIy the structure oI the Air Force and push
authority out to the wing level, a process that took several more months to complete.
The shape and size oI squadrons changed also.
Restructuring wiped the slate clean. It defated old conficts over culture and
resources and gave the Air Force the opportunity to look at Iuture challenges, whatever
they might be, without becoming mired in old missions and old ways oI doing business.
The changes oI 1992, radical as they were, gave the Air Force a Iresh approach to its
Iuture and leIt it with a basic structure still in place today.
Air Expeditionary Force
However, reorganization by itselI was not enough. In October 1994, Saddam Hussein
again deployed Republican Guard Iorces on the Iraqi border with Kuwait. The Air
Force Iound its deployment packages had not been trimmed and tailored to the needs
oI a rapid deployment. As a result, 'we were looking at the same kind oI conIusion
that we saw in August oI 1990 when Saddam came across the frst time,¨ recounted
General Jumper, who by then had Horner`s old three-star job as Commander oI 9
th
Air
Force.
7

'Something had to happen,¨ he said. 'So I went over and spent three months
over in the desert.¨ General Jumper himselI took over the JTF SWA billet. What he
Iound was that 'we needed a rotation base oI some type to be able to react to what was
happening in the world that was not set-piece like the Cold War.¨
8
{
x
It was the birth oI the Air Expeditionary Force (AEF). General Jumper described
it as a test to 'put together a Iorce package that could rapidly react to a situation.¨
9
The Air Force began its frst AEF deployments in 1995 as a means Ior putting 30
additional fghters and 6 bombers into Southwest Asia during gaps in Navy carrier
visits.
10
Deployment stops in the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, Ior example,
oIten included joint exercises with host-nation Iorces.
When General Michael Ryan became ChieI oI StaII in 1997, he began tailoring
the Air Force as a whole to the AEF concept. Ryan was the one who ensured that 'the
Air Force was able to make the right adjustment to make this idea oI a rotational Iorce
universal,¨ noted General Jumper.
11

Many other changes large and small occurred throughout the 1990s. At the
initiative oI ChieI oI StaII General Ronald Fogleman, who was ChieI oI StaII Irom
November 1994 through July 1997, the Air Force stood up a new Doctrine Center.
Its mission was to 'write down what works¨ instead oI just handing lessons down
'essentially Iather to son around the campfre,¨ said Lieutenant General Ron Keys,
who as a one-star in 1996 became the Air Force Doctrine Center`s frst commander.
12
It was also a time oI tremendous technology evolution. The Air Force capitalized
on its Desert Storm experience with a wish list oI improved capabilities. One oI these
was the C-17 airliIter. Another was the acquisition oI enough precision weapons
targeting pods to equip nearly all deploying fghters. By the mid-1990s, the Air Force
was truly a precision Iorce. A two-week air campaign in Bosnia ended in 1995 with
new pledges Ior peace and new statistics on precision airpower: over two-thirds oI the
bombs dropped during Operation Deliberate Force were precision weapons. It also
brought a new level oI responsibility Ior managing collateral damage. Although it had
been a concern in 1991, even resulting in the withholding oI some targets in Baghdad,
minimizing collateral damage became a major issue in the Balkans. 'Minimizing
not only collateral damage but also carnage was frst and Ioremost in my mind,¨ said
General Ryan, who was the three-star Combined Forces Air Component Commander
during Operation Deliberate Force. 'II NATO had committed an atrocity Irom the air,¨
it might have 'brought the operation to a dead halt,¨ Ryan realized.
13
Airmen also got back together with UAVs. The Predator, adapted Irom a Central
Intelligence Agency drone, became an Air Force program with its own 'pilots¨ and
a squadron in Nevada. Global Hawk, a high-altitude, long-endurance UAV with
advanced sensors, made its frst fight in February 1998.
But it was an unIamiliar location called Kosovo that gave many oI the Air Force`s
new capabilities a major test.
The Lessons of Operation Allied Force
NATO`s air war to Iree Kosovo started suddenly on March 24, 1999, and continued Ior
the next 78 days.
14
Airpower carried the fght alone, without a land component.
With its expeditionary posture, the Air Force summoned almost halI its Iorces to
the theater. Percentages oI fghters and bombers dedicated to the war Iar surpassed
equivalent percentages deployed Ior Desert Storm or even Vietnam. At one point, 80
percent oI tanker crews were involved. 'We were the ones that surged,¨ said Ryan.
15

The length and breadth oI the campaign came as a surprise and tested the Air Force`s
ability to deploy more Iorces quickly. At its peak the campaign had three times more
strike aircraIt in action than it had at the beginning. Unique political restrictions and wily
Serb tactics also put the spotlight on fnding, tracking and killing targets on the move.
General John Jumper, commanaer, U.S. Air Forces Europe, gives his personal view
of the progress of NATO Operation Alliea Force auring a Pentagon press conference
on May 14, 1999. (DoD photo by R. D. Wara)
È
It proved without a doubt to be an unsurpassed laboratory Ior the Iuture oI air and
space power.
The fedgling process oI 'fexible targeting¨ called Ior a new approach by the
Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) at Vicenza, Italy, and by aircrews alike.
The heart oI fexible targeting was the requirement to Iuse intelligence, surveillance
and reconnaissance Ieeds into a tool Ior pinpointing elusive targets. Serbian SA-6s
were a good example. Their operators rarely turned them on, meaning they gave
out only brieI blips oI electronic signatures. The SA-6s could also move and pop
up to threaten NATO aircraIt. Yet predictive analysis oI the typical behavior oI the
SA-6 operators, combined with vigilant reconnaissance, could sometimes yield a
precise location Ior an SA-6. Then, iI the CAOC acted swiItly enough, the SA-6`s
coordinates could be derived and relayed to a strike aircraIt.
For General Jumper, who traveled to Vicenza Irom Ramstein AB, Germany,
where he commanded United States Air Forces in Europe, there was one major key:
a change in attitude. Everyone in the sensor-shooter loop had to Ieel the urgency oI
tracking and killing these 'fex¨ targets. No longer was it good enough Ior imagery
analysts to identiIy an SA-6, then hand it oII through routine intelligence channels,
where it might make the strike list a Iew days later probably aIter the SA-6 had
moved several times. Flex targets demanded a brisk warrior spirit and a desire to
break old barriers between intelligence and operations.
Ç
The operational level oI war had to be 'resynchronized with the tactical level oI
war,¨ he later said.
16
Now, the pilot in the cockpit needed to draw directly and quickly
on the pipeline oI processed intelligence Irom the CAOC. It was especially true in
the Kosovo crisis, where political tides might grant (or rescind) target approvals,
and where Ierreting out Serbian ground Iorces was a daily eIIort. The net result
was that pilots increasingly launched on missions and then got the coordinates or
fnal approval Ior their strikes while airborne. Ultimately, Iorty-three percent oI the
Operation Allied Force targets were grouped as 'fexible¨ targets.
This shiIt in air warIare required changes within the Air Force. The 'agility
you need to do that is a diIIerent mentality than all oI us were trained to,¨ General
Jumper concluded. 'And so that agility means that the tactical level warrior needs
to have a much diIIerent relationship with the air operations center...because those
are the people who are really his pipeline¨ Ior rapid target inIormation.
17
The result:
the concept oI the Air Operations Center (AOC) as a weapons system. From that
fowed specifc concepts oI operations, and blocks oI capabilities, to improve the
chain oI 'fnd, fx, track, target, engage and assess.¨ The Air Force implemented
AOC training. Joint Iorce exercises also tested the AOC`s growing abilities. As it
turned out, there could be no more important preparation Ior the challenges that lay
ahead in the 21
st
century.
There were still more lessons Ior the expeditionary Iorce to learn, and chieI
among them was a Iresh appreciation oI combat support. As Jumper explained it,
'the world that we lived in as we were doing all this was really not a true contingency
world. It was Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Balkans, and drug wars, things like
that. It was a world where you had a fxed unit at the Iar end and so you were
deploying assets into this fxed unit, but the tent city was already there,¨ he said.
Combat support Ior expeditionary airpower really began 'to blossom¨ in Operation
Allied Force, where 'all around Europe you saw these tanker bases and these fghter
bases¨ activated to support the NATO campaign. 'You`d see them spring up with all
sorts oI combat support that needed to go in there to make these things happen.¨
18
Above all, Operation Allied Force Iound that once again the air component was at
the center oI joint operations. Expeditionary, precise, and capable across a spectrum
oI confict: the capabilities oI the air component, with the USAF at its core, more and
more defned the capabilities oI the American military as a whole.
Airpower in 1oint Warfare
Perhaps the only doubts about the Air Force`s transIormation initiatives lay with
whether or not airpower was prepared to take the lead in a combined-arms setting. Joint
and combined arms as a litmus test applies especially to airpower because airpower`s
impact becomes most dramatic at the campaign level. TransIormation can be gauged
best by perIormance in combat, and the highest test oI combat art lies in combined
operations, where Iorces Irom all components must integrate together. Put simply,
airpower had to deliver at the operational level oI war. That meant that its true impact
in the global war on terrorism would be judged by the success oI joint operations,
including major land campaigns.
The GulI War oI 1991 ended with unresolved operational issues clouding the
air and land components` views oI each other. The Commander in ChieI oI United
States Central Command, General Norman SchwarzkopI, relied heavily on airpower
but downplayed its impact as soon as victory was in sight. General SchwarzkopI`s
The B-2 Spirit bomber is a revolutionary blena of low-observable technologies with
high aeroaynamic efhciency ana large payloaa. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt.
Mark Olsen)
n
Iamous 'mother oI all briefngs¨ was televised live Irom Riyadh on February 27, 1991,
the last night oI the war. He commented that airpower had been very eIIective initially,
but had become less so in recent weeks. 'The truth was, his remarks hurt,¨ said then-
Brigadier General Buster Glosson, chieI air campaign planner and commander oI
fghter units.
19

Histories written aIter the GulI War, such as the Army`s Certain Jictory, documented
the bitterness caused by misunderstandings between the land and air components in
such day-to-day operations as the target selection process.
20
'Jointness¨ was Iar Irom
complete. Looking back on that time in 2003, Chairman oI the Joint ChieIs oI StaII
General Richard Myers commented that 'we were basically in a deconfiction mode¨
in 1991.
21

For the rest oI the decade there were Iew real-world opportunities to test air
and land component coordination in conventional operations. Airpower dominated
military operations in the 1990s. Operation Deliberate Force, waged over Bosnia in
1995, employed airpower frst, with US ground Iorces entering the region only later, as
peacekeepers. Four years later, Operation Allied Force ran Ior 78 days with minimal
land Iorce involvement and no ground combat operations.
™
As Ior the Army, the 1990s saw a shiIt Irom the air-land battle doctrine oI the
1980s to a new doctrine that embraced a broader spectrum oI operations, but still gave
pride oI place to fres and maneuver. Any Iuture confict would be a test oI whether the
new capabilities oI air and space power could be eIIectively lashed together in major
joint Iorce operations.
Airmen looking back at the 1990s could well be pleased with the progress made in
transIorming the Air Force to meet new security challenges. But the biggest challenge
oI all was just taking shape. Just as the GulI War helped Iuel a push Ior innovation, it
also set some oI the conditions Ior the rise oI a new threat: terrorism.
£ä
Aftermath of the June 1996 bombing of US military barracks at Khobar Towers in
Dhahran, Sauai Arabia. (DoD photo)
|äAºI| 1 l. The Terror Weapon
T
he emergence oI terror as a global weapon was to have an indelible infuence on
the Air Force and was to put its transIormations oI the 1990s to the test.
In early January 2001, President-elect George W. Bush received a two-hour
briefng Irom the CIA listing the top three threats Iacing America. Two oI these were
the proliIeration oI weapons oI mass destruction and Osama bin Laden`s worldwide
terrorist network, the al-Qaeda.
23
The Changing Threat
Until 2001, terrorism had never been portrayed as a primary threat to US security.
For 50 years aIter the end oI World War II, Americans held the view that security
began overseas. The willingness to engage abroad was the essence oI the strategy oI
containment. A network oI permanent bases and alliances led by NATO was put in
place to dampen confict and protect the nation`s interests. Containment and deterrence
held back direct threats to the territory oI the United States. Americans Ielt saIe on
their own shores. The Iew history-making exceptions, such as Sputnik in 1957 and the
Cuban missile crisis in 1963, seemed to belong to another era.
A proIound change in America`s security strategy began to take shape in the mid-
1990s. Three events marked the beginning oI intensifed concern about terrorism
and American security. First was the World Trade Center bombing on February 26,
1993. Six people died and nearly a thousand suIIered injuries. 'Had the attack gone
as planned, tens oI thousands oI Americans would have died,¨ said terrorism expert
Laurie Mylroie.
24
One oI the ringleaders, Ramzi YouseI, was arrested in early 1995
aIter explosives accidentally detonated in his apartment in Manila, the Philippines.
That linked the 1993 bombing to a group oI Muslim extremists. YouseI and his co-
conspirators were trying to put together a plot to blow up a dozen commercial airliners
in Asia and the United States when they were arrested.
The second event was the bombing oI the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City in
1995. While the Oklahoma City tragedy was not linked to international terrorism,
the attack caused state and Iederal authorities across the nation to re-evaluate their
mechanisms Ior responding to catastrophic attacks. The danger was underlined by an
unrelated incident in Tokyo a month earlier when a cult tried to release sarin gas in the
subway. Nearly fve thousand people were treated Ior injuries. Cities were vulnerable
even to relatively simple Iorms oI attack. President William J. Clinton signed his frst
policy directive on counter-terrorism, PDD-39, in June 1995.
££
ºOsana lin Ladcn and Iis glolal nciworl of
licuicnanis and associaics rcnain iIc nosi
inncdiaic and scrious iIrcai io US sccuriiy."
CIA Director George Tenet, February 2001
22
The third event hit US Iorces overseas. In
June 1996, terrorists backed a sewage truck flled
with explosives up against the perimeter wall oI
barracks housing USAF Airmen at the Khobar
Towers housing complex in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
Nineteen were killed and dozens more injured.
Rumors pointed to some Iorm oI involvement by
exiled Saudi extremist Osama bin Laden.
These three events marked the arrival oI a
whole new set oI vulnerabilities. Force protection
overseas became a much higher priority. Yet with
conficts under way in the Balkans and AIrica, the
terror weapon remained in the shadows.
Al-Qaeda Comes out of the Shadows
One oI the Iew who knew how dangerous Osama
bin Laden and his network could be was George
Tenet, who became CIA director in 1997. Bin
Laden was the renegade son oI a wealthy Saudi
Iamily known Ior its gigantic construction and engineering business. The government
oI Sudan expelled Osama bin Laden Irom his home in downtown Khartoum in 1996.
He then set up camp in AIghanistan. From this new base he issued in August 1996
a Declaration oI Jihad 'against the Americans occupying the land oI the two holy
mosques,¨ Saudi Arabia. It was a pointed reIerence to the US and other western Iorces
including Airmen who were in Saudi Arabia to enIorce UN sanctions against Iraq.
A subsequent fatwa published in February 1998 called Ior the killing oI Americans
including civilians anywhere in the world. Bin Laden Iollowed it up in May 1998
with an endorsement oI a nuclear bomb Ior Islam.
25
Still, Ior most Americans, the episodic terrorist attacks did not signiIy a coming
shiIt in national security policies. Concerns Iocused mainly on increased Iorce
protection Ior US military Iorces stationed abroad.
That all changed in the summer oI 1998. Bombings at the US embassies in Nairobi,
Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killed two hundred people, including twelve
Americans, and injured more than Iour thousand. Retaliation strikes with Tomahawk
cruise missiles hit a bin Laden training camp at Zhawar Kili in AIghanistan and a
suspected poison gas Iactory in the Sudan.
The suicide attack on the Navy destroyer USS Cole while reIueling in Yemen in
October 2000 was another al-Qaeda work oI terror. It claimed the lives oI 17 sailors
and injured 39 more. 'To those who attacked them, we say: you will not fnd a saIe
harbor,¨ warned President Clinton at the memorial service.
26
By this time, both the CIA and the FBI had small teams dedicated to working on
Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda. They began tracking bin Laden more closely aIter
the Nairobi and Dar es Salaam bombings. For its part, the FBI issued an indictment
against bin Laden and 16 oI his associates Iollowing multinational investigation oI the
AIrican embassy bombings.
27

United States law Iorbade assassinations. However, the CIA could legally mount a
covert operation, capture bin Laden and turn him over to authorities unless by chance
he Iought to the death. 'But all the experts in the Directorate oI Operations thought it
£Ó
Osama bin Laaen.
would not work that it would lead to a lot oI people getting killed, and not necessarily
bin Laden,¨ concluded journalist Bob Woodward, aIter extensive interviews with Tenet
and others. As a result, 'the plan never went Iurther.¨
28

Homeland Security: The First Stirrings
Homeland security also became a topic oI domestic debate in the late 1990s but
not because oI bin Laden. A handIul oI prominent commissions met to discuss
and attempt to defne the growing threat to America itselI. In December 1997, the
National DeIense Panel ranked 'homeland deIense¨ frst in its section on meeting
national security challenges in 2020. 'The primary reason Ior the increased
emphasis on homeland deIense is the change, both in type and degree, in the threats
to the United States,¨ explained the panel.
29
However, their report did not single
out terrorism; it listed many elements ranging Irom border and coastal deIense to
terrorism, inIormation warIare, deIense against ballistic and cruise missiles, and
attacks on critical inIrastructure.
Two years later, in 1999, the Hart-Rudman Commission took an even stronger
tone. The report oI the bipartisan commission was blunt about Iuture prospects:
The combination oI unconventional weapons proliIeration with the persistence
oI international terrorism will end the relative invulnerability oI the US homeland
to catastrophic attack. A direct attack against American citizens on American soil
is likely over the next quarter century. The risk is not only death and destruction
but also a demoralization that could undermine US global leadership.
30
The warning was sobering and the prospect oI some Iorm oI attack was undeniable.
But the terror weapon had not yet taken concrete shape. As yet, no government agency
had Iormally laid out a threat assessment covering potential attacks in America. As a
result, there was no drive to alter America`s deIensive posture.
The Air Defense Posture Before September 11
Primary responsibility Ior air deIense Iell to the North American Aerospace DeIense
Command, known as NORAD. NORAD was a bilateral US-Canadian organization
that had been created in 1958 to provide distant early warning and deIensive reaction
against Soviet bomber and missile attacks. For more than 40 years, NORAD protected
North America against attack Irom outside by maintaining aerospace warning and
control. NORAD`s mission, as reiterated in March 1996, was as Iollows:
% The primary missions oI NORAD |are|.aerospace warning Ior North
America ... and aerospace control Ior North America...|,|
% |to| include the capability to detect, identiIy, monitor, and iI necessary,
take appropriate actions (ranging Irom visual identifcation to destruction)
against manned or unmanned air-breathing vehicles approaching North
America.
31
NORAD`s headquarters were in a blast-hardened Iacility dug deep into rock at
Cheyenne Mountain AFB, Colorado. From this secure bastion, it was up to NORAD
to correlate threat warning inIormation, identiIy a target such as a bomber or missile
approaching the US and declare it hostile, and get authority Irom the Secretary oI
DeIense and the President to take action.
£Î
Air deIense interceptors were the most visible part oI NORAD`s Iorce structure. In
the 1950s, hundreds oI fghters were part oI the alert Iorce. But the air deIense mission
waned in the 1970s and 1980s. By 1980, the number was down to 14 units. In 1994,
with no apparent threats to the US on the horizon, the Bottom-Up Review conducted
by Secretary oI DeIense Les Aspin cut back the NORAD continental US alert Irom ten
to seven sites. The 1997 Quadrennial DeIense Review briefy considered subtracting
three more sites and relying on a 'Iour corners¨ deIense. General Howell M. Estes, III,
the commander oI NORAD at the time, scotched the idea.
32
That leIt NORAD with what was in eIIect a reduced Cold War posture. For air
deIense, NORAD was divided into three regions: Alaska, Canada and the continental
United States, known by the acronyms ANR, CANR and CONR. The Commander,
CONR, was dual-hatted as the Commander, 1
st
Air Force.
CONR was split into three sectors: the Northeast Air DeIense Sector (NEADS),
headquartered at Rome, New York; the Southeast Air DeIense Sector (SEADS) at
Tyndall AFB, Florida; and the Western Air DeIense Sector (WADS) at McChord AFB,
Washington. The sectors watched the skies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They
tracked suspicious aircraIt and had authority to launch alert aircraIt to close in on what
they called 'unknown riders.¨ The fghters providing air deIense were grouped in
'seven sets oI two.¨ They were:
All fghters were on a 15-minute alert. Each sector maintained operational
control (OPCON) oI the alert Iorces, which, in the words oI Colonel Robert Marr, Jr.,
Commander, NEADS, gave them the 'Ireedom to scramble.¨
33

For the pilots and crew chieIs, the klaxon call to launch their alert jets was an
adrenaline-flled event. 'Your heart gets going no matter how many times you`ve
scrambled, because you never know what`s out there,¨ Major Steve Saari, an F-16 alert
pilot Irom the 148
th
Fighter Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard, who pulled alert at
Tyndall AFB, Florida, said in a 1999 interview.
34

Daily operations took on their own unique character at each sector. WADS covered
a large geographic area everything west oI the Mississippi River but had relatively
little civil aviation traIfc compared to the other sectors. Thousands oI commercial
airline routes crossed through the busy northeast corridor in the NEADS sector. In
1993, alert fghters scrambled to escort a hijacked LuIthansa airliner inbound Irom
Europe to an uneventIul landing in Canada. SEADS was drug runner territory. Its
airspace was also flled with general traIfc Irom South America, light planes fying to
the Caribbean Islands without a fight plan, and occasional Cuban aircraIt. In 1998,
SEADS logged over Iour hundred fghter scrambles compared to Iewer than one
hundred Ior WADS.
£{
Unit Home Station Alert Site Aircraft
102nd FW Cape Cod, MA Otis ANGB, MA F-15
119th FW Fargo, ND Langley AFB, VA F-16A
125th FW Jacksonville, FL Homestead AFRB, FL F-15
147th FW Houston, TX Ellington ANGB, TX F-16
148th FW Duluth, MN Tyndall AFB, FL F-16
144th FW Fresno, CA March AFB, CA F-16
142nd FW Portland, OR Portland IAP, OR F-15
Most oI all, the 'seven sets oI two¨ were ready at all times. 'These jets are hot and
cocked, they are ready,¨ said Technical Sergeant Don Roseen oI the 148
th
FW in 1999.
'When that alarm goes oII, everything else just stops.¨
35
Potential New Threats
Talk oI homeland security and terrorist threats in the late 1990s was not overlooked
at NORAD. Internally, NORAD was studying potential new threats such as ballistic
missiles, cruise missiles and cyber-warIare.
The commander oI 1
st
Air Force, Major General Larry K. Arnold, summed it up in
the summer oI 1999. While the 'deterrable enemies that prompted the NORAD Treaty
no longer pose the primary threat to our nation, our mission remains viable and important.
Non-deterrable threats, such as rogue nations and terrorists, make our job more crucial and
challenging than ever,¨ he concluded. General Arnold was beginning to Iocus his Iorces
on 'our near-term capability to detect, track and intercept and destroy cruise missile-type
targets¨ and on upgrading standards Ior 'seamless command and control.¨
36

However, all these new threats retained NORAD`s traditional emphasis on threats
coming Irom outside US borders. Commercial aviation fights originating within the
United States were deemed 'Iriendly by origin.¨ That would turn out to be a signifcant
assumption.
The Iact remained that there was little to prompt a Iull-scale re-examination
oI NORAD`s traditional roles. One area that NORAD could and did emphasize
was Iorce protection. 'It is our job to protect our people. Although NORAD and
USSPACECOM Iorces do not Iace the same level oI threat as those conIronting the
regional CINCs, we do deploy our personnel to every location US Iorces operate..
The intelligence community continues to advise us oI the international terrorism threat
£x
Just as evening falls, the leaa KC-135R from the 168th Air Refueling Wing, Alaska Air
National Guara, takes off for a refueling mission. The force is maae up exclusively of
Reserve Forces from Air National Guara ana the Air Force Reserve. (U.S. Air Force
photo)
and the bombings oI our embassies in AIrica, the World Trade Center in New York
and the Federal Building in Oklahoma certainly provide the prooI,¨ testifed CINC
NORAD, General Ed Eberhart, beIore the Senate Armed Services Committee on
March 8, 2000.
37

As a result, in 2001, NORAD was still postured to counter threats Irom beyond
American shores. One major shortcoming oI this posture was that radar coverage
oI US airspace relied heavily on Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) tracking oI
transponder signals. NORAD`s own radars clustered on the perimeter and did not
penetrate Iar inland. As a result, NORAD could not track an aircraIt in the interior
oI the country by radar. The bottom line was that NORAD did not have the ability to
track a rogue airliner over the United States unless the airliner stayed within the coastal
coverage areas. The middle oI the country was completely uncovered, Irom Nevada to
West Virginia, Irom southern North Dakota to the panhandle oI Texas.
'I think we lulled ourselves into a thought process that was Cold War-driven:
protect ourselves Irom without,¨ said Brigadier General Paul Kimmel, Air National
Guard ChieI Operating OIfcer and Crisis Action Team director.
38

Targeting America
As is now known, al-Qaeda terrorists were planning an attack Irom within. Revelations
Irom Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (captured in Pakistan in 2003) established that al-
Qaeda operatives had been discussing an attack on the United States with airliners
since the mid-1990s. In 1996, bin Laden advised scrapping a plan Ior fve coordinated
attacks on the east and west coasts in Iavor oI a simpler plan. Another meeting in
Malaysia in January 2000 fnalized the groundwork Ior the plot. By then, some oI the
hijackers were already in training.
39
Analysis oI events prior to September 11 inevitably raises the question: did anyone
know enough in advance to warn authorities oI the attacks?
Nowhere in NORAD`s planning had thought been given to how an unconventional
adversary might target the United States much less to the possibility oI multiple,
simultaneous attacks. At the Pentagon, Ior example, 'security oIfcials had run drills
Ior what would happen iI a plane crashed into the building,¨ discovered Washington
Post reporter Bradley Graham fve days aIter September 11. But 'the scenarios all
had assumed such a crash would be accidental and involve a small, propeller-driven
commuter aircraIt oI the kind that tends to pass over the Pentagon, not a larger, jet
powered plane like American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757.¨
40

No evidence has been Iound that the prospect oI a lethal, air-breathing, simultaneous
attack on multiple targets in the United States was considered a serious possibility or
even a remote one prior to September 11. French authorities Ioiled an Algerian
terrorist plot to fy a hijacked plane into the EiIIel Tower in 1994. Aside Irom this little-
known event, the type oI attack executed on September 11 had no direct precursors.
Terrorism was a growing concern, but the threat was not clear or defned, nor
had it fgured in DeIense Department planning guidance. Looking back, previous al-
Qaeda attacks and intelligence warnings had put at least a Iew pieces oI the puzzle on
the table, but even with hindsight, it had not been enough to lay out a clear warning oI
what was to come.
CIA Director Tenet testifed to Congress in February 2001 that 'Osama bin Laden
and his global network oI lieutenants and associates remain the most immediate and
serious threat to US security.¨ But the true strategic warning oI an attack on the United
£È
States was thin. According to
inIormation released by the White
House in May 2002 and widely
reported, there were compelling
tidbits about bin Laden and potential al-Qaeda attacks. Some came Irom intelligence
sources and some Irom witnesses in the trial oI the 1993 World Trade Center bombers.
Major cities such as New York; Washington, DC; and Los Angeles were identifed as
potential targets aIter 1998. Landmarks such as the Statue oI Liberty, skyscrapers,
ports, airports and nuclear power plants were reported to be on the list. An April 2001
source spoke oI commercial pilots being used as terrorists to achieve 'spectacular,
traumatic¨ attacks.
Even at this late date there were Iew specifc details. National Security Adviser
Dr. Condoleeza Rice said there were reports oI specifc attacks in the works by the
spring oI 2001. Senator Dianne Feinstein commented on CNN on July 1, 2001, that
'intelligence staII have told me that there is a major probability oI a terrorist incident
within the next three months.¨
White House inIormation released on May 16, 2002, confrmed that President
George W. Bush and his senior advisers paid attention to al-Qaeda threats in July and
August 2001.
On July 5, President Bush tasked Dr. Rice Ior a report on what agencies were
doing about al-Qaeda. She later said that at this time 'the threat reporting had become
suIfciently robust, though not, again, very specifc, but suIfciently robust. There was
a lot oI chatter in the system.¨ However, intelligence suggested that the main threat
was to overseas locations. In late July, the FAA issued two warnings, the last oI which
said: '.terror groups are known to be planning and training Ior hijackings, and we ask
you thereIore to use caution.¨ President Bush took an analytic brieI on the al-Qaeda on
August 6, along with other daily intelligence update material. It mentioned hijackings
in the traditional sense. 'Hijacking beIore 9/11 and hijacking aIter 9/11 meant two
very diIIerent things,¨ Dr. Rice later said.
41
Snippets like these are compelling in retrospect, but they confrm that little specifc,
actual warning had been produced by various US agencies prior to September 11.
The sun set on September 10 over a nation unthreatened, at peace, and with an air
deIense posture to match. This time, it was not American military Iorces abroad, but
the homeland itselI that was about to be tested by the terror weapon.
£Ç
The Statue of Liberty with the
Worla Traae Center in the
backgrouna.
£n
Two F-16A Fighting Falcons from the North Dakota Air National Guaras 178th
Fighter Squaaron leaa an F-15C Eagle from the 27th Fighter Squaaron at Langley Air
Force Base, Ja., in formation auring a combat air patrol mission in support of Opera-
tion Noble Eagle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Greg L. Davis)
|äAºI| 1 1. Noble Eagle
N
ineteen al-Qaeda hijackers ended America`s sense oI saIety on Tuesday,
September 11, 2001.
Operation Noble Eagle was the air campaign no one thought would ever
happen. No bombs were dropped; no missiles were fred, but beginning on September
11, 2001, Airmen would log 23,733 total sorties over the next year to mount a Iull
deIense oI the airspace oI the United States. In its most intense phase, through January
2002, Airmen in the US Air Force were fying more sorties over America Ior Operation
Noble Eagle than Ior Operation Enduring Freedom in AIghanistan.
It wasn`t Presidential direction or a long-deliberated resolution by Congress or the
UN that started this campaign. It was, instead, the trained, instinctive response to a
small handIul oI telephone calls: two Irom the FAA, to NEADS and to the Tower at
Cape Cod; one Irom a Secret Service agent to the Tower at Andrews AFB, Maryland;
and one Irom Washington Approach Control to a C-130 climbing out oI Andrews.
New York City
The frst stir oI alarm in the headquarters oI NEADS came between 0835 and 0840 in
the morning. Colonel Robert Marr, Commander oI NEADS, had arrived in time Ior
a staII meeting and then checked in with Major General Larry Arnold, Commander,
1
st
Air Force, in Florida, to make sure their communications lines were up and ready.
They had a NORAD exercise scheduled to begin that morning.
Then, as Colonel Marr looked out across the operations foor, he saw 'there was a
little huddle oI people¨ and realized 'there`s got to be something wrong.¨
43
It was approximately 0840. The FAA believed they had a possible hijacking oI
American Airlines Flight 11 out oI Boston Logan Airport, bound Ior Los Angeles.
First the transponder signal dropped oII the scope and then the voice communication
with the airliner was lost. Three minutes later, at 0843, the FAA notifed NEADS oI a
problem with another fight out oI Boston, United Airlines Flight 175.
At Otis ANGB, Cape Cod, the Massachusetts Air National Guard manning
NORAD`s alert detachment already knew something was up. FAA controllers were
'used to working with the guys out oI Otis¨ and the controllers at Cape Approach had
already contacted the tower at Otis at about 0839 that morning.
44

£™
ºEvcrylody iIai you siari iclling iIc siory io, iIcy
wani io Icar ii, iIcy wani io lnow, wIai did you
scc? WIai wcrc you iIinling?"
Lieutenant Colonel Tim Duffy, ANG, one of two F-15
alert pilots aispatchea to New York City on the morning of
September 11, 2001
42
Lieutenant Colonel Tim DuIIy and
Major Dan Nash were the alert pilots
that morning. Nash was taking the duty
temporarily while another pilot prepared
Ior a training sortie; DuIIy, as it turned out,
had intercepted the hijacked LuIthansa
fight in 1993.
NEADS sent out the 'battle stations¨ order. Lieutenant Colonel DuIIy and Major
Nash were already halIway out to their aircraIt. Next, Colonel Marr called General
Arnold and told him they had a potential hijack. 'FAA thinks it`s going to JFK |John
F. Kennedy International Airport, New York City|,¨ he said. 'This is not an exercise.¨
Marr told Arnold he would 'scramble Otis to military airspace while we fgured out
what was going on.¨
45
But time was up. AA 11 crashed into the World Trade Center at 0846.
Colonel Marr thought it had to be an accident. The hijacked aircraIt looked like it
could have been en route to Kennedy airport. Hijackers didn`t crash planes. As Marr
said, 'every hijacker to this day has been an individual that wants to fy an airplane
somewhere other than where it`s supposed to.¨ He thought at frst it was that perhaps
this guy got too low, |started| fying out oI control and hit something on the way into
JFK.
46
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel DuIIy and Major Nash took oII in Iull aIterburner
at 0852. Their F-15Cs raced toward New York at supersonic speeds. Once at altitude
DuIIy contacted NEADS Ior updated 'bogey dope¨ on the airliner. They inIormed
him that a contact was over New York`s John F. Kennedy Airport.
Moments later, on a television wheeled into the operations area, NEADS saw
'another aircraIt come into view and hit the second world trade center.¨
47
United
Airlines Flight 175, which the F-15C pilots did not know about, few into the World
Trade Center South Tower at 0902. A Iew minutes later, DuIIy radioed Ior 'bogey dope¨
again, and NEADS told him the second aircraIt had hit the World Trade Center.
'I had no idea that a second aircraIt had been hijacked,¨ Lieutenant Colonel DuIIy
said. 'I looked out and we`re about 60, 70 miles outside Manhattan, and I could see
the towers burning.¨
48
In the conIusion, NEADS callsign Huntress was uncertain what to do with the
F-15 interceptors. They moved away Irom New York City and held position Ior a Iew
minutes in the nearest section oI the Whiskey 105 training airspace, just south oI Long
Island. Then at 0910, NORAD took control oI the airspace and NEADS directed the
F-15s back to New York City.
The F-15s re-entered New York airspace and set up their combat air patrol, staying
on the radio with NEADS and a New York FAA approach control radar. NORAD
Óä
US Presiaent George W. Bush has his
early morning school reaaing event
interruptea by his Chief of Staff Anarew
Cara shortly after news of the New York
City airplane crashes was available in
Sarasota, Floriaa. (AFP Photo Paul J.
Richaras)
inIormed NEADS that the two alert pilots had clearance to fre on any suspicious
aircraIt. The 'words almost verbatim were we will take lives in the air to save lives on
the ground,`¨ said Colonel Marr.
49
At 0930 the two-ship was over the burning towers
when NEADS inIormed the F-15s they were clear to shoot down the next airplane on a
hijack track. 'Do you have a problem with that?¨ the NEADS controller asked. 'No,
I don`t,¨ DuIIy answered back.
50
The F-15s continued to chase errant planes and helicopters that had not yet obeyed
the FAA`s 0940 order to ground all aircraIt. Then at 1000, the south tower collapsed.
Lieutenant Colonel DuIIy and Major Nash were fying near Kennedy airport when
'I just kind oI looked over my shoulder and all oI a sudden I couldn`t see lower
Manhattan.¨
51

For the next several minutes the pair oI F-15s chased unidentifed contacts over
Kennedy airport and near Newark. Lieutenant Colonel DuIIy tracked another plane
coming down the Hudson. The next pass directly over lower Manhattan gave DuIIy 'the
sickest Ieeling I`ve ever had in a plane, combat or anything else.¨
52
In his words:
I was fying right over the top oI the north tower, I`m guessing about 5 or 6
thousand Ieet above it, looking straight down at it, and all I could think was,
it wasn`t leaning, wasn`t twisted or anything. To me it was perIect and I was
thinking, okay maybe they`ll be able to save it, just the top portion will burn
out. And as I was looking at it, all oI a sudden it just started getting smaller.
At frst it really didn`t make any sense to me.what I was looking at, until I
could see the plume coming out oI the bottom and I realized it was imploding
right beIore my eyes.
53
The time was 1028.
Dust and ash rose in plumes. For the rest oI the morning, Lieutenant Colonel
DuIIy and Major Nash kept up their circling combat air patrol at ten thousand Ieet. A
KC-135 Irom Bangor, Maine, dropped its scheduled training mission and started an
orbit over Kennedy airport at twenty thousand Ieet so that one F-15 could take on Iuel
while the other stayed on station over the city. Later a KC-10 Irom McGuire AFB,
New Jersey, replaced it. At about 1230, another two-ship oI F-15s Irom Otis arrived,
and the Iour jets split the now-quiet New York airspace until DuIIy and Nash leIt Ior
home base around two o`clock that aIternoon.
The Pentagon, Washington, DC
Just as the Cape Cod F-15s were setting up the CAP over New York City, the attack on
Washington began.
At 0924, the FAA alerted NEADS that there were problems with American Airlines
Flight 77, traveling Irom Washington`s Dulles Airport to Los Angeles, and with United
Airlines Flight 93, on its way Irom Newark to San Francisco. Fourteen minutes later,
AA 77 crashed into the Pentagon.
Covering Washington, DC, was NORAD`s alert detachment 150 miles away at Langley
AFB, Virginia. An F-16 detachment Irom the 119
th
Fighter Wing oI the Fargo, North
Dakota, ANG manned the alert site on the other side oI the runway Irom Langley`s main
base operations. Three pilots were ready to fy: Captain Dean Eckmann, Captain Craig
Borgstrom and Major Bradley Derrig. Eckmann and Derrig sat alert, while Borgstrom
was preparing Ior a training mission. All three had heard word oI the incidents in New
York. They quickly determined that by including Captain Borgstrom they could get three
jets in the air iI necessary instead oI only the two normally on alert.
Ó£
NEADS was most worried now about
the wandering track oI the Iourth hijacked
airliner, UA 93. It 'was about over Cleveland,
heading west,¨ said Colonel Marr. With poor
inland coverage, NEADS could not track UA
93 Ior nine minutes aIter the hijackers shut
oII its transponder. Then, unaccountably, the
transponder signal fipped back on. Between
Pittsburgh and Chicago UA 93 turned east. 'Now
I`m thinking, America is under attack,¨ said
Marr as they watched track reappear. 'I think
he`s looking Ior a target oI opportunity.¨
54

NEADS ordered the Langley alert fghters
into the air at 0924 not in response to AA 77,
but because oI UA 93. They 'scrambled three
airplanes out oI the Langley detachment oI the
119
th
and headed them to Washington, DC, to put them overhead in case United 93 was
coming,¨ said General Arnold.
55
It was too late to intercept AA 77. The jet was heading Ior the Pentagon but it was
not showing on the NEADS radar scopes.
The last people to see AA 77 were crewmembers aboard an Air National Guard C-130
Irom Minneapolis, callsign GoIer 06. A Iew minutes aIter 0930, GoIer 06 was climbing
through 3,500 Ieet over Washington aIter departing Andrews AFB, Maryland. About one
or two miles south oI the Mall, the pilot oI GoIer 06 noticed 'a big aircraIt at ten o`clock.¨
He identifed it to Washington Departure Control as either a 757 or 767 about Iour miles out
to the west and fying low. It was Flight 77. Then the hijacked airliner 'started to bank up
still in a descent,¨ the C-130 pilot remembered. Washington Departure Control directed
the C-130 to turn 180 degrees to Iollow Flight 77. Said the GoIer 06 pilot: '.the next
thing I see is a ball oI fame and big cloud oI smoke coming up Irom this ball oI fame.
And I told Washington Departure Control, I said, 'Washington, GoIer 06. That aircraIt
has impacted the ground.¨
AA 77 plowed through the western wall oI the Pentagon at 0938.
'I thought it was a car bomb,¨ DoD Press Secretary Tori Clarke said oI the impact.
56

Secretary oI DeIense Donald RumsIeld was still in his oIfce taking a CIA briefng
when he Ielt the shock oI AA 77 hitting the other side oI the building. 'A bomb? I had
no idea,¨ he said later. 'I looked out the window and raced down the corridors till the
smoke was too bad and then went outside, and saw the devastation and talked to an
eyewitness who told me that he had seen an aircraIt plow into the Pentagon between
the frst and second foor.¨
57

Langley`s alert fghters arrived over the Pentagon a Iew minutes later. 'We get
to about 35 miles and I start to see some smoke,¨ said Captain Eckmann. From the
cockpit, he squinted to try to fnd the source oI the thickening black smoke. At frst,
it appeared to be fowing over the Pentagon Irom someplace else. Then, at 15 miles
out, Eckmann said to his wingmen, 'Oh my God. Do you guys see what`s burning?¨
ÓÓ
Jiew of the aebris at the Worla Traae Center
on September 14, 2001.
He thought a truck bomb, 'another
McVeigh type,¨ had caused the fre.
58
The three F-16s Ianned out in a
counter-rotating CAP over the city, with
Reagan National Airport as the bull`s
eye. At about 0945, NEADS radioed
Captain Borgstrom with the urgent
warning that there was an airplane over
the White House. Workers streamed
out oI the building. Eckmann leIt the
CAP to look Ior the airplane, but Iound nothing. It took a moment Ior the three pilots
to realize that NEADS had actually tracked Borgstroms F-16 over the White House as
he few the racetrack pattern Ior the CAP. Hundreds oI people saw Captain Eckmann`s
low and Iast fight over the Mall. Rumors spread that the jet noise Irom Eckmann`s
F-16 was the reverberation oI a bomb exploding at the State Department.
At Andrews AFB, F-16s scrambled into the air on prompting Irom the Secret Service,
eager to protect the White House. The Andrews F-16s did not know the Langley trio
was already airborne over the capital under NEADS control. Nor did Huntress know
about them. NEADS soon detected 'Iast-movers¨ approaching Irom the southwest
and Washington Approach confrmed it. 'Both Brad and Borgy go ID them,¨ Captain
Eckmann remembered, 'and they`re F-16s coming up out oI Andrews.¨
59
Soon Huntress
had a handIul oI fghters in two CAPs protecting the city.
Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
Well beIore ten o`clock that morning, the Langley F-16s were in position to shoot down
the Iourth hijacked airliner, UA 93. But UA 93 would never have reached Washington,
DC. 'He would have been engaged and shot down beIore he got there,¨ Colonel
Marr said emphatically.
60
The Langley F-16s could have closed the distance between
Washington, DC, and the inbound airliner, now over southern Pennsylvania, in less
than 10 minutes. Any engagement with the airliner would most likely have occurred
over the panhandle oI Western Maryland.
Passengers and crew aboard UA 93 did the job instead. With the words 'Let`s
roll,¨ they started a struggle in the aircraIt and it plunged to earth.
In an unbelievable twist, it was GoIer 06 who came the closest to Flight 93. AIter
reluctantly turning away Irom the burning Pentagon, the C-130 continued west toward
Minnesota. Then, over southern Pennsylvania, air traIfc control at Cleveland Center
instructed GoIer 06 to look Ior airliner traIfc at twelve o`clock. Pilot, co-pilot, navigator
and loadmaster scanned the skies. They saw nothing. Cleveland Center then asked them to
turn right Ior one more scan. As GoIer 06 turned, the loadmaster told the pilot that he 'saw
the classic shaIt oI smoke and the black cloud.¨ GoIer 06 reported to Cleveland Center:
ÓÎ
Police helicopters ana emergency
ambulance crews stana by to aia
infurea workers following the crash of
a hifackea commercial airliner into a
section of the Pentagon. (U.S. Air Force
photo by Staff Sgt. Gary Coppage)
'I`ve got a black cloud oI smoke at our nine o`clock position at approximately
20 miles. And he |the FAA controller| came back and said, Well, we lost this guy on
our scope at about 17 miles Irom your position`..I still wasn`t convinced it was an
aircraIt..I mean that would have been too much. You know to even Iathom Ior one
day like that, so to see two incidents in one day ..¨ Cleveland Center vectored GoIer
06 back to the site, where the crew again spotted the black smoke cloud, and Iarther
away, not very signifcant yet, a secondary column oI wispy smoke 'coming up Irom
the southern edge oI a Iairly large clearing..¨ It was the crash site oI UA Flight 93 in
Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
61

Clearing the Skies
The FAA and NORAD were now working Ieverishly to shut down US airspace and
thwart any more attacks.
The FAA halted US fight operations at 0940 on orders Irom Secretary oI
Transportation Norman Mineta. All aircraIt had to land at once. There were 4,785
aircraIt airborne in the United States at 0900. That number peaked at 5,107 fights
at 0931, then Iell to 2,803 fights at 1045, and 1,364 fights at 1130. 'We had to
coordinate with EuroControl, NAVCanada, etc., regarding international aircraIt¨ to
get other countries to accept diverted aircraIt, said Major Bill Nix, USMC Liaison to
FAA HQ.
62
On the east coast, the airports at St. John`s, NewIoundland, and HaliIax,
Nova Scotia, stuIIed jumbo jets onto taxiways until the airports were at Iull capacity.
At WADS, the traIfc across the Pacifc Irom Hawaii shiIted north until 'Vancouver
looked like Los Angeles.¨
63
Across the nation, huge airliners made Ior the nearest
airport with a runway long enough to accommodate them.
The sectors had decentralized authority to launch their alert fghters, so the tactical
response was in place. But now they needed oIfcial guidance. Standard procedure in
NORAD Ior an intercept oI a hijacked airplane was to shadow it, not shoot it down.
The FAA had to request military assistance Irom NORAD, but now NORAD needed
teleconIerence guidance Irom the Pentagon to decide on a response.
However, the principals were scattered. President George W. Bush was visiting
an elementary school in Florida. Chairman oI the Joint ChieIs oI StaII General Hugh
Shelton was en route to a NATO summit meeting. Vice Chairman General Richard
Myers was on Capitol Hill meeting with Senator Max Cleland Irom about 0745 until
Ó{
Two F-15 Eagles from the Mas-
sachusetts Air National Guaras
102na Fighter Wing ßy a combat
air patrol mission over New York
City in support of Operation
Noble Eagle. North American
Aerospace Defense Commana has
more than 100 ANG ana Air Force
Reserve hghters from 26 locations
proviaing homelana aefense, with
another 100 hghters backing them
up. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt.
Col. Bill Ramsay)
about 1100, well aIter the attacks. Secretary oI DeIense RumsIeld did not arrive at the
NMCC until halI an hour aIter the Pentagon was hit.
64

Only Vice President Dick Cheney was in his oIfce at the White House. Secret
Service agents rapidly moved him to the White House situation room. CINC NORAD,
General Eberhart, arrived at Cheyenne Mountain Operation Center (CMOC) shortly
aIter the attacks had taken place. An air threat conIerence was convened with Vice
President Cheney as the most senior leader, since the President was out oI reach at that
time. The CMOC Air Battle Manager oIfcer, Lieutenant Derek Paul, United States
Navy, kept track oI the hijacking events. He updated Vice President Cheney and other
leaders on the fights involved, their take-oII times, when the transponders were shut
oII, the times oI impact. ConIerees included General Eberhart at NORAD, CJCS
General Shelton, Secretary RumsIeld, and Vice President Cheney. Brigadier General
Mike Gould, on duty at Cheyenne Mountain, said: 'And I heard the Vice President
eventually say, in regard to ROE, I will authorize these fghters to engage any other
aircraIt that looks like he`s committing a hostile act over DC or New York.`¨
65
OIfcial guidance that the fghters were 'weapons Iree¨ and cleared to engage
Iollowed soon aIter.
That was good enough Ior now, but as more and more fghters streaked into the
air, it was clear a new Iorm oI air campaign was unIolding almost by instinct. Were
the attacks over? No one knew what would happen next. General Shelton, who was
just two weeks away Irom retirement, was in a plane over the Atlantic when he got
word oI the attacks. 'There was no doubt in my mind. When I heard the second plane
had hit, I knew that wasn`t an air traIfc control problem or just a pilot problem,¨ he
said. Shelton ordered his airplane to turn around. 'We came back right over the World
Trade Center,¨ he recalled, 'and could see, even Irom that altitude, the devastation, the
smoke that was coming up. It was obvious it was going to be horrible.¨
66
Óx
Petty Ofhcer Jason Miele, a member of the U.S. Coast Guaras Maritime Safety ana
Security Teams (MSST), stanas guara near the Brooklyn Briage on Sep. 19, 2002. The
MSSTs were createa ana aeployea by the U.S. Coast Guara to support improvements
with Presiaent Bushs Ofhce of Homelana Security initiatives, following the attacks of
September 11, 2001. (U.S. Coast Guara photo by Tom Sperauto)
Defense of the West
As Colonel John Cromwell, Commander oI the Western Air DeIense Sector, watched
the attacks on the East Coast, he grew 'concerned that there were going to be rolling
attacks coming across the United States basically around the nine o`clock time Irame
in each time zone.¨ He had to do something. Cromwell told his staII, 'we have
maybe one or two hours to deIend the western United States.¨ They called 'every
single fghter unit west oI the Mississippi and asked them to bring fghters up on alert
Ior us,¨ said Major Sue Cheney, on duty at WADS that day.
67
Some units called in
to volunteer. One WADS oIfcer remembered that they 'got a phone call Irom a guy
in a fghter unit in Indiana. He called up and said, Hey, I`m on duty here, I`ve got
myselI and another pilot. We got heaters |AIM-9 missiles| and guns on our aircraIt.
Can you use them?`¨ WADS ended up sending them over to NEADS to control.
68
By
aIternoon, 'we had over one hundred jets on alert,¨ said Cromwell.
69

NORAD shared the concern at WADS about rolling attacks. At the control center
at Cheyenne Mountain, General Gould was on duty that day. Cheyenne Mountain had
reports oI a hijacking out oI San Diego, CaliIornia, and another inbound to Anchorage,
Alaska. The San Diego fight was headed to Denver. There were 'plenty¨ oI targets
near Denver, Gould realized, Irom the Air Force bases around Colorado Springs to
downtown Denver or even Cheyenne Mountain. In the end, the Denver fight identifed
itselI and landed uneventIully. 'But the point was we started expanding our Iocus
away Irom just the northeast corridor,¨ said General Gould. NORAD also 'started
considering other critical inIrastructure, |such as| nuclear power plants.¨ As Gould put
it, 'we`re just thinking what kind oI damage could an airliner Iull oI Iuel do?¨
70

WADS personnel were swamped with 'rumors oI all kinds oI other hijackings
going on¨ as fights were still landing. Now the controllers Ielt the limitations oI
NORAD`s system. WADS was unable to track
interior airliner activity. 'The real, very Irustrating
thing is at that time we only had the.border
radars. So we`ve got this enormous hole in the
interior where there were supposed to be hijacked
aircraIt possibly headed our way that we can`t
see,¨ Major Cheney said.
71
For example, the San
Diego-Denver fight was quickly out oI the WADS
coverage area and WADS would have been radar-
blind iI that aircraIt had attacked Denver.
For WADS, with its large territory, the problem
was both radar coverage and communications. As
Major Cheney put it, 'iI you have to scramble them
you`d rather be able to talk to those fghters.¨
72

ÓÈ
Tech. Sgt. Jay Huey, a reservist from the 95th Securi-
ty Forces Squaaron at Eawaras Air Force Base, Ca-
lif., stanas reaay at the M-160 machine gun mountea
atop a HUMJEE at the Eawaras South Gate. Huey
is one of more than 50 activatea reservists serving at
Eawaras in support of Operation Noble Eagle. (U.S.
Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Stefanie Doner)
WADS had to handle communications to the fghters via the FAA in many cases, and
there were hotlines to some FAA centers on their consoles, but even that system was
oriented towards the northern and southern borders.
Alaska NORAD Region
While WADS Ieared that West coast cities might come under attack, the city oI
Anchorage, Alaska, actually began evacuating its downtown areas in response to an
in-bound Korean airliner squawking 7500 the code Ior a hijacking.
Given the time diIIerence, ANR was well aware oI the crisis, which began Ior
them in the midst oI the 0200 to 1000 mid-shiIt. The ANR Duty Director, Lieutenant
Colonel Richard J. Smith, recalled ANR/DO Colonel Robert P. Otto as soon as he
learned that the second airliner had crashed into the World Trade Center. Otto then
called ANR Commander Lieutenant General Norton Schwartz. ANR reviewed the
'chat channel¨ status via network communications with CMOC. They scrambled an
E-3 to compensate Ior the King Salmon radar site (which was down Ior scheduled
maintenance) and shortly aIterward scrambled alert aircraIt at King Salmon and Galena
as well as a tanker Irom Eielson AFB near Fairbanks. Next they set up barrier CAPs
to protect the main population centers oI Anchorage and Fairbanks.
73

ANR and FAA worked together to redirect inbound air traIfc and Iorm a buIIer
zone. Captain Robert D. Vance, oI the 611 Air Control Squadron, recalled that 'my
problem was to convince the Anchorage Air Route TraIfc Control Center (ARTCC)
supervisor that he could not divert any aircraIt into the Anchorage airport, or even
within 200 NM regardless oI what their plan was in the past due to the current threat
and events that had just happened in New York.¨
74
It was 0828 local time when KAL 85 popped up as a potential hijacked aircraIt. 'I
received word that there was an inbound hijack,¨ recalled Master Sergeant David G.
RaIIerty. 'This made the hair on the back oI my neck stand up. The air in the Operations
room was electrifed; the terrorists were coming Ior us,¨ he said oI the moment.
75

Two F-15s Irom Galena, callsigns Rimer 1 and 2, were sent to intercept by ANR. Two
more alert-site aircraIt, Rimer 3 and Jello 3, also scrambled. Tankers with callsigns Arctic
ÓÇ
Two F-16 Fighting Falcons move into a precontact position with a KC-135E Strato-
tanker before refueling auring an Operation Noble Eagle training patrol over the San
Francisco Bay on March 16. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lance Cheung)
61 and Arctic 64 scrambled to support the fghters and the E-3 and to perIorm another
vital but unexpected task. 'With Arctic 61 on a parallel heading and an additional tanker
working UHF/HF radio relay we were able to maintain communication with the fghters,
even aIter they were handed oII to CANR,¨ RaIIerty noted.
76

ANR diverted KAL 85 to White Horse, in the Yukon territory oI Canada. Rimer 1
and 2 committed on a stern intercept oI KAL 85, and Rimer 3 soon joined them in trail.
Two CANR CF-18s took oII Irom their alert site at Inuvik, Yukon, and picked up KAL 85
aIter the F-15s brought it over the Canadian border. As it turned out, KAL 85 was the only
civilian airliner intercepted and shadowed on September 11.
77
The hijack squawk turned
out to be a misunderstanding and KAL 85 landed saIely but not beIore local authorities
began an evacuation oI downtown White Horse.
With a large airspace to cover, ANR`s task in intercepting, tracking and bringing KAL
85 to a saIe landing illustrated all the dilemmas NORAD was about to Iace in preparing to
track aircraIt in CONR. As Rimer fight tailed KAL 85, it 'was getting too Iar away Irom
our radios Ior us to maintain communication with them,¨ said Captain Steven J. Thomas.
Arctic 64 had already launched to support the E-3. 'Sergeant RaIIerty suggested that Arctic
64 hold and act as radio relay with the Rimer package. .That worked great and we had a
radio relay all the way to White Horse with them. We were quite relieved to have KAL 85
land, learn it had not been hijacked and no one was harmed,¨ Captain Thomas added.
78

~Like You Kicked a Hornet`s Nest¨
September 11 saw a surge oI airpower unlike anything imagined beIore. 'Pretty soon,
fghters were all over the sky, like you kicked a hornet`s nest,¨ as Colonel Marr described
it. DeIending major population centers was, Ior good reason, the heart oI the response.
'At one point, we had 21 unaccounted Ior aircraIt that weren`t talking to FAA centers, not
on a fight plan or otherwise accounted Ior,¨ remembered Colonel Marr. 'All I was doing
was getting any Iorces someone would give to me. I had the structure and the eyes, all I
needed was the weapons.¨
79
As the day wore on, Colonel Marr Ielt the Iog oI war set in. It was hard to distinguish
valid reports Irom guesses. However, some points were clear. Anything Irom overseas had
to be diverted. 'We were in Ioreign territory,¨ said Marr. 'We were used to protecting the
shores, way out overseas. Our processes and procedures weren`t designed Ior this.¨
80

Protecting the President had never been a NORAD mission, but it quickly emerged
as a major objective and would remain so throughout Operation Noble Eagle. Fighters
Irom Ellington ANGB, Texas, met Air Force One and landed with the President`s aircraIt
at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, while an AWACS remained above. Next, Air Force One
departed Ior OIIutt AFB, again with the Ellington fghters as escort. Tankers were also
scrambled to support the protection oI the President. It was the beginning oI virtually
continuous air deIense coverage oI the President and, later, oI the Vice President.
That evening, 1
st
Air Force determined in a domestic event conIerence with the
President that the last oI the 21 potential hijack aircraIt was in Iact on the ground in
Madrid, Spain. At that time, the President decided to return to Washington, DC.
81
Operation Noble Eagle was now under way. Within 18 hours, 301 fghters were on alert,
in the air, or generated. One hundred and seventy-nine missions were fown on September
11. Tankers supported that eIIort. 'II you`re going to fy CAPS Ior 24 hours, they need
a lot oI tanking,¨ General Kimmel remarked. In addition to active-duty tankers, 18 ANG
tanker wings delivered 78 tankers generated, ready and fying all on a volunteer basis.
82

'Fighters and tankers were up and down all day,¨ commented Master Sergeant RaIIerty.
83

Ón
Other key elements oI air and space support also swung into action on September 11.
C-130s stood ready to deliver crisis responders. In another example, the Crisis Action
Team at Scott AFB, Illinois, requested three aeromedical evacuation C-9s and six aircrews
to depart in three hours Ior Andrews AFB. A second identical request came in shortly
thereaIter. 375AW and 932AW mixed active and reserve crews to fy the Nightingales to
Andrews AFB and put crews into crew rest in case the requests continued. The frst three
C-9s departed Scott AFB between 1811 and 1817 local time, arriving at Andrews by 2052
EDT.
84

Volunteers streamed into Air Force bases. Their rapid response enabled NORAD to
mount a true air deIense. Help came Irom the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, too.
F-14s scrambled Irom Naval Air Station Oceana, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. On the west
coast, the Navy`s Third Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Michael Bucchi, called General
Arnold at 1
st
Air Force, and volunteered his Iorces. 'We understand CINC NORAD is the
supported CINC,¨ Bucchi said to Arnold. 'How do we support you?¨
85
Marine reserve
F/A-18s at Andrews AFB borrowed weapons Irom the 113 FW, and the Marines few two
sorties in the CAP over Washington, DC, on September 11. 'USS George Washington and
USS John C. Stennis took station oII the East and West coasts oI the United States along
with more than a dozen cruisers and destroyers, guarding the air and sea approaches to
our shores,¨ said ChieI oI Naval Operations Admiral Vernon Clark.
86
The Coast Guard
tightened its protection oI over 361 ports and 95,000 miles oI coastline.
87
The team eIIort
'gave us tactical control oI numerous Air Force and naval assets needed to secure the
borders and waterways oI the United States,¨ concluded General Arnold.
88

Tactically, the results were spectacular. Over Iour hundred fghter and support
aircraIt at 69 locations and on 14 Navy warships were at Iull combat posture and arrayed
against an unknown and unseen enemy.
89
With timely clearance to engage iI necessary,
the prompt grounding oI all air traIfc, and the surge oI deployment, Operation Noble
Eagle transitioned Irom a token air sovereignty posture that morning to a Iull-scale
deIense against air-breathing threats, approaching or inside the United States, by the
end oI that day.
Picking Up the Tempo
Combat air patrols continued at a high pace throughout the Iall oI 2001. Turning that
'hornet`s nest¨ response oI September 11 into a sustainable campaign took several steps.
Expanding the AOC so that the JFACC, General Arnold, could control Operation
Noble Eagle was the frst order oI business. Over a hundred augmentees Irom the 1
st
Air
Force staII joined the 38 members oI the initial staII Ior the AOC. Next came the tasks oI
fguring out who was fying where and building a common air tasking order Ior nationwide
operations. NORAD`s seven alert detachments knew all the air deIense procedures, but
the host oI Guard, Reserve, Active, Navy and Marine Corps units now up in the sky oIten
did not. Everyone wanted to help, but there were problems with communications and
scramble orders; some units were not Iamiliar with a daily air tasking order. With fghter
units 'new¨ to the air deIense mission, 'you have to establish procedures,¨ explained
Major Cheney at WADS. 'What are our possible scramble routes iI we scramble you?
How does tower get notifed? How do your pilots get notifed? There`s just so many
details to work out,¨ she said. Most oI all, 'we`d never, never practiced the whole idea
oI just going out and grabbing a fghter unit and having them start pulling alert.¨
90
1
st
Air Force switched Irom publishing a weekly ATO to daily tasking cycles.
Colonel Steve Callicutt was dispatched Irom the Air and Space Command, Control,
ә
Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ASC2ISR) Center at Langley to step in
as the A-3, General Arnold`s deputy Ior operations, at 1
st
Air Force. Colonel Callicutt
had personnel Irom the ASC2ISR Center at Langley AFB drive a set oI TBMCS
equipment to Florida and install it in the 1
st
Air Force CAOC, where it churned out
its frst ATO on September 17. Even so, General Arnold had to convene a Wing
Commanders` ConIerence in November to make sure all units got the picture.
The Operation Noble Eagle mission Iell to Guard as well as active units. Guard
units were spread across the country and were oIten near major population centers.
In contrast, the active units were not always based in the right locations to be oI any
immediate assistance in the air deIense surge. 'Most active duty fghter units are in the
southern United States. You have to go out west to Mountain Home in Idaho beIore
you fnd a fghter unit in the northern part oI the country,¨ noted General Arnold.
91
Tankers and airborne early warning assets were also essential to Operation Noble
Eagle. Many diIIerent assets helped out in sustaining airborne early warning. The burden
Iell heavily on AWACS, due in no small part to its heavy use in supporting POTUS
movement around the country. Fortunately, the North Atlantic Council voted to consider
an attack on the United States as an attack against all NATO nations in accordance with
Article 5 oI the Washington treaty. NATO AWACS deployed to the United States to join
in Operation Noble Eagle on October 9, 2001, and remained until May 2002.
Meanwhile, 1
st
Air Force and NORAD strove to link up a nationwide air picture
and communications between ground control centers and Operation Noble Eagle
aircraIt. As Major Cheney at WADS phrased it, 'we had fghters on alert in places
where we had no radar coverage and no radio coverage.¨
92

To track and intercept any more air-breathing threats, NORAD would need an
integrated air picture Ior the interior oI the United States. That 'picture¨ did not exist
on September 11. NORAD`s assigned sensors consisting oI radars and tethered
aerostats over the border with Mexico provided coverage only to a depth oI about
one hundred and fIty to two hundred miles into the interior. That meant the three
sectors NEADS, SEADS and WADS would quickly lose an aircraIt oII the scope as
it few beyond the range oI NORAD`s radar coverage. Only the FAA had a Iull picture
by tracking transponder signals.
The frst coverage came Irom AWACS launched to provide radar coverage and
communications at key locations in the interior. The 'E-3 community was really
Îä
An F-15C Eagle from the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force, Ja., is silhouettea
against the hori:on at sunrise while performing a combat air patrol mission along the
East Coast of the Unitea States in support of Operation Noble Eagle. (U.S. Air Force
photo by Staff Sgt. Greg L. Davis)
instrumental,¨ commented Colonel Robbins. 'Because they were our eyes and ears in
the internal part oI the United States and when there were events that were happening
and we needed coverage early on, they were the ones that did it.¨
93

The al-Qaeda hijackers exploited that weakness by turning oII the transponders.
'They obviously had studied the FAA system closely enough to understand as soon as
you turn your radar beacon oII, the chances oI the FAA fnding you drop way down in
a hurry,¨ Colonel Callicut said later. 'Because we don`t tune those displays Ior raw
returns. They can still see them but the average controller is not really trained to look
at them and look Ior raw returns.¨
94

One quick step was to dispatch air control squadrons like the 726
th
ACS, stationed
at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. 'We usually deploy into a battle theater and our team
provides radar coverage oI enemy territory,¨ said the 726
th
`s commander, Lieutenant
Colonel Kathy Stoddard. 'Guarding America through Operation Noble Eagle is
something we never expected we would have to do.¨ The unit`s 240-mile radar helped
fll gaps in the interior.
95
1
st
Air Force positioned its military radars around the country,
but quickly realized it would not be enough Ior a comprehensive system. 'We don`t
own that many,¨ Colonel Callicutt said. 'We can`t replicate the radar coverage the
FAA has anyway, even iI we tried.¨
96

The FAA`s radar network was the only nationwide resource Ior setting up an interior
picture. SEADS managed to quickly connect to selected FAA radars. Linking up the whole
country was another matter. The second problem was that NORAD`s computers did not
hold enough memory to string together the FAA radars and give coverage oI CONR as a
whole. 1
st
Air Force initially tapped an experimental program with a multi-source tracker
that Iused FAA and NORAD radar coverage spans into a single air picture. Fortunately,
there was also a new soItware fx available, and in 30 days, the radars were linked even
more eIIectively. Emergency combat mission needs Iunding then spurred an upgrade oI the
NORAD Contingency Suite to fx the problem once and Ior all. Thirty displays each were
eventually provided Ior NEADS, SEADS and WADS, with a smaller number oI displays
at the 1
st
Air Force AOC. This 'NORAD Contingency Suite¨ provided the frst interior
radar picture and Iormed the Ioundation Ior
Operation Noble Eagle`s continued activities.
Communications were another hurdle.
Ideally, the sector controller would communicate
with the alert pilot directly, as NEADS did
with the New York and Washington combat
air patrols on September 11. When NORAD`s
communications were lacking in the interior,
they used AWACS Ior communications. But
they needed a better solution. SEADS at
frst augmented its communications by what
Colonel Callicutt called 'radios on a stick.¨
SEADS 'gave these two sergeants a bunch oI
Σ
A U.S. Coast Guara boat patrols New York
Harbor by the Statue of Liberty on Sept. 2,
2003 as part of their Homelana Security mis-
sion. (U.S. Coast Guara photo)
radios and a pick-up truck and said, Drive all over the southeastern United States and
fnd radio poles and stick them on it.`¨ Radios were added to telephone poles situated on
government land, and then the radios were tied into the telephone system.
97

A better answer lay with the FAA`s Air Route TraIfc Control Centers (ARTCC),
which could Iollow a suspicious aircraIt`s track. However, the FAA soon raised
objections to having its civilian controllers relay orders to intercept or engage aircraIt.
1
st
Air Force put air battle managers Irom several Air Force Ground Tactical Air Control
squadrons into each oI the FAA`s 21 ARTCCs. The FAA gave them a control position
with a radar screen and access to a phone line. 1
st
Air Force gave them a STU-III
secure telephone. The air battle manager called 1
st
Air Force over the STU-III and
described Ior General Arnold the events taking place on the ARTCC scope.
All the increased activity at bases around the nation demanded much higher levels
oI Iorce protection. Previous planning Ior security Iorces assumed that Force Protection
Condition Bravo would be the maximum sustained eIIort in the continental United
States. Now, bases were at Charlie and Delta levels. This placed heavy demands on
security Iorces personnel, who now had to increase patrols oI installations, strictly
enIorce base entry procedures and conduct random vehicle checks, and set up barriers
on roads and obstacles to control traIfc fow. Hurlburt Field in Florida required 20
personnel to control two entry points during the morning rush hour. When operations
over AIghanistan began, the drain was tremendous. 'As we began to mobilize, we
didn`t have enough steady state security Iorces to protect our own bases at Iorce
protection oI Charlie and Delta, let alone lose a bunch oI them to go protect an active
duty base or go overseas,¨ General Kimmel remarked.
98

The Strategy for Operation Noble Eagle
OI all the unusual things about Operation Noble Eagle, one that stands out is that it
started as a tactical response, and then slowly acquired a strategy to guide it.
Secretary RumsIeld issued guidance early on to maintain CAPs indefnitely over
New York City and Washington. He said on September 16: 'We have in certain parts
oI the country, including Washington, we have aircraIt in the air. In other parts oI the
country we have them ready to take oII. The set oI decisions that would have to be
made as to whether or not a plane was threatening a high-value target in the United
States are complicated, but the short answer is, yes, we have people who are prepared
to do what might be necessary.¨
99
The rest oI the strategy Ior Operation Noble Eagle took shape more slowly.
Random CAPs Ior other cities and locations were fown nearly every day. On many
occasions, extra 24/7 CAPs were added in response to threat indicators or major
scheduled public events. A plan Ior a steady state posture with 22 alert sites was sent
Iorward by CINCNORAD, but in the Iall oI 2001, it was hard to know when iI ever
Operation Noble Eagle might get to that steady-state level.
High numbers oI scrambles continued Irom September 11 through the end oI the
year. Event conIerences were Irequent early on. Colonel Callicutt estimated that
they occurred once a day on average, with three or Iour conIerences on some days.
During week two oI the operation, the AOC set up a dedicated 'JFACC hotline¨ to
streamline the decision process. 'I was called any number oI times during the period
when those rules oI engagement were in place, and had a number oI conversations
with the President during that period, as well,¨ said Secretary RumsIeld during a news
conIerence on September 27, 2001.
100

ÎÓ
One step toward a sustainable pace came when Secretary RumsIeld delegated to
the regional commanders, by name, the authority to declare a target hostile. These
commanders were General Arnold Ior CONR and General Schwartz Ior ANR. RumsIeld
explained on September 27, 2001: 'There are times when the situation is suIfciently
immediate that the authority is delegated below the (combatant commander level) Ior
periods oI time, but always, in a case like this, always with the understanding that iI
time permits, it would be immediately brought up to the (combatant commander), and
then to me and, iI time still permits, Ior me to go to the president.¨
101
Arnold remembered being suddenly awash in sophisticated communications
equipment. The eIIect was to speed up potential reaction times.
It all raised the question: what was the strategy behind Operation Noble Eagle?
Early on, the strategy was driven by the need to make America a harder target. CIA
daily intelligence summaries Irequently identifed dozens oI specifc threats to US
Iacilities, ranging Irom cities to shopping malls.
102
Placement oI the CAPs was oIten
driven by immediate contingencies: a Presidential trip, special events, detections oI
increased threats to nuclear power plants. On one particular day in early November
2001, Secretary RumsIeld brieIed the President that nine CAPs were in place, protecting
nuclear reactors, nuclear weapons storage and production Iacilities, and 'high priority
landmarks ranging Irom the White House to Wall Street to tall buildings in other cities
such as Chicago to Disney amusement parks.¨
103
The core oI the strategy guidance was to protect New York and Washington. It
was 'just cap DC and New York until otherwise told,¨ Callicutt recalled.
104
'As
we stabilized over the major metropolitan areas, they started looking at what else
they |terrorists| could hit,¨ said Colonel Mike Robbins, Vice Commander, WADS.
Critical inIrastructure, major public sporting events, and so on, expanded the potential
requirements Ior Operation Noble Eagle. 'It became obvious real quick that we just
didn`t have the assets to CAP everything,¨ concluded Colonel Robbins.
105
CONR adopted the Secret Service`s taxonomy Ior the threat, which included large
civilian airliners, small airliners, small business jets and light aircraIt. According to this
list, these air-breathers might be loaded with bombs, chemicals, etc. Planes might be
ÎÎ
An F-16C Fighting Falcon from the New Jersey Air National Guaras 177th Fighter
Wing ßies a combat air patrol mission in the Northeastern Unitea States in support of
Operation Noble Eagle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Don Taggart)
hijacked or worse, chartered, which would probably give even less warning. The aircraIt
might take oII Irom either the United States or Canada. AIter October, 'fights oI interest¨
such as Middle Eastern airlines fying into major US airports were added as a possible
source oI the threat. The AOC was at a loss to give better inIormation on threats to the
Iorces executing Operation Noble Eagle. As Colonel Callicutt put it, 'one night`s crop
dusters, next night it`s Citations..I mean, people were just grabbing at straws.¨
106

Requests also came directly Irom the White House to the operations foor. 'One
night, we got a call at eleven o`clock Irom the White House, and we were ordered to
be on station by six the next morning,¨ recalled Colonel Callicutt.
107
The AOC asked
Ior 48 hours, but were told to get the CAP in place by 0600, which they did by tasking
Cannon AFB, New Mexico, to pull alert out oI home station. (In addition, Cannon had
assets deployed near Dallas at the time.)
Protecting the Vice President was another tasking Ior Operation Noble Eagle.
For one CAP over North Dakota, they used a Customs P-3 aircraIt as a radio link
and controlled fghters Irom several bases, including Duluth, Fargo, Great Falls and
Sioux Falls. Critical inIrastructure was Irequently a high priority. In early November,
Ior example, threat indications led to White House orders to place CAPs over some
nuclear power plants.
Throughout the frst several months oI Operation Noble Eagle, a recurrent problem
was maintaining CAPs over cities without two or more bases nearby to Ieed the CAPs.
Atlanta was one example. As a major population center, Atlanta was on every CAP
list, but the nearest Air Force bases (such as Eglin AFB, Florida, or Shaw AFB, South
Carolina) were some distance away. A Iorward deployment to Dobbins Air Reserve
Base, Georgia, eased the situation.
108
CAPs guarded other precious inIrastructure. On December 5, 2001, Space Shuttle
fights resumed. Flying high above were F-15s Irom the 125 FW. 'Unlike other CAP
fights, it Ielt like we had more oI a defned goal,¨ said one pilot, Major John Black.
Another pilot airborne Ior the launch, Major Sami Said, added: 'Every CAP mission is
very important, but now we were there Ior a specifc asset on the ground.¨
109
Routine patrols, special events, and pop-up threats kept the fghters oI Operation
Noble Eagle and those who supported them busy. Compiled statistics oI the combat
air patrols fown showed a heavy level oI activity through the end oI 2001. That Iall,
Air Force fghters few more missions Ior Operation Noble Eagle than they did Ior
Operation Enduring Freedom over AIghanistan.
An Olympic Performance
One major sign oI the maturation oI Operation Noble Eagle came during the Winter Olympic
Games held in Salt Lake City, Utah, in February 2002. Forces Irom the Western Air DeIense
Sector and Irom Canadian Iorces deployed to a special Air Security Operations Center set
up at Hill AFB, Utah. At their disposal was a system that Iully integrated 'multiple sensors,
radars and radios into one battle management system,¨ recounted Lieutenant Colonel Brian
Bunn, ANG. FAA, US Customs Service, and Secret Service personnel joined NORAD
troops Ior the operation. More than one hundred fghter aircraIt sat alert at over 30 bases
across the nation. They logged a total oI eight intercepts during the Olympics.
There were still areas oI overlap with the Army-led Joint Task Force responsible
Ior consequence management. For example, 'CONR was still responsible Ior air
deIense oI the Olympics area but had to answer to the COMAFFOR, also serving as
the JTF-Olympics,¨ noted General Arnold.
110
Î{
But the real measure oI merit came Irom the calm, eIfcient organization so changed
Irom the emergency response oI September 11, just over fve months earlier. NORAD
had adapted well. It now had the ability to track and monitor across the interior, and a
well-defned alert posture Ior Operation Noble Eagle. The operational outlook, too, was
changed Iorever. 'We train daily to meet our nation`s requirements Ior rapid response to
any threat to our air sovereignty,¨ said Colonel Cromwell.
111
Steady State
But the pilots remained well aware oI what duty might call them to do. Colonel Mike
Cosby, Wing Commander oI the New Jersey Guard at Atlantic City, said: 'I can assure
you, every one oI them.would execute that decision without question. Would they
have nightmares about it? OI course they would.¨
112
The sorties Ior Operation Noble Eagle declined dramatically aIter policy decisions
in April 2002 returned the response posture to a steady-state level. Linked interior
radar coverage and communications, graduated response levels, and a better defnition
oI critical assets made it possible Ior Operation Noble Eagle to decelerate. Under this
plan, ground alert units could be positioned to reach critical asset sites in 20 minutes.
This was the new, steady-state phase oI air sovereignty.
In May 2002, the number oI fghter sorties fown in the three sectors averaged well
under a hundred sorties per month per sector. Tanker sorties also dropped. A spike
in the July-August time Irame briefy brought the NEADS total fghter sorties to just
under two hundred per month. However, this was still Iar below the levels oI 550-750
per month Ior NEADS in the Iall oI 2001, Ior example.
While Operation Noble Eagle would remain an ongoing duty, this most unusual air
campaign had matured into a well-defned military operation that could be sustained
over the long term. Both its technologies and its tactics were much improved Irom
the emergency response oI September 11. 'Today, we stand well prepared to counter
the new domestic air threat,¨ said General Arnold.
113
Airmen kept fying sorties and
supporting the air sovereignty mission. Operation Noble Eagle was now confgured to
be a primary pillar oI America`s security posture.
Still, looking back, the level oI eIIort the Air Force sustained Ior Operation Noble
Eagle in its peak phase Irom September 2001 through April 2002 was even more
remarkable in light oI other operations taking place at the same time. For combating
global terrorism also required the oIIensive employment oI airpower. The frst step
was an operation directed against bin Laden`s home turI: AIghanistan.
Îx
Senior Airman Emery
Blanchara (left), ana Senior
Airman Anarew Haywooa,
both from the Utah Air Na-
tional Guaras 151st Security
Forces Squaaron, are an
aaaea security measure at
the Salt Lake City Interna-
tional Airport on Sept. 30,
2001. (U.S. Air Force photo
by Master Sgt. Mark Savage)
ÎÈ
A B-1B Lancer from the 28th Air Expeaitionary Wing heaas out on a combat mis-
sion in support of Operation Enauring Freeaom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt.
Cearic H. Ruaisill)
|äAºI| 1 1. The Challenge of Afghanistan
T
he shock and grieI oI September 11 leIt the nation yearning Ior a chance to
strike back. 'Make no mistake, the United States will hunt down and punish
those responsible Ior these cowardly acts,¨ vowed President Bush just a Iew
hours aIter the attacks.
115
'Yes, we believe that acts oI war have been committed
against the American people,¨ Secretary oI State Colin Powell said the next day, 'and
we will respond accordingly.¨
116
Responding to terrorism on a large scale was a frst Ior the American military.
AIter launching Operation Noble Eagle, the frst step in reducing the threat to America
was to eliminate the main bases oI operations Ior the al-Qaeda. 'We will make no
distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor
them,¨ Bush declared.
117

Operation Enduring Freedom began on October 7, 2001, and concluded its initial
phase in January 2002. From the start, it was a military operation like no other.
Diplomats worked to gain overfight and basing access to the region. CIA operatives
began to search out Taliban and al-Qaeda targets on the ground. The air campaign
Iocused on fxed military sites in early October. Then, as Special Operations Forces
(SOF) teams hit the ground in late October, it became a whole diIIerent type oI war.
A Iew hundred SOF Iorces and CIA teams linked airpower to Northern Alliance and
other opposition Iorces, and toppled the Taliban`s control oI AIghanistan in a matter
oI weeks. Yet even aIter a new interim AIghan government was in place, the hunt Ior
al-Qaeda and Taliban remnants continued through 2002 and provided some major
lessons that the Coalition had to learn beIore moving on to the next major battleground
in the global war on terrorism: Iraq.
The next three chapters examine the role oI airpower in Operation Enduring
Freedom and how the air component set the pace Ior a whole new style oI warIare.
Afghanistan`s Landscape
AIghanistan had all the earmarks oI a quagmire. It was landlocked. It was mountainous.
It had been ravaged by 10 years oI war with the Soviet Union, Irom 1979-1989, and
then leIt in the hands oI tribal warlords who Iought amongst themselves.
The Taliban initially attracted support by promising to put an end to the civil war
and to create a pure Islamic state. AIter they took control oI AIghanistan in 1996, the
actual result was oppression and the decay oI basic government Iunctions. The Taliban
ºTIc iruiI is, iIis will lc a war lilc nonc oiIcr
our naiion Ias faccd."
Secretary of Defense Donala Rumsfela,
September 27, 2001
114
ÎÇ
did not Iollow through on the pledge oI peace. By one estimate, 76,000 people died
between 1992 and 2000 as the result oI internal fghting. As many as 2.5 million AIghan
reIugees were said to be living in Pakistan.
118
The Taliban controlled most major cities and 80 percent oI AIghanistan; but the
mountains belonged to the Northern Alliance, a loose coalition oI irregular Iorces under
the leadership oI Ahmad Shah Masood, Iormer AIghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani,
and General Abdul Rashid Dostum, leader oI the National Islamic Movement, plus several
other groups. Masood the 'Lion oI Panjshir¨ had been the central fgure in AIghan
resistance Ior 20 years.
On September 9, 2001, the loose alliance had just suIIered what was intended
to be a Iatal blow. Al-Qaeda terrorists posing as a video camera crew assassinated
Masood. 'When I heard the explosion, I rushed into the room,¨ said a local security
commander named Raimullah. 'It was a terrible scene. The windows were blown
out. Everything was burning. The Arab who`d been holding the camera was on fre,
by the window.¨
119

Masood`s death was devastating. However, teaming with the Northern Alliance`s
regional warlords and irregular ground Iorces was still the best way to deIeat the Taliban
and al-Qaeda in AIghanistan. Intelligence reports indicated the al-Qaeda and Taliban were
inextricably linked. To smoke out the al-Qaeda, Taliban control oI AIghanistan had to end.
On September 12, Secretary RumsIeld directed USCENTCOM to start preparing
'credible military options.¨ Bush wanted a bold response that would be much
stronger than the 1998 strikes. He thought the 'antiseptic notion oI launching a cruise
missile into, you know, some guy`s tent¨ was 'a joke.¨ It made America look like a
'technologically competent but not very tough country that was willing to launch a
cruise missile out oI a submarine and that would be it.¨
120
The US had to strike hard
and Iast, but without 'invading¨ AIghanistan. It was also important to cast the fght as
AIghanis against outsiders such as the Arab volunteers who flled out the ranks oI the
al-Qaeda. 'Unconventional approaches are much more likely and more appropriate
than the typical conventional approach oI armies and navies and air Iorces,¨ RumsIeld
predicted.
121
With enough cash and the right kind oI help, the Northern Alliance and
other opposition Iorces could drive out the Taliban.
The key to the plan was to engage with opposition Iorces such as the Northern
Alliance and push them into combat with the Taliban. Backed by airpower, the
combination oI opposition Iorces and precision Coalition strikes should overmatch the
Taliban`s capabilities.
În
The 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air
Force Base, Mo., took center stage in the war
on terrorism when six B-2 Spirits partici-
patea in air strikes over Afghanistan auring
the hrst three aays of Operation Enauring
Freeaom. All six of the B-2 sorties were lon-
ger than 40 hours, with the longest more than
44 hours. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. John Lasky)
President Bush was frst brieIed on a plan nine days later, on September 21,
2001.
122
It was a campaign designed to unIold along multiple 'lines oI operation¨
simultaneously. As General Tommy Franks, Commander in ChieI, United States
Central Command, outlined it, the plan called Ior: 'Lines oI operation conducted
simultaneously, rather than sequentially, including, to name but a Iew, the direct attack
oI al-Qaeda and Taliban command and control.¨ Other lines oI operation spelled out
by Franks were humanitarian assistance Ior more than 26 million AIghan people;
operational fres, the delivery oI kinetic munitions Irom air to ground; reconnaissance
and direct action by Special Operating Forces; support to opposition Iorces on the
ground in AIghanistan; inIormation operations; and political/military activities,
including coalition building. General Franks explained that the 'very simple
purpose¨ oI Operation Enduring Freedom was 'to build and maintain pressure inside
AIghanistan with the objective oI the destruction oI the al-Qaeda terrorist network and
the government oI the Taliban.¨
123

Gearing Up
A Iull plan Ior Operation Enduring Freedom was brieIed to Secretary RumsIeld on
October 1, and approved by Bush the next day, along with an attack order to commence
operations on October 7, 2001.
124

The Air Force was already poised Ior action. Within hours oI the attacks on
September 11, B-2 bomber pilots at Whiteman AFB, Missouri, went into crew rest in
case they were called on Ior a retaliation mission. Fighters and bombers deployed to
Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, and Diego Garcia over the next several days. Lieutenant
Ι
Secretary of Defense Donala H. Rumsfela (3ra from left) receives a briehng on B-2
Spirit bomber operations in Afghanistan from Air Force Col. Jonathan George (left
foregrouna) auring a visit to Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., on Oct. 19, 2001.
Flanking Rumsfela are Rep. Ike Skelton (near siae) ana Sen. Christopher 'Kit` Bona
(far siae), both of Missouri. Whiteman is the home of the B-2 Spirit bomber, which is
operatea exclusively by the 509th Bomb Wing. (DoD photo by R. D. Wara)
General Charles Wald and his initial staII few to the theater to put the Combined Air
Operations Center on a wartime Iooting. The whole Air Force Ielt the impact oI girding
Ior war when a stop-loss notice was issued on September 22. No more retirements or
separations Irom the service would take place Ior months.
Some Navy Iorces were already in place. For example, the USS Enterprise was
scheduled to return home aIter six months at sea, but turned back to the North Arabian
Sea as soon as they got word oI the September 11 attacks. The USS Theoaore Roosevelt
and its 14-ship battlegroup sailed Irom NorIolk, Virginia, on September 20 to add to
the frepower on scene.
However, no major eIIort would be possible without strong international support,
particularly Irom AIghanistan`s neighbors. The United Nations passed a resolution
condemning the attacks and calling 'urgently¨ Ior 'international cooperation to prevent
and eradicate acts oI terrorism.¨
125
From the outpouring oI sympathy and shared loss aIter September 11 came the makings
oI a powerIul international coalition that would eventually include over 60 nations.
Prime Minister Tony Blair quickly announced that Britain would stand 'shoulder-
to-shoulder¨ with the United States, and many other allies prepared to contribute
Iorces. Other nations helped in diIIerent ways. The UAE and Saudi Arabia withdrew
their recognition oI the Taliban government on September 22 and 25. Senior oIfcials
consulted with regional powers such as Pakistan, where President Pervez MusharraI
pledged 'unstinted cooperation in the fght against terrorism.¨
126
Nearby states like
Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, both Iormer Soviet republics, prepared to oIIer unprecedented
access and assistance. Kyrgyzstan opened its airspace to the Coalition on September 25.
China oIIered non-military cooperation.
Support Irom AIghanistan`s neighbors was essential because aside Irom naval
Iorces, everything Ior the showdown in AIghanistan had to go in by air. By October 1,
27 countries had granted overfight and landing rights to deploying US military Iorces.
Secretary RumsIeld gave orders Ior US Iorces to deploy to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
on October 2.
127
Logisticians, civil engineers, and teams oI Tanker AirliIt Control

Air Force munitions specialists from the 28th Air Expeaitionary Wing aownloaa Joint
Direct Attack Munitions from a B-52H Stratofortress at an operating location in sup-
port of Operation Enauring Freeaom on Nov. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt.
Shane Cuomo)
Elements (or TALCEs) with their command and control specialist, cargo handlers,
and more were among the frst to deploy. Air Mobility Command now had in place
an air bridge oI tankers dotted along the route to reIuel inbound aircraIt. For the frst
time, the air bridge Irom the United States ran in two directions, both east and west,
converging on Central Asia.
Meanwhile, AIghanistan`s government got one last chance. II the Taliban would
hand over bin Laden, war might be avoided. On September 18, 2001, the UN Security
Council demanded that the Taliban surrender bin Laden to authorities and close terrorist
training camps in AIghanistan, as had been mandated months earlier by UNSCR 1333
oI December 2000. Taliban leader Mullah Omar reIused. Nine Pakistani religious
leaders also traveled to AIghanistan as a special delegation to see iI the Taliban would
turn bin Laden over to them. They came back empty-handed.
Operation Enduring Freedom Begins
Operation Enduring Freedom began as planned on Sunday, October 7, 2001. 'About
15 land-based bombers, some 25 strike aircraIt Irom carriers, and US and British ships
and submarines launching approximately 50 Tomahawk missiles have struck terrorist
targets in AIghanistan,¨ said General Richard Myers, who was now Chairman oI the
Joint ChieIs oI StaII.
128
'These careIully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use oI AIghanistan as
a terrorist base oI operations and attack the military capability oI the Taliban regime,¨
said President Bush in an address Irom the White House. To aides he remarked: 'The
war already began. It began on September 11
th

129
September 11 was certainly on the minds oI those who few the sorties. One oI the
B-52s in the frst night`s strikes had 'NYPD We Remember¨ stenciled on its nose.
For the bomber crews, the opening strikes ran like a 'fnely oiled machine.¨ 'My
crews didn`t encounter any threat that we weren`t prepared to deal with,¨ declared one

An F/A-18C Hornet is launchea from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Jinson (CJN 70)
in a strike against al Qaeaa terrorist training camps ana military installations of the
Taliban regime in Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001. (DoD photo by Petty Ofhcer 1st Class
Greg Messier, U.S. Navy)
B-52 pilot nicknamed 'Woodstock.¨ Tanker crews enabled the lengthy missions. One
tanker pilot tuned in to part oI President Bush`s address to the nation while on the frst
night`s mission. 'It kind oI made chills go up my back,¨ he said.
130
As RumsIeld announced the frst strikes, he immediately outlined the goals oI
Operation Enduring Freedom:
% To make clear to the Taliban that harboring terrorists carries a price,
% To acquire intelligence to Iacilitate Iuture operations against al-Qaeda and the
Taliban,
% To develop useIul relationships with groups in AIghanistan that oppose the
Taliban and al-Qaeda,
% To make it increasingly diIfcult Ior the terrorists to use AIghanistan Ireely as
a base oI operation,
% To alter the military balance over time by denying to the Taliban the oIIensive
systems that hamper the progress oI the various opposition Iorces; and
% To provide humanitarian relieI to AIghans suIIering oppressive living
conditions under the Taliban regime.

U.S. Air Force loaamaster on a C-17 Globemaster III, goes through a checklist moments
before entering the arop :one. U.S. Air Force crew members from Charleston Air Force
Base, S.C., continue high altituae arops of HDRs (Humanitarian Daily Rations) from
their C-17 Globemaster III somewhere over Northern Afghanistan, Oct. 18. (Photo by
Mannie Garcia/Gannett/Army Times Publishing -- U.S. European Commana Meaia Pool)
On October 7 and 8, strikes by Air Force bombers and Navy fghters hit air deIense
sites, airfelds, military command and control, and other fxed targets near major cities
and installations. The frst order oI business was to 'remove the threat Irom air deIenses
and Irom Taliban aircraIt,¨ Secretary RumsIeld said. 'We need the Ireedom to operate
on the ground and in the air and the targets selected, iI successIully destroyed, should
permit an increasing degree oI Ireedom over time,¨ he added.
131

Humanitarian Assistance
USCENTCOM also put the 'simultaneous lines oI operation¨ into play. Two C-17s
few humanitarian missions over AIghanistan beginning on night one oI the campaign.
It was a 6,500-mile mission Irom Germany, requiring multiple aerial reIuelings. 'The
Iact that you`re fying into a combat zone cannot be ignored,¨ said Colonel Kip SelI,
Director oI Mobility Operations at Ramstein AB, Germany. 'But iI you do the right
training and planning ahead oI time, you mitigate those threats and rely on your
proIessionalism to get you through.¨
132

Seven million AIghanis were believed 'to be at risk oI loss oI liIe as a result
oI conditions inside AIghanistan,¨ Franks estimated.
133
'This airdrop mission was
the frst installment oI President Bush`s $320 million aid package Ior the people oI
AIghanistan,¨ said Colonel Bob Allardice.
134
The two-ship missions continued Ior
Iour straight nights and delivered more than 140,000 Humanitarian Daily Rations
(HDRs) '100 percent on target,¨ SelI added.
135

Deputy Assistant Secretary oI DeIense Joseph Collins described the HDRs as 'a
saIe, vegetarian, non-culturally sensitive meal that has everything you need, unless
you need taste.¨
Just as with initial combat operations, there was no choice but to do the heavy
liIting by air. 'The Taliban were known Ior seizing UN and |International Red Cross|
vehicles and warehouses in Mazar-i-ShariI,¨ recounted Collins. 'They`ve taken over
most UN vehicles and Iacilities in Kandahar. They`ve stolen aid trucks, beaten drivers,
and persecuted AIghan aid workers. They`ve transported troops in vehicles with US-
UN markings, and they have systematically prevented Iood distribution into areas not
under Taliban control.¨
136

Airdrops were the only option. Two Air Force loadmasters, Senior Master Sergeant
CliII Harmon and Master Sergeant Donny Brass, helped come up with a better way to
deliver the rations without using heavy crates. SMSgt. Harmon, MSgt. Brass and a
team oI over 60 troops including some Irom the Army`s 5
th
Quartermaster Company,
191
st
Ordnance Battalion packed rations into seven-Ioot high reIrigerator boxes with
three-ply cardboard walls. Over the target area, the C-17`s crew depressurized the
cargo hold and pilots tilted the airliIter`s nose upwards. The boxes slid out the back
oI the C-17. A static line opened the top and bottom oI the boxes in the slipstream,
leaving the individual meals to 'foat down to the ground.¨ No parachutes opened to
tip oII the Taliban to the location oI reIugees. 'We know exactly where these items
are going to land at, based upon the land, altitude, ballistics, driIt and everything else,¨
said SMSgt. Harmon. The Tri-Wall Aerial Delivery System made each sortie more
eIfcient, too. 'We`ve tripled the size oI the payload that we deliver now, and that
means you`re Ieeding three times as many people as you used to,¨ Harmon added.
137
Nightly airdrops averaged 35,000 HDRs. Sometimes the number went as high
as 70,000. By the end oI October, more than a million HDRs had been air-dropped
to the AIghanis.

A New Way to Fight
Nestled on aircraIt carriers at sea and at selected bases around the region, the Coalition`s
fghters and bombers waged a steady campaign under the direction oI the Combined Air
Operations Center. Housed at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia, this CAOC was
a major advance over the 'Black Hole¨ and Tactical Air Control Center oI Operation
Desert Storm or even the 1,300-man CAOC at Vicenza, Italy, which served as the
nerve center Ior Operation Allied Force. It was a state-oI-the-art Iacility with more
connectivity and capability than ever beIore.
The ability to concentrate both data and command authority at a CAOC had grown
dramatically in recent years. The CAOC Ior Operation Enduring Freedom was wired with
as many as one hundred T-1 lines, carrying torrents oI data into and out oI the Iacility. That
enabled good connectivity with all strike platIorms, be they carriers in the Arabian Sea or
bombers at Diego Garcia. 'We have come a long way Irom ten years ago, when we had
to fy the ATO out to the aircraIt carriers,¨ Jumper said.
138
It also created unprecedented
situation awareness. CAOC personnel could track all airborne sorties in real time on huge
display screens. The ground picture was improving, but still imperIect.
Air and space power integration also reached a new level at the CAOC. For the frst
time, the CFACC controlled theater space, mobility and inIormation operations assets
Irom the CAOC. 'We integrated space, mobility, and I.O. |inIormation operations|
guys into the actual master attack plan planning cell, which was important,¨ said Major
General David A. Deptula, one oI the CAOC directors.
139

{{
Aviation oranancemen on the USS Enterprise (CJN 65) muscle oranance into place as
aircraft are reaaiea for strike missions against al Qaeaa terrorist training camps ana
military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001, auring Opera-
tion Enauring Freeaom. The carefully targetea actions are aesignea to aisrupt the use of
Afghanistan as a base for terrorist operations ana to attack the military capability of the
Taliban regime. (DoD photo by Lt. J.G. Douglas E. Houser, U.S. Navy)
The CAOC also had a Iar more integrated and eIIective strike Iorce at its fngertips.
Precision was a common denominator. JDAM frst used by the B-2 in Operation
Allied Force could now be dropped by Navy and Air Force fghters and all three
types oI bombers, making 24-hour precision available in any weather. Fighters also
carried laser-guided bombs. 'The Navy has generated a Iantastic number oI sorties,
both F-14s and F/A-18s, and also their E-2s and EA-6Bs,¨ said Lieutenant General
T. Michael Moseley, who took command oI the air component in early November.
140
Once fghters arrived on station, however, their service aIfliation was irrelevant. 'The
air operations were seamless amongst the service components,¨ General Deptula
commented. 'It didn`t matter to the planners whether there were Air Force, Navy, or
Marine Corps¨
141
strike aircraIt coming into the orbit areas.
But the air war was not without its risks. General Moseley underlined why a
strong combat search and rescue Iorce was so important. 'There was never a notion
that iI we got a pilot shot down or an aircrew shot down that they would go into some
Taliban POW camp and be repatriated somewhere down the road,¨ he said. 'You get
shot down and foat down into that world and they will kill you.¨
142
The First Three Weeks
The keys to Operation Enduring Freedom were building up combat power and striking
targets to debilitate Taliban military Iorces.
Support troops were as busy as the strike pilots during the opening weeks. Logistical
support Ior Operation Enduring Freedom immediately demanded the resources oI a
major theater war, and demanded them Iast. 'The diIIerence between this war and
GulI War is the speed oI the response required,¨ said General Charles T. Robertson, Jr.,
who was commander in chieI oI US Transportation Command.
143
{x
Airman 1st Class Ryan Jan Cleave signals for a communication ana navigation specialist
auring preßight proceaures for the KC-135 Stratotanker at Ganci Air Base, Kyrgy:stan.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James A. Rush)
Opening up expeditionary bases
brought a new set oI challenges. 'A couple
oI locations are absolutely abysmal,¨
acknowledged General Robertson. Airmen
had to put up with a lack oI established
Iacilities Irom Iueling stations to the
basic essentials oI sanitation and potable
water. The need to bring everything
into theater by air added to the mobility
requirements. Three weeks aIter the start
oI Operation Enduring Freedom, almost all
the active duty C-5 and C-17 feets were
absorbed in building up combat power.
144

Guard, reserve and active units combined
to supply the need Ior tactical and strategic
liIt Ior the confict.
Late October also brought a shiIt in strike priorities. The frst week`s targets were
primarily fxed military sites, such as airfelds and air deIense sites, with high pay-oII
and low collateral damage predictions. However, as Secretary RumsIeld explained,
a Iew days` worth oI strikes would not topple the Taliban. 'We have to have a clear
understanding oI what is possible in a country like that,¨ Secretary RumsIeld said.
'That country has been at war Ior a very long time. The Soviet Union pounded it year
aIter year aIter year. Much oI the country is rubble. They have been fghting among
themselves. They do not have high-value targets or assets that are the kinds oI things
that would lend themselves to substantial damage Irom the air.¨
145
Now pilots needed to hit targets to make a direct impact on the Taliban. That
meant the CAOC should start seeing Iewer pre-planned strikes on Soviet-supplied
military equipment and more on 'emerging¨ Taliban ground Iorce targets selected by
spotters on the ground. It started with a shiIt to a combination oI pre-planned and
immediate response targets. 'By the end oI the frst week, the pilots didn`t know
what targets they`d be striking when they launched,¨ said Vice Admiral John Nathman,
Commander, Naval Air Forces.
146

AIghanistan was divided up into fxed engagement zones to control strikes on
emerging targets such as Taliban troop concentrations and vehicles. CAOC planners
scheduled packages oI strike aircraIt to be available 24 hours a day Ior operations in
the engagement zones. They could also lay special zones over lines oI communication,
Ior example, and activate them at diIIerent times to bring more air strikes to bear.
Special Forces personnel on the ground identifed aim points, then double-checked

Master Sgt. Stacy Sveom from the Nebraska
Air National Guara runs a ventilation hose
to a KC-135R Stratotanker to ventilate the
aircraft after a possible fuel leak was ais-
coverea at an operating location in support
of the U.S. Central Commana execution of
Operation Enauring Freeaom. (U.S. Air
Force photo by Staff Sgt. P.J. Farlin)
the target coordinates. From the CAOC, staII could change the fow oI aircraIt into an
engagement zone in the time it took to transmit a call to the aircraIt.
The main obstacle was distance. All aircrews few long missions to reach the
airspace over AIghanistan. Once on station, the fghters might orbit, waiting on the
most recent inIormation, synthesized Irom a variety oI sources, to be passed on to the
strike aircraIt. For the Navy, which few most oI the fghter missions, the need to fy
hundreds oI miles inland, strike and recover within the intricate deck cycle time oI
the carrier`s operations created a major challenge. Ultimately, the Navy used Iour
diIIerent aircraIt carriers to keep up the coverage required by the CAOC. (A fIth
carrier, the USS Kitty Hawk, stripped down its air wing and took Special Operations
helicopters on board.)
Bombers suIIered less Irom range limitations, and soon took up a major share oI
the job. Eighteen B-52s and B-1s deployed Iorward to Diego Garcia. Typically, the
CAOC could count on Iour sorties per day Irom the B-1s and fve Irom the B-52s.
For the frst time in combat, these bombers carried systems enabling them to receive
updated inIormation such as new target coordinates in real time. Bombers generally
did not have their entire load oI weapons designated Ior fxed targets. Instead, bomber
crews headed frst Ior their pre-planned targets and then were on call any time during
the sortie to be redirected to other targets. 'We`ve got them doing fexible targeting
like an A-10 does in close air support,¨ General Jumper remarked.
147
Time-Sensitive Targets
The air component also took up another unique task early in the air campaign:
tracking and striking al-Qaeda leaders and their strongholds. Initial targeting data on
AIghanistan rendered little in the way oI leadership sites to attack. 'I want to remind
you that while today`s operations are visible, many other operations might not be so
visible,¨ General Myers had said on October 7.
148
One not-so-visible aspect oI the
campaign was tracking down terrorist leadership. A major part oI the strategy was to
take steps to hunt down key individuals and learn more about the al-Qaeda`s structure
and any plans Ior Iuture operations. Searching Ior top Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders
became a war within a war, rarely discussed, but accounting Ior perhaps 10 percent oI
all airstrikes, with an enormous impact on overall operations.
Permission to strike these time-sensitive targets was controlled directly by
USCENTCOM in Tampa, on instructions Irom national command authorities. That
made positive identifcation oI the target oIten reIerred to as PID essential Ior time-
sensitive strikes.

RQ-1 Preaator un-
mannea aerial vehicles,
like this one, have
been usea to increase
battlehela awareness
at operating locations
in support of Opera-
tion Enauring Freeaom.
(U.S. Air Force courtesy
photo)
Positive identifcation could take minutes or hours. General Franks explained later
in the campaign how ISR assets and strike aircraIt had to watch careIully to be sure oI
the true identity oI their targets. 'In Iact, every day we have assets that watch these lines
oI communication and the frst thing that`s required when one sees vehicles moving is to
determine whether these vehicles belong to Iriends or Ioes,¨ Franks said. Due to national-
level guidance, USCENTCOM was honor-bound to prosecute TSTs by the book. 'As you
know, we move an awIul lot oI humanitarian assistance up and down the routes inside
AIghanistan, and I think you`ll also agree that we`ve exercised every caution to be sure
that we didn`t bomb those,¨ General Franks elaborated.
149
AIter Predators or other platIorms Iound the target and relayed the inIormation to
the CAOC, USCENTCOM had to give its fnal approval, which meant reaching back
to the headquarters in Tampa. Reaching back was another stage in the process and
it sometimes strained the time line Ior prosecuting TSTs. However, General Franks
was comIortable with the arrangement Ior larger reasons. As he said, 'technology
assists, which provide 24/7 situational awareness,¨ enabled the USCENTCOM
staII 'to provide intent and guidance without doing the tactical work oI subordinate
commanders.¨ Another reason Ior staying in place was the diIfculty oI moving a
large unifed headquarters. Remaining in the United States also kept him close to the
national command authorities. 'I think what we want is the ability to either be remote
or oIIset or to be present in theater,¨ General Franks said, stressing again that in this
case, the mission was 'best served¨ by using the technologies in hand and remaining
in Tampa.
150

Consequently, the time-sensitive targeting process crossed three continents, eight
time zones, and two separate staIIs beIore winding up back in the CAOC`s hands. II
there were uncertainties at USCENTCOM headquarters about the target being watched
like a hawk in theater, permission would not be granted.
The fnal step was handing the tasking oII to strike aircraIt. Airmen Iretted about
the doctrinal discomIorts oI centralized execution. Sometimes the process worked;
sometimes the positively identifed targets got away and sometimes targets turned
out to be Iriendlies or civilians, and were not struck. But over time, battle managers
and aircrews learned the new rhythm. USCENTCOM owned the battlespace and its
rules trumped anybody else`s ways oI doing business.
Special Forces on the Ground
Those rules also demanded strict verifcation oI targets and saIety procedures Ior
directing airstrikes. It would take Iorces with the right equipment and specialized
training to link AIghan opposition fghters with the Iull Iorce oI American airpower.
That was the specialty oI USSOCOM`s 'operational detachment alpha¨ (or ODA)
teams. The joint teams oI highly trained soldiers, sailors and Airmen were trained Ior
infltrating hostile territory, coordinating air strikes and close air support, conducting
strategic reconnaissance, handling emergency airstrip operations, and directing
resupply eIIorts. The SOF teams had what it would take to give AIghan opposition
Iorces the advice, support and resources to fght the Taliban.
The idea oI bringing SOF Iorces in early was in part a by-product oI Operation
Allied Force in 1999. There, use oI ground Iorces had been ruled out, due in no small
part to NATO political sensitivities. European allies remembered well the losses
their ground Iorces took in Bosnia beIore the 1995 Dayton Accords, when they were
trying to guard saIe areas and perIorm 'peacekeeping¨ while all three sides were
{n
still in a shooting war. However,
in 1999, the lack oI ground Iorces
made it easier Ior Milosevic`s
army and police Iorces to spread
out through Kosovo and do their terrible work. Over time, airpower Iound and
engaged those Iorces, picking oII enough tanks and artillery to render the Serbian
Iorces much less eIIective. General Jumper, at USAFE, and Lieutenant General
Charles Holland, who was the commander oI AFSOC, drew up a plan during Allied
Force to try to insert SOF Iorces, but it was never executed.
Special Operations Forces were a must Ior AIghanistan. As General Jumper put it,
iI SOF Iorces would have been helpIul in Kosovo, Ior AIghanistan it was 'absolutely
imperative ... that you start with people on the ground.¨
151
That did not mean Iull
divisions, but it did mean soldiers who could assess the military situation, identiIy
targets and most oI all, work with the Northern Alliance.
Now, as October wore on, airstrikes peppered AIghanistan. But while airpower
was available, the Northern Alliance was not instantly ready Ior coordinated air and
ground oIIensives. For that matter, some opposition Iorces that participated in the
campaign were not aIfliated with the Northern Alliance. Building the necessary
teamwork was an individualized process oI matching an SOF team to each Iaction.
It took time, money and more. Aid ranging Irom ammunition to horse Ieed had to be
fown into theater and air-dropped to the Northern Alliance Iorces. Secretary oI State
Colin Powell explained it perIectly: 'You had a frst-world air Iorce and a Iourth-world
army and it took a while to connect the two,¨ he said.
152

The next major lines oI operation, the direct action and support Irom SOF Iorces,
were about to be unveiled. It all depended on the highly trained and highly secretive
Special Forces teams and especially on the Special Tactics Squadron (STS) controllers
who knew how to spot targets, validate them and have them struck by airpower.
Getting Iorces in place took time. Personnel Irom 'other government agencies¨
such as the CIA were making preparations by late September. But the main combat
eIIort would come Irom SOF teams dispatched to work with the leaders oI the Northern
Alliance and direct their operations in the feld. Personnel Irom the 5
th
Special Forces
Group, based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, were conducting exercises in Uzbekistan
when the September 11 massacres occurred. They headed home to Kentucky to
prepare to go back, this time to AIghanistan.
153
The frst SOF team hit the ground by October 19, 2001, and was in action the next
day.
154
The CIA 'had done an excellent job preparing the battlefeld,¨ commented one
senior commander. By the time SOF teams went in, 'some budding relationships¨ had
been established and the teams 'rapidly assimilated.¨
155


U.S. special forces troops riae
horseback as they work with
members of the Northern Alliance
in Afghanistan auring Operation
Enauring Freeaom on Nov. 12,
2001. (DoD photo)
Once on the ground, team members all had specifc jobs to do. SOF teams in
AIghanistan typically consisted oI a mix oI personnel, including the indispensable
air combat control teams, controllers drawn Irom Special Tactics Squadrons (STS).
Their missions included reconnaissance, and combat search and rescue support. They
were also trained in air traIfc control Ior expeditionary airfelds. But the core oI their
mission in AIghanistan was terminal attack control. They brought with them the most
sophisticated equipment Ior identiIying targets and calling in airstrikes.
Captain Jason Amerine oI the 5
th
Special Operations Group was with one oI the
frst to go in. His team landed at night in a remote valley in central AIghanistan that
looked like 'the back side oI the moon.¨ The team`s mission: to link up with the
troops oI opposition leader Hamid Karzai (who would later become interim President
oI AIghanistan) and plan to take over the city oI Kandahar.
Karzai`s men greeted the heavily laden Americans and strapped their equipment
onto pack mules. Hours later, they reached a village, where they spent the next
three weeks planning operations and getting to know Karzai`s 'troops.¨ 'We had to
start Irom scratch to build up a Iorce that was viable to fght the Taliban,¨ Amerine
recalled. 'We began to help them organize, help them equip themselves.¨ Weapons
and ammunition, plus Iood and blankets Ior the locals, were air-dropped to Amerine`s
team. Amerine also worked to earn Karzai`s trust. 'I drank a lot oI green tea with
Hamid Karzai during late nights,¨ he said.
156
Soon the impact oI tea-time talk would begin to show but not beIore there were
moments oI doubt.
Dissatisfaction
It would still take weeks to insert more teams, link them up with their AIghan allies, build
trust and Iormulate plans Ior oIIensive action. Meanwhile, many began to wonder whether
airpower could do the job. Within days
oI the start oI Operation Enduring
Freedom, columnist William Arkin
judged the eIIort 'sparse in the extreme,¨
and lamented the slow, plodding pace oI
the campaign aIter just one week.
157
By
late October, disenchantment had spread
Iar and wide. 'The initial air strategy
against AIghanistan is not working,¨
University oI Chicago proIessor Robert
A. Pape declared in the Washington Post.
'We appear to be escalating toward a

The Unitea States increasea the rewara
for information leaaing airectly to the
apprehension or conviction of Osama
Bin Laaen to $25 million shortly after
the attacks of September 11, 2001.

sustained air campaign to bomb that country Ior as long as it takes to topple the Taliban
regime,¨ Pape observed.
158
Waiting Ior progress on the ground undoubtedly strained the administration`s most
senior oIfcials, too. President Bush told Dr. Rice and other advisers in late October:
'We`ve been at this only 19 days. Be steady.¨
159
It was plain that Operation Enduring Freedom was not going to unIold according
to a pre-determined strategy. 'It`s been said that those who expect another Desert
Storm will wonder every day what it is that this war is all about,¨ General Franks said.
'This is a diIIerent war. This war will be Iought on many Ironts simultaneously.¨
160
General Myers echoed the point. In the GulI War, three phases oI an air campaign
went on Ior 38 days as 'we tried to set conditions with the air war, then we had a
ground component that went in and fnished the job,¨ Myers said in late October 2001.
'You shouldn`t think oI this in those terms.¨
161

The next step was up to the opposition Iorces. Among the power brokers was
General Rashid Dostum, who had a predominantly Uzbek militia ready to press
Mazar-i-ShariI in the north. Hundreds oI miles west, near Herat, Ismail Khan was the
principal warlord. Tajik General Mohammed Fahim had taken over aIter Masood`s
death and held the key to putting pressure on Kabul. Karzai`s band was on the move
in the south. Each warlord had to have his own specially trained SOF team in order to
make a decisive move. Only then could the next phase oI the campaign roll Iorward.
By the end oI October, there were already signs oI what the next steps would be.
'The Northern Alliance is on the march in the north toward Mazar-i-ShariI, and I think
they`re gathering their strength to at least invest Kabul, or start moving on Kabul more
aggressively,¨ said Secretary Powell on October 22.
162

Special Forces controllers began to call in more 'emerging¨ targets. On October
23, Ior example, over 90 strike aircraIt hit fve planned targets in AIghanistan, to include
terrorist training camps, Taliban command-and-control centers, armored vehicles, and
maintenance and warehouse Iacilities.
163
Then strike sorties shiIted emphasis Irom pre-
planned targets to emerging targets in special zones and engagement areas identifed by
SOF teams on the ground. Three teams were in AIghanistan by October 26, with fve
more waiting in Uzbekistan.
164
By the end oI the third week oI the air war, emerging
targets outnumbered pre-planned targets. This was the beginning oI the change in
employment oI airpower that would lead to victory.
More SOF Iorces were Iorging links with opposition counterparts. Deputy Secretary
oI State Richard Armitage scanned a dispatch sent by one oI the Army team members
in theater a Iew days later. The opposition Iorces, also known as 'the muj,¨ 'are doing
very well with what they have. But we couldn`t do what we are doing,¨ the SOF team
member went on, 'without the close air support. Everywhere I go, the civilians and
muj` soldiers are always telling me they are glad the USA has come. They all speak
oI their hopes Ior a better AIghanistan once the Taliban are gone.¨
165
A new 'line oI
operation¨ was about to pay oII Ior the Coalition. General Myers, speaking to al-Jazeera
on October 31, explained the tactical concept Ior the next phase oI operations. 'For
several days now we`ve had US troops on the ground with the Northern Alliance,¨ he
said. 'Their primary mission is to advise |and| to try to support the Northern Alliance
with airstrikes as appropriate. They are specially trained individuals that know how
to bring in airpower and bring it into the confict in the right way, and that`s what
they`re doing. We think that will have a big impact on the Northern Alliance`s ability
to prosecute their piece oI this war against the Taliban.¨
166

A forwara-aeployea E-3B Sentry airborne warning ana control system (AWACS) crew
prepares the aircraft for a mission at an operating location in support of the U.S. Central
Commana execution of Operation Enauring Freeaom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt.
Marlin G. Zimmerman)
|äAºI| 1 a. Victories in November
E
arly November Iound much oI the world wondering whether the campaign in
AIghanistan could make any progress at all beIore winter. 'We know we`re
having success,¨ said Rear Admiral John StuIfebeem, Joint ChieIs oI StaII
spokesman, 'and putting severe stress¨ on the Taliban.
168
But there were doubts about
this unIamiliar style oI warIare, summed up succinctly by deIense expert Charles
Heyman, editor oI the encyclopedic Janes Worla Armies, who said: 'At some stage the
allies are going to have to establish some Iorward operating bases inside AIghanistan;
there is no other credible military option iI the allies are serious about closing with and
destroying their enemy.¨
169
In Iact, the big impact predicted by General Myers was about to make itselI Ielt in
the frst series oI rapid gains by the Northern Alliance. General Franks met in-theater
with two key leaders, Generals Dostum and Khan, on October 30. That same day,
SOF controllers Iocused airpower Ior the frst time as they ramped up the strikes on
Mazar-i-ShariI.
Mazar-i-Sharif
Mazar-i-ShariI was the northernmost oI the major cities in AIghanistan. It was
signifcant because it controlled land routes to Uzbekistan, needed Ior bulk military or
humanitarian supplies, and because the Taliban and al-Qaeda massed to try to deIend
Mazar. By doing so they created a lucrative target Ior air.
Moving on the city would also be a way to score a necessary victory Ior the alliance.
At this point, in early November, there was still a host oI minor problems, such as
inserting more SOF teams and guaranteeing transit rights at regional air bases. Most oI
all, there was as yet no prooI that the concept oI 'simultaneous lines oI operation¨ was
working as intended. In Washington, there were discussions about how to prepare Ior
winter and whether to plan Ior 50,000 US ground Iorces to enter AIghanistan. Against
this background, Tenet characterized Mazar-i-ShariI as a limited, achievable objective,
worthy oI concentrated eIIort.
170
Throughout the frst week oI November, airstrikes concentrated on Taliban and
al-Qaeda Iorces and military equipment near Mazar-i-ShariI and Iarther south, near
Kabul. AircraIt on November 4 dropped two gigantic BLU-82 15,000-pound bombs
on Taliban troops. StuIfebeem said, 'II the Northern (Alliance) is Ieeling emboldened
ºIf you infusc iIc ¡co¡lc iIai worl for you wiiI
iIc rigIi ncnialiiy and iIc rigIi vision, iIcy can
nalc iIings Ia¡¡cn. TIcrc's no grcaicr c×an¡lc
of iIai iIan iIc faci iIai you Iad iIc lid on iIc
Iorsc ialling io iIc D-52 in iIc air..."
General John Jumper
167

or ready to make moves, then that
means that it (the bombing) has had the
intended eIIect.¨
171
When they moved, they moved
Iast. By November 6, Northern
Alliance Iorces had captured villages
around Mazar-i-ShariI. The town oI Shulgareh Iell on November 7. Dostum and
Attah were less than 10 miles short oI their objective on November 8, according to
reports Irom the SOF teams operating with them.
172
The next day, November 9, the
Northern Alliance claimed Mazar-i-ShariI itselI. One by-product oI this decentralized
style oI warIare was temporary conIusion about the exact movement oI the Northern
Alliance oIIensive. Exciting reports fashed back to Washington and hit the press
beIore they could be positively confrmed. 'What does Mazar has Iallen` mean?¨
Rice remembered asking one staIIer who brought her news oI the battle.
173

Taliban spokesmen soon admitted they had abandoned the city, but whitewashed
it as a withdrawal Ior 'strategic reasons.¨
174

The Rise of XCAS
The Iall oI Mazar-i-ShariI marked success in the unconventional simultaneous
operations, just as USCENTCOM had planned. Much oI the credit Ior that fexibility
was due to air and space power.
'In one month, since October 7
th
, our pilots have fown more than 1800 strike
aircraIt and bomber sorties. They have broadcast over 300 hours oI radio transmissions,
and delivered more than 1.25 million rations to the starving AIghan people,¨ Secretary
RumsIeld said on November 6.
175

As Iorces neared Mazar-i-ShariI, the role oI XCAS the CAOC`s shorthand Ior
immediate airborne close air support grew exponentially. The frst statistical signs
oI change came as the number oI pre-planned targets struck gave way to unIragged
targets targets selected by ground controllers and delivered by XCAS. Bombers and
fghters both provided XCAS. By early November, strike aircraIt were reporting more
weapons drops on unIragged targets than on pre-planned targets. On November 1, Ior
example, 65 Coalition aircraIt struck nine pre-planned targets, plus dozens more in
engagement zones.
176
'There`s still fxed targets based on the most recent intelligence,¨ General Deptula
said oI this period, 'but there are also engagement zones where you know that there are
operations unIolding Ior the specifc item or activity oI interest that you know is going
on in that area and thereIore you make aircraIt available,¨ he explained.
177

How those targets were struck marked a mini-revolution in warIare. Just as they
had done in October, the CAOC`s daily ATOs placed fghters and bombers over the
battle area with specifc vulnerability periods. A Navy Iour-ship oI F-14s might have a
'vulnerability¨ period oI two hours over target areas in AIghanistan, while a B-1 might
be on call Ior Iour to fve hours.
x{
Royal Marines, US troops ana Afghan
forces rest together on a mountain
patrol. (MoD photo)
Requests Ior airstrikes came Irom SOF team controllers and were relayed back to
the CAOC through a short, inIormal chain. Air Control Elements (ACE) were manned
by a Iew individuals Irom Special Tactics Squadrons (STS) and attached directly to the
SOF Task Forces working at various locations across AIghanistan. SOF controllers who
needed airpower contacted their ACE. The ACE then called the SOLE at the CAOC
at Prince Sultan Air Base. As Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Rozelsky, Commander,
682
nd
Air Support Operations Squadron, described it, the way to do close air support
was 'via mIRC |military Internet Relay Communication| chat.to the SOLE.¨ At the
CAOC, the 'SOLE would get up and walk across the room and say, Hey, we have this
request.`¨ They were then passed on to AWACS, callsign 'Bossman,¨ whose crew oI
battle managers directed the strike aircraIt to the targets.
178
Sometimes they put them
in direct contact with controllers.
There was no real need Ior any Iurther consultation. The CAOC`s biggest challenge
knowing where the SOF Iorces were did not usually Iactor in when a request went
through the SOLE. Moreover, the teams were scattered all across AIghanistan. 'Rather
than a linear fght, it was a bunch oI guys on lily pads foating around shark-inIested
waters,¨ commented Rozelsky.
179
When 'there were three fights in AIghanistan and
Iour or fve ODAs out at any one point, there was never a real need Ior prioritization,¨
he continued.
180
Plenty oI aircraIt were available to satisIy all requests.
This was a distinctive Ieature oI operations in AIghanistan. Delivering a Iast
response to the ground controller took priority. There was none oI the usual hierarchy
oI a traditional air-land battlefeld with large conventional Iorces in action. In Iact,
there was no land component in place. The streamlined control measures worked
Ior several reasons. First, pockets oI intense activity were widely separated. In this
phase the air war 'actually was quite eIIective because you have large land mass, a
lot oI air space, little bitty airplanes with a lot oI bombs. Everybody`s a bad guy;
everything`s basically a target. With very small US Iorces, it`s a wonderIul way to
do it,¨ commented Colonel Mike Longoria, Commander, 18
th
ASOG, the air support
operations group attached to 9
th
Air Force. 'There are no restrictions to air whatsoever.
All oI the airspace control measures that you would normally have to worry about in
terms oI air/ground relationships are not there. All you basically have to worry about
is that airplanes don`t run into other airplanes. AWACS does a great job oI that.¨
181
AIghanistan`s air war pressed on successIully under this new style oI operations.
Sorties averaged about fve hundred per week. Air support thrived on a system
tailored to a widely distributed ground battle, dominated by special operations using
air interdiction as fres and Northern Alliance Iorces as maneuver.
In November, USCENTCOM also increased the ISR assets Ior Operation Enduring
Freedom with the deployment oI JSTARS and a pair oI Global Hawks to the region.
JSTARS was sent to help with the hunt 'Ior trucks or SUVs or others that are moving
around,¨ said Admiral StuIfebeem.
182
Global Hawk`s 'long legs¨ and array oI
inIrared, electro-optical and synthetic aperture radar sensors increased the dwell time
and the air component`s ability to stare at key target areas.
All aircraIt logged exceptionally long missions to make XCAS work. B-2s few
the longest bomber sortie ever, clocking in at 42 hours, while F-15Es Irom Kuwait
took the prize Ior the longest-ever fghter sortie with a 15.8-hour mission. Global
Hawk few a 26-hour reconnaissance mission.
183
Both pilots and controllers learned new ways oI doing their jobs. 'In this war,
we`re both adapting,¨ said Navy Captain Charles 'Snapper¨ Wright, air boss aboard
xx
the USS Carl Jinson and an F-14 pilot. 'Everybody has had to throw out the parochial
thinking that they may have come in with.¨
184
Seizing the Initiative
Like a horse given Iree rein, the Northern Alliance was moving at its own pace and
the pace was quickening. 'We are not there in a position to advise them when to
go,¨ acknowledged StuIfebeem. 'We`re not there to advise them how they should
undertake their particular tactics. We`re there responding to their requests. We`re
there providing targeting Ior our aircraIt, Ior a matter oI precision.¨
185
Precision airpower was key to breaking the Taliban control. General Jumper
credited the success to initiative on the ground and in the air. He said, 'iI you Iuse
the people that work Ior you with the right mentality and the right vision, they can
make things happen. There`s no greater example oI that than the Iact that you had the
kid on the horse talking to the B-52 in the air.¨
186
An Army Special Forces team member on the ground at the Iall oI Mazar-i-ShariI
reported via e-mail on how it had been done. 'We rode on begged, borrowed and
confscated transportation,¨ he said. 'While it looked like a rag-tag procession, the
morale |going| into Mazar was triumphant. The locals loudly greeted us and thanked all
Americans |with| much waving, cheering and clapping, including Irom the women.¨
'I have personally witnessed heroism under fre by two US noncommissioned
oIfcers, one Army, one Air Force, when we came under direct artillery fre last night,
less than 50 meters away. When I ordered them to call close air support, they did so
immediately without finching. As you know, a US element was nearly overrun Iour days
ago but continued to call close air support and ensured the muj` |mujaheddin| Iorces did
not suIIer deIeat.¨ He concluded, 'These two examples are typical oI the perIormance oI
your soldiers and Airmen. Truly uncommon valor has been a common virtue.¨
187


A B-52H Stratofortress from the 28th Air Expeaitionary Wing takes off on a combat mis-
sion from an operating location in support of the U.S. Central Commana execution of
Operation Enauring Freeaom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Shane Cuomo)l.
'I don`t think we came on this by any grand strategy,¨ said AFSOC Commander
Lieutenant General Maxwell Bailey. The use oI SOF teams in the feld to call in
airstrikes was invention born oI necessity. 'Everybody was looking Ior something to
try and when we tried this, this was working,¨ General Bailey said.
188
Indeed it was. The air component made up in frepower and precision what the
Northern Alliance and other opposition Iorces lacked in numbers. Rapid XCAS
and XINT immediate airborne interdiction delivered on the instructions oI SOF
controllers kept the AIghan Iorces on the move. On the whole there was more ground-
controlled interdiction than true close air support. It was rare to have Iriendly Iorces
engage with troops in contact.
Controllers` requests generally came in aavance oI Northern Alliance troop movements
while Iriendlies were kilometers away Irom the enemy. Another advantage came Irom the
geographically separated battle areas. Controllers working around Kabul in the northeast
did not have to worry about deconficting with Iellow controllers calling strikes around
Kandahar three hundred miles to the south. By the same token, strike aircraIt were not
likely to bump into each other.
These non-linear, simultaneous engagements by airpower made Ior a quickening
campaign. General Jumper said it was 'more eIIective than any kind oI close air
support we`d done in a long time.¨
189
SuccessIul strikes guided by the SOF
controllers knocked out key points oI resistance and boosted the fghting morale
oI the AIghan tribesmen. Once all concerned began to trust in the power oI on-call
precision airpower, many things were possible.
To Kabul
Backed by airpower like that, the war accelerated into high gear aIter the Iall oI Mazar-
i-ShariI. 'It would be correct to say that there is fghting going on throughout most oI
the country,¨ said Admiral StuIfebeem.
190
Both President Bush and Secretary Powell
voiced initial qualms about the Northern Alliance pressing Ior Kabul. Over the course
oI a week, the alliance, with its on-call American airpower, took town aIter town.
The air component attacked trench lines outside oI Taloqan center oI a major battle
in the summer oI 2000 on Saturday, November 10. 'It was important Ior these
trenches, and others like them, to be cleared to open the way Ior the Northern Alliance
to advance,¨ General Myers explained.
191
Taloqan Iell on November 11. In the west,
the Northern Alliance announced the liberation oI Herat on November 12.
The morning oI November 12 also saw the beginning oI the end Ior the Taliban`s
control oI AIghanistan`s capital
city. B-52 strikes pounded
Taliban lines around Kabul in
the morning. By late aIternoon,
Northern Alliance armored
Iorces were moving down the
Old Road toward the city, with

Prince Sultan Air Base at Al
Kharf, Sauai Arabia.
inIantry sweeping through Iormer Taliban positions. Fleeing Taliban fghters discarded
their equipment and their dead and ran. The airstrikes around Kabul also killed bin
Laden deputy Mohammed AteI.
On November 13, the Northern Alliance`s United Front Iorces took control oI Kabul
and began to set up police control oI the city. Secretary RumsIeld announced US Special
Forces teams were already in Kabul to work with the Northern Alliance. 'Every day the
targeting and eIIectiveness has improved, and that has clearly played a critical role in
killing Taliban and al-Qaeda troops,¨ RumsIeld said on November 13.
192
'The Taliban appear to have abandoned Kabul and some Northern Alliance Iorces
are in the city,¨ General Myers said on November 13. 'Last Friday the Northern
Alliance controlled less than 15 percent oI AIghanistan,¨ Myers said. 'By Monday
morning they had Iundamentally cut AIghanistan into two areas oI control, but we
must keep in mind that pockets oI resistance do remain,¨ he added.
193

Elements oI the Taliban were now feeing south to the sparsely populated areas
controlled by Pashtun tribes. 'Where we can positively identiIy Taliban as such, we
are pursuing them,¨ said Admiral StuIfebeem. However, StuIfebeem admitted that
it was 'diIfcult in the southern part oI AIghanistan, west oI Kandahar, to be able to
positively identiIy what may be southern Pashtun tribes versus Taliban troops that may
be on the move.¨
194
xn
Airmen of the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squaaron at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.
prepare a B-1 Lancer for aeployment. Ellsworth aircraft ana airmen are aeploying to
support operations Enauring Freeaom ana Iraqi Freeaom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Air-
man 1st Class Michael Keller)
In the space oI two weeks the Taliban`s control oI AIghanistan collapsed. General
Franks summed up the progress to date on November 15. 'We in Iact have the
initiative,¨ he said. All along, he recalled, 'we have said that it`s all about condition-
setting Iollowed by our attaining our objectives. The frst thing we did was set
conditions to begin to take down the tactical air deIense and all oI that..The next
thing we did was set conditions with these Special Forces teams and the positioning oI
our aviation assets to be able to take the Taliban apart or Iracture it.¨
195
The Coalition
Another Iactor in the mounting success in AIghanistan was the participation oI a
strong coalition oI nations. Upwards oI fIty nations were providing assistance in
some Iorm.
Britain, a major participant in combat operations through TLAM strikes and aircraIt
support, also took the lead Ior the frst ISAF operations. Canadian Iorces arrived early,
and deployed over three thousand personnel to support the operations. Special Operations
Forces Irom many countries, including Britain, Australia, Canada, and Denmark, among
others, joined in later phases oI the operations. France deployed ground Iorces, sent
Mirage fghters to Kyrgyzstan, and sortied its carrier battlegroup, whose aircraIt few strike
missions. Germany sent Special Forces and personnel to train the AIghan police Iorce.
Among other contributions, Greece sent an engineering company; Jordan, a mine-clearing
team. A South Korean ship transported building materials to Diego Garcia. Norway and
the Netherlands scheduled F-16 deployments. Russia joined in the humanitarian assistance
eIIort. Spain and Sweden lent C-130s. Turkish naval vessels joined NATO`s counter-
terrorism Iorce in the Mediterranean. The 'foating coalition,¨ as General Franks once
called it, was no textbook alliance, but a powerIul Iorce against global terrorism.
All eIIorts were coordinated Irom Tampa. 'Specifcally at our headquarters over
here, we have more than 20 military liaison teams Irom 20 diIIerent nations,¨ General
Franks said in November. 'We meet with them every day. We discuss what our plans
are. We provide them intelligence and operations summaries. We ask that they be in
contact with each oI their capitals.¨
196
The coalition partnerships built Ior Operation Enduring Freedom paid oII not
just in AIghanistan, but in the wider war on terrorism. 'I would add that one oI the
important aspects oI what they`ve provided also is intelligence, and that has contributed
signifcantly to the pressure that exists on terrorist networks, not just in AIghanistan,
but elsewhere around the globe,¨ Secretary RumsIeld said.
197
Wrapping Up the Fight
AIter the Iall oI Kabul, attention turned to the last remaining centers oI Taliban resistance.
Some oI the players changed as new groups oI opposition Iorces swung into battle. But
the tactics that had been proven over the preceding two weeks remained the same. As
Army Vice ChieI oI StaII General John Keane put it, 'those population centers toppled as
the result oI a combined arms team: US air power and a combination oI Special Forces and
AIghan troops.¨
198
The Coalition stuck with its winning Iormula.
Airstrikes continued. They hit pre-planned targets such as cave complexes and
in Iar greater numbers, immediate targets such as a Taliban tank near Kandahar on
November 15 and an armored Iormation near Kunduz on November 18.
Fighting at Kunduz was intense. General Franks estimated there might be two
thousand to three thousand Taliban and al-Qaeda fghters in the Iray, and described

Kunduz as 'heavily inIested.with some oI the more hard-core people.¨
199
Operations
to 'liquidate¨ the Taliban became diIfcult when the Taliban contingent at Kunduz
petitioned the Northern Alliance to arrange a surrender and saIe passage Ior Ioreign
fghters. Mirroring their concern, President MusharraI oI Pakistan made it known he
wanted Pakistanis fghting with the Taliban to be allowed back to their native country.
'The situation in Kunduz and Kandahar remains the same, which is . a standoII,¨
StuIfebeem reported on November 20, although he likened it to the situation just
beIore the Iall oI Mazar-i-ShariI.
200

But this time there was a twist. That same day, the Northern Alliance halted
operations at Kunduz to allow three days oI negotiations. The air component backed
oII, too.
201
As it turned out, the negotiations worked. Over one thousand Taliban
fghters surrendered to the Northern Alliance. Six days later, Kunduz was occupied.
Opposition Iorces had now achieved most oI their goal oI ending Taliban rule over
AIghanistan. For the US-led Coalition, however, the global war on terrorism meant
that there was still another goal to pursue: tracking down the remaining Taliban and al-
Qaeda and fnding out more about the shadowy network by raiding its last redoubts.
General Franks was well aware oI the problems oI completing the destruction oI
the Taliban or even gauging what remained. The Taliban fghters had options. 'They
can go across a border and wait and come back. They can drop their weapons and
blend into the communities. They can go up in the mountains in the caves and tunnels.
They can deIect join the other side change their mind, go back,¨ Franks refected
at the end oI November.
202

The opening up oI AIghanistan gave USCENTCOM another grim but vital task:
to Ierret out sites that might have links to weapons oI mass destruction. Here was the
opportunity to ransack what was leIt oI certain al-Qaeda sites and learn more about their
organization, capabilities and Iuture plans. 'The frst thing that we did was take a look at
all oI the intelligence Ieeds, that we have had over a prolonged period oI time, over the
last two or three months, to get the potential locations oI WMD-related eIIorts,¨ General
Franks said. Coalition Iorces checked these areas site by site in a process known as
sensitive site exploitation or SSE. Several days later, General Franks announced: 'We`ve
Èä
An Air Force B-1B Lancer
crew chief from the 405th
Air Expeaitionary Wing
aocuments work in a
maintenance log at an Op-
eration Enauring Freeaom
location. (U.S. Air Force
photo by Staff Sgt. Shane
Cuomo)
identifed more than 40 places which represent potential Ior WMD research or things oI
that sort.¨
203
SSEs would now oIten drive the pace oI operations.
Humanitarian assistance remained a priority. Close cooperation between military
and non-governmental organizations also 'enabled the war and a major humanitarian
operation to go on at the same time,¨ said Deputy Assistant Secretary Collins. 'In Iact,
in the frst week oI November, beIore the apparent collapse oI the Taliban, UN World
Food Program deliveries doubled the pace oI their October deliveries, and their October
deliveries had been a record Ior the past Iew years.¨ By November 15, the number oI
rations delivered had exceeded the 1.5 million mark, and it kept growing.
204
The Fall of Kandahar
Finally, as November drew to a close, it was time to Iocus on Kandahar. Over three
hundred US Marines Irom the USS Peleliu and the USS Bataan helicoptered in to an
airfeld near the city on November 25. 'They are not an occupying Iorce,¨ Secretary
RumsIeld told Pentagon reporters. 'Their purpose is to establish a Iorward base oI
operations to help pressure the Taliban Iorces in AIghanistan |and| to prevent Taliban
and al-Qaeda terrorists Irom moving Ireely about the country,¨ he said.
205
Up to one
thousand Marines would soon be on the ground and preparing Ior new tasks.
The 15
th
Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Special Forces under Task Force
58, Seabees the Navy`s rapid-response construction crews and Australian Special
Operations Forces all had to move swiItly into the Kandahar airfeld now designated
Forward Operating Base Rhino. Getting them there with equipment and supplies
was the job oI airliIt. In Operation SwiIt Freedom, C-17s based in the region began
shuttling Iorces and Iuel to FOB Rhino. Dozens oI air deIense 'events¨ such as
anti-aircraIt artillery barrages and rocket launches had been noted by fight crews in
the FOB Rhino area. The C-17s few in at night, using night vision goggles (NVGs)
and a random, steep approach bolting down Irom 24,000 Ieet to the runway in a tight
corkscrew. On the ground they kept their engines running. One C-17 oII-loaded
87,000 pounds oI materiel in 14 pallets so Iast that it was ready Ior take-oII just three
minutes aIter it touched down.
206

È£
An E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Raaar System (Joint STARS) from
Robins Air Force Base, Ga., is unloaaea at a forwara aeployea area in support of
Operation Enauring Freeaom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tiffany Page)
It was all part oI bringing Iorce to bear on the last part oI AIghanistan with
substantial Taliban Iorces. General Franks noted the progress on November 27. 'We
have applied pressure to the city oI Kandahar, both Irom the North and Irom the South,
by tribal elements Southern tribal elements,¨ he said. The pressure was squeezing
the al-Qaeda hard as they realized AIghanistan was no longer a saIe harbor Ior them.
'We see evidence,¨ he added, 'that a great many people oI the non-AIghan type are
working very hard to get out oI Kandahar.¨ Franks underlined that the Coalition would
pursue them 'militarily the same way we have pursued the cities in the North, and
you`ve seen the result oI that.¨
207
Airpower and SOF teams closed the ring. SOF teams with the 'southern tribal
elements¨ had been edging closer since the middle oI November. Captain Amerine`s
team assisting Hamid Karzai was ready to take the city oI Tarin Kot, capital oI Uruzgan
province, 70 miles north oI Kandahar. To Karzai, Tarin Kot was the heart oI Taliban
country. 'I thought it would be a long time beIore we were ready to take Tarin Kot,¨
Amerine said. But Karzai 'was very confdent that he could just walk into the town
and it would be his.¨
208
Backed up by airpower, that was exactly what happened. Airstrikes hit Taliban
strongpoints as they were identifed. For example, two F-15Es fying out oI Kuwait
had been working in other areas oI AIghanistan Ior several hours and their mission
time was almost over. Then AWACS called them with a new target in Tarin Kot:
a Taliban headquarters building. The F-15Es could take out the target with LGBs,
but it would leave them critical on
Iuel. AWACS agreed to dispatch
them not one but two tankers Ior
post-strike reIueling, and the F-
15Es attacked the Tarin Kot target.
Their wing commander met them
on the ramp when they landed
to congratulate them on their
extraordinary 13-hour mission.
209

Next, Karzai sent word
to supporters in Tarin Kot and
they started a revolt in the town.
Karzai`s Iorces, and Captain
ÈÓ
Top Photo. Humanitarian Daily
Rations.
Bottom Photo. Footage showing
Nov. 9, 2001, airstrike on Taliban
military vehicles in a convoy with-
arawing from the recently capturea
Ma:ar-e-Sharif. Jisible on the left
siae of the screen are other Taliban
vehicles that were aestroyea or are
burning.
Amerine`s team with them, piled into a convoy and drove right into the town on
November 17. Then came warning that 'the Taliban had launched a massive group oI
people¨ Irom Kandahar to retake Tarin Kot. Amerine`s team set up an observation post.
Early the next morning, the Taliban convoy approached. His team`s air controller was
Sergeant 1
st
Class Daniel Petithory. He called in airstrikes. 'They completely mauled
that convoy,¨ Captain Amerine said. 'We saved that town.¨ The ability to turn back
the convoy with airpower greatly impressed the Pashtun tribes. The team directed
more airstrikes on other stray Taliban units Ior the next week, while Karzai continued
to talk to supporters and arrange deIections.
210

On December 1, Karzai`s Iorces moved Iorward to a town 30 miles Irom Kandahar.
There, the Taliban put up a fght at a bridge over a dry riverbed. For two days, airstrikes
dropped bombs on the Taliban concentration. Captain Amerine`s SOF Iorces got into
'a pretty heavy frefght¨ at one point. 'We pushed Iorward with my guys, bringing in
airstrikes as necessary,¨ he recalled.
211
Karzai`s Iorces were now in position to assault
Kandahar itselI.
Then, Ior this team, tragedy struck 'out oI the blue.¨ An errant bomb killed three
oI the team and wounded Captain Amerine and several other Americans and AIghans.
Karzai, who was Iarther away, took a cut in the Iace Irom shrapnel. Special Forces and
others in the area helped with rescues and helicopter evacuation oI dead and wounded
Americans and AIghanis alike. The helicopters were so heavy that the MH-53s and
an MC-130 were Iorced into a risky reIueling over downtown Kandahar at altitudes oI
ÈÎ
A RC-135J/W Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft receives 30,000 lbs of fuel from a
KC-135R Stratotanker auring an air refueling mission in support of Operation Enauring
Freeaom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. P.J. Farlin)
È{
a Iew hundred Ieet, all in broad daylight.
212
But the team had done its job and Iorged
Karzai`s irregular Iorces into a well-armed team who, with airpower support, could
deIeat the Taliban Iorces trying to deIend Kandahar. A new team replaced Amerine`s,
and the city Iell a Iew days later on December 4.
Coalition Airmen continued to press remnants oI Taliban and al-Qaeda in the area.
On one such mission, a Navy section oI F-14s bombed Taliban buildings. Then, the
Airman 1st Class 'Joshua,` an MH-53J Pave Low III helicopter crew chief from
the 16th Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Fiela, Fla., cleans the exterior of an
aircraft at an Operation Enauring Freeaom location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech.
Sgt. Scott Reea)
SOF controller contacted the F-14s to tell them Taliban vehicles were trying to move
out. 'We just rolled back in, looked down and saw these vehicles that looked like
circus cars with guys jumping out everywhere,¨ said Navy Captain Wright, one oI
the F-14 pilots fying that day. 'We were able to make another strike. Those Iorward
controllers are doing a great job.¨
213

With Kandahar Ior the most part in the Alliance`s hands, AIghanistan shook loose
Irom Taliban control. But the campaign to date had by no means eradicated all oI the al-
Qaeda and Taliban fghters in the country. As Taliban control oI AIghanistan collapsed,
the mountains became a reIuge again. Secretary RumsIeld had already anticipated that
the Coalition`s eIIorts 'will be shiIting Irom cities at some point to hunting down and
rooting out terrorists where they hide. This is diIfcult work,¨ he cautioned.
214
'I think
that we have seen anecdotally the instances where there were a lot oI Taliban Iorces in
Kandahar, and when they actually capitulated control oI Kandahar, there weren`t that
many Iorces to be Iound,¨ said Admiral StuIfebeem. 'And so you can make a pretty
good assumption there that there was some coordination done with individuals who
would pay Ior their escape,¨ he added.
215
Nearly every city that Iell repeated the same
pattern: a substantial number oI al-Qaeda and Taliban retreated, negotiated their way
out, or just slipped away. As a result, many oI the hard-core fghters were still at large
in AIghanistan.
The Land Component
In the midst oI this string oI successes came an important change in the conduct oI Operation
Enduring Freedom. For the frst time, a Coalition Iorces land
component was established, with Lieutenant General Paul
T. Mikolashek as its commander. In both Operation Desert
Storm and Operation Allied Force, the Commanders in ChieI
had not appointed a separate land component commander.
'So I was very happy to see in AIghanistan where Tommy
Franks created a Joint Force Land Component Commander,¨
said General Jumper.
216
CFLCC headquarters were at Camp
Doha, Qatar.
Standing up the land component signaled a change in
OEF Irom SOF Iorces calling airstrikes and maneuvering
opposition Iorces to a new phase oI searching out remnants
oI the al-Qaeda and exploiting sensitive sites. From
Èx
Bottom Photo. U.S. special forces troops
are using pack animals to carry equip-
ment as they work with members of the
Northern Alliance in Afghanistan auring
Operation Enauring Freeaom on Nov. 12,
2001. (DoD photo)
Top Photo. Hamia Kar:ai, Afghanistans
presiaent.
late October on, it was the SOF Iorces on the ground who were to all intents and
purposes the 'supported¨ Iorce Ior key engagements. In areas where the SOF were
not operating, the air component ran the show, helping in the hunt Ior key leadership
targets, Ior example. USCENTCOM held on to the authority to approve most airstrikes
on leadership and other critical targets. Now there were three main components air,
SOF and land at work in AIghanistan, each with headquarters in a diIIerent nation,
not to mention the continuing presence oI the CIA and other deIense agencies.
The fush oI rapid success obscured how diIIerent the war in AIghanistan was
Irom previous air and land component operations.
By the time the CFLCC stood up on November 20, 2001, the CAOC had been
prosecuting a successIul war Ior weeks. But both the SOF-centric style oI ground
operations and the complicated ROE Ior airstrikes were a big departure Irom normal
doctrine. As General Moseley explained, to strike a target, 'you had to either have
a JSOA stood up, or a killbox stood up, or targets outside oI that had to be blessed
through an elaborate process¨ reaching 'back to Tampa and in some cases back
to Washington.¨
217
The control was so tight that only pieces oI the AIghanistan
battlespace were 'open¨ Ior strikes at any one time. Airmen chaIed at the restrictions
when, Ior example, they caused them to miss opportunities to hit emerging targets.
Yet over time, the CAOC grew accustomed to the new style oI warIare and adept at
handling the intricacies oI the coordination process.
The land component did not have the advantage oI going through the same learning
curve on the rules oI engagement. Dozens oI JSOAs, killboxes, restricted areas, oII-
limits sites oI interest, and constant unknowns about Iriendlies created a jigsaw puzzle
oI battlespace control measures. It was all very diIIerent Irom the phase lines, corps
ÈÈ
An MC-130E Combat Talon I awaits the arrival of two MH-53J Pave Low III he-
licopters for a nighttime aerial refueling mission in support of Operation Enauring
Freeaom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Scott Reea)
boundaries and fre support coordination lines oI a doctrinally-conventional battlefeld.
In OEF, old doctrinal concepts oI control lines and area ownership did not apply.
On top oI that, it was hard to get a grasp oI the weak spots in the new style oI
warIare when Taliban-held cities were collapsing right and leIt. Two senior feld-
grade oIfcers who were specialists in air support observed some hiccups through
the Iall. Special Forces elements essentially competed with each other to have air
requests Iulflled, and each learned how to coax the CAOC into approving its requests.
Although the CFLCC was the supported commander in theater aIter mid-November
2001, he did not necessarily have much visibility into Special Forces` air requests
and how many bombs were being dropped on what targets. The lines oI control were
becoming tangled but it would take months Ior the consequences to show.
Taking Stock
The political landscape oI AIghanistan had changed immensely due to the victories
in November and early December. Airpower Irom the United States and its Coalition
partners enabled Northern Alliance Iorces to take back control oI their own country,
and to do so in less than two months. By December 20, the day beIore winter began,
AIghanistan had a new interim government under the leadership oI Hamid Karzai. All
major cities were Iree oI Taliban control.
Operation Enduring Freedom, in it peak phase, was never a large-scale war. The
total sortie count through the deIeat oI the Taliban in December was halI oI the tally Ior
Operation Allied Force in 1999, and nowhere near the massive eIIort oI the GulI War
in 1991. Despite the challenges, the Ieasibility oI the campaign was never seriously
in question. What made Operation Enduring Freedom unique was that in a war unlike
any other, joint airpower was able to start operations Iast and employ new tactics in a
harsh and politically complex environment.
Even in late October 2001, it scarcely seemed possible that the hard work oI
routing a wily and experienced Taliban Iorce on its own turI could be accomplished
by AIghans and Americans on horseback, assisted by a Iew hundred highly-trained
Americans on the ground, and fIty to one hundred strike sorties per day ingressing
Irom distant bases.
Yet this is exactly what happened. Aircrews made every strike count. They kept
collateral damage and bloodshed on all sides to a minimum. This time, there were
no extended shellings oI Kabul or Iailed assaults. Airpower enabled the Northern
Alliance to overcome the Taliban`s numerical advantages and their supply oI tanks,
artillery and vehicles, and retake the 80 percent oI AIghanistan once controlled by that
oppressive regime.
Looking back, the use oI airpower in Operation Enduring Freedom displayed
some Iascinating trends. First was the shiIt Irom pre-planned targets to almost total
reliance on non-Iragged targets. AIter weeks oI shuttling fghters and bombers into
AIghan airspace, the CAOC had refned its methods oI controlling XCAS and XINT.
It was a departure Irom traditional theater air control doctrine, but it served the needs
oI SOF Iorces on the ground. The teams working with opposition Iorces were widely
scattered and rarely got into 'troops-in-contact¨ situations.
Second, controllers and commanders used a blend oI precision and non-precision
munitions to get the eIIects they wanted. JDAMs were employed on a grand scale, but
laser-guided bombs remained important, as did the sheer impact oI strings oI Mk 82s
dropped on troop concentrations. Nothing looked more reassuring than the precision
ÈÇ
fre oI the 105 mm gun on the AC-130. 'My view is that this has been the most accurate
war ever Iought in this nation`s history,¨ said General Franks. 'I believe that the
precision oI this eIIort has been incredible.¨
218
Third, despite exceptionally long missions, the air component proved its persistence.
Firepower was always available. The Navy`s air bosses quickly learned to work their
deck cycles in sequence and so provided the majority oI fghters over AIghanistan.
Air Force fghters endured 10-15 hour missions. Bombers, blessed with the tactical
Ireedom oIIered by air superiority, stayed on orbit Ior Iour and fve hours at a time,
ready to drop a Iew JDAMs or a Iull load, as the situation required. Overlapping ISR
assets worked their tracks and boxes and a slew oI tankers kept the Iorce airborne.
Mobility Iorces supplied Iuel in the air and Iuel plus everything else on the ground.
Airpower had stretched itselI to the limit and made a victory possible.
Fourth, the air component enabled the joint Iorce to reach this most inaccessible
oI locations and sustain operations there. 'This is probably the frst time everything
to successIully fght a war on the ground has come in by air,¨ said Brigadier General
Vernon Findley, the Director Ior Mobility Forces (DIRMOBFOR). Soon there were
TALCEs at airfelds near Mazar-i-ShariI, Bagram and Kandahar. The air component
kept up a major humanitarian relieI eIIort while at the same time it was delivering
nearly all war materiel to surrounding bases by air.
219

To be sure, Coalition Iorces benefted Irom the relatively primitive air deIense
environment and the lack oI a well-trained, state-run military. They also could not push
the new tactics too Iar. General Moseley warned that as Iar as 'command and control
Èn
A leaa element of 45 Joraanian special forces solaiers stationea outsiae of Aman
arrivea in Ma:ar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enauring Freeaom.
They are here to establish ana proviae security for the hela hospital that will meet
basic clinical ana surgical neeas for people of northern Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force
photo by Staff Sgt. Cecilio Ricarao)
ș
and pushing airplanes up there, we can do this in AIghanistan but we`re not going to
be able to do it this way somewhere else. This is not scaleable.¨
220
Nevertheless,
the main achievement oI applying SOF and airpower tactics stood out. It proved the
validity oI a concept: US and allied airpower working eIfciently with local ground
Iorces to accomplish the combatant commander`s objectives.
'There have been battles Iought in AIghanistan Ior centuries,¨ pointed out retired
Vice Admiral Arthur Cebrowski, who was serving as Director oI the Pentagon`s OIfce
oI Force TransIormation. 'I don`t think any oI them have seen the speed, results, and
the speed oI eIIect that we have here.¨
221

Now the major tasks remaining were to help shore up Karzai`s interim government
and to keep an eye out Ior al-Qaeda and Taliban remnants who might threaten Coalition
Iorces and the stability oI the new AIghanistan.
An Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber, from the 28th Air Expeaitionary Wing at Diego
Garcia, takes off for a combat mission on Oct. 23, in support of Operation Enauring
Freeaom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Shane Cuomo)
Çä
Capt. Danny Stout, an air liaison ofhcer aeployea with the Armys 2-505 Parachute
Infantry Regiment of the 82na Airborne Division, guiaes A-10 Thunaerbolt IIs onto
his location in the mountains of Afghanistan. Stout, a B-52 Stratofortress pilot serving
a two-year tour with the Army, was part of the initial air assault into the hostile area,
where he immeaiately set up his raaio ana began talking with the hghter aircraft.
(U.S. Air Force photo by 2na Lt. Rebecca Garlana)
|äAºI| 1 º. Tora Bora to Anaconda
E
liminating remaining resistance and investigating sensitive al-Qaeda sites would
become the new Iocus oI Operation Enduring Freedom. In the process, the
joint Iorce components learned some painIul truths about their ability to work
together. The two major episodes were the 'caves and graves¨ campaign, beginning
at Tora Bora in mid-December 2001 and continuing at other sites through mid-January
2002, and the revealing Operation Anaconda in early March 2002.
Tora Bora
Tora Bora was a group oI caves and valleys on the zig-zag eastern border between
AIghanistan and Pakistan, about one hundred miles east oI the Khyber Pass. Mountain
peaks ranged Irom 5,000 to 13,000 Ieet. USCENTCOM had been keeping an eye
on Tora Bora Irom the beginning because it was a suspected bin Laden hide-out.
On October 9, Ior example, General Myers brieIed that unmanned Predators were
surveying the Tora Bora region.
223
Airstrikes had already targeted the cave complex
on several occasions, beginning early in the campaign. Now was the time to go aIter
this stronghold not least because rumor had it that bin Laden might be hiding there.
He had not been seen in public since November 10.
224
General Franks acknowledged
that there was a 'very interesting¨ hunt Ior leadership going on in 'the area between
Kabul and Khyber, to include the Jalalabad area and down toward Tora Bora.¨
225
Preparations Ior an attack began with stepped-up surveillance. General Franks said,
'we have worked through all oI the intelligence capabilities that we and our coalition
partners have involved in this eIIort, we have been able to watch a variety oI terrain and
undertake review oI a whole variety oI imagery and talk to an awIul lot oI people over
time,¨ and all signs pointed to paying 'very close attention¨ to Tora Bora.
226
Newly arrived in theater was the long-range reconnaissance UAV Global Hawk.
'Around the end oI November we started looking at the Tora Bora mountain region
because we had indications there Irom a variety oI sources that said Tora Bora was
where the bad guys were,¨ said Major David Hambleton, one oI the Global Hawk
liaison oIfcers at the CAOC.
227
Working the inIrared, electro-optical and synthetic
aperture radar sensors in spot mode, they assembled a collage oI two kilometer by
ºWc Iavc gonc inio iIis laiilc wiiI iIc inicni of
clininaiing iIc al-Qacda lcadcrsIi¡, clininaiing
iIc Talilan lcadcrsIi¡, and lcaving lcIind an
AfgIanisian iIai is frcc fron icrrorisis o¡craiing
in iIcir icrriiory. TIcrc is siill worl io lc donc in
iIai."
General Peter Pace, December 11, 2001
222
Ç£
ÇÓ
two kilometer images oI trails and caves in the area. They spotted al-Qaeda campfres
and 'could, on occasion, see people on trails.¨ The resolution was so good that one
imagery analyst told them they could see al-Qaeda on Ioot along with 'some on a Iour-
legged creature, but we don`t know iI it`s a camel or a horse.¨
228

Speculation on the number oI enemy Iorces at Tora Bora 'ranged Irom a Iew
hundred to a Iew thousand,¨ General Franks said. He had only about 1,300 soldiers,
Marines and Special Forces in AIghanistan at the time, and they were spread across 17
locations. The AIghans would thereIore be the main body oI the attack, as they had
been in the major battles oI November. 'It was AIghans who wanted to attack the Tora
Bora area,¨ Franks later said. 'We had Special Forces troops with those AIghans, to
be sure.¨
229

SOF and CIA teams worked their way into Tora Bora and began to call in
airstrikes.
230
On December 10, 2001, local AIghan time, Coalition Iorces began
their attack. USCENTCOM`s plan called Ior 'an approach up two parallel valleys,
with blocking Iorces at the ends oI those valleys.¨
231
Pakistan stationed thousands
oI troops on their western border at prime exfltration points to try to block al-Qaeda
and Taliban Irom escaping into Pakistan. 'As the AIghan Iorces moved to contact,
they encountered al-Qaeda and residual Taliban elements up in there,¨ General Franks
recounted.
232
AIghan Iorces began cave-to-cave searches, and US air controllers
brought heavy ordnance to bear.
As they poured on the pressure, the CAOC called on its ability to re-task ISR assets
in real time. In the early morning hours, Global Hawk was starting a mission when
the team 'got the word that every single target we had planned Ior was cancelled,¨ said
Major Hambleton. Global Hawk`s new orders Irom the CAOC were 'to go VFR direct
straight up to Tora Bora and start taking pictures. That was a complete change.¨
233
The
Global Hawk team worked fIty to one hundred new targets that night alone.
Fighters and bombers continued their strikes. One fight oI F-14s struck vehicles
and personnel in a wooded area, Ior example. From November 25 through December
The AC-130 gunships primary missions are close air support, air interaiction ana
force protection. (U.S. Air Force photo)
ÇÎ
16, Coalition Airmen dropped over 1,600 bombs, most oI them precision JDAMs, on
the Tora Bora complex.
234
AC-130s, sometimes cued by other sensors, zeroed in on
the al-Qaeda and Taliban Iorces. 'AC-130s, in Iact, were used the last couple oI days
in that same vicinity very eIIectively,¨ commented General Pace, adding, 'it`s a very
precise weapon system and they have been eIIective.¨
235
Day two oI the battle, December 11, saw use oI the 15,000-pound BLU-82 'daisy
cutter¨ bomb. 'We do know that it was targeted on troops¨ and their Iortifcations,
Pace announced. 'We do know that it exploded on target, and we do know that there
was eIIect.¨
236

Fighting continued as Northern Alliance Iorces worked their way through the
cave areas. From the start, oIfcials made clear that Taliban and al-Qaeda were still
escaping Irom the fght.
237
Pakistani soldiers captured a total oI about three hundred
feeing al-Qaeda and Taliban.
238
Control on the AIghan side oI the mountains was
not watertight. StuIfebeem pointed out that barter was common and 'allegiance can
be bought.¨
239
'There are multiple routes oI ingress and egress,¨ noted General Pace,
'so it is certainly conceivable that groups oI 2, 3, 15, 20 could |be| walking out oI
there.¨
240

Had bin Laden slipped through the net? 'A Iew days ago, we believed that he was
in that area,¨ said Admiral StuIfebeem, reIerring to Tora Bora. Then the all-source
intelligence Iaded. As StuIfebeem explained, 'you`re getting scraps oI intelligence
Irom all kinds oI sources: open press, interrogation oI detainees, people who walk
in and provide inIormation, other intelligence-gathering sources.¨ 'And now we`re
not as sure because we don`t have the same intensity oI the level oI traIfc Ior us to
monitor¨ bin Laden`s location.
241
Reports suggested that bin Laden himselI might
have leIt Tora Bora on December 16 and crossed the mountains into Pakistan, but
Secretary RumsIeld, Ior one, insisted reports oI bin Laden`s presence at Tora Bora
were 'not verifable.¨
242
Tora Bora seemed to be a turning point, and perhaps the last major ground engagement.
As General Bailey said, by that time, 'the Taliban had clearly changed their strategy to
one oI survival. They had ceased resistance. The bad thing was that once they ceased
armed resistance, the anti-Taliban Iorces |also| ceased attacking.¨
243
Opposition Iorces
had control oI the country. Surrenders behind lines, negotiations and even the escape
oI non-AIghan Iorces oI the
al-Qaeda did not change that
Iact. However, Ior the global
war on terrorism, there were
still broader objectives to
accomplish, and it was
risky to leave large numbers
A BLU-82 Commanao
Jault 15,000 pouna con-
ventional free-fall weapon
is preparea for loaaing.
(U.S. Air Force photo)
Ç{
oI al-Qaeda on the run. It would take more direct action by the Coalition to ensure
AIghanistan`s terrorist nests were cleaned out entirely. The standards were changing
and the pressure was building.
Success at Tora Bora was hard to measure. As General Franks put it, the 'pounding
we put into that area, the numbers oI caves and compound complexes that were
closed.make it virtually impossible to know how many were killed.¨ He believed
it was 'hundreds¨ and added that while he could not say he was satisfed with the
operation, he was satisfed with the decisions made to let the AIghans, rather than US
Iorces, 'go to work in the Tora Bora area.¨
244
From the air component`s perspective, there were Iew targets leIt to strike. The
Tora Bora operation marked a peak in weapons expenditures. AIter mid-December, the
call Ior munitions tapered oII dramatically. Fighters and bombers fying the long strike
missions were now routinely returning without having dropped any oI their bombs.
Special Forces continued sensitive site exploitation missions. When the intelligence
was rich enough, SOF and airpower targeted small al-Qaeda pockets like the one at
Zhawar Kili, another mountain cave site attacked and exploited in mid-January 2002.
Zhawar Kili operations marked the end oI the main phase oI air component activity
in Operation Enduring Freedom. AIter January 14, 2002, the eIIort scaled back. The
CAOC continued to provide on-call airpower as conditions dictated, while also running
Operation Southern Watch over Iraq.
January 2002 brought the start oI serious planning Ior potential operations in Iraq.
The air component was still heavily Iocused on a stepped-up campaign against air
deIenses in the no-fy zones. New activities in the Horn oI AIrica and in Yemen were
widening the war to a truly global Iocus.
Yet there was still a major battle ahead in AIghanistan and it was one that would
shock the military components and cause them to re-evaluate their plans Ior the Iuture
oI the global war on terrorism.
Operation Anaconda
'I would think that it would be a mistake to say that the al-Qaeda is fnished in
AIghanistan at this stage,¨ Secretary RumsIeld said aIter Tora Bora. 'They`re still in
pockets. They`re still fghting, in some cases.¨
245

One growing area oI concern was the Khowst-Gardez region on the eastern border
with Pakistan.
In February 2002, Central Command watched closely as the clot oI al-Qaeda
collected in the Khowst-Gardez region morphed Irom a Iorce on the run to a concentrated
threat. They 'started to get together in a place where they could have enough mass
to be eIIective,¨ said General Myers. 'And we`ve been Iollowing that, allowing it to
develop until we thought it was the proper time to strike.¨
246

In February, SOF teams were inserted to watch the region more closely.
247
They
also devised a plan Ior operations in the Khowst-Gardez region.
Meanwhile, the land component was starting to play a bigger role within
AIghanistan. Major General Buster Hagenback, Commander, 10
th
Mountain Division,
was designated as the CFLCC Forward and took command oI Task Force Mountain.
He began moving TF Mountain`s headquarters Irom Karshi Karnabad, Uzbekistan, to
Bagram airfeld, north oI Kabul, to set up a base Ior more operations in country.
General Hagenback`s command post was in the midst oI the move when the
SOF teams brought Iorward their initial plans Ior Operation Anaconda. Unlike other
Çx
operations to date, Operation Anaconda called Ior extensive use oI regular US Army
Iorces as well as AIghan Iorces to block and herd al-Qaeda and Taliban fghters holed
up in the hills oI Khowst-Gardez. The 'hammer and anvil¨ concept designated one
AIghan Iorce under the command oI Zia Lodin to move into the objective area, while
two other AIghan Iorces under the commanders Zakim Khan and Kamil Khan held
blocking positions to the south to seal oII the easy escape routes to Pakistan. Now 'we
had the 101
st
in town and the 10
th
Mountain there, we had plenty oI Iolks who could
lock those LOCs,¨ said one SOF planner.
248
Teams oI US Army Iorces would enter
the objective area oI the Shah-i-Kot Valley by helicopter and take up several blocking
positions on the mountain slopes above the three villages oI Marzak, Sirkankheyl and
Babukheyl, designated Objective Remington. SOF teams Irom the United States and
other nations including Australia would already be in position on several ridgelines.
Then, as Zia Lodin`s Iorces pushed into the valley, the al-Qaeda and Taliban Iorces
would be trapped. With US Army Iorces on the mountain slopes, they 'could put a
fsh net around all Iour sides,¨ said one oIfcer involved in the planning.
249
AIter that,
it would take just a Iew days to round them up.
General Mikolashek and General Hagenback heard their frst briefng on
Operation Anaconda when the CFLCC visited Bagram on February 17, 2002. The
special operators wanted to hand oII overall command and control oI the operation
to the CFLCC Forward because their command and control systems and operational
style were not suited to handling almost 1,500 regular army Iorces along with the
three AIghan Iorces. The plan as brieIed seemed straightIorward enough, and the land
component laid plans to execute Operation Anaconda at the end oI February.
But although no one knew it at the time, conIusion about the estimate oI enemy
Iorces and the Iast pace oI planning were a recipe Ior trouble.
The frst problem was that estimates oI enemy Iorces varied widely. That alone
was nothing new; participants called it 'Taliban math¨ because experience showed
that when intelligence said there would be a
thousand al-Qaeda troops, there might only be
a Iew hundred. The Iact was that estimates
oI enemy troop strength had varied widely in
nearly every major engagement oI Operation
Enduring Freedom, Tora Bora included. But
this time, the plan somehow adopted the very
lowest estimate. Apparently, TF Mountain had
Ior some reason narrowed its Iocus to counting
enemy fghters in a smaller geographic area.
Instead oI tabulating the enemy in the vicinity,
CJTF Mountain`s estimate defned the
number as those within Objective Remington.
Tracking since January cited the presence oI
one thousand to two thousand al-Qaeda and
Taliban in the Khowst-Gardez region. The
fnal plan Ior Operation Anaconda down-
Weapons cache in Shahi Koht.
näÇÈ
scoped the estimate and pegged it at about two hundred enemies in the objective area
oI the Shah-i-Kot Valley. That leIt no room Ior reckoning with the potential presence oI
hundreds more in adjacent areas. This major faw inevitably cast Operation Anaconda
in the light oI a swiIt, 72-hour round-up operation and leIt little margin Ior error.
Equally serious, the air component got late notice about the plan, leaving no
opportunity to bring the Iull Iorce oI air and space power to bear in advance. Lower-
level contacts between TF Mountain and the CAOC began around February 20, but
General Moseley himselI was not brieIed on Operation Anaconda until February 25. As
a result, there was not Iull coordination between the components. AirliIt requirements,
Iuel Ior Army helicopters staging the operation out oI Bagram, close air support
procedures, pre-strike targeting and other essential items oI support were leIt to the
very last minute. Some requirements were never Iormally defned. General Moseley
had the air component 'scrambling just to fgure out how to get the airplanes into the
airspace¨ over the Shah-i-Kot valley so they could deliver on-call frepower to the
lightly-equipped ground Iorces.
250
Also, there was not enough inIormation available
Irom TF Mountain to put together a 'collection deck¨ and get the Iull beneft oI scans
by ISR assets beIore the operation. In contrast to the days oI bombing at Tora Bora,
less than ten fxed targets were approved Ior airstrikes prior to Operation Anaconda.
Finally, the connections between OEF-style airpower and TF Mountain`s
conventional land Iorces, which were relatively new to the theater, had not been
tested. The 18 special operations teams taking part in Operation Anaconda had highly-
trained and well-equipped controllers, and the CAOC and the SOF teams had honed
their cooperation in Operation Enduring Freedom. The SOF teams would be with
the AIghan Iorces and in other strategic overlook locations. TF Mountain was also
sending in a dozen or more tactical air control parties with the teams seizing blocking
positions above Objective Remington. They were not all equipped with the latest gear
or training, which concerned General Moseley.
Thirty or more SOF and TF Mountain teams would be operating in a tiny battle
area only a Iew miles wide with their sight lines to each other blocked by the ridges and
valleys oI the rugged terrain. CJTF Mountain handed the operation on short notice
Capt. Stephen Roarigue:, 99th Expeaitionary Reconnaissance Squaaron, prepares to
lana his U-2 Dragonlaay after a mission supporting Operation Enauring Freeaom.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Reynalao Ramon)
ÇÇ
on February 17, 2002 had never built up the ASOC structure needed to process a
high volume oI CAS requests. As a result, 'you had a division level headquarters with
corps-like responsibilities with a brigade size Iorce,¨ as Longoria put it, and no ASOC to
prioritize and deconfict.
251
At the last minute, the air component rushed to put a skeleton
crew oI a Iew individuals in place in the command center at Bagram to help TF Mountain
coordinate air support to the troops in the Shah-i-Kot Valley.
In the end, concerns about shortIalls in planning did not stop the operation Irom
moving Iorward. The plan was brieIed to General Franks on February 26 during
a video teleconIerence. He approved it. Commanders who were present Ior the
conIerence discussed their outstanding concerns, but the intent to wrap it up in three
days categorized Operation Anaconda as a relatively low-risk undertaking. That
aIternoon, Iorecasts oI low visibility led to a two-day weather delay because the assault
helicopters could not operate saIely in low visibility conditions.
Battle Begins
Operation Anaconda began on March 2, 2002. Trucks carrying Zia Lodin`s 450 AIghan
troops plus US and Coalition Special Forces toward the Shah-i-Kot Valley took the
lead. Then the convoy suddenly came under heavy fre. One American soldier was
killed by an oII-target AC-130 gunship, although at the time, all present thought they
had been hit by al-Qaeda mortar rounds. Lodin`s attack stalled.
In the next phase oI the attack, US Apache helicopter gunships raked the landing
sites above Objective Remington, taking a number oI hits. Then the CH-47 Chinook
helicopters air assaulted in the frst waves oI troops Irom the 10
th
Mountain Division
and the 101
st
Airborne division. All told, 1,411 Army soldiers hit the ground over the
next Iew days. The frst to land were under attack Irom the start. 'There were many
bad people shooting very big caliber weapons at them,¨ said Major Bryan HilIerty oI
the 10
th
Mountain Division.
252

South oI Sirkankheyl, a small detachment Irom the 101
st
Airborne also met ferce
opposition. Their commander, Colonel Frank Wiercinski, said: 'We survived three
mortar barrages during the day and at one point we had nine or ten al-Qaeda coming to
do us, but instead, we did them.¨
253

The ground Iorces had landed in an al-Qaeda sanctuary. Al-Qaeda fghters were
dispersed in small groups sized Irom as Iew as three men to as many as a score or
more. Their numbers were Iar greater than predicted. Some sheltered in the cave
system while others occupied prepared positions on the mountain ridges. As Coalition
Iorces later Iound, the strongpoints were well supplied with weapons brought in over
the preceding months.
On the ground, soldiers regrouped and air controllers fooded the command cell
at Bagram with requests Ior airstrikes. Fighters and bombers held in tracks oIIset a
Iew miles Irom the battlefeld while the CAOC directed them onto targets in sequence.
Major Pete Donnelly, an Air Liaison OIfcer with the 10
th
Mountain Division, was with
the small air support cell at Bagram. 'It was nuts,¨ he said oI the activity the frst day. 'It
was non-stop and it went Ior about 24 hours. A lot oI our guys, the ones who hit Ginger,
were in close combat Ior about 18 hours. We pushed them everything we had.¨
254

Apache helicopters dove into the Iray taking multiple hits Irom RPGs and small
arms. They limped back to Bagram with battle damage so heavy that six oI the eight
were not combat-ready by the end oI the day. An immediate request went out Ior Marines
on the USS Bonhomme Richara to lend fve AH-1 Cobras to TF Mountain Ior the fght.
Çn
The air component was the sole source oI heavy frepower. On day one oI
Operation Anaconda, the precision weapons (JDAM and GBU-12s) delivered Ior
immediate CAS averaged out to over six bombs per hour, or one every 10 minutes.
Actual drops ebbed and fowed with the ground situation, but continued day and night.
AIternoon was the peak time, with 64 precision weapons released by bombers and
fghters Irom 1300 to 1800 local time. Two B-52Hs dropped strings oI 27 Mk 82s on
troops in the open and on a ridgeline Ior a total oI 54 non-precision bombs dropped on
D-Day, all as immediate CAS. The situation was so desperate that controllers called
on two F/A-18Cs, ScarIace 73 and 74, to straIe enemy fring positions, making three
passes and delivering Iour hundred rounds oI 20mm cannon apiece just as darkness
closed in. That night, AC-130 gunships attacked targets with 40mm and 105mm guns
while also passing coordinates on to other strikers.
255

'Day one or day two, I`m not happy now with what we`re seeing,¨ General Moseley
recalled. First, Moseley and General Mikolashek spoke about areas oI mutual concern,
including the 'absolute requirement¨ Ior better target ID and target coordinates,
generating additional strike targets, prioritizing CAS, and the problems caused because
not all GFACs had the equipment to determine precise target coordinates.
256
'No plan
ever survives the frst encounter with the enemy,¨ one senior oIfcer commented, 'and
this plan changed 180 degrees.¨
257
It took concentrated airpower and smart tactical
decisions by the soldiers on the ground to hang on Ior the frst three days. CJTF
Mountain extricated teams in grave trouble, and then committed the theater reserve to
beeI up blocking positions. The air component also made some quick changes, sending
experienced pilots to Bagram to help manage air support, making sure that aircraIt had
mixed weapons loads to better serve ground controllers` needs, and moving A-10s into
place to help out as airborne controllers and strike platIorms.
Takur Gar
For US Iorces, the worst was yet to come, as seven died in ferce fghting during
attempted helicopter insertions near a mountaintop called Takur Gar on March 4.
The ridge at Takur Gar commanded a view oI the entire Shah-i-Kot valley. Below
it was Objective Ginger, the last oI the original blocking positions still not in US hands.
Special Forces were on top oI the ridge to help with airstrikes and reconnaissance. But
on Takur Gar`s shaded side, three Ieet oI new snow masked hardened sites where al-
Qaeda fghters were ready to put up deadly resistance. The snow canopied on a pine
tree and flled in Iootprints that might have revealed the presence oI the enemy Iorce.
First to discover the al-Qaeda nest was a SOF team Irom an independent task Iorce
trying to insert troops under cover oI darkness. One helicopter was hit through the
hydraulic lines, and withdrew hastily. A Navy SEAL, Petty OIfcer Roberts, Iell Irom
the back oI the helicopter and later died oI a bullet wound while fghting on the ground.
'This was a stealthy infl|tration| to an outpost. And you don`t want to put a whole
lot oI stuII in there to tell the enemy you`re coming,¨ explained a military oIfcial, an
Army aviator later commissioned by General Franks to report on the battle.
258

Tactical surprise was gone. The damaged helicopter crash-landed seven kilometers
away, while a second helicopter picked up the team and took them back to save Roberts.
Now it was a rescue not a long mission and they needed to move Iast. To get
back to Roberts, the team 'dropped much oI their equipment to lighten them up¨ and
returned to the ridge 'taking just their combat gear and additional ammunition,¨ said
the military oIfcial who studied the battle Ior Franks.
259
AIter re-insertion, the team
Ǚ
on the ground picked their way Iorward up the steep mountain over a period oI two and
a halI hours to reach Roberts. In the process they called on an AC-130 and two F-15Es
Ior support and one unleashed a fve hundred-pound LGB on the ridge.
While one F-15E reIueled on an aerial tanker track 20 miles away, two more
helicopters were on their way to the scene. A quick reaction unit Irom Bagram Air
Base with combat search and rescue specialists and rangers was summoned to aid the
trapped team. The CH-47 dubbed Razor 1 landed 'about 50 meters Irom that bunker
at the top,¨ said the military oIfcial.
260
An RPG took oII the rear rotor, dropping
the Chinook onto the mountain. Another RPG killed the right-side gunner. Four died
instantly, and several more were wounded. Among the dead was Senior Airman Jason
Cunningham. Surviving aircrew and the soldiers Irom the 1
st
Battalion, 75
th
Rangers,
set up deIensive positions 150 Ieet Irom one oI the snow-concealed bunkers. But the
downed helicopter, now a reIuge Ior the wounded, made an eye-catching target. An
attack on the bunker uphill, in snow Iailed, leaving close air support as the only
immediate recourse.
With the team was Combat Controller StaII Sergeant Gabe Brown, callsign Slick
01. 'All I kept thinking was we needed close air support and we needed it now,¨
Brown recalled. 'My job was to concentrate on bringing in the bombs to knock out
the enemy, and I knew I needed to do it Iast.¨
261
AIter getting communications up and speaking with a Iellow controller two miles
away, Brown contacted the F-15Es. When Sergeant Brown saw the enemy fre, he
realized they were too close to risk using LGBs. Still, Brown had to do something.
During nighttime air strikes over an operating location in support of Operation En-
auring Freeaom, an F-15E Strike Eagle moves into the pre-contact position to refuel
from a KC-135R Stratotanker from the 319th Air Expeaitionary Group. (U.S. Air
Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Scott Reea)

They were already two hours into the fght. 'II we couldn`t kill the bunker, we were
going to be surrounded,¨ said Brown.
262

Sergeant Brown told the F-15Es, 'we have enemy troops 75 meters away.I
need guns only!¨ No F-15E had ever used its gun in combat Ior close air support.
Fortunately, the pair oI F-15Es fying CAP that morning was led by Major Chris Short,
a pilot with plenty oI CAS experience Irom three years oI fying the A-10. All Sergeant
Brown and the F-15Es could target was a single pine tree, the lone visual reIerence
both could sight. Brown called it the bonsai tree.
263
Even with common visual reIerences, the F-15E`s job was tough. Major Short
had only a Iew seconds to target and fre Ior the strafng run beIore he had to pull up
or hit the ground. Two passes Iailed to line up, and Sergeant Brown waved the F-15E
oII. On pass three, Major Short put a one-second burst oI about one hundred rounds
into the enemy position. Snow few and pine splintered. It was a direct hit.
264
'The
noise was just like it sounds in the movies,¨ Brown remembered. 'You could smell the
burning pine oII the trees and see the snow kicking oII the ground.¨
265

But LGBs and JDAM soon proved their value, too. Throughout the day fghters
and bombers provided close air support as the team on the ground held oII the al-
Qaeda Ior Iourteen hours. Brown estimated he made 30 calls Ior air support. At last,
darkness Iell and another helicopter extracted them.
Delivering Close Air Support
The battle at Takur Gar epitomized the persistence oI close air support. In Iact, Ior
the air component, one oI the big concerns was preventing mid-air collisions. The
battlespace was 'extremely constrained,¨ Major General John Corley, CAOC Director,
said later. At times the CAOC had 'B-52s at higher altitudes dropping JDAMs; B-1s at
lower altitudes; unmanned vehicles such as Predator fying through there; P-3s, aircraIt
contributing to the ISR assets; helicopters down at the ground; Iast-moving aircraIt, F-
14s, F/A-18s, F-16s, F-15Es; tanker aircraIt that are fying through there. So you begin
to see and sense the degree oI diIfculty oI deconfiction,¨ Corley explained.
266
On top
oI all this 'we had three civil air routes opened up,¨ added General Moseley.
267
AirliIt also helped keep the Army in the fght. The Iuel situation at Bagram was
critical. General Scott, the DIRMOBFOR, Iound his team reacting to the surging Army
requirements. 'They immediately started pushing requirements aIter the hostilities
began,¨ General Scott said. 'That became the number one prioritysustaining
Anaconda.¨ Most oI the pop-up requirements were Ior more ammunition. A continual
fow oI airliIt kept passengers and supplies moving back and Iorth Irom Kandahar to
Bagram. 'We were reIragging |changing tasks| missions leIt and right,¨ Scott said.
268

To build up and sustain the Army at Bagram, 'We gathered up every available fying
resource that we could in that part oI the world,¨ said General Corley, including some
oI the Vice President`s C-17s being used Ior his trip to the region and Marine KC-
130s.
269
By then, changes were taking hold. 'What we had was a better understanding
and arrangement oI activities at Bagram,¨ said General Moseley. That 'cleaned up the
misperception and conIusion relative to who they could talk to, what systems were up,
what was the ROE, etc.¨
270
One improvement was the use oI strike aircraIt as FAC-As.
During earlier phases oI Operation Enduring Freedom, joint fghter and attack aircraIt
oIten worked as airborne FACs, but the rushed air planning Ior Operation Anaconda had
not provided Ior this additional control measure. 'I was a big time traIfc cop out there,¨
said A-10 pilot Colonel Mark Coan, 'just trying to direct people and keep people Irom
running into each other, keeping JDAMs Irom dropping through people.¨
271

Another improvement was designating engagement zones and pre-planned targets
aligned with TF Mountain`s top priorities. Pre-planned targets allowed XCAS aircraIt
to drop bombs even when controllers did not have immediate requests. As a result,
the number oI bombs recorded as pre-planned XCAS increased steadily. AIter March
10, 2002, XCAS strikes on pre-planned DMPIs outnumbered immediate strikes Ior the
rest oI Operation Anaconda.
Most telling oI all, the air component continued to deliver round-the-clock close
air support. Air Force and Navy/Marine Corps aircrew mission reports told a very
consistent story oI close cooperation, repeated eIIorts to fnd and strike targets, and
strikes that generally satisfed the controllers` requests. One ETAC later reported that
weapons were dropped Irom as close as one hundred meters to no more than three
hundred meters away. 'They dropped one at 100 meters and this huge piece oI faming
metal few over our heads, went halIway down the hill, blew up and started a big fre.
We thought that was a little close,¨ the ETAC later said.
272
There were Irustrations Ior
the aircrews, too, such as having to break oII search or attack eIIorts and 'bingo out¨
due to Iuel; occasional episodes oI not getting clearance due to other aircraIt in the
area; and spotting targets that Ior some reason were not approved Ior strike, because oI
Iriendlies in the area or TST rules, Ior example.
Close air support had helped TF Mountain and the Special Forces teams stay in
the fght. Now it would strike al-Qaeda concentrations and help ground troops close
in on the fnal objectives.
Seizing Objective Ginger
CJTF Mountain still had one major
task to complete: seizing Objective
Ginger, to lace up control oI the
valley. By March 5, soldiers were
gearing up to renew the assault.
With US ground Iorces pinning the
al-Qaeda, precise airstrikes delivered
heavy blows. Those not killed by the
bombing could be picked oII as they
emerged Irom caves and hideouts.
New estimates oI enemy strength
were taken into account in gearing
up to bring combat operations to a
close. As General Myers said in the

Top Photo. Troops aisembark as
part of Operation Anaconaa.
Bottom Photo. B-52s proviae Close
Air Support.

middle oI the operation, 'beIore we went in there, we heard everywhere Irom 200 to
several thousand. We think there were hundreds. And what`s leIt, we think, is a small
part oI that, but it`s still going to take some time to fgure that out.¨
273
The fnal assault to take Objective Ginger created the two heaviest days oI bombing
in Operation Anaconda. AIter a brieI weather delay, soldiers were in position, and the
assault began with airstrikes Irom fghters, bombers, gunships and Army and Marine
attack helicopters throughout the early evening hours oI March 9, 2002. Ground
Iorces then pushed Iorward and had Objective Ginger in their hands by mid-morning
on March 10, 2002. Fresh groups oI AIghan Iorces captured the key points in the
Shah-i-Kot Valley and linked up on the morning oI March 12. Weary ground soldiers
began to withdraw back to Bagram. The al-Qaeda cluster was gone. Other teams,
aided by a contingent Irom the Canadian Forces Princess Patricia light brigade, started
sensitive site exploitation oI the area. By March 16, Operation Anaconda was over.
'Thank goodness Ior the bravery oI those soldiers that we were able to take the fght to
the enemy and be successIul here,¨ said General Myers.
274
Fighting and Learning
Eight Americans died in Operation Anaconda and eighty were wounded.
275
Yet it was
ultimately a success. 'Operation Anaconda sought to clear the enemy in that valley
area and in those hills,¨ General Franks said a month later, 'and succeeded in doing so
where many operations in history had not been able to get that done.¨
276

Persistent and precise close air support proved its mettle under emergency
conditions. In this sense, Operation Anaconda was a powerIul harbinger. The density
oI airstrikes topped even Tora Bora. Never beIore had Coalition aircraIt delivered so
many precision weapons and stunning air-burst Mk 82s into such a small area,
and so close to Iriendly troops. The intensity oI strikes in Operation Anaconda`s
battlespace surpassed that oI Operation Desert Storm a decade earlier. On February
25, 1991 (D¹1 Ior the ground war, Day 39 Ior the air war), Coalition aircraIt few 140
strike sorties (both interdiction and CAS) against the armored Republican Guard`s
Tawakalna Division and 12
th
Armored Division in Killbox AE6. This was the single
highest number oI airstrikes against any killbox during the ground war. Yet iI each
strike sortie delivered six weapons, Killbox AE6 took 840 bombs that dayor an
average oI .93 bombs per square mile. In Operation Anaconda, the 64-square mile area
took an average oI 253 bombs per dayor about 3.9 bombs per square mileabout
Iour times the peak intensity seen in this example Irom Operation Desert Storm.
277
Operation Anaconda leIt no doubt that the air component could perIorm, but
also that no one would want to take on a big fght in Iraq with the poor component
coordination oI Anaconda.
Senior military leaders wanted to learn all they could about the successes and
Iailures oI Operation Anaconda and apply the lessons quickly beIore the next major
operation.
At the tactical level, job one was to improve and standardize equipment and training
Ior those calling in airstrikes. Yet as General Jumper pointed out, the execution oI
close air support by the air component was not the problem. 'We know how to do
close air support at the tactical level,¨ he said. At the operational level, the 'giant
lesson learned,¨ according to Jumper, was that 'we absolutely positively must have
the right interIaces at the operational level oI war.¨ Planning and execution depended
directly on the relationships between the components. Operation Anaconda brought

that into Iocus. In the Iall oI 2002, all Army and Air Force Iour-stars met to make sure
'we both understand each other`s business better than we have.¨
278
In battle, General Moseley said, 'there is always going to be a captain or a lieutenant
that couldn`t fnd their tactical air,¨ and so on. In the heat oI battle 'they`re Irustrated, so
|to them| the sky is Ialling and this whole thing is just totally screwed up.¨ 'That lesson
learned is no diIIerent than the lesson learned Irom . the Peloponnesian wars,¨ he went
on, because 'at the actual place oI the engagement, it`s conIusing. It always will be.¨
Good equipment, good training and good communications could improve the situation
immensely but would never make it perIect. Large-scale improvement depended on
the higher-level commanders themselves, Ior 'at the operational and strategic level,¨
he reiterated, 'it is an issue oI orchestration: planning and execution.¨
279
'Those sorts oI things are the things that got corrected Ior Iraq,¨ General Jumper
fnished.
280

B-1B Lancer from the 28th Air Expeaitionary Wing receives fuel at from a KC-10A
Extenaer from the 60th Air Expeaitionary Group auring a bombing mission in sup-
port of Operation Enauring Freeaom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Cearic H.
Ruaisill)
n{
An F-15C hghter pilot ana crew chief communicate through a short-range raaio
about the status of the aircraft auring a run-aown of the manaatory checklists prior
to take off on March 16, 2003, in support of Operation Southern Watch at a forwara
aeployea location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen)
nx
|äAºI| 1 I. Eyes on Iraq
I
raq had been on President Bush`s mind Irom the beginning. 'Today, we Iocus on
AIghanistan, but the battle is broader,¨ he had said on October 7, 2001. 'Every
nation has a choice to make. In this confict, there is no neutral ground. II any
government sponsors the outlaws and killers oI innocents, they have become outlaws
and murderers themselves. And they will take that lonely path at their own peril.¨
At the time, although President Bush spoke those words with Iorce and meaning,
no one was ready to take on other battles. 'Obviously, there were some who discussed
Iraq,¨ he later recalled in an interview. But dealing with Iraq was, in his mind, 'out oI
the question¨ until AIghanistan was no longer a saIe haven.
282
Now, with operations
in AIghanistan winding down, attention shiIted to Iraq.
As General Franks saw it, there was no question that Iraq was a strategic threat.
Since 'the end oI the GulI War, we have seen no evidence that Saddam Hussein was
willing to undo his weapons oI mass destruction program,¨ he testifed in mid-February
2002. 'So he had the interest, and he continues to have the interest. And I believe,¨
continued Franks, 'were there no other reason to characterize Iraq as a strategic risk,
I would do so. In my opinion, this pursuit oI weapons oI mass destruction is a great
threat to a great many nations on this planet.¨
283

As a report Irom the Center Ior Strategic and International Studies summed up a Iew
weeks later, 'Iraq is the only major recent user oI weapons oI mass destruction.¨
284
President Bush himselI told a television interviewer in April 2002: 'I made up my
mind that Saddam Hussein needs to go.¨
285

The Challenge
Iraq presented two problems. First, the post-GulI War inspections that had been
intended to rid Iraq oI weapons oI mass destruction had not been carried to completion.
In April 1991, the United Nations passed Resolution 687. Resolution 687 was, 'in
eIIect, a conditional cease-fre, outlining an extensive plan Ior the disarmament oI
Iraq,¨ as a Stockholm International Peace Research Institute report aptly described it.
Iraq would remain under strict international sanctions until the UN certifed it to be
clear oI weapons oI mass destruction. From 1991 through 1994, UNSCOM supervised
the destruction oI large quantities oI chemical weapons components, including 28,000
munitions already loaded with chemical agent.
286

The tally oI biological weapons fnally declared by Iraq was astonishing. Between
1985 and 1990, Iraq had Iabricated 25 biological weapon missile warheads and 166
ºFor a ¡criod of aloui a ycar, a grcai dcal of
inicnsc ¡lanning and a grcai dcal of wIai-iffng
ly all of us Ias gonc inio iIis."
General Tommy Franks, March 22, 2003
281

Iour hundred-pound aerial bombs 'flled with anthrax, botulinum toxin, or afatoxin.¨
Raw supplies included about 20,000 liters oI botulinum toxin solution; 8,425 liters oI
anthrax solution; and 220 liters oI afatoxin. Iraq also admitted researching other virus
strains. In all, Iraq had run 18 major biological weapons sites beIore the GulI War.
One report described them as 'nondescript,¨ with 'no guards or visible indications
they were a military Iacility.¨
287

The Iraqis and the inspectors played cat and mouse. Until 1995, Iraq staunchly
denied that it had a biological weapons program. Then, in August oI that year,
inspectors got one oI their biggest breaks when General Hussein Kamel, Iraq`s Minister
oI Industry and Minerals with responsibility Ior all Iraq`s weapons programs, deIected
to Jordan. Iraq retracted previous declarations and owned up to an extensive biological
weapons program and in-depth research on long-range missiles. The missile research
was still active. In November, Jordan turned back a shipment oI missile components
headed Ior Iraq. UNSCOM inspectors also dredged up more missile components
dumped in the Tigris River.
288

Tips Irom deIectors led the inspectors to more documents. As late as August 1997,
Iraq was believed to have 79 civilian Iacilities in existence that could be quickly used
Ior biological weapons manuIacturing. While waiting to enter one site in September
1997, UNSCOM inspectors videotaped Iraqis burning and dumping fles. Inspectors
had personally witnessed the destruction oI only a small Iraction oI the chemical,
biological and missile capabilities Iraq eventually declared to the UN. Iraq`s next
tactic was to designate new 'presidential¨ sites and then declare these oII-limits.
289
Despite a visit to Baghdad by UN Secretary General Kof Annan to meet with Saddam
Hussein in February, the situation deteriorated Iurther in 1998. That Iall, Iraq ceased
cooperation with UNSCOM entirely.
In December 1998, the United States and Britain joined in Operation Desert Fox.
Airstrikes and TLAMs hit key targets in southern Iraq, including air deIense sites,
Republican Guards headquarters and suspected WMD manuIacturing or storage areas.
President Clinton said at the time, 'leIt unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these
terrible weapons again.¨
290

That leIt the question oI what kind oI arsenal Iraq might have retained and the
question oI whether Iraq was still actively working on weapons oI mass destruction.
Inspectors believed Iraq was Iree oI fssile material. However, all along, Iraq insisted
on keeping together the teams oI scientists and experts Irom the weapons programs.
Most oI these key personnel remained in Iraq.
In August 2000, the CIA told Congress that aIter Desert Fox, 'Baghdad again
instituted a reconstruction eIIort on those Iacilities destroyed by the US bombing,
to include several critical missile production complexes and Iormer dual-use CW
production |sites|.¨ The CIA demurred that it had 'no direct evidence¨ oI renewed
Iraqi WMD programs, but said that 'given past behavior, this type oI activity must
be regarded as likely.¨ The CIA then went on to describe Iraq`s eIIorts to build short-
range missiles and convert Czech L-29 jet trainers into UAVs.
291

The United Nations stated that Iraq 'has the capability to reinitiate both its chemical
weapons and biological weapons programs within a Iew weeks to months, but without
an inspection monitoring program, it is diIfcult to determine iI Iraq had done so.¨
Since Iraq retained a large pool oI experts and some non-weapons grade uranium,
restarting a nuclear bomb program was also a possibility, especially iI Iraq could
import fssile material clandestinely. Former UN chieI weapons inspector David Kay

explained in January 2001, 'I think everyone that I know oI in the community agrees
that iI the Iraqis had the nuclear material, highly-enriched uranium or plutonium, they
would have a weapon in less than a year.¨ 'The explosive manuIacturing and missile
program has gone ahead,¨ Kay added.
292
Four years with no inspections made it
impossible to know what Saddam had done with his weapons programs.
On top oI this, the second problem was the potential Ior links between Iraq and
the al-Qaeda or other terrorists. It was Osama bin Laden himselI who frst made the
connection in 1998 when he cited the no-fy zones over Iraq as one oI the reasons Ior
his fatwa calling Ior the killing oI Americans. His 1999 support Ior the Islamic Bomb
was another worrying note. Hezbollah terrorist Abu Nidal also turned up dead in
Baghdad. Tenet told the Senate Armed Service Committee in March 2002: 'There is
no doubt there have been contacts or linkages to the al-Qaeda organization.¨
293

Saddam had an unprecedented track record oI aggression and a unique history oI
using outlawed weapons. His regime`s illicit weapons programs Iocused on the most
lethal agents and toxins. Added to that was his record oI brutality to his own people.
The risks oI weapons oI mass destruction and terrorist connections were too strong to
ignore. The bottom line was iI Saddam`s Iraq was or could become a 'saIe harbor¨ Ior
terrorists then his control oI that proud and ancient country had to end. It was the only
way to make sure that al-Qaeda could never use Iraq`s resources against Americans
and their allies at home or abroad.
USCENTCOM`s War Plans
The real possibility that Iraq still had biological or chemical weapons was one oI
several key assumptions that infuenced USCENTCOM`s deliberate planning process.
Throughout 2002 and early 2003, the core strategy Ior war in Iraq did not change
signifcantly. What did shiIt several times, and right up until the war began was
how the confict would start and how the air, land, and special operations components
would weave together their combat power.
USCENTCOM kept an active war plan on its shelves. It was validated by periodic
war game exercises known by the codename Internal Look. The names had not changed
since General Norman SchwarzkopI had reviewed the plans in 1990 during Internal
Look exercises beIore the frst GulI War. A decade later, the USCENTCOM war plans
still concentrated on countering possible attacks by Iraq into Kuwait.
The agenda Ior the global war on terrorism called Ior something more: regime
change. 'There was a conscious eIIort to switch to looking at the removal oI the
regime,¨ said one USCENTCOM planner.
294
USCENTCOM`s job was to lead a Coalition to depose Saddam`s regime. General
Franks outlined the basic objectives: 'Eliminate Saddam`s regime through the
destruction oI his security apparatus using direct attack by US/Coalition Iorces.¨ A
second and equal objective was to 'eliminate Iraq`s WMD threat to its neighbors.¨ For
General Franks, the desired endstate oI military operations in Iraq would be:
% Regime change;
% Death, incarceration or Ioreign fight oI Saddam; and
% Removal oI Iraq`s capability to employ WMD.
nn
Added to this, USCENTCOM wanted to avoid targeting Iraq`s inIrastructure and
population. Hanging over it all was a hope that key military leaders in the Republican
Guards and regular army could be convinced to give up the fght early.
General Franks` objectives necessitated a campaign to gain control oI the whole
oI Iraq. But USCENTCOM also had to accomplish other objectives, like nabbing
the WMD threat, at the same time. Few guessed that the Iraq campaign was going to
throw out old concepts oI campaign shaping and phasing. For Iraq, as Ior AIghanistan,
the shape oI the plan would depend on non-linear, non-contiguous, non-sequential
operations all across Iraq, and with that, a very high degree oI coordination amongst
the components. It would also depend on making Iull use oI every advantage air and
space power could give the Coalition.
USCENTCOM`s initial planning began in January 2002. All plans were driven
by conditions that diIIered greatly Irom the GulI War oI 1991. There, Iraqi regular
army Iorces were densely packed on the Kuwait-Saudi border, with armored units
and the Republican Guards backing them up as the second echelon. Front-line troops
dug fre-trenches and brought Iorward artillery to pound Coalition Iorces. Taking
time to attrit Iorces to permit a breakthrough, then swinging rapidly west to envelop
them, was an essential strategy. This time, Iraq`s Iorces were dispersed close to
regular garrison locations throughout Iraq. Regular army and elite Iorces had to
protect Baghdad, keep a presence in the north around Mosul and Saddam`s home
base oI Tikrit, and show Iorce on the eastern border with Iran.
Conditions were diIIerent Ior the United States, too. Base access was uncertain.
All oI Iraq had to be controlled. Most oI all, speed was oI the essence. A protracted
war could erode both domestic backing and international tolerance Ior this phase oI
the global war on terrorism.
True integration between the components was the goal and it started at the top,
with a series oI meetings among the component commanders to refne the plan. 'We
had the CINC`s huddles once a month,¨ said
General Moseley, 'and out oI that would
come planning exercises¨ and guidance Ior
specifc conops, such as the air component`s
strategic attack plans, 'conops Ior the urban
CAS, conops Ior the ISR piece,¨ and so Iorth.
The commanders 'went through all those
planning iterations Irom the baseline oI 10-
03-98..I don`t know, but there must have
been a thousand oI them.¨
295
The planning
revolved around a Iew key variables: the
length oI time required to build up combat
Iorces, especially ground Iorces; how many
days to allow Ior preparatory airstrikes;
how to damp down the WMD threat; and
General Tommy Franks, commanaer, US
Central Commana.

which allies would make
bases available. 'It`s
diIfcult because you don`t
know which countries you
can count on or what the consequences in the region will be,¨ commented one senior
oIfcial.
296

Word oI the planning soon made headlines. In late April, the New York Times
reported that the administration was 'concentrating its attention on a major air
campaign and ground invasion, with initial estimates contemplating the use oI 70,000
to 250,000 troops. Britain was the only other nation expected to contribute troops.
One oIfcer also gave a hint as to the operational favor oI the planning. 'We would
not need to hold territory and protect our fanks to the same extent¨ as in Desert
Storm, this oIfcer said. 'You would see a higher level oI maneuver and airborne
assault,¨ he added.
297
The reports were not Iar oII the mark. Several major planning
iterations emerged during the spring and summer oI 2002:
*HQHUDWHG6WDUW One oI the frst, nicknamed 'Generated Start,¨ envisioned two
months oI Iorce build-up above and beyond normal theater operations in the no-fy
zones and AIghanistan. SOF Iorces would be inserted in western Iraq to suppress
and deter Scud launches. The air component would attack major target sets and then
ground Iorces would move into Iraq Irom Kuwait aIter perhaps a week oI airstrikes.
5XQQLQJ6WDUW In March, a second iteration known as 'Running Start¨ took on
the possibility that Iraq might make a move to trigger war and launch the Coalition
into battle with only the Iorces available in theater. This plan gave the air component
16 days to hit Iraqi ground Iorces and strategic targets while more Iorces fowed into
theater. Then, G-Day the start oI the ground attack would Iollow.
5HG:KLWHDQG%OXH Franks brieIed President Bush in May 2002. In response
to discussions at the White House meeting, USCENTCOM`s planners put together a
list oI potential Iraq trigger events. White was a medium-level response on the scale
oI 1998`s Operation Desert Fox. Blue covered a single event and used only Iorces
in place. Red was Ior a large response to WMD employment, Ior example. A red
response initiated the time-phased deployment oI Iorces and again leIt a 16-day margin
Ior airstrikes while Iorces closed in theater.
7KH+\EULG Finally, in July 2002, a revision reIerred to as 'the Hybrid¨ added a
second Iront attack in the north Irom Turkey to stymie Iraq`s elite Republican Guards.
Maintainers workea arouna
the clock to keep the F-16
CJs ßying missions in sup-
port of Operation IRAQI
FREEDOM. (Photo by
SSGT Derrick C. Gooae,
USAF)
™ä
In this plan, additional Coalition Iorces would already be in theater when hostilities
started. Only three to Iour days would pass between A-Day and G-Day. This plan
also put Iorward the idea that blocks oI Iraqi Iorces would surrender quickly. It
also put great weight on a near-simultaneous SOF, air and land eIIort to Iorce Iraq
into rapid collapse. In Iact, the plan as a whole depended on the use oI airpower in
several diIIerent Iorms to achieve simultaneous objectives ranging Irom attacks on
leadership to rapid maneuver into Iraq.
While USCENTCOM worked on its plans in secret, there was worldwide
debate about the next steps in the war on terrorism. War with Iraq was a high-stakes
game. US-led Coalition Iorces would have the upper hand, but the operation had to
succeed on many Ironts, and quickly. Former Reagan administration NSC oIfcial
GeoIIrey Kemp characterized the overall strategic setting that was infuencing
USCENTCOM`s planning process:
Whatever happens, Bush cannot aIIord to Iail. At the end oI the day, we must
have a stable, pro-Western government in Baghdad. But it`s important also that
you look at the worst case. One nightmare would be that Saddam used weapons
oI mass destruction against Israel and you`d end up with a US-Israeli war against
Iraq. No one knows how much it will cost. You could have an interruption in
oil supplies. Meanwhile, you`ve still got AIghanistan. The whole purpose oI
going in is to cleanse Iraq oI all weapons oI mass destruction capability. II
Saddam is gone and his sons dispatched, you will still need two things: complete
cooperation oI whoever is running the show and inspection teams to cleanse
every bedroom and every crevice in the palaces. Iraq is a proud country that
has been humiliated, and it`s madness to think that these people, while hating
Saddam, are in love with the United States. Latent nationalism will emerge,
and there will be those who want to hold on to whatever weapons they`ve held
back. The danger is that these capabilities could pop up somewhere else in
|the| control oI some small army group with its own agenda.
298
It was a tall order Ior any military operation.
The essence oI USCENTCOM`s war planning boiled down to speed and
achieving a degree oI operational surprise. While the planning exercises had
sketched the broad lines oI operation, these plans also leIt the fnal sequence oI
events and the start oI the war up in the air. It was a degree oI fexibility perhaps
never seen beIore. With so many variables in play, one lasting beneft oI the planning
process was simply its side-eIIect oI constant mental rehearsal. General Moseley
likened it to weapons school instruction. Building, reviewing and changing plans
gave commanders and staII alike a crash course in terrain and tactics and made the
Iraqi battlespace a Iamiliar one. As Moseley said, 'AIter all oI that, you have an
intellectual construct..you have thought about this so much that you intuitively and
instinctively know how Iar it is Irom al Qaim to al Kut to al Amaud back to al Qaim
to Mosul to Kirkuk to the southern oil felds.¨ It was as though USCENTCOM
had been a Iootball team reviewing a season`s worth oI game tapes and thinking
through all the possible deIensive patterns and oIIensive plays. They would need
that experience when the time came. General Franks wanted the campaign to be
'Iast and fnal¨ and warned his commanders: 'I am going to push you hard. You
have no idea how hard I am going to push you.¨
299

™£
Southern Focus
Aircrews on patrol in the no-fy zone were already pushing hard on Iraq`s air deIenses.
In many ways, the war in Iraq actually started in 2002 with an upsurge in the eIIort to
pick apart Iraq`s air deIenses. Dubbed Operation Southern Focus, it turned the no-fy
zone patrols into a gradual but relentless air campaign.
For Airmen, the Iocus on Iraq had already become almost a way oI liIe over the past
decade. A broad team oI joint and Coalition partners began patrolling Iraqi airspace
in 1991 to enIorce the two UN-backed no-fy zones. Operation Northern Watch and
Operation Southern Watch were oIten routine, but over time, a generation oI Airmen
gained frsthand experience in 'the sandbox.¨ Young aircrew members such as F-15C
pilot Captain Samantha Weeks got their frst taste oI combat conditions while policing
the no-fy zones. Weeks described a day when she and her fight lead spotted an Iraqi
jet that appeared to be in violation oI the northern no-fy zone. 'We got to commit
out on that Iraqi plane and that was awesome because you`re going to do the job you
trained Ior every single day,¨ she said.
300

Then, beginning in 1999, the quiet air war heated up. AIter Operation Desert Fox
in December 1998, the Iraqis became more aggressive, 'painting¨ Coalition aircraIt
with anti-aircraIt sensors. The Coalition fred back with careIully placed precision
attacks on air deIense systems. The total number oI retaliatory strikes increased in
1999 and over time began to whittle away at Iraq`s air deIenses.
EIIorts redoubled in the year beIore Operation Iraqi Freedom. Generals Wald and
Moseley had each seen the need to press hard on Iraq`s air deIenses, and 'I had been
bugging them in the Tank,¨ said Jumper. 'Now is the time to start breaking these guys
down,¨ Jumper told his Iellow members oI the Joint ChieIs. 'We ought to be taking
some bold steps.¨ In June 2002, General Franks approved the initiative, and 'that
really opened the door,¨ Jumper recalled. Now the no-fy zone fghters 'were able to
aggressively go aIter command and control and the surIace to air missile sites that had
been there Ior a long time,¨ and 'just take those out oI the fght.¨
301
USCENTCOM declared that 'Iraq fred at Coalition aircraIt nearly 500 times¨ in
the year 2002 and drew about 90 retaliation missions.
302
November 21, 2002, provided
a typical example, as Coalition aircraIt bombed Iraqi air deIense communication
Iacilities near Al Kut and Basra in southern Iraq. At the Pentagon, Joint StaII spokesman
Rear Admiral David Gove said that the pilots in the no-fy zone 'are essentially fying
combat missions. Any opportunity that they have to understand the capabilities and
the layout oI Iraqi air deIense weapons systems is useIul Ior their own experience base.
And there has been degradation oI the integrated air deIense system in Iraq,¨ Gove
acknowledged.
303
Southern Focus was not a Iormal part oI USCENTCOM`s brewing war plans. But
it backed up the UN inspections with demonstrations oI Iorce to add military pressure
Ior compliance, and it delivered results vital to the upcoming campaign. Between June
2002 and March 2003, Coalition aircraIt 'actually few about 4,000 sorties against
the integrated air deIense system in Iraq and against surIace-to-air missiles and their
command and control,¨ according to Air Force ChieI oI StaII General John Jumper.
'By the time we got to March, we think that they were pretty much out oI business,¨
he added.
304
Southern Focus set conditions Ior rapid airstrikes against regime targets
and gave the Coalition advance air superiority in the south. Ultimately, the war beIore
the war gave USCENTCOM increased fexibility in its planning options and prepared
the way Ior a massive combined arms blow.
™Ó
The Philippines and the Horn of Africa
'Though we Iocus, understandably, I think, on
Operation Enduring Freedom, it`s important to
recognize that our Iorces remain at risk in other
extremely important operations as well,¨ said Secretary RumsIeld in late April
2002.
305
One such operation, in the Philippines, started in January 2002. The Republic oI
the Philippines was home to indigenous Muslim extremist groups and had a history oI
being a transit point Ior al-Qaeda. The United States sent about six hundred troops to the
Philippines in January 2002 to help train Philippine military personnel to fnd and stamp
out terrorist groups, notably Abu SayyaI, Iounded by a brother-in-law oI Osama bin Laden.
'We can provide intelligence, primarily technical intelligence, in which we have advantages
to complement the human intelligence which is pretty well developed by the Philippines,¨
said Admiral Dennis Blair, Commander in ChieI, United States Pacifc Command. You
bring those together you get a much better picture oI what`s going on.¨
306
The exercise concentrated on the Basilan area. US Navy P-3s provided electronic
surveillance while Special Forces conducted training and exercises. Admiral Blair
made clear that Philippine military personnel were leading all operations. 'Our troops
are not in the Iront lines,¨ said Admiral Dennis Blair, Commander in ChieI, United
States Pacifc Command, in March 2002. 'They`re not riding point in patrols out in
the Philippines.¨ Admiral Blair noted that even with the Americans working primarily
at battalion headquarters there were still dangers. However, he stressed, advice and
assistance were the main tasks. 'We`re helping them now with advisers and training
and assistance and I think we`re going to make them a lot more eIIective,¨ said the
admiral.
307
The exercise ran Ior six months and ultimately involved over 1,300 US
personnel beIore the exercise Iormally ended in July 2002. It helped the Philippines
strengthen their anti-terrorism capability and US military personnel also assisted in
building roads, bridges and well systems in the Basilan area.
In the USCENTCOM area, Operation Enduring Freedom opened another chapter
in October 2002 with the Iormation oI Combined Joint Task Force-Horn oI AIrica.
CJTF-HOA`s area oI operations included the land, airspace and coastal waters oI
Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti, host oI the task Iorce`s
headquarters at Camp Lemonier.
The Horn oI AIrica had a turbulent history oI inter-state confict and civil war, and
it had also been identifed as a breeding ground Ior terrorist operations. At the same
time, its people had also been victims oI al-Qaeda, most notably in the 1998 bombings
in Kenya and Tanzania. CJTF-HOA`s primary mission was to 'detect, disrupt and
deIeat transnational terrorist groups operating the region,¨ including denying them
'saIe havens, external support and material assistance Ior terrorist activity.¨ The task
Operation Southern Watch was the U.S. ana coali-
tion enforcement of the no-ßy-:one in place in Iraq
prior to the fall of Saaaam Hussein.
™Î
Iorce also was chartered with countering the re-emergence oI terrorist groups, and
improving the long-term stability oI the region. To accomplish its mission, the 1,800
US personnel, along with allies such as France, began to carry out a number oI activities
ranging Irom direct action counter-terrorism operations to multinational exercises,
host-nation training, and projects designed to improve civil military relations, such
as organizing charitable donations. CJTF-HOA truly embodied the many techniques
used in the global war on terrorism.
Airmen made many diIIerent contributions to the new task Iorce. Air Force security
Iorces helped provide airfeld security. B-52s based elsewhere in theater joined live-
fre exercises to provide close air support training. Airmen on the joint headquarters
staII helped in the key mission oI collecting sensitive intelligence around the region.

Building the Case
Late summer and early autumn oI 2002 brought Iraq back into the public debate.
Although military planning and no-fy zone operations were well under way, there was
still much to be done in building the case against Iraq and trying to enlist cooperation
Irom the United Nations and Irom allies. The arguments whittled down to continued
containment with renewed inspections versus military action to remove Saddam. A
case was building Ior major military action. Secretary RumsIeld, Ior one, voiced his
opinion that limited airstrikes or Iraqi-led insurgencies would not work. Intelligence
reports indicated six coups had been attempted in Iraq since 1991 and all six had
Iailed. Above all, there was the problem oI Iraq`s uncertain WMD arsenal. 'They
have chemical weapons and biological weapons and they have an appetite Ior nuclear
weapons and have been working on them
Ior a good many years, and there`s an awIul
lot we don`t know about their programs,¨
Secretary RumsIeld said.
308

Vice President Dick Cheney said oI
Saddam: 'What he wants is time and more
time to husband his resources, to invest
in his ongoing chemical and biological
weapons programs, and to gain possession
oI nuclear arms.¨
309
U.S. Navy Lt. Rick Krystof watches an
F-14 Tomcat hurtle aown the catapult of
the aircraft carrier USS Nimit: (CJN 68)
on Jan. 29, 1998. The Nimit: battle group
is operating in the Persian Gulf in sup-
port of Operation Southern Watch. (DoD
photo by Petty Ofhcer 2na Class James
H. Watson, U.S. Navy)
President Bush urged Congress to 'act now to pass a resolution, which will
hold Saddam Hussein to account Ior a decade oI defance.¨
310
Congress passed the
resolution on October 11, 2002. Although many members expressed misgivings,
Congress authorized the President to use military Iorce against Iraq 'as he determines
to be necessary and appropriate¨ to:
% DeIend the national security oI the United States against the continuing threat
posed by Iraq; and
% EnIorce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.
A CIA white paper issued in October 2002 stated, 'Baghdad`s vigorous
concealment eIIorts have meant that specifc inIormation on many aspects oI Iraq`s
WMD programs is yet to be uncovered.¨
311
On November 8, 2002, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1441. 'The
world has now come together to say that the outlaw regime in Iraq will not be permitted
to build or possess chemical, biological or nuclear weapons,¨ President Bush said
oI UN resolution 1441.
312
The latest resolution oIIered Iraq 'a fnal opportunity
to comply with its disarmament obligations.¨ It called Ior unrestricted access Ior
weapons inspectors and warned that any 'Ialse statements¨ or other non-compliance
would put Iraq in material breach not just oI 1441, but oI the long series oI binding
UN resolutions dating back to April 1991 all oI which were designed to prod Iraq
into authentic disarmament. Those same resolutions Iormed the legal basis Ior the no-
fy zones and gave the Coalition a broad Ioundation Ior military action against Iraq.
The UN had a little more time to make diplomacy work and US Iorces had time Ior
an extraordinary round oI rehearsals in case diplomacy Iailed.
Rehearsals for War
With the diplomatic clock ticking, the Air Force used the Iall oI 2002 to sharpen
its skills Ior confict in Iraq. DiIIerent Iraqi triggers or deIensive actions could
directly aIIect the air component`s operations. Planning conIerences allowed the air
commanders to think through potential complexities. 'Moody Suter taught all oI us
a long time ago that you`re only surprised by |what| you don`t think about,¨ General
Moseley explained.
313

Following USCENTCOM`s lead, the air component had started its own crisis
action planning at USCENTAF`s stateside headquarters in January 2002. Planning
and exercises that Iall gave the Air Force a chance to correct shortIalls Irom Operation
Enduring Freedom and thoroughly prepare Ior operations in Iraq.
For the fght that lay ahead, the air and land component coordination had to
improve. The components had to build stronger working relationships, and above all,
more oI a shared understanding oI what airpower could and could not do Ior the land
component and other elements oI the joint Iorce. It started with advanced planning.
One innovative move was to rehearse tactics Ior the Scud hunt expected to unIold
in Western Iraq. Iraq fred 39 Scuds at Israel during the 1991 GulI War, and it took
diplomatic pressure and quick dispatch oI Patriot anti-missile batteries to Israel to
prevent that nation Irom retaliating. Scuds in western Iraq posed the same potential
problem in 2003. In February 2002, President Bush met with Israeli Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon in Washington and discussed the need Ior Israel not to retaliate iI hit by
™{
Scuds in a second GulI War. Part oI the deal was that 'the Bush administration would
do what was necessary placing a large number oI troops on the ground in Western
Iraq, Ior example in order to destroy potential Scud launching sites at the outset oI
an attack.¨
314
Step one Ior the rehearsal was a planning conIerence and 'chair fy¨ oI the
operational concepts at Langley AFB in September 2002. Then, in mid-October, air
and space warriors took to the ranges at Nellis AFB, Nevada Ior a live-fy exercise.
'We rehearsed all oI the orchestration and lash-up oI supporting and complementing
assets,¨ said Moseley.
315
All the relevant aspects oI air and space power Irom aircraIt
to satellites to SOF teams were involved. As General Jumper described it, 'we got
together the Coalition warriors, air and ground, the ISR assets, and we actually went
out there with those guys and we rehearsed how we were going to do this Scud hunt
piece.¨ Those taking part in the exercise at Nellis were already selected as 'the people
we actually put over there¨ when OIF started.
316

Rehearsals were under way not only at Air Force bases. General Moseley used
the planning period to broker an unprecedented deal incorporating all Marine aviation
on the CAOC`s air tasking order Ior the frst time. He met with senior Marine aviators
at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, CaliIornia. They talked about their Marine Air
Ground Task Force (MAGTF) concept; Moseley talked about air component command,
Irom Mitchell to Guadalcanal to Desert Storm. In a Iast-moving air war, there would
be no time Ior a separate tasking Ior Marine assets. General Moseley wanted the
MAGTF structure to work 'in the construct oI a bigger air eIIort.¨ They struck a deal.
™x
F-16 Fighting Falcons wait on the 'hot ramp` at a forwara-aeployea location while
maintenance crews reaay the weapons for a night mission March 21. The F-16s are
from the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., ana they are ßying Opera-
tion Iraqi Freeaom missions for the 363ra Expeaitionary Fighter Squaaron. (U.S. Air
Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Hannen)
All Marine air fowed through the CAOC. Most Marine sorties, along with any other
excess joint sorties, went back out to commanders Ior MAGTF tasking. When needed,
the CAOC could divert Marine F/A-18s to deep strike targets. In the Iall oI 2002, they
rehearsed the plan, with exercises at Nellis and at Miramar.
317

Countdown
January 2003 brought ever-stronger indications that war with Iraq was coming soon.
On a visit to Incirlik AB, Turkey, General Myers said, the 'way to pressure a regime is
to build up Iorces, and that`s what we`re doing.¨ 'We`ve steadily built up the rest oI
the region, and we`ll do the same (in Turkey) iI we get permission,¨ he continued.
318
At the same time, rehearsals reached a crescendo. First, the Air Force published
a battle roster oI commanders 'so that we knew right down to the group level who
the commanders were going to be during the war.¨ Then 'we got them all together,¨
Jumper continued, 'and did a chair-fy oI the whole plan so that we were able to walk
out oI that room confdent that we could execute the plan and with a To Do` list oI
what we had to go to work on to make sure that we had it right.¨
319
The meeting at
Shaw AFB, South Carolina, held Irom January 21 to 23, 2003, was Iollowed by a
similar exercise with senior leaders Irom the Army and the Air Force on January 24,
2003. 'We walked through this with the Army ahead oI time,¨ said General Jumper.
At the meeting were the Army ChieI oI StaII General Eric Shinseki and the Air Force
ChieI oI StaII, General Jumper, as well as the CFACC, General Moseley; the CFLCC,
Army Lieutenant General David McKiernan; the CFMCC, Vice Admiral Timothy
Keating; CFSOCC, Brigadier General Gary Harrell; and other organization leaders
down to, in some cases, the wing level.
It was equally important to reach out to other joint Iorce elements, to take Operation
Iraqi Freedom beyond mere deconfiction and to a new level oI joint Iorce integration.
The key land component liaison to the CAOC was the BCD or battle coordination
detachment, staIIed with Army feld grade oIfcers aware oI the land component`s
requirements. The air component also needed its envoys in place. As planning Ior
Iraq accelerated, General Moseley hand-picked senior colonels and dispatched them
to other key headquarters, such as Vice Admiral Tim Keating`s Combined Forces
Maritime Component Command in Bahrain. To that end, Moseley sent a one-star
general to be his personal representative at USCENTCOM`s Iorward headquarters.
But his most crucial selection was Major General Daniel P. 'Fig¨ LeaI, who leIt the
Air StaII at the Pentagon in February to become Moseley`s personal representative
to McKiernan. 'I provided an Airman`s perspective with the understanding oI
™È
Prince Sultan Air Base at Al Kharf,
Sauai Arabia.
the CFACC priorities and intents directly to the commander and his staII, without
having to go through a phone call, a VTC or an e-mail,¨ General LeaI said oI his
assignment.
320

The UN inspectors returned to Iraq in December amidst hopes that a peaceIul
solution might be Iound aIter all. But the signs were not encouraging. On February
5, 2003, Secretary oI State Colin Powell reported to the Security Council that 'Iraq
never had any intention oI complying with this Council`s mandate.¨ Powell cited
evidence Ior Iraqi possession oI weapons oI mass destruction and reIerred to Iraq`s
proven record oI willingness to attack its neighbors and to use chemical weapons on
its own people.
321
USCENTCOM now had a year oI planning and rehearsals under its belt and the
joint Iorce components had spent nearly a year correcting the coordination shortIalls
made visible in Operation Anaconda. As Iorces continued to fow into theater, the
remaining pieces oI the puzzle depended on whether base access, overfight and
support arrangements could be frmed up in time to execute USCENTCOM`s plan.
The War Machine
Perhaps no one Ielt the strain oI impending operations more than those responsible Ior
airliIt, logistics and expeditionary base support. USCENTCOM`s year oI planning leIt
commanders well-prepared Ior calling operational audibles on the line oI scrimmage.
Logisticians, too, spent 2002 preparing options. 'I would say the number one most
important thing in my book that helped me with success in Iraqi Freedom Irom a
logistics standpoint was the move that General Zettler made to call together the LGs
Irom all the MAJCOMS,¨ said USCENTAF A-4 Colonel Duane Jones. The logistics
sustainability assessment summit took place in August 2002 at Wright-Patterson AFB.
'We met there Ior a week,¨ said Colonel Jones, and 'USCENTAF told the rest oI the
Air Force logistics community what we thought the plan was and how we thought we
could execute it.¨
322
The chain began back in the United States, where the mobility Iorces were called
upon to provide global reach. Active, Guard and Reserve Iorces at dozens oI bases
did their parts to Iorm the air bridges to transport people, materiel and aircraIt to the
theater. Westover AFRB, in western Massachusetts, was one such base. 'Westover
acts as an air bridge,¨ said Lieutenant Colonel John Metz, ChieI oI the War and
Mobilizations Plans branch at Air Force Reserve headquarters. 'AIter aircraIt leave
the base, the air bridge continues basically as a group oI tankers or fying gas stations`
in the Atlantic.¨
323
Combat Iorces fowed into the USCENTCOM AOR and into bases in Europe.
European bases once again proved vital to combat and mobility Iorces alike. Over a
dozen B-52s touched down at RAF FairIord, in England, in early March, in preparation
Ior upcoming operations.
324
There were new allies in Europe, too, refecting NATO`s
expansion. The 40
th
Expeditionary Group set up an air reIueling operation Ior KC-10s
at Camp SaraIovo, Bulgaria.
Harder to handle was the constantly shiIting base availability near Iraq that
continued up to the last minute and beyond. 'We`ve been negotiating Ior months, and
right up to this minute we still have lots to talk about,¨ said one US oIfcial on the day
beIore the war began.
325
Planners 'had indications that basing would be a challenge,¨ commented Colonel
Jones. With three weeks to go beIore the campaign started, there were still several
™Ç
locations 'that we knew we needed and that we weren`t at,¨ Jones said. Relying
on experience Irom OEF, USCENTAF`s logistics planners laid plans to move some
supplies Irom seaports by ground transportation. The port oI Aqaba, Ior example,
got higher priority Ior supply fow when planners fgured out it would easily support
ground transportation.
326
Many nations concluded quiet agreements that gave the US-led Coalition the
access it needed. Ultimately, 49 states pitched in; another 11 also did so, but preIerred
not to have their contributions mentioned publicly.
327
Several GulI states opened
airbases, granted permission to launch strike aircraIt, and hosted naval vessels and
command centers. Kuwait was the center oI ground Iorce staging operations as both
Army and Marine Iorces poured in to reclaim pre-positioned equipment, ammunition
and other supplies and prepare to cross into Iraq.
Turkey was still the wild card. USCENTCOM planners hoped to move the
4
th
InIantry Division Irom Turkish ports in the Mediterranean Sea to northern Iraq
to open a 'second Iront¨ and pin down Republican Guards and regular Iraqi army
Iorces in the north, preventing them Irom reinIorcing Baghdad. But Turkey had not
given fnal approval to this plan. Secretary Powell sweetened a Ioreign assistance
oIIer to six billion dollars, but in the end, political sentiment in Turkey ran against
US requests. US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad inIormed the Turks that the aid package
was 'oII the table.¨
328
For the time being, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
had to turn down the request to use Turkish airbases such as Incirlik. Without tankers
based in Turkey, the two aircraIt carriers in the Mediterranean could not be employed
at peak eIfciency, and SOF Iorces were aIIected, too. Although Erdogan asked
Parliament to reconsider opening Turkish airspace, and succeeded in doing so by the
end oI March, ground Iorce deployments were out oI the question. RebuIIed, the
cargo ships with the 4
th
InIantry Division`s tanks and equipment aboard sailed Ior the
Persian GulI.
The Ultimatum
Regardless oI the last minute diplomacy, it was the regime in Baghdad that remained
the Iocus oI Coalition plans. Myers was hoping Ior a 'short confict¨ and as he said
on March 4, the 'best way to do that is to have such a shock on the system that the
Iraqi regime would have to assume early on that the end is inevitable.¨
329
Saddam`s
regime was Iraq`s center oI gravity and it was the central objective. It would drive
strategic, operational and tactical decisions in the days to come.
The UN inspectors published a 173-page report on March 7. It listed 29 areas
where Iraq had not provided suIfcient inIormation to the inspectors; and estimated
that Iraq could easily still retain weapons such as the nerve gas agent VX. It added
up to 'a damning record oI 12 years oI lies, deception and Iailure to come clean on
the part oI Iraq,¨ Secretary oI State Powell said.
330
Politics, diplomacy and the Iraqis kept war planners shuIfing options right
up until the last minute. The air component Ielt the whipsaw. Major questions
remained. 'Do we have a northern piece or not? Do we have overfight or not?
How many tankers do you get?¨ General Moseley said. 'What happens,¨ he said,
'iI they salvo all the Scuds, and salvo the air Iorce.as a strategic dislocator Ior the
CINC`s plan?¨ Each variable has 'an operational-level impact on the CINC`s plan,¨
he continued.
331
™n
For those ready to join the fght, the issues were clear. One medical technician
Irom the 722
nd
Aeromedical Support Squadron based near New York City was a GulI
War veteran who was in Manhattan during the September 11, 2001, attacks. 'We
will be fghting terrorism to keep it away Irom our Iamilies and our own city, away
Irom our back yard,¨ he said.
332

On March 17, 2003, President Bush issued his ultimatum. 'Saddam Hussein and
his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours,¨ he said. 'Their reIusal to do so will result
in military confict, commenced at a time oI our choosing.¨
333
Across the Atlantic, America`s staunchest ally British Prime Minister Tony Blair
Iaced a confdence vote within Parliament even as British air, land and sea Iorces
prepared Ior battle. On March 18, Blair spoke to Parliament oI his commitment to
Resolution 1441 as the legal basis Ior action in Iraq. Saddam had been 'Ior years¨ in
material breach oI UN resolutions and in his lack oI compliance had squandered this
last opportunity. To Blair, there was strong evidence that Iraq held weapons oI mass
destruction. The world had waited long enough. Inaction now would cost dearly
well beyond the conIrontation with Iraq. 'What would any tyrannical regime
possessing WMD think viewing the history oI the world`s diplomatic dance with
Saddam?¨ Blair asked. 'That our capacity to pass frm resolutions is only matched
by our Ieebleness in implementing them.¨ One day, he warned, regimes 'will mistake
our innate revulsion against war Ior permanent incapacity.¨
334
Launching Operation Iraqi Freedom was the only way Iorward.
™™
£ää
The secona night of war in Iraq brings heavy bombing in Baghaaa ana the start of
the 'shock ana awe` campaign. (Photo · Olivier Coret/In Jisu/CORBIS)
|äAºI| 1 º. Operation Iraqi Freedom Begins
O
n the night oI March 19, 2003, two F-117s launched the war with a daring
mission to bomb a building thought to be a Saddam Hussein hideout. Just
three weeks later, Marines in downtown Baghdad helped a crowd oI Iraqis
topple a statue oI Saddam Hussein. Iraq`s capital belonged to US Iorces and Saddam
was no longer in control. The 'decisive combat operations¨ phase oI Operation Iraqi
Freedom included the maneuver oI the Army, Marines and British Iorces; dispersed
and lethal SOF direct action, and fve air wars, ranging Irom strategic attack to support
Ior counter-land operations. When General Franks declared, 'this will be a campaign
unlike any in history,¨ he was speaking the truth.
336

A Rapid Start
As President Bush`s 48-hour ultimatum to Saddam expired, two last-minute events
compelled USCENTCOM to pivot its war plans one more time.
On March 18, USCENTCOM saw evidence that the Iraqis were trying to rig
explosives to destroy the Rumayla oil felds. It echoed USCENTCOM`s discussions
Irom the year beIore about possible Iraqi 'triggers¨ Ior military action. General
Franks knew iI they moved Iast the Coalition had a chance to 'get the oil felds¨ beIore
the Iraqis torched them. 'We saw an opportunity to achieve one oI our operational
objectives, which was to prevent the destruction oI a big chunk oI the Iraqi people`s
Iuture wealth,¨ he explained.
337

The 'crown jewel¨ oI the southern oil felds was a pumping station at Az Zubayr,
about 40 miles north oI Kuwait, where oil Irom three hundred wells fowed through a
single maniIold into holding tanks or into pipelines that would take it south to the port
oI Al Faw. II Saddam`s Iorces destroyed it, the Iraqis stood to lose 40 million dollars
per day until the oil moved again. Planners Irom the I MEF had known since August
2002 that they, with help Irom SOF and OGA personnel, were on the docket to take
the target.
338
To get the Iorces in place to take the oil felds, Operation Iraqi Freedom began
with a series oI initial shaping actions on the aIternoon oI March 19, just as the 48-hour
deadline expired. According to General Myers, 'early battlefeld preparations¨ that
aIternoon included airstrikes on radars in western Iraq and near Basra in southern Iraq.
Attacks also neutralized artillery in the Al Faw peninsula northeast oI Kuwait. Next,
under cover oI darkness, 'coalition Iorces began inserting Special Operations Forces
throughout western and southern Iraq to conduct reconnaissance operations and take
ºWc Iavc no anliiion in Iraq, c×cc¡i io rcnovc a WW
iIrcai and rcsiorc conirol of iIai couniry io iis
own ¡co¡lc."
Presiaent Bush, March MM 19, 2003
335
£ä£
down visual observation posts on the southern Iraqi border,¨ General Myers said.
339
Air Force MH-53s also inserted assault Iorces into objective areas at the Al Faw oil
pipeline terminus.
340
Then came the second precipitating event: a chance to hit Saddam. A highly-
placed source passed word that Saddam would Ior several hours be at a residence in
the southeastern area oI Baghdad, a 'compound¨ called Dora Farms where the Iraqi
leadership was known to congregate. Guards and vehicles such as SUVs oIten used
by the regime were tucked into the tree line oI the compound. 'We had what I would
characterize as very good intelligence that it was a senior Iraqi leadership compound,¨
Secretary RumsIeld said.
341

Throughout the 1991 GulI War, Coalition allies had worked to pinpoint Saddam`s
location, but always Iound themselves no better than a Iew hours behind him. He was
known to employ body doubles, decoy cars and other methods to keep his whereabouts
secret. The March 19
th
intelligence was perhaps the best ever obtained. But it was
already night in Baghdad. Could the building be attacked in time?
Only the stealthy F-117 had the chance to survive Baghdad`s air deIenses and
strike in time. Mission planners with the 12 F-117s at Al Udeid, Qatar, picked
Lieutenant Colonel David F. Toomey III and Major Mark J. Hoehn to fy the mission.
The squadron was on a wartime Iooting and had two F-117s in pristine condition
£äÓ
A B-1 Lancer continues its mission after refueling in the skies near Iraq March 25.
The B-1 crew, assignea to 405 Air Expeaitionary Wing, is ßying missions from a for-
wara-aeployea air base supporting Operation Iraqi Freeaom. (U.S. Air Force photo
by Staff Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby)
with low observable maintenance complete to combat standards and ready to go.
The problem was weather over Baghdad. Low clouds would interIere with the F-117`s
inIrared targeting Ior the laser-guided bombs, which was the system used to such great
eIIect in the 1991 GulI War and subsequent campaigns. Fortunately, the F-117s had a
new weapon. The EGBU-27 had an Enhanced Paveway III seeker that permitted the
weapon to track to its target using GPS coordinates.
342

President Bush granted fnal approval Ior the strike just aIter 3:00 a.m. Baghdad
time.
343
Lieutenant Colonel Toomey and Major Hoehn took oII at 0338 Ior the two-
hour fight to Baghdad. At 0534 Baghdad time their Iour two thousand-pound bombs
exploded on their targets.
Within a Iew minutes oI the F-117 strike, 40 TLAMs launched Irom warships also
hit other downtown Baghdad targets such as an intelligence service headquarters and
a Republican Guards installation. Baghdad was at war. 'A minute passed beIore the
air raid siren began to wail,¨ wrote Anthony Shadid, a reporter who was in Baghdad
that morning. 'For the next hour, long pauses were interrupted by tracer bullets racing
across the sky and more anti-aircraIt rounds.¨
344

For the F-117 pilots, it was a dangerous mission. Dawn was breaking as they
reached their target. General Franks said later, 'that was about as close a coordination
as I have ever seen work a time-sensitive or emerging target and as you know, I have
worked a great many oI them in AIghanistan.¨
345
Although Saddam escaped, it put
the regime on notice that no place was saIe. The more that airpower kept Saddam,
his sons and the Iraqi senior leadership on the run, the less chance they would have to
coordinate military opposition to the Coalition`s advance.
£äÎ
A 40th Expeaitionary Bomb Squaaron navigator references a technical oraer auring
a B-52 bombing mission in Iraq, April 11. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rich-
ara Freelana)
The sudden strike had wider benefts. The 'initial F-117 and TLAM strikes
changed the timing¨ Ior the whole operation, recalled General LeaI, who was at land
component headquarters. Now, 'against all odds, we had tactical surprise because oI
that target oI opportunity.¨
346
G-Day
Full-scale ground operations started 24 hours later. V Corps, I MEF and British Iorces
bound Ior Basra moved steadily across the Line oI Departure and into Iraq. The I MEF
under the command oI Lieutenant General James Conway entered the city oI Umm Qasar,
and regimental combat teams along with SOF Iorces moved in to secure the southern oil
felds. SOF Iorces took an airfeld in western Iraq and SEALS led the seizure oI two Iraqi
oil and gas terminals in the Persian GulI. Then, the Third InIantry Division crossed Irom
Kuwait into southern Iraq in the early morning hours oI March 21, 2003.
347
The absence oI a preparatory week or month-long air campaign was a tactical
stroke that caught the Iraqis oII-balance and 'rattled expectations,¨ as General Jumper
put it. 'The expectation oI course was it was going to be this air war where you`d have
time to do some oI this stuII. And oI course when there is no air war, or the air war
starts simultaneously with the ground war and you got to react to both at the same time,
I think they were just totally ill-equipped¨ to respond, he said.
348

Starting the ground war early was also a way to minimize risks to the land Iorces
assembled in Kuwait. As General Moseley characterized it, there were disadvantages
in taking time to wage even a short air campaign beIore starting the ground attack. One
was weather. USCENTCOM expected to take several months to control Iraq. The air
component could pound the Iraqis while ground Iorces waited, but that took time oII
the clock and pushed operations 'Iurther into the spring and the hot weather,¨ said
Moseley. A prolonged air war might also give Saddam the chance to make mischieI.
In 1991, Saddam opened Kuwait`s oil valves into the GulI, fred Scuds at Israel and
Saudi Arabia, evacuated MiG-29s and other fghters to archenemy Iran, and launched
the ill-Iated ground attack at KhaIji all during the air campaign`s frst two weeks.
The oilfelds were especially important. 'You don`t want them pumping stuII out into
the water,¨ said General Moseley. Given a two or three week air eIIort, 'he |Saddam|
would have done all oI that.¨
349
£ä{
An A-10 Thunaerbolt II from the 332na Air Expeaitionary Wing takes off for a mis-
sion into Iraq, March 29, 2003, from a forwara-aeployea location in support of Op-
eration Iraqi Freeaom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman JoAnn S. Makinano)
£äx
Likewise, there was concern
about Iraq`s surIace-to-surIace
missiles (SSMs). General
Moseley, as Area Air DeIense
Commander, had responsibility
Ior ballistic missile deIense. Iraq`s short-range missiles could be used Ior chemical
weapons attacks. All the ground Iorces were 'parked in a small geographic area¨
and vulnerable to missile attack. Consequently, the 'land component was concerned
about having itselI in those cantonment areas just parked and receiving fre,¨ he said.
Airfelds in Kuwait were potential targets too, but 'I can`t move the airfeld,¨ said
General Moseley. On the other hand, as soon as the ground Iorces began their advance,
they would spread out and, moving Iast, they would no longer be 'a confned little
target.¨
350

Finally, what made all this possible was that Iraq`s air deIenses south oI Baghdad
were already degraded enough to give the Coalition working air superiority. II trouble
developed as the land Iorce moved through Iraq`s regular army units, the air component
could put strike (and ISR) aircraIt or close air support anywhere they were needed in
the south. 'We didn`t have to run an extensive air eIIort prior to a G-Day,¨ General
Moseley knew.
351
Three deIensive counter-air Combat Air Patrols were already up
in key locations. That opened up the option to make G-Day, A-Day and S-Day Ior
Special Forces nearly simultaneous.
No one was taking the Iraqis lightly. Troops carried chemical weapons protection
gear and serum to inject in case they were 'slimed.¨ Then there were the conventional
hazards like rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47s and more. 'Even iI the Iraqi
army is not well-trained, the equipment that they have can bring a lot oI harm to my
soldiers,¨ said one Army battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Twitty,
who was in Kuwait.
352
As Iast as they were going, it would still be days beIore land Iorces engaged the
bulk oI Iraq`s best Iorces. However, airstrikes could attack the nerve centers oI the Iraqi
Iorces right away. The air component 'started striking Republican Guards headquarters
|at| minute one,¨ said General Moseley. 'And we never let up on them.¨
353
V Corps, I MEF and British Iorces did need the air component`s help to drive
ahead with all possible speed. It was up to the air war to set optimum conditions Ior
that advance. General Moseley phrased it memorably at a conIerence oI commanders
and staII just as Operation Iraqi Freedom began. 'I don`t want General McKiernan to
have to stop between here and Baghdad unless he wants to. II he wants to stop oII at
a 7-Eleven Ior a chili-cheese dog and a cherry limeade, great; otherwise, we want to
support him so he runs straight up there.¨
354
SSgt. Free Pratt, a Search ana
Rescue controller for the Com-
binea Air Operation Center,
monitors troops engagea with
enemy forces. (photo by Ssgt.
Derrick C. Gooae, USAF)
£äÈ
Five Air Wars
Every air war can be subdivided into unique tactical and operational components. In
World War II, these included the battle Ior air superiority in western Europe; Ierrying
supplies to the China-Burma-India theater over 'the Hump¨; patrolling Ior U-boats
in the North Atlantic; and attacking with bombers, fghters and airborne troops up the
island chain oI the Southwest Pacifc, to name but a Iew. Each was part oI a larger
campaign lasting months and years, and each took its place in the careIul phasing and
sequencing oI combined arms operations by the US and its Allies.
FiIty years later, the
GulI War oI 1991 was much
shorter, but it too had its own
distinct phases, beginning
with strategic attack, then
shiIting emphasis to minutely-
controlled interdiction oI dug-
in Iraqi Iorces. To be sure,
strategic attacks continued right
up through the end oI the war,
but the GulI War campaign was
a phased, sequential war.
Operation Iraqi Freedom
did not Iollow that pattern.
There was a war beIore the war,
Iought by Airmen in the no-fy
zones, and then there were a
fstIul oI air wars that started al-
most simultaneously:

% The west fght, centering on countering the Scud threat, with SOF Iorces in
support oI the CFACC;
% The strategic air war, attacking key targets in and around Baghdad and across
Iraq;
% The 'north¨ fght, developing as SOF and airborne Iorces opened a second
Iront;
% Two 'south fghts,¨ with reconnaissance, interdiction and close air support
dedicated to the Army`s V Corps and to the I MEF.
Each oI OIF`s fve air wars had its own objectives and in some cases, its own
dedicated Iorces. The fve air wars brought pressure to bear on the Iraqis at all levels
Irom strategic command and control to tanks hunkered down in date-palm groves.
Together the air wars shaped the joint campaign.
Waging fve distinct air battles at once was a refection oI the overall CFACC
mission: 'On order, the CFACC will conduct joint air and space operations in support
oI COMUSCENTCOM to remove the current Iraqi regime. When directed, the air
component will gain and maintain air and space supremacy, destroy/disrupt Iraqi C2
Coalition troops track an ongoing OIF mission
at this Combinea Air Operation Center (CAOC).
(Photo by Ssgt. Derrick C. Gooae, USAF)
£äÇ
and its regime security Iorces,
minimize Iraqi capability to employ
WMD, support the deIeat oI Iraqi
ground Iorces, and support maritime
superiority in order to eIIect a change
in the Iraqi regime, and ultimately
increase stability in the region.¨
355
Twelve years oI air operations
over Iraq and the recent gutting oI
the air deIenses paid oII. Predators
operated at medium altitude over
Iraq beginning on night one. They
surveyed targets and struck at Iraqi
satellite communications links
and other SOF-selected targets.
356

Barrier CAPs were up to protect
Predators and all other Coalition aircraIt. Iraq still had almost Iour hundred operational
aircraIt, including helicopters. The CAPs both protected the airborne network oI
sensors and shooters and blocked potential Iraqi suicide air attacks on Coalition bases.
With F-15Cs and other fghters nearby, ISR platIorms pushed their orbits into Iraqi
airspace and closer to Baghdad. Any Iraqi fghters launching against Coalition aircraIt
or airbases would have to tangle with the CAPs frst. As it turned out, not one Iraqi
fghter accepted the challenge.
Scuds in the West
Extending air superiority created an open feld Ior one oI the most unusual oI the fve
air wars: counter-Scud operations in the west. 'We do know that more than two dozen
Scud missile launchers remain unaccounted Ior since the days oI the GulI War,¨ said
General Franks at the beginning oI the campaign.
357
The CFACC was the supported commander Ior a most unusual and highly eIIective
operation. The counter-theater ballistic missile fght developing out west was designed
to disrupt or deter Scud launches toward Israel, Jordan or any other state in the region.
Special Operations Forces Irom the United States, Britain and Australia were inserted by
helicopter under the protection oI AC-130 gunships in what turned out to be the deepest
infltration oI the campaign.
358
Once in place, they carried out two missions: to control
the western desert and prevent Scud salvos, and to continue to support the CFLCC with
other types oI special operations, both 'black¨ and white. 'They are actively hunting Ior
weapons oI mass destruction and also looking Ior ballistic missile systems,¨ USCENTCOM
spokesman Brigadier General Vincent Brooks said oI the SOF activities.
359

Airpower helped the SOF Iorces do both missions more eIfciently. They 'were
accomplishing both missions with my A-10s and F-16s parked over the top oI them so
they can travel light and Iast,¨ General Moseley said.
360

However, it took an unprecedented level oI coordination with the special operations
component to make it work. Trained to infltrate in secret and operate independently,
Map of Baghaaa.
£än
the operating locations oI Coalition
SOF Iorces and CIA elements
nonetheless had to be part oI
the air component`s battlespace
picture. As Moseley said, they
had 'some recent data points out
oI the AIghanistan experience that
we can bring to bear across the
board with the special ops guys
operating in Iraq right now.¨
361

Air operations in the west
began with an intensive ISR eIIort
to locate and monitor potential
hiding places Ior Scud missile
launchers. The lone Global Hawk
available Ior OIF few missions out
to the west while other traditional ISR workhorses monitored potential Scud locations.
Next, aircraIt including 36 F-16Cs, 18 A-10s, 8 British GR-7 Tornadoes, and 10 B-1s,
as well as 4 on-call GR-4s, Iormed a dedicated air umbrella over western Iraq 24 hours
a day. The strikers came with precision weapons and with innovative ISR capabilities
oI their own, and tracked targets with Litening Pods or in the case oI the B-1, its own
on-board Moving Target Indicator. F-15Cs also provided deIensive counter-air early
in the operation. Most oI the aircraIt and nearly all the chain oI command came Irom
Guard and Reserve units.
Dedicating over 75 strike aircraIt to a single mission was at frst glance a diIIerent
way to control airpower. However, it refected the importance oI the Scud suppression
mission and the need to ensure that light SOF Iorces, inserted in a large, hostile
environment, had ample striking power on call. In Iact, air control Ior the west was not
so diIIerent Irom the CAOC`s experience controlling operations in multiple 'theaters¨
Irom southern and northern no-fy zones to AIghanistan. Western Iraq became a theater
in its own right but with an important diIIerence. Since the CAOC still controlled
them, the dedicated strike aircraIt whose ordnance was not needed in the west during
their on-call periods fowed back to CAOC control. CAOC personnel could give them
new targeting in other areas beIore their missions ended. All told, the teamwork oI
SOF Iorces supporting the air component eIIectively 'held¨ western Iraq and carried
out one oI General Franks` most important missions.
SOF Iorces in key locations also monitored suspected sites and Iraqi troop
concentrations. Another major step was taking the airfelds at H-2. These were
U.S. service members, respona-
ing to an alert, run to the nearest
bunker in their chemical warfare
gear. (Photo by Ssgt. Derrick C.
Gooae, USAF)
£ä™
not the small teams oI the early AIghanistan campaign. Lessons learned Irom OEF
drove improvements. For OIF, Joint Air Control Elements (JACE) provided ASOC-
like Iunctions to the JSOTFs in the west (and elsewhere.) Better understanding and
coordination enabled the SOF Iorces to go beyond gathering reconnaissance and carry
out more direct attack operations. The result was that SOF Iorces in high-threat areas
had an unusual ability to summon airpower on demand Ior strikes or Ior rescue.
For the frst week, the west fght consumed a little over 20 percent oI the air eIIort.
By the end oI March, it settled at slightly over 10 percent. AIter suppressing the
immediate threat Irom Scuds, the SOF Iorces spread out to take additional objectives
such as the Hadithah Dam and fx in place the remaining Iraqi Iorces in the west. On
April 8, SOF Iorces raided the Ba`ath Party headquarters in Al Qa`im.
362
Keeping the SOF Iorces throughout Iraq supplied was also a challenge. 'During
Operation Enduring Freedom there were times where at one or two in the morning,
we`d get a phone call saying we need billeting.tomorrow at site X,¨ Colonel Jones
recounted. 'So with that experience, in OIF we set aside three housekeeping sets and
said we don`t know when they`re going to ask, but we know they are going to ask.¨
363

Together strike, ISR and SOF assets policed over six million acres oI ground and kept
up a fght against small but tough pockets oI resistance. Above all, the western air war
prevented Iraq Irom launching a single Scud missile during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
An F-15C Eagle turns away from a tanker aircraft after receiving a full fuel loaa
high over the aeserts of Southwest Asia. The F-15 is from the 33ra Fighter Wing,
Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (U. S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Mark Bucher)
Strategic Attack
General Franks made it clear to General Moseley that no matter what the sequence oI
G-Day and A-Day would be, the air component would not finch on strategic attack.
Translated, the guidance was pointed: You will strike regime command and control.
You will strike regime security. You will strike headquarters elements, personalities,
high-priority targets. Strategic attacks on targets like these would put the Iraqi
leadership behind the power curve in assessing and reacting to the war.
364
'A-Day¨ unleashed the Iull weight oI air and missile attack on March 21, at about
9:00 p.m. local time in Iraq. 'Their ability to see what is happening on the battlefeld, to
communicate with their Iorces and to control their country is slipping away,¨ Secretary
RumsIeld proclaimed as the attacks got under way.
365

It wasn`t only kinetic weapons that were Ieatured in the 'strategic¨ use oI airpower.
Three EC-130E Commando Solo aircraIt few slightly over two hundred psychological
operations missions throughout OIF, broadcasting news, messages on the war, Celine
Dion songs, and other locally-popular music to the Iraqis.
366

The strategic attacks oI OIF did not look much like strategic attacks oI the 1991
GulI War or other past conficts.
The frst major diIIerence was that the Coalition already had air superiority over
much oI Iraq. Around Baghdad, the dense, clustered missile engagement zone known
as the 'super MEZ¨ was still up and running, but it was not perIorming at peak levels.
Airfelds were targeted heavily during the frst several days oI operations. Counter-air
strikes accounted Ior 40 percent oI air targets over the frst two days, but tapered to 28
percent Irom March 21 to 24, and down to 15 percent by March 25, an average that
held Ior the rest oI OIF.
367
The result was that Coalition air Iorces could press their
strikes closely at the beginning oI the campaign.
££ä
Air Force maintainers prepare to launch an F-15C Eagle for a strike misison from a
forwara aeployea Operation Iraqi Freeaom location. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff
Sgt. Matthew Hannen)
The second major diIIerence stemmed Irom the type oI targets selected and not
selected Ior strategic attack. The frst night`s attacks on the compound were part oI
a concerted campaign to target top Iraqi leadership. Saddam, as overall commander
oI the military Iorces, was a legitimate target in time oI war. Opening attacks struck at
59 separate national headquarters, command and control centers, and VIP residences.
Airborne and ground alert aircraIt were at the ready to pursue pop-up leadership targets
at any time during the campaign. The key was to disrupt the ability oI top Iraqi leaders
to control Iorces and operations, and the leadership strikes were indeed having an
impact.
Along with leadership, regime security and support was another major target
category. It included 104 targets such as intelligence services, security Iacilities,
Special Republican Guards Iacilities, Ba`ath Party Headquarters, and known Fedayeen
Iacilities. The aim was to jolt command and control, but also to weaken the organizations
most responsible Ior imposing terror on the Iraqi people.
Communications were also on the strategic attack list. The air component attacked
112 communications targets consisting oI cable and fber optic relays, repeater stations,
exchanges, microwave sites, some television and radio transmitters, antennae, and
more.
Third, inIrastructure Iacilities such as electric power and oil industry targets were
conspicuously omitted Irom the target list. InIrastructure targets had been hit, albeit
£££
The guiaea missile aestroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) launches a
Tomahawk Lana Attack Missile (TLAM) towara Iraq on March 27, 2003. Winston
S. Churchill is aeployea in the Meaiterranean Sea conaucting missions in support
of Operation Iraqi Freeaom. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographers Mate 3ra Class
Christopher B. Stolt:)
careIully, in the 1991 war, to cut oII command and control and sources oI supply
to Iraqi military Iorces. Critical inIrastructure components were not targeted in the
same way in 2003. Destroying industrial sites and oil production was not necessary to
support a high-speed ground attack and quick occupation oI Iraq. The objective was
to win over, not paralyze, Iraq`s society and people. Besides, anything the Coalition
destroyed they would probably end up repairing aIter the war.
The Coalition also had more sophisticated ways to get at command and control.
Electricity in Baghdad stayed on Ior weeks. 'There are other ways oI taking down
the integrated air deIenses rather than just pulling the plug on the electricity,¨ said
Vice Admiral Tim Keating, the Navy`s 5
th
Fleet Commander at Bahrain, and a naval
aviator.
368
These changes carried over to WMD targets. The Iocus was on launchers: Scuds,
other short-range missiles, aircraIt, and even helicopters capable oI strapping on
aerosol tanks.
Fourth, the air component Iollowed strict rules on minimizing collateral damage.
Just as aircrews planned ingress and egress routes, initial points, release points and
deIensive measures Ior each target, air component planners assessed each potential
target in USCENTCOM`s database Ior ways to keep collateral damage to a minimum.
'My objective is to create as little collateral damage eIIect as I have to inside oI
Baghdad,¨ said General Moseley.
369

Every fxed target had to go through a vetting process designed to evaluate potential
loss oI civilian liIe and damage to buildings other than the target. 'We use several
types oI high-tech electronic and computer program models based on mathematical
££Ó
An F-117 from the 8th Expeaitionary Fighter Squaaron out of Holloman Air Force
Base, N.M., ßies over the Persian Gulf on April 14, 2003. (U.S. Air Force photo by
Staff Sgt. Derrick C. Gooae)
theories to help us with the collateral damage estimation process,¨ said Master Sergeant
Douglas Frickey at the CAOC.
370
Then, iI a military target had to be struck, the Coalition might vary aim points, the
aircraIt attack azimuth, or the time oI day Ior the attack, all to spare lives and property.
No one believed the process would be perIect every time, but advance evaluation could
put logic into it. By the time Operation Iraqi Freedom started, every inch oI Baghdad
had been combed and evaluated to build a database oI collateral damage metrics Ior
potential targets. Given that the CFACC database ultimately grew to over 25,000
DMPIs Ior all types oI targets, this was no mean Ieat. Still, with 'our Iorces moving
so quickly, we were providing collateral damage estimation inIormation around the
clock,¨ Master Sergeant Frickey added.
371

The net eIIect was a degree oI control and precision that Iar exceeded anything
seen in previous wars. Secretary RumsIeld grew annoyed with a reporter who was
making comparisons to World War II. 'There is no comparison,¨ he chided. 'The
targeting capabilities and the care that goes into targeting to see that the precise targets
are struck and that other targets are not struck is as impressive as anything anyone
could see,¨ he said.
372
CareIul analysis paid oII. 'I think you have seen time and time again military
targets Iall while the civilian inIrastructure remains in place,¨ General Franks said a
week into the campaign. 'And it`s the same with civilian lives.¨
373

Time-sensitive targets were the fIth key subset oI strategic attack. The defnitions
had been refned since AIghanistan. Time-sensitive targets (TST) now included
leadership, terrorists and WMD. A separate category oI dynamic targets was defned as
'highly mobile and otherwise important targets¨ not in one oI the three TST categories.
USCENTCOM also ironed out its methods Ior vetting targets. As one USCENTCOM
oIfcial, an A-10 pilot, explained, the control structure Ior operations in Iraq was very
££Î
An F-15C Eagle from the 363ra Expeaitionary Fighter Squaaron takes off for an Op-
eration Iraqi Freeaom sortie March 23. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew
Hannen)
££{
fat, pushing decision authority down as Iar as possible to keep up with combat tempo.
'I don`t believe you`ll see the kind oI challenges that military commanders in Kosovo
Iaced,¨ he said. 'I think the President, Secretary |oI DeIense| and General Franks
have a very good agreement |that| only those key targets have to be elevated,¨ and
Ior other targets, 'we allow the battlefeld commanders to make those decisions¨ with
pre-established rules.
374
Ultimately the air component would prosecute 156 true TSTs and another 686
dynamic targets.
375

USCENTCOM`s plans did indeed call Ior 'Iast and fnal¨ operations and a rapid
collapse oI Iraqi resistance iI possible, but no one at the air component was trying
to do it solely through strategic attacks. EIIects Irom this strategic air campaign
supported the overall joint campaign design, not an independent school oI thought.
Secretary RumsIeld, General Myers and others stepped away Irom the 'shock and
awe¨ discussion bouncing around Washington. General Moseley bluntly said: 'The
term Shock and Awe has never been a term that I`ve used. I`m not sure where that
came Irom.¨
376
Taken as a whole, strategic attack refected a careIul use oI airpower Ior maximum
eIIect. 'The pounding that Baghdad has taken has been extraordinarily precise in its
nature,¨ said Joint StaII spokesman Major General Stanley A. McChrystal in early
April. 'It has been nothing like what some people visualize as the destruction oI a city.
It is Iocused on regime-oriented targets and very careIully done.¨
377
Those regime-
Iocused airstrikes gave the Coalition a decisive edge over the Iraqis. 'I believe the
strategic attack piece and the |strikes on| command and control got us 48 to 72 hours
ahead oI anything they could do,¨ said General Moseley. 'I believe their intel was
CNN and Al Jazeera,¨ he added.
378
Air War Execution
The CAOC at Prince Sultan Air Base was once again the hub Ior air operations. But it,
too, had changed in subtle ways since the beginning oI Operation Enduring Freedom
a year and a halI earlier.
One such change was new shorthand Ior measuring and allocating airstrikes. The
term DMPI Sortie Equivalent or DSE became a standard metric Ior steel on target. A
DSE was defned as equal to one F-16`s worth oI strike power on a target. The A-10
equaled two DSEs, Ior example, while a B-52 was worth Iour DSEs. Planners grouped
targets according to how many DSEs were needed to achieve the desired eIIect on a
target. This gave fexibility in the master attack plans. Having a known DSE allowed
planners in the Operations Division oI the CAOC to more quickly and eIfciently add
or subtract the appropriate number and types oI aircraIt to achieve a desired eIIect. It
was just one oI many ways oI regulating the air war.
379

Space to the Forefront
Another change was an even higher level oI integration with space Iorces. 'We are
so dominant in space that I pity a country that would come up against us,¨ said Major
General Frank Blaisdell, a Iew days beIore the war began.
380
Space came to the IoreIront with several advantages in persistence, perspective,
situational awareness, predictive battlespace awareness, and aids to precision planning
and employment. 'We had the best inIormation oI what was going on. We knew
more about the Iraqi Iorces` situation than they did,¨ said General Keys. 'We knew
££x
exactly where and when the weather was going
to clear.¨
381
General Moseley`s 'quiver¨ Ior air and space
included 'in excess oI 50 satellites¨ that 'have
been just unbelievably capable.¨ DeIense Support
Program (DSP) satellites monitored inIrared
fashes to provide early warning oI Iraqi missile
attacks. Communications, weather and navigation were also space-based Iunctions.
Communications satellites 'played a big role enabling joint communications and the
transIer oI targeting inIormation to air, land and sea Iorces,¨ said General Blaisdell
aIter the war.
382

Operators maneuvered and swapped DeIense Satellite Communications Systems
(DSCS) satellites to give 'SATCOM surge capability Ior the Southwest Asian theater,¨
said Colonel David W. Ziegler, Operations Group Commander Ior the 50
th
Space
Wing at Schriever AFB, Colorado, which few most oI the satellites.
383
Three new
satellites were launched in March and April and each made immediate contributions
to Coalition capabilities. On March 10, a new DSCS satellite helped augment the
SATCOM bandwidth. March 31 saw the launch oI the 28
th
satellite in the GPS
constellation. On April 8, a sixth Milstar went into action, enhancing and speeding up
secure communications.
384

GPS satellites Iormed the web oI precision that enabled 5,500 GPS-guided JDAMs
to fnd and hit their targets. By tracking the ATO, space operators based in the United
States tuned the GPS constellation to be at peak perIormance when Coalition Airmen
needed it most. Fine-tuning 'created this sweet spot over Iraq¨ where GPS maintained
better than Iour-meter accuracy, said Lieutenant Colonel Scott Henderson, commander
oI the 2
nd
Space Operations Squadron at Schriever AFB.
385
Space Iorces showed their aggressor training, too. When Iraq attempted to
employ GPS jamming devices, space aggressor Iorces helped train US personnel in
countermeasures.
386
The GPS jammers were later destroyed.
Situation Awareness
Total ISR support Ior OIF exceeded anything the air component had ever done beIore.
Over 80 aircraIt few more than one thousand missions. It took a big chunk oI the
US feet as well as help Irom allies to make it happen. The 116
th
Air Control Wing
set up shop Ior about six hundred Airmen in two locations, the largest E-8 JSTARS
deployment ever. It was a true 'blended wing,¨ staIIed by active and reserve component
personnel. The Air National Guard provided a vital share oI the aircrew members and
support team members.
387
Volume, concentration and overlap produced more situation awareness and fne-
grained detail than any other air war in history. Deployed to the region were 9 Joint
Stars, 9 Rivet Joints, 15 U-2s, over 30 Navy P-3s and 1 Global Hawk. Nineteen
AWACS and twenty Navy E-2s Ianned out in a command and control network.
Renaering of a GPS satellite.
Over 50 satellites supported the air component Ior communications, navigation
and surveillance. In addition to dedicated C4ISR platIorms, bombers, fghters and
gunships had specialized target acquisition capabilities that did double duty by making
contributions to the ISR picture. That plentiIul array allowed the CFACC to keep Iour
Predators aloIt over Baghdad on one occasion and, on another, to fy six U-2 missions
in one 24-hour air tasking order.
The ISR assets searched Ior targets Ior both the air and land component
commanders and Ied back immediate images Ior bomb damage assessment. Every
day, said General Moseley on April 5, 'we`ve had Predators over the top oI Baghdad,
looking Ior surIace-to-air missile radars, looking Ior missile launchers that he`s got
up in the parks and some oI the athletic areas, and also looking over some oI the
leadership targets that we struck to help us determine whether we have to restrike it or
whether we can leave it alone.¨ Global Hawk few 18 days straight and was on this
day working north to Kirkuk and Irbil and south to Baghdad.
388
The wealth oI ISR in turn became one oI several Iactors that led to creation oI a
new Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Cell (ISARC) within the CAOC. Its
mission: to team operations and intelligence personnel to speed up target execution. The
ISARC became a nerve center Ior changing targeting and squeezing maximum eIfciency
Irom strike platIorms. 'We had a lot oI cool toys that were really helpIul,¨ said Major
Kevin Glenn, oI USCENTAF A-2. But in Glenn`s view it was the ISARC itselI that made
the diIIerence when 'we needed to make something happen quickly.¨ The warrior spirit
steadily inIused into the air execution process Irom 1999 on through exercises and real-
world experience alike was paying oII in targets rapidly struck in Iraq.
389
Major Glenn explained how it worked. Collection managers assigned tasking Ior
various ISR platIorms. Liaisons to Air Force distributed ground stations nodes Ior
satellite and other data kept the ISARC cell in touch with the latest Ieeds. 'We had
threat analysts who would fnd, fx and track targets. Then we had imagery support.
We had signal support right there. We had surveillance platIorm liaison oIfcers,
Global Hawk guys, U-2 guys, Rivet Joint guys, and Predator guys,¨ said Major Glenn.
'It was really easy and quick to do things having all these guys,¨ he continued. They
'were just great people and they just adapted or improvised or overcame` as Clint
Eastwood would say.¨
390
Global Mobility
Keeping the airstrikes going was the job oI the air component`s mobility Iorces. In addition
to General Moseley and his deputy, Rear Admiral David Nichols, USN, the DIRMOBFOR,
Major General Nick Williams, and the Air Mobility Director, Colonel Mark Still, both
played signifcant roles managing and scheduling the fow oI airliIt and tankers.
AirliIt put 'people and supplies in place so the President could act when he wanted
to, without going through a mobilization eIIort,¨ said Secretary oI the Air Force James
P. Roche.
391

By the numbers, air mobility dominated the campaign. 'We hauled and we hauled
good,¨ said Secretary Roche.
392
Tankers and airliIt accounted Ior 56 percent oI the
Air Force`s 24,196 sorties fown Irom March 19 through April 18, 2003.
393
All told,
the Air Force few 7,413 airliIt sorties Ior Operation Iraqi Freedom. That included
globe-spanning airliIt missions controlled out oI the Tanker and AirliIt Control Center
at Scott AFB, plus in-theater missions, fown mainly by C-130s. When the need arose,
the 332
nd
Air Expeditionary Wing even set up a 'Red Tail Express¨ by leasing trucks
££È
££Ç
to drive supplies to newly opened expeditionary airfelds. Coalition ally Australia also
contributed 263 airliIt sorties during OIF.
'You just do your mission,¨ said C-130 pilot Major Dan Kenefick oI the Minnesota
Air National Guard`s 133
rd
AirliIt Wing. 'You realize you`re a very small piece in a
very huge puzzle.¨
394
Keeping the airliIters, ISR aircraIt and the strike aircraIt airborne were the tankers.
'Not a single bomb gets dropped, not a single air-to-air engagement happens, or missile
is fred unless tankers make it happen,¨ commented Colonel Cathy Clothier, 401
st
Air
Expeditionary Operations Group Commander.
395

US Air Force tankers racked up 6,193 sorties during the main phase oI Operation
Iraqi Freedom and oII-loaded 376,391,000 pounds oI Iuel. Although 149 KC-135s
and 33 KC-10s were deployed Ior OIF, the pace oI operations kept tanker crews busy.
KC-135 pilot Captain Richard Peterson at the 321
st
Air Expeditionary Wing described
OIF as a nonstop cycle oI 'fy, crew rest and time to go again.¨
396
But new technology and procedures did not eliminate all the obstacles in air
war execution. Predictably, one oI the classic challenges, tanker allocation, arose as
soon as the shooting started. Without bases in Turkey there was a shortIall in tanker
coverage Ior some strike packages operating Irom the USS Harry S. Truman and
USS Theoaore Roosevelt in the Mediterranean. Several fights oI Navy strike pilots
had to turn back in the middle oI their missions and jettison their bombs in the sea.
Complaints quickly hit the press, but Admiral Keating, Ior one, took it with a grain
oI salt. 'It didn`t aIIect the overall campaign,¨ he said. The air component was 'able
to move gas around tactically and operationally, iI you will, near-real time, and then
A Special Operations Forces High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheelea Jehicle (HUM-
JEE) moves through Western Baghaaa, April 12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt.
Jeremy T. Lock)
make some accommodations in the air tasking order.¨
397
In the end, there was no
diIIerence in tanker allocation between the Mediterranean, the GulI and other land
bases. 'The guys that complained most about not getting tankers were the A-10 guys
and the F-15E guys,¨ General Moseley said aIter it was all over.
398

Air reIueling was vital all around. 'At least a third to a halI oI our aircraIt are
in the air at any given time, and as the operation tempo increases, so will the number
oI sorties we fy,¨ said Lieutenant Colonel James Vechery, commander oI the 340
th

Expeditionary Air ReIueling Squadron, Iorward-deployed in the GulI region. 'We
are a Iorce extender. By bringing Iuel to the fght, we are allowing other planes with
more extensive combat power to complete their missions.¨
399

The tankers were 'the true backbone¨ oI the operation. Within a Iew days the
Iraqi airfelds and air deIenses were suppressed enough to move the tankers into Iraqi
airspace.
400
Still, threats oI mobile missiles and anti-aircraIt fre lingered, particularly in
the north. On one memorable occasion, Captain Tricia Paulson piloted her KC-135 over
Kirkuk, where notable air deIense threats remained. She and her crew orbited to supply
Iuel Ior rescue Iorces attempting to locate the crew oI a downed F-15E.
401

Heading for Baghdad
All these elements oI Coalition air and space power came together with one prime
intent: to get to Baghdad as Iast as possible and overthrow Saddam`s regime. 'Get
££n
F-16CJs return to a forwara aeployea base in Southwest Asia supporting Operation
Iraqi Freeaom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt Terry L. Blevins)
££™
to Baghdad with a platoon,¨ General Moseley reiterated. 'The mission here is to get
to Baghdad to demonstrate to the world and the neighborhood that he is incapable oI
deIending himselI, and we will be in that capital city.¨
402
It took only a Iew days to come very close to Baghdad. Lead elements oI the 7
th

Cavalry Regiment oI the 3
rd
InIantry Division penetrated one hundred miles into Iraq
by March 21. Their advance had 'already moved the distance oI the longest maneuver
oI the 1991 GulI War in one quarter oI the time,¨ General Brooks announced.
403
Behind the spearhead, the 101
st
Airborne Division also crossed into Iraq, while Special
Operations Forces engaged to the north and west. On the right, I MEF set its own
course Ior the capital, swinging in Irom the east to link up with V Corps` advance.
Predators scoped out their path. In addition to other surveillance duties, Predators
provided real-time video to senior land commanders. 'We immediately pass on any
data we gather to the people on the ground who need it, and we provide it around the
clock,¨ said Predator pilot Captain Traz Trzaskoma. 'And iI we`re carrying Hellfre
missiles, we can take care oI a target ourselves.¨
404
The land component`s plan was to move ahead on the main highways with the
Army on the leIt and the Marines on the right. Their objective was Ior V Corps to
reach the Karbala area as quickly as possible. From there, the Army and Marines could
then move Iorward and encircle halI oI Baghdad, then drive into its heart to topple the
regime. Because speed was essential to the strategy, the two pincers bypassed cities
in southern and central Iraq and maneuvered around Iraqi regular army units on their
drive north.
At An Nasiriyah, the land component`s drive met its frst serious resistance.
Army Iorces took the key highway junction then moved northward again, while the
Marines came in Irom the right to surround and secure An Nasiriyah. Resistance
seemed to come mainly Irom irregular Iorces positioned within the city. They couldn`t
mass to deIend it, but they could take a toll on Coalition soldiers and marines. One
group oIIered a white fag oI surrender and then opened up with artillery fre. Twelve
Marines were killed in An Nasiriyah on the Iourth day oI the war. Special Republican
Guards Iorces had 'infltrated Iorward in an eIIort to conduct these types oI raids as
our troops come through the area,¨ said USCENTCOM Deputy Commander General
John Abizaid.
405
'The majority oI the resistance we have Iaced so Iar comes Irom
Saddam`s special security organization and the Saddam Fedayeen,¨ speculated British
Major General Peter Wall on March 23.
406
General LeaI at the land component sensed
that 'signifcant pieces oI the southern deployed RGFC units Baghdad and Medina
were part oI the initial contact¨ around An Nasiriyah.
407
Army V Corps Commander
Lieutenant General William Scott Wallace later spoke oI his surprise at the Iraqi tactics
in the initial contact at An Nasiriyah. 'He was willing to attack out oI those towns
toward our Iormations, when my expectation was that they would be deIending those
towns and not be as aggressive,¨ General Wallace said oI the Iraqis.
408
On the map, the land component was exactly where it wanted to be. In three
short days the lead elements oI the Coalition land Iorces had arrived at their objective
near the Karbala gap, just 40 miles south oI Baghdad. USCENTCOM`s war planners
could not predict the exact Iorm or timing oI Iraqi resistance, but they knew it would
come. 'Their desire was to fght us and demonstrate that they are the Nebuchadnezzar
warriors oI old,¨ Moseley said.
409
What happened next would depend on the reactions oI the Republican Guards.
£Óä
Staff Sgt. Jason Nipp protects his eyes auring a sana storm while
spotting a munitions hanaling unit carrying missile for an F-16
Fighting Falcon on the ßightline at a forwara-aeployea loca-
tion March 25. Nipp is a crew chief with the 363ra Expeaitionary
Equipment Maintenance Squaaron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff
Sgt. Matthew Hannen)
|äAºI| 1 1. Unrelenting Airpower
A
cross Iraq, the fve air wars were squeezing Iraq`s command and control
and ability to maneuver major units on the battlefeld. The Scud option was
out. The Iraqi Air Force had closed up shop. Regime leadership was on the
run. II Saddam had one chance to stop the drive to Baghdad, his chance lay with the
Republican Guards. The conIrontation between airpower and the Republican Guards
would be one oI the most decisive points oI the war.
The Republican Guards
It was the Republican Guards who had spearheaded Iraq`s invasion oI Kuwait in 1990.
They took a beating Irom airpower and ground engagements in the GulI war oI 1991,
but several major units such as the Hammurabi division and part oI the Medina division
escaped behind deIensive screens at the end oI the war. In 2003, the Republican Guards
were not at their 1991 strengths, but they remained a substantial military Iorce. CSIS
military analyst Anthony Cordesman credited the Republican Guards with as many as
six hundred T-72s and three hundred T-62s, Ior a total oI about nine hundred top-oI-the
line tanks. Other Soviet-export equipment such as T-55s remained on their table oI
equipment, too.
411

More to the point, they outnumbered Franks` ground Iorces. On paper the
Republican Guards had 'twice as many tanks as Coalition Iorces and probably about
twice as many artillery pieces as had been joined in the theater¨ at the time Operation
Iraqi Freedom began.
412

Intelligence in early March showed the Baghdad division in the north near Mosul,
and another division near Kirkuk. The Medina and Al Nida divisions were north oI
Baghdad while the Nebuchadnezzar crouched to the southwest, between Karbala and
Hilla. The Hammurabi division was southeast oI Baghdad.
The Republican Guards were positioned to deIend the approaches to Baghdad. In
the worst case, they might Iall back into the city and wreak bloody urban warIare on the
Coalition. USCENTCOM certainly expected a fght. What was not clear was whether
their tactics would be to dig in, or try to maneuver. 'What they probably should have
done |was| to deploy those divisions along the Tigris and Euphrates LOCs, way beIore
any oI this happened,¨ General Moseley commented.
413

But as the advance continued, the Republican Guards had not committed to a
deIense in depth on the approaches to Baghdad. They were arrayed in a loose semi-
circle outside the city and were trying to move south. Taking the fght out oI the
¨Sufhce il lo say ve are appIying signihcanl pressure
on lhen fron lhe air as our ground lroops conlinue lo
cIose vilh lhen.¨
|icu|cnan| Gcncra| ]cnn A|izaiú,
March 23, 2003
410
£Ó£
Republican Guards was critical to the next part oI the plan to seize Baghdad. While V
Corps got to the Karbala gap quickly, it had done so by racing three hundred miles on
no sleep and minimal supplies over a period oI days.
'When you consider the military potential oI the Republican Guards, |the land
component| would not have undertaken a major maneuver operation with those Iorces
intact,¨ explained Colonel Charles WestenhoII, Deputy ChieI oI Checkmate, the Air
Force`s premier campaign analysis cell in the Pentagon. 'Because as soon as you
take oII, Irom those well-prepared attack positions, you are now vulnerable, not just
straight ahead, but Irom both sides.¨
414
Apache War Cry
Airmen were the frst to engage Saddam`s elite Iorces en masse. Deep interdiction
strikes by bombers and fghters pounded the Republican Guards Irom night one. By
March 23, although General LeaI at the land component reported some Republican
Guards were engaged, the land Iorce spearheads had not made Iull contact.
The only way to attrit the Republican Guards was by air attack.
Operation Iraqi Freedom was an air war Iought on a grid. Thousands oI killboxes
sized by map grid lines at 30 nm by 30 nm each covered the entire area oI operations.
Each killbox in turn was its own little keypad divided into nine equal chunks, just like
the numbers on a telephone with the '5¨ in the middle. Thus a pilot might look Ior a
target in 'Killbox 88 AS Keypad 7,¨ which would be near Baghdad.
Killboxes were the air component`s battlespace map; the land component had
the fre support coordination line (FSCL) as its prime saIety and control measure
Ior separating interdiction Irom close air support. For the frst Iew days, air hit the
Republican Guards in the relevant killboxes, Iar ahead oI the land component advance.
Then the land and air component coordination hit a snag.
On March 23 and 24, as V Corps lead elements pressed on toward NajaI and the
Karbala gap, General Wallace wanted to bring frepower to bear on the Medina division
sitting astride the approaches to Baghdad. Although air attacks were continuous, Army
commanders worried that the Medina was so dispersed that they could not be spotted
Irom the air, so it would take low-fying Apache helicopters to root out and attack its
equipment.
415
The plan gave the Apache attack helicopters a chance to hammer the
Medina.
Tactically, it 'was a typical use oI the Apaches,¨ recalled Army Lieutenant Colonel
Steve Smith, commander oI the 2
nd
Battalion, 101
st
Aviation Regiment. 'We thought
we`d be doing night and deep attacks.¨
416
Operationally, it meant pulling back the air
component to make a corridor Ior the attack helicopters.
For the Apaches to attack, the land component moved the fre support coordination
line Iorward in that sector to cover the Republican Guards Iorces positioned about 50
miles Irom Baghdad. 'As the rate oI initial advance oI the V Corps elements was great,¨
General LeaI said, 'they recommended and the JTCB |Joint Targeting Coordination
Board| approved a Iairly long placement oI the FSCL¨ in V Corps` sector.
417
V Corps hastily established a Iorward arming and reIueling point, arranged a
preparatory ATACMS strike, and sent the Apaches 50 miles ahead to attack the Medina
division. But the Iraqis were ready Ior them. An Iraqi general in NajaI placed a phone
call to warn his Iorces that the Apaches were on their way. 'As our attack aviation
approached the attack positions, they came under intense enemy fre,¨ General Wallace
later said. One Apache was shot down and 30 others had to break oII the attack aIter
£ÓÓ
suIIering battle damage. 'The attack oI the 11
th
Aviation on the Medina Division did
not meet the objectives that I had set Ior that attack,¨ Wallace acknowledged.
418

Worse, moving the FSCL actually reaucea the volume oI heavy airstrikes that
night. The decision 'cost us basically a Iull night oI fxed target strikes inside the
FSCL,¨ LeaI assessed.
419
Strikes in support oI CFLCC Iell to their lowest level oI the
entire war due to the time lost to the Apache attack.
420
Noticing the drop-oII, the air
component worked to reopen some oI the killboxes in the area.
'We the entire Coalition team had not hit our stride in achieving the command and
control required to operate in volume eIIectively inside the FSCL,¨ said General LeaI.
421

General Moseley wanted to move on, and reIused to worry about gripes over the
FSCL coordination incidents. 'I don`t have time Ior that,¨ he said oI this crucial
interval. 'I`m thinking in terms oI what happens iI the Republican Guard hauls ass to
Baghdad.¨
422
USCENTCOM calculated that the intention oI the Iraqi Iorces was 'to gradually pull
back into Baghdad with Iorces and lines oI Iorce that we would encounter over time,¨
said General Brooks.
423
In General Moseley`s view the worst-case scenario 'would
have been the Medina and Baghdad divisions fghting to the death, and the other Iour
|Republican Guards| divisions Ialling in on prepared fghting positions in the city..
without me being able to kill them¨ as they scurried into the city.
424
Then, one day aIter the aborted Apache attack, nature threw in a wild card in the
Iorm oI a whipping sandstorm that blinded all but the most sophisticated radar sensors
and Iorced the Coalition to rely on a Iew key airborne sensors to direct the continuing
attack on the Republican Guards.
The Sandstorm
Air Force weather experts tracked the sandstorm as it took shape over the Mediterranean.
When the storm hit, winds gusted to 45 miles per hour and a dirty orange haze reduced
visibility. Thunderstorms Iollowed. 'It was biblical,¨ said Colonel Rick Gibbs, 101
st

Airborne. 'There`s a movie Scorpion King that shows this same kind oI sandstorm.
That`s the only other place I`ve seen it like that, and I grew up in Texas, where we had
plenty oI this,¨ Gibbs attested.
425
As the weather closed in, the lead in the joint campaign passed to the air
component.
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|crccs Air Ccmpcncn|
Ccmmanúcr. (USA| pnc|c |q
Ssg|. ]crrq |. C|cmcns, ]r.)
Fortunately, the air component had plenty oI warning due to the constant vigilance
oI its weather experts. 'Most systems we have are weather sensitive, so weather
predictions must be integrated into the planning at all times,¨ said Lieutenant Colonel
Fred Fahlbusch, CAOC weather cell chieI.
426
With advance notice, fghters and
bombers reconfgured loads to include more JDAMs.
Blowing sand did not ground the fghters and bombers airborne over Iraq, although
fying in it was memorable, with zero-zero conditions on runways, blowing sand up to
ten thousand Ieet, and heavy thunderstorms above. For the purposes oI the air wars,
the real problem was that the particulate matter oI sand and dust just like clouds
and Iog degraded inIrared sensors such as those used to target laser-guided bombs.
It also played havoc with optical and inIrared reconnaissance. 'It`s a little bit ugly
out there today,¨ Air Force Major General Victor E. Renuart, the USCENTCOM J-3,
remarked on March 25.
427
However, sandstorms had no eIIect on synthetic aperture radar. Joint STARS and
high-altitude platIorms like Global Hawk kept a close watch on the Republican Guards
Iorces. 'We were watching these guys with the Joint STARS and the ground moving target
indicator radars coming out oI Baghdad trying to reinIorce the Medina Division and the B-
1s and the B-52s were up there pounding the heck out oI them,¨ said General Jumper.
428
Global Hawk`s tactics during the sandstorm were a case in point. The single
Global Hawk in theater, AV-3, was one oI the Iew sensors operating continuously
during the sandstorm. The dust impaired its EO/IR sensors. So the Global Hawk
team Iocused AV-3`s SAR sensor on the Republican Guards below, checking DMPI
aIter DMPI to see iI Republican Guards Iorces were still there, and once again passing
updated inIormation on to fghters and bombers with JDAMs so the relentless attacks
could continue.
429

The Coalition`s ISR advantage shocked the Iraqis. The Iraqis 'thought they were
as invisible to us as we were to them, when in Iact, we were watching them in some
detail trying to move out to reinIorcing positions,¨ said General Jumper.
430
While the air component hit the Republican Guards in Iront oI Baghdad, fghting
persisted all up and down the land component`s line. The line now stretched almost
250 miles, with bypassed cities along the way. It was like deIending CaliIornia`s
Interstate 5 Irom Bakersfeld to the Bay Area. The desert sandstorm or shamal might
have seemed to the Iraqis like one last opportunity to infltrate American lines and
make the war bloody.
From Basra to NajaI some Iraqi Iedayeen and special security Iorces Iought on at
close quarters even during the sandstorm. In Basra, a column oI 70 to 120 tanks tried
to break out oI the city. British Iorces called in airstrikes on them.
431
B-52s, A-10s
and British Tornados pulverized the column. 'They`re counting the burning hulks,¨
said a Marine observer.
432
In one engagement southeast oI NajaI, Coalition soldiers tangled with Iraqi Iorces
launching a fank attack. The 3/7
th
Cavalry was one unit heavily engaged. Coalition
Iorces were extended in a thin line and 'the weather was terrible,¨ General LeaI said.
'Iraqi soldiers were being killed by ricocheting RPGs and US troops were dismounting
to grab AK-47s so they had something to shoot back.¨
433
The Iraqis damaged several
Coalition vehicles.
434

Airpower roared into the close fght. Air Force StaII Sergeant Mike Shropshire,
an enlisted terminal attack controller (ETAC) located with the 3/7
th
Cavalry, called Ior
help and a B-1 responded with JDAMs. Later, Joint STARS picked up indications
£Ó{
oI an Iraqi column moving down the road to reinIorce the fght at NajaI. This time,
an orbiting B-52 got the call and unleashed JDAM, WCMD and Mk 117 bombs on
the Iraqis. Coalition ground Iorces rounded up 150 Iraqi soldiers 'that were hit by
the B-52 and then surrendered,¨ General LeaI concluded.
435
In the end, 'that attack
was seriously repulsed with signifcant damage to the attacking Iraqi Iorces,¨ General
Brooks said the next day.
436

The episode at An NajaI pointed out how much this confict depended on close air
support. As General Jumper said, 'not since Vietnam have we seen ground elements
inching Iorward in virtually constant contact with the enemy.¨ Close air support in
Operation Desert Storm lasted Ior only a Iew days and 'was never really closer than
a couple oI kilometers.¨ Even the Iew signifcant armor engagements were Iought at
stand-oII ranges, 'and not in a way that really challenged our guys to have to separate
the good guys Irom the bad guys 99° oI the time. There were obviously notable
exceptions and some oI those led to Iratricide,¨ Jumper acknowledged; but on the
whole, OIF required much more close and constant contact, which was Iraught with
'opportunities to screw up.¨ The overall success oI close air support in the drive across
Iraq owed much to advance preparation at all levels. General Jumper`s verdict: 'we
did a pretty damn good job oI this.¨
437
These battles also gave the ground Iorces a sense oI how the Iraqis would fght. Major
Benjamin Matthews saw it frsthand with the 3
rd
InIantry Division in the city oI Samawah.
A handIul oI Iraqis 'started shooting at us with the AKs and then started with RPGs.
They had a couple oI tall buildings with good lines oI sight looking down at us,¨ Major
Matthews said. His troops leIt their vehicles and 'went into a frefght. It was not a
Ieasible fght Ior us. We`re not tanks and Bradleys. We had to get out oI there and call in
close air support,¨ he fnished.
438
Ba`ath party militia, Fedayeen and other irregular Iorces
were proving Irom the ground soldier`s perspective to be their major opponents.
That was due at least in part to the Iact that airpower was hotly engaged with
the Republican Guards. Air component strikes on counter-land targets soared to 47
£Óx
An F-16CJ sits on the ramp auring a severe sana ana wina storm at a forwara-ae-
ployea location March 26. Conaitions make it almost impossible to work outsiae ana
often make work aifhcult for airmen in the region. Despite the challenge, aircraft
from the base still ßew combat sorties in support of Operation Iraqi Freeaom. (U.S.
Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Terry L. Blevins)
percent oI the overall airstrikes during the worst days oI the sandstorm Irom March 25
to 27. As General Renuart said, 'while we may not have helicopter pressure or ground
pressure at a particular point on the battlefeld,¨ Special Forces and airpower kept the
heat on the Iraqis.
439

For General Jumper, the sandstorm was the defning moment. 'I think the turning
point was the dust storm, personally,¨ he said. 'And I think that`s when.whole groups
oI them just got up and walked away.¨
440

Combat and Consolidation
Army doctrine was written to be a comprehensive language Ior the concepts oI land
warIare and it included the notion that 'military operations alternate between actions
and pauses.¨ Tempo was just one oI the elements Ior the commander to regulate,
and while speed was 'oIten preIerred,¨ Army doctrine explicitly recognized that there
would come a time when 'tempo may be slowed to ensure conditions are set beIore
accelerating again to gain the advantages that come with speed.¨
441
The time to slow down came as the shamal blew itselI out. Generals McKiernan,
Conway and Wallace conIerred on March 26. They agreed that to prepare Ior the
assault on Baghdad, the land component had to pause long enough to quell fghting
along its rear area lines oI communications, resupply and lay in an additional Iew days`
worth oI supplies, and fnally, to try to assess the status oI the Republican Guards.
442
'II you`re not doing it, it`s a problem. It`s like going to the tanker,¨ General Moseley
said oI the operational pause.
443
By no means did the 'pause¨ count as time oII Irom combat. In Iact, it was dotted
with close-in frefghts. The strategy oI a Iast drive Iorward, bypassing cities, kept
the campaign on a speedy pace, but it also gave Ba`ath militia and other irregulars
in cities like NajaI a brieI period oI slack to attempt harassing attacks on Army and
Marine Iorces. Supply lines were also constantly under attack Irom mortars, artillery
and small raids. The period Irom March 27 through March 31 looked like a pause
in one sense because the leading edge oI the land component did not leap Iorward
as it had been doing. Instead, the battle curled inward to cities along the 250-mile
line oI advance Irom Basra to Karbala. Rear areas oIten saw intense fghting. For
example, while lead elements oI V Corps were at Karbala, the Army was still subduing
NajaI, over Iorty miles to the 'rear.¨ On the right, the Marines took time out to quell
resistance at places like Al Budayr.
Airpower, too, helped in the 'rear¨ fght. It acted frst as the guardian to ensure no
major Iraqi units brigades and above could cohere and maneuver. Airpower also
assisted with destroying equipment in bypassed rear areas. It was available at all times
Ior close air support.
Most oI all, the air component poured on the frepower. Strikes 'ramped up to about 1000
sorties a day against those Iormations. They got no pause,¨ said General Moseley.
444
Republican Guards units writhed under the attacks. 'What we see in many
Iormations oI the Republican Guards is some eIIort to try to reposition internally
within their deIenses,¨ General Brooks said on March 28. The maneuver looked more
like survival tactics than an organized shiIt in their deIensive posture.
445
The joint campaign as a whole was not on 'pause.¨ As General Franks explained
it, the fghting Iorces passed the ball so that 'sometimes air, sometimes ground,
sometimes Special Forces, sometimes a combination oI two oI the above, sometimes
all three¨ were engaged.
446

£ÓÈ
Commander oI the I MEF General Conway described the same eIIect. During the
times Conway held his Iorces in place, 'while we were stationary, we were, in Iact,
attacking with our air, taking maximum advantage oI intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance capabilities to determine what the enemy was that we Iaced.¨
447

'I`d like to ask the commander oI the Medina Division when he thought the pause
was,¨ General Jumper quipped.
448
Bashur
During this time, C-17s helped open up a new Iront in the north. Over one thousand troops
Irom the Army`s 173
rd
Airborne Brigade 'jumped into an area near Bashur in northern
Iraq to provide additional combat power to the special operating Iorces that had already
inserted themselves into Kurdish-held territory,¨ said General Renuart.
449
These Iorces
would back up the SOF teams and Kurds on the 'green line,¨ inIormally demarcating the
Kurdish-held territory oI Northern Iraq. Together these Iorces had the task oI pinning
down Iraqi army and Republican Guards units by commencing action in the north.
The Bashur airdrop was a Ieat oI coordination and airmanship. Plans Ior the drop
took shape with just a Iew weeks` notice. Bashur itselI was the site oI a medium-sized
seven thousand-Ioot airfeld, but it was also located in a box canyon. Low-fying C-17s
had to drop heavy equipment and paratroopers and then climb out Iast to make it over the
canyon`s mountain walls. Weather had closed in a Iew days beIore, leaving the turI soggy
Irom rain-showers. However, SOF Iorces on the ground predicted the drop zone would
clear Ior the night oI the drop. With that, 15 C-17s leIt Aviano AB, Italy, to make the long
fight. They spread out in a Iormation over a hundred miles long to time each aircraIt`s
time over the drop zone. 'This was the largest airdrop since Panama,¨ said the C-17 pilot
who planned and few the mission, Lieutenant Colonel Shane Hershman.
450

£ÓÇ
U.S. Army paratroopers prepare to boara a C-17 Globemaster III. Nearly 1,000 'Sky
Solaiers` of the 173ra Airborne Brigaae parachutea from C-17s into the Kuraish-
controllea area of northern Iraq. This was the hrst combat insertion of paratroopers
using a C-17. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Stephen Faulisi)
Heavy equipment dropped
frst, then came the troops. 'It
was quite a Ieeling to see all
that stuII exit the aircraIt then
close the doors and escape
out oI there,¨ recalled Master
Sergeant Chris Dockery, C-17
loadmaster.
451

'Once you get into the area, people really get Iocused,¨ said C-17 pilot Colonel
Bob Allardice, who led the frst night`s drops. 'When the doors open, you can hear the
roar oI the troops there are 100 airborne troops, standing up, stomping and yelling,
getting psyched up. Then they run out oI the back oI the jet.¨
452
Parachuting in with the 173
rd
were members oI the 86
th
Contingency Response
Group Irom Ramstein AB, Germany. Their mission: get the airfeld up and running as
soon as possible. 'There was no other way to get Air Force boots and eyes on the ground
to assess the situation and prepare to receive aircraIt,¨ said Major Erik Rundquist,
security Iorces commander Ior the group.
453
Another wave oI airdrops came the next
night. Bashur was bare-bones, just like many oI the bases opened up Ior operations
in AIghanistan the year beIore. Here, 'austere¨ meant no water, sewage, electricity or
even buildings. But that was no surprise to the contingency response Airmen. They
provided security, communications, intelligence, medical support, engineering and
dozens oI other skills to 'support the 173
rd
Airborne Brigade and its buildup oI combat
power,¨ said Colonel Steven K. Weart, Commander, 86
th
Expeditionary Response
Group.
454
Soon, Iorces secured the airfeld and the 'heavies¨ were landing day and
night and keeping engines running during unloading in case they had to make a quick
getaway.
In the south, too, airliIters
were landing on Iraqi airfelds.
A C-130 Irom the 320
th
Air
£Ón
Seen through a hole in a win-
aow at Baghaaa Internation-
al Airport, a C-5 Galaxy sits
on the ramp June 25. (U.S.
Air Force photo by Master
Sgt. James M. Bowman)
U.S. Marines from the 2na
Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment
escort capturea enemy prison-
ers of war to a holaing area in
the aesert of Iraq on March 21,
2003, auring Operation Iraqi
Freeaom. (DoD photo by Lance
Cpl. Brian L. Wickliffe, U.S.
Marine Corps)
Expeditionary Wing became the frst Air Force aircraIt to land at a feld in southern
Iraq when it touched down at Tallil on March 27 in total darkness. Again it was a joint
operation. 'Our plane doesn`t shoot back,¨ said Lieutenant Colonel Cam Torrens,
'so US Iorces must have control on the ground. II we`re able to land that means the
ground troops have gotten the job done.¨
455
Now that both SOF and conventional Iorces were in place, operations along the
'green line¨ intensifed. Iraq had about 13 divisions in the area and the job oI the
Coalition Iorces was to hold them in place by attacking. Coalition SOF and ten
thousand Kurdish Peshmerga Iorces attacked Ansar Al Islam, near the Iranian border.
Their target was an enclave with as many as seven hundred fghters loyal to Osama bin
Laden. Integration oI air and ground attacks along the 'green line¨ eventually brought
Coalition Iorces near Kirkuk itselI, which Iell on April 10.
456

Final Preparations
With its stocks renewed, V Corps` plan called Ior a series oI fve coordinated attacks
by the 3
rd
InIantry, the 101
st
Airborne, and the 82
nd
Airborne, all starting early in the
morning on March 30. The main attack was set to push through the Karbala Gap while
Iour Ieints lured more Republican Guard Iorces into battle. It was a double whammy:
drawing out the Republican Guards to expose them to attack, while making sure the
path into Baghdad remained clear Ior V Corps.
The morass oI Republican Guards Iorces hustling south 'to go fght the Americans¨
was now in a real dilemma. 'II
they mass to fght, we kill them,¨
General Moseley explained. 'II
they disperse to survive, the
army goes through them. And
then we kill them.¨
457
To General Wallace, the
series oI attacks Irom March 30
to April 2 were the culminating
point oI the V Corps` drive. 'As
we completed those attacks,
deIeated the enemy in and
around Al Hillah which is the
frst time, by the way, that we
had confrmed contact with the
Republican Guard we began
£Ó™
Army Blackhawk helicopter
sits quietly on the grouna as
an F-16 Fighting Falcon lanas
auring a severe sana storm at a
forwara-aeployea location sup-
porting Operation Iraqi Free-
aom. (U.S. Air Force photo by
Master Sgt. Terry L. Blevins)
to receive reports Irom our UAVs
and aerial observers and Irom our
intelligence Iolks that the Iraqi
Army was repositioning. And it was about 3:00, maybe 4:00 in the aIternoon on a
beautiIul sunlit day, low wind, no restrictions to fight, and at that point the US Air
Force had a heyday against those repositioning Iraqi Iorces.¨
458

That was also the day when A-10s frst few quick-turn missions Irom Tallil airfeld.
The integrated, component fght had Iound its rhythm.
The Air Force`s Expeditionary Combat Support teams already had experience with
turning austere bases into Iunctional, fghting locations. Starting in February 2003, ECS
teams would set up 12 new bases: 7 in Persian GulI states lending their allegiance to
OIF, and 5 in Iraq itselI. Airmen got to Tallil on March 26, during the sandstorm. It was
'absolute bare bones,¨ said Lieutenant Colonel Dave Kennedy, commander oI the 110th
Operations Group at al Jaber AB, Kuwait. Tallil lay under the no-fy zone and had been all
but abandoned by the Iraqis. Kennedy Iound the power out, water shut oII, and windows
missing Irom buildings. Unexploded ordnance littered the area and in a fnishing touch,
the Iraqis had buried vehicles every one hundred Ieet along the runway.
459

'Within a Iew days, we were turning A-10s out oI there and shortly aIter that
we had A-10s based there,¨ commented General Keys.
460
Opening up Iorward bases
like the one at Tallil also ratcheted up the intensity oI the attacks. A-10s fying Irom
Tallil could 'get up to an extra hour over most oI the target areas,¨ said Colonel James
Dobbins, oI the 392
nd
Air Expeditionary Group.
461
At the high point they surged 50
sorties out oI Tallil 'during the push,¨ he added.
462
Now the fve air wars were coming together. 'Many oI the eIIects oI air operations
are cumulative,¨ noted Dr. Eliot Cohen, the scholar who led the Air Force`s study oI
the 1991 GulI War. 'At any given time, you may think you`re not doing very much,
but suddenly, when the right pressure comes together, the other guy collapses.¨
463

Pressure built Irom the eIIects oI the strategic attacks on regime capabilities.
Command and control eroded. As General Brooks explained, 'iI we are aware oI
a particular system that is used to communicate, that joins telephone with other
transmissions, a network that moves inIormation to the Iraqi regime Iorces, to diIIerent
areas, to diIIerent Ba`ath Party headquarters, and we have awareness oI that, we
may seek to sever those links.¨ Degrading primary systems was a continual task Ior
strategic air attacks even as other strike aircraIt took out tanks and military equipment
in the killboxes.
The eIIects oI each oI the fve air wars were Iunctioning like gears in a machine,
holding the west, disrupting the Iraqi regime, keeping up air superiority to allow the fow
oI strike and support aircraIt over the country, and most oI all, supporting the CFLCC`s
operations with decimating deep strikes and rapid, tailored close air support. More
£Îä
General Tommy Franks, Com-
manaer, Unitea States Central
Commana, ana members of his
staff lana at a forwara-aeployea
air base in the Miaale East.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff
Sgt. Derrick C. Gooae)
than 70 percent oI the air component`s total strike eIIort in OIF targeted Iraqi ground
Iorces. This was the core oI the 'south fght,¨ and it was dominant and decisive.

Impact
Still, there was one major question. Day aIter day oI fying hundreds oI sorties against
Republican Guards targets was having an impact but just how much impact? No
one wanted a road-kill tally Ior its own sake, since attrition was not an end in itselI,
but commanders did need a sense oI how equipment losses and secondary eIIects such
as abandonment oI equipment were aIIecting the overall cohesion and positioning oI
Iraqi Iorces on the battlefeld. Were the Republican Guards capable oI mounting a
ferce deIense oI Baghdad or not?
As General Franks said on March 30, 'what I pay very close attention to is the
amount oI Iorce in aggregate in any particular piece oI geography inside Iraq.¨
464

In a static war, the task would have been simply to subtract destroyed hulks
and issue judgments about the degradation level oI a certain unit. However, on this
battlefeld, assessing the eIIect on the Republican Guards got harder and harder the
more the airstrikes mixed and mangled their Iormations. Each oI the Republican
Guards divisions had been rated at 80 percent combat strength beIore the war, and
some divisions were pegged at 90 percent. As Coalition aircraIt struck tanks, artillery,
and other vehicles, the losses in equipment began to tally up. Both the air and land
components kept a rough count based on pre-war positions.
'The weight oI eIIort was more concentrated initially on the Baghdad and the
Medina division,¨ said Colonel WestenhoII. The Baghdad division was in the Marine
and the Medina was in the Army sector, with the Hammurabi tucked in behind it
slightly to the north.
465

£Î£
Airman 1st Class Angel Aguila, a security forces troop from the 86th Security Forces
Squaaron, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, guaras an entry control point at Bashur Air-
hela, Iraq. In the backgrouna, Marine Corps CH-46 ana HH-53 helicopters -- which
are beginning to bring 26th Marine Expeaitionary Unit Marines to the base -- taxi
for takeoff. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Keith Reea)
Pinpoint assessment oI the status oI Iraqi Iorces became more diIfcult as the battle
progressed, however. The land component 'wanted to ensure that specifc units that
were key to the Iraqi Iorces were properly prioritized and then were rendered ineIIective
or at least reduced in their eIIectiveness,¨ General LeaI explained. 'That was pretty
diIfcult to do in the Iog and speed oI war and the hodgepodge oI Iraqi Iorces¨ since
they 'weren`t operating in a templated manner.¨
466
The push south swirled diIIerent
divisions and units together so that USCENTCOM analysts struggled to match reports
oI airstrike damage with the equipment oI specifc Republican Guards units. 'Is it
the Adnan division? Is it the Nebuchadnezzar division? Is it the Medina division?
Is it a mix oI all oI them?¨ wondered General Moseley. General Wallace at V Corps
and General Conway at I MEF were also trying to Ieel it out, to sense what level oI
resistance might or might not be waiting up ahead.
467

To help the land component get a perspective on the eIIect oI airstrikes, General
LeaI monitored mission reports Irom returning aircrews. His staII put together a Falcon
View three-dimensional terrain map with locations oI the most recent bomb hits as
mission reports fltered in 12 to 24 hours aIter the day`s airstrikes. 'It wasn`t Iull-
blown BDA,¨ General LeaI said. But when an Army commander asked him 'well,
what are you guys doing?` I could say, this is where we`ve attacked targets, these are
the kinds, these are the weapons we`ve used in those attacks, and when available, here
are some oI the comments Irom the crews brought in Irom the misreps,`¨ General LeaI
said. His quick-turn operational picture helped give the land component an overview
oI where airstrikes were doing the most damage to Iraqi Iorces.
468
Beginning of the End
Tuesday, April 1, was the beginning oI the end. Airstrikes again targeted the presumed
locations oI the Medina division and other units in the path oI the Coalition`s advance.
General Myers put it bluntly when he said, 'what we`re trying to do with both ground
and air Iorces there is to decrease the combat capability oI the divisions that have been
arrayed south oI Baghdad to stop the 1
st
Marine Division and the 3
rd
InIantry Division
and the 101st |Airborne Division|, Irom making progress towards Baghdad.¨
469
Later that night, land Iorces began a two-pronged attack. The 3
rd
InIantry engaged
the Medina and Nebuchadnezzar divisions. On April 2, they passed Karbala and
moved north. The Republican Guards were not sitting ducks. 'They`re fghting,¨
Pentagon spokesman Tori Clarke emphasized. 'They`re not just sitting there waiting
Ior this to happen to them.¨
470
But the impact oI airpower stood out as ground Iorces rapidly accelerated their
advance. On the right, the I MEF moved out Irom Kut toward Baghdad. Marines blew
through the Republican Guards Baghdad division and crossed the Tigris river. 'The
Baghdad division has been destroyed,¨ announced General Renuart.
471

Air support to the oIIensive was as critical as ever. The Army and Marines
processed requests in two diIIerent ways. V Corps had its ASOC Iully-manned with
Airmen who specialized in correlating and responding to the request oI ground units.
The Marine control system centered on the Direct Air Support Center or DASC, which
had a similar mission, integrating airstrikes and close air support with the maneuver oI
its regimental combat teams.
The Coalition`s prisoner count still totaled only about 4,500. In one case, 67
soldiers Irom the Nebuchadnezzar division surrendered to V Corps.
472
All signs
pointed to signifcant destruction oI Iorces and to mass desertions.
£ÎÓ
Army Iorces held Karbala itselI aIter two days oI fghting. Iraqi engineers had managed
to blow up a bridge across the Euphrates, but Army engineers soon spanned the river with
a pontoon foat bridge and a new medium-girder bridge above the damaged one.
Across the Euphrates, the route to Baghdad was open. Advancing land Iorces Iound
'a tremendous amount oI destroyed equipment and a signifcant number oI enemy
casualties as they moved toward Baghdad,¨ LeaI noted.
473
They saw 'unimaginable
scenes¨ oI destruction inficted on the Republican Guards by the air component. 'I
hope we won`t experience anything like that again,¨ said one sergeant who had also
served in the GulI War oI 1991. 'When I see that many bodies, I just don`t want to be
here any more.¨
474
However, according to General LeaI, soldiers and Marines also 'Iound areas
where there was a great deal more equipment than there were attendant casualties.¨
DebrieIs oI the Iraqi POWs showed that it 'became pretty clear to them there wasn`t
much Iuture in sticking with your T-72¨ tank.
475
It wasn`t airpower alone; as LeaI pointed out, 'clearly there were times that the
combined eIIect in close proximity oI the land component and the air component were
absolutely devastating.¨
476

Yet on the battlefeld, the eIIects oI airpower were unmistakable. 'Their
Republican Guard Iorces are being deIeated by Coalition airstrikes and by eIIective
ground engagements. The Baghdad and Medina Divisions have suIIered serious
blows,¨ RumsIeld said on April 3.
477
About the only thing moving on the approaches
to Baghdad were 'much smaller combat Iormations that have been cut oII Irom their
central command and control,¨ Moseley stated. 'As Iar as large fghting Iormations,
we haven`t seen any oI that lately because again, we`ve been attacking steady Ior about
six or seven days now.¨
478
£ÎÎ
A convoy team from the 332na Air Expeaitionary Wing aeparts a forwara-aeployea
location ana heaas for Iraq on Mar. 26. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman
JoAnn S. Makinano)
The land component saw the same thing. 'They weren`t meeting organized unit-level
resistance. They were hitting pockets,¨ LeaI said oI the V Corps and I MEF advance.
479

On April 4, the land component estimated the Hammurabi division was reduced
to 44 percent strength, while the Medina was at just 18 percent strength.
480
On the
right, Marines tangled with dismounted troops Irom the Al Nida division, mixed in
with Ioreign fghters, but it was no contest. By then, air had attrited the Al Nida down
to less than a third oI its original strength.
'I would not tell you the Republican Guard is 100 percent gone,¨ General Moseley
said on April 5. 'I believe they are gone in organized division-strength, corps-strength,
brigade-strength, but I believe there are still some survivors out there that are still
willing to fght.¨ He added that the dispersed survivors would 'continue to cause a
problem Ior us.¨
481
But the air component had achieved its paramount task. There was no massed
tank battle with concentrated Republican Guard Iorces at the Karbala Gap or anywhere
else. 'In some cases we bypassed those Iorces. In other cases we prevented their
withdrawal. In other cases we destroyed them as they tried to reposition,¨ General
Brooks fnished.
482
The Republican Guards did not make their presence Ielt as an organized Iorce on
the battlefeld. Judged by those standards, as Moseley said: 'They did not fght. No
corps, no division, no brigade, no battalion.¨
483

General LeaI said: 'It appears to me that the air component made that movement
to the time and place oI Iraqi choosing impossible. And so the engagement came on
our terms.¨
484

'I, in my heart oI hearts, believe six divisions oI the Republican Guard were
rendered combat non-eIIective by air,¨ said General Moseley. There was no doubt that
Coalition tanks also killed Iraqi tanks; abandoned equipment was hit Irom the air and
on the ground; and soldiers oI the Republican Guards dispersed. But 'the main eIIect
on the Republican Guard was not a massive El Alamein, armor vs. armor battle or a
Soviet eastern Iront battle with thousands oI tanks,¨ he continued.
485

General Moseley and other commanders at USCENTCOM monitored the signals
intelligence reports on the state oI mind oI Iraqi commanders. In early April, the tone
oI Iraq`s high command started to change. They 'progressed Irom being concerned,
to being really concerned, to being panicked, to chaos,¨ Moseley said. General
Abizaid at USCENTCOM sensed it, too. Moseley said to him: 'I think we broke it. I
think it`s over Ior them.¨ The two agreed there was 'no organized military out there
anymore.¨
486
Coalition Iorces about to enter Baghdad would be dealing not with
a coherent Iraqi army, but with splintered units, and second and third order eIIects.
There would be no siege on a well-deIended Fortress Baghdad. But the city still had
to be taken, and its dangers were as yet unknown.
Urban CAS
On Thursday, April 3, elements oI the 3
rd
InIantry moved beyond Karbala to within
30 miles oI Baghdad. The right pincer oI the I MEF was about 60 miles south oI city,
bridging the Saddam Canal. It was just a matter oI time and stamina.
C-130s provided an essential boost. Two eyewitnesses convoying with the 1
st

Marine Division described how they were stopped at dusk by military police just in time
to see 'the frst KC-130 land smack on the middle oI Route 1, taxi oII to the shoulder,
and unroll a huge rubber bladder Iull oI Iuel.¨ The KC-130s cycled in and out oI the
£Î{
airfeld captured by Marines near
An Nu`umaniyah leaving behind
six thousand gallons oI Iuel at a
time. AIter 24 hours the Marines had over 100,000 gallons oI Iuel, enough to continue
their advance.
487

Now, with ground Iorces closing in, the air component`s eIIorts concentrated more
and more on Baghdad itselI.
The air component`s plans Ior urban CAS sought to cover one oI the most daunting
challenges in air warIare. Urban CAS beIore OIF was a mission dreaded by all. When
it worked, it was usually on the side oI the deIenders, as at Bastogne in December 1944
and An Loc in 1972. True, Ninth Air Force had perIormed a brilliant job oI close air
support in attacks on Germans in Cherbourg aIter the D-Day invasion. But urban CAS
as a tool Ior the oIIense was tricky, and was made more so by the Coalition`s need to
minimize collateral damage within Baghdad as well as to hold down Iriendly losses.
CAS 'is a challenge whether it`s in the desert or whether it`s in a city because
you`re dealing with delivering weapons in the close proximity oI Iriendly troops,¨
General Moseley commented.
488
US exercises in recent years underlined what other
experiences, such as the Russian disaster in Grozny, Chechnya, had already shown.
Casualties in urban combat could be devastating. The US soldiers and Marines now
probing Baghdad were Iar better trained Ior urban fghting than ever beIore. Their
training, as well as new innovations such as body armor, ways to punch through walls
oI buildings, and enhanced ISR, gave them a signifcant edge. However, close air
support would be their insurance policy against Ialling into a trap.
General Moseley explained how it would all work. There 'will be a 24-hour
presence oI Iorward air controllers both on the ground and in the air, plus a 24-hour
presence oI a mix oI aircraIt and ordnance,¨ he said.
489
Munitions options Irom guns
to Mavericks to fve hundred-pound LGBs would let operators 'truly select the right
weapon Ior the right situation.¨
The urban CAS plan had been in the works Ior over a year. Moseley Iound that
the Marines had 'really, really Iocused¨ on the unique requirements oI urban close
air support. He wanted to beneft Irom their expertise and make sure that close air
support to the I MEF via the CAOC ran well. Moseley asked them to assign a senior
Marine aviator to him at the CAOC to help, and put him in the A-3 operations section.
Already on the CAOC staII was a Marine major who`d graduated Irom Navy Strike
and Air WarIare Center at Fallon NAS, Nevada. They helped the CAOC draw up 'a
wonderIul, eIIective plan to provide airborne Iorward air controllers over the city 24
hours a day, and multiple sets oI fghters with multiple munitions options stacked up
£Îx
Members of 5th Combat Com-
munications Group from Robbins
AFB Georgia aepart an Air Force
aircraft on the ßightline of Tallil
Air Base Iraq supporting Op-
eration Iraqi Freeaom. (U.S. Air
Force photo by Master Sgt Terry
L. Blevins)
24 hours a day to be able to respond to the land
component requirements inside the city iI we
have to,¨ Moseley said.
490
It was a careIully diagrammed plan. The
bull`s-eye center was the Baghdad Restricted
Operations Zone or B-ROZ. V Corps had already
done detailed intelligence preparation oI the
battlefeld Ior Baghdad. In addition, standard
killbox and keypad control measures applied.
Forty miles out, aircraIt approaching
the zone checked in with ground controllers.
Inbound aircraIt were kept separate Irom
egressing aircraIt by altitude as well as heading
separations. They then joined one oI Iour CAS
stacks on diIIerent radials over the city. Ten strike aircraIt and Iour airborne Forward
Air Controllers flled each stack. Bombers were available, too. Specifc guidance to
aircrews included instructions on compensating Ior smoke and debris, and how to fy
the saIest attack angles. They carried a variety oI ordnance ranging Irom laser-guided
bombs to inert bomb shapes and ammunition Ior their guns. The idea was to minimize
'rubbling¨ and ensure that weapons could be delivered very close to Iriendly Iorces.
Above all, the plan stressed having plenty oI bombs available. Estimates Iactored
in that halI oI the aircraIt in the stack would bring their ordnance back unexpended
during the frst two weeks, and perhaps as many as two-thirds would return to base
with Iull bomb-loads aIter that. The initial plan was set to run Ior a month and Irom
that, planners calculated detailed tables oI munitions to be positioned in theater.
Despite the careIul planning, sorties over Baghdad were dangerous. While the
Super MEZ was largely out oI business aIter March 30, other threats lurked. There
was no way to eliminate all oI the mobile, short-range SAMs and anti-aircraIt guns.
'Eventually you will kill the Rolands, the SA-8s, the SA-6s and all that stuII that can
be hidden in the town,¨ said General Moseley, but 'you`re never going to be able to
walk away Irom the MANPAD threat and the small arms threat. And you have to
accept the notion that you`re going to live in a very, very threatened world oI SA-7s
and MANPADs,¨ he fnished.
491

In Baghdad
On April 4, soldiers started probing toward the international airport in Baghdad amidst
light resistance. Expeditionary combat support Airmen got the runway open. By
Sunday, April 6, C-130s were landing there.
492
In between, there came a very memorable Saturday morning. On April 5, just
beIore 9:00 a.m. Baghdad time, elements oI the 3
rd
InIantry made a 'thunder run¨
into the center oI Baghdad itselI. The show oI Iorce demonstrated beyond doubt that
Baghdad could be taken, and swiItly. The idea Ior the raids came Irom work done
beIore the war on how to conduct urban combat with armored Iormations. That 'planted
the seed Ior the idea oI heavy armor in an urban raid-type confguration,¨ Lieutenant
£ÎÈ
Raia again the Baath party heaaquar-
ters. (DoD photo)
General Wallace said later. V Corps` battles around An-NajaI had convinced them oI
the importance oI urban raids to break up the Iraqi Iorces` 'penchant Ior attacking out
oI those urban centers toward our Iorces.¨
493
Moseley applauded the land component with his assessment on April 5 that 'the
reason they were able to push ahead to the center oI Baghdad is because the land
component commander has been able to shape that along with interdiction and close air
support, and with incredibly brave US Army and US Marine Corps troops, who have
been able to capitalize on the eIIect that we`ve had on the Republican Guards.¨
494
Two days aIter the thunder run, the I MEF was making its way through the eastern
outskirts oI Baghdad and V Corps was in position to close the pincer. 'I never thought
I`d be fying an Apache over the rooItops oI southern Baghdad,¨ recalled Lieutenant
Colonel Smith. 'But there I was.¨
495
The 3
rd
InIantry seized two presidential palaces
in Baghdad and commenced its 'inside out¨ operations in the western part oI the city,
seeking and destroying pockets oI resistance.
That night, April 7, brought another remarkable airstrike. Lieutenant Colonel Fred
Swan was at his weapon systems station aIt oI the cockpit when his B-1 got the call to
try to hit Saddam in downtown Baghdad. USCENTCOM intelligence had 'credible
inIormation¨ on a 'regime leadership meeting¨ taking place, and Saddam and his
sons were believed to be there.
496
The B-1 was orbiting with weapons available.
The bomber was 'just coming oII the tanker in western Iraq¨ and setting a course Ior
another target area when coordinates Ior a new 'priority leadership target¨ came in.
'You get kind oI an adrenaline rush,¨ Lieutenant Colonel Swan said. The B-1 headed
Ior the Mansour neighborhood in Baghdad with SAM-killing F-16CJs nearby and
EA-6B Prowlers along to jam air deIenses. The crew cross-checked the coordinates
with airborne controllers three times. Twelve minutes aIter they got the call, the B-1
dropped two hard-target penetrator JDAMs on the target along with two JDAMs with
Iuses set Ior a 25-millisecond delay to push deep into the structure.
For the B-1, the mission was not over; 'we did go ahead and strike 17 more targets
in two diIIerent locations immediately Iollowing that strike,¨ he added.
497

General McChrystal revealed the next day that the time line Ior the whole strike was
just 45 minutes 'between when we received potential intelligence and putting ordnance
on target.¨ USCENTCOM soon confrmed that the building was destroyed. 'What we
have Ior battle damage assessment right now is essentially a hole in the ground,¨ General
McChrystal summed up.
498

Baghdad Falls
With soldiers and Marines combing Baghdad, urban CAS
over Baghdad shiIted into overdrive. Every city block in
Baghdad was diagrammed and numbered in a common
reIerence system so that calls Ior air support could be
processed Iast. General Moseley kept 'a mix oI assets
Irom Marine Corps, Navy, UK, Australian and US Air
£ÎÇ
Capt. Kim Campbell looks over the aamage to her A-10
the aay after being hit by enemy hre over Iraq. (Photo
by Staff Sgt. Jason Haag)
Force¨ over the top oI the battle area. He
didn`t mind iI his strike aircraIt had to bring
bombs home because they weren`t needed
in that time Irame. 'Now that appears
wasteIul, but that`s okay,¨ Moseley said.
'What we`re looking Ior here is combat
eIIectiveness, not necessarily combat
eIfciency.¨ 'And we`ll just keep doing
that iI we have to do it this way until we
kill all these guys or they give up,¨ he fnished.
499

CAS was no cakewalk. Captain Kim Campbell brought her A-10 home with
hundreds oI bullet holes in it and the hydraulics out. She thanked the maintainers
Irom her squadron Ior her tough plane`s survival. Major Jim Ewald was not so lucky.
A surIace-to-air missile hit his A-10 over Baghdad on April 8. 'I could see a reddish
glow on my cockpit instruments Irom the fre behind me,¨ Ewald said. He manhandled
the jet away Irom Baghdad beIore he had to eject. Soldiers Irom the Army`s 54
th

Engineering Brigade saw Ewald eject and rushed to fnd him. Hiding in a dry canal
moments aIter he hit the ground, Major Ewald heard a youthIul voice call to him:
'Hey, pilot dude. Come out. We`re Americans.¨
500
Strike aircraIt working urban CAS assignments over Baghdad made an enormous
contribution to the Iall oI the city. Sorties fown and bombs dropped signifed the
level oI eIIort. Yet in some ways, its impact was impossible to quantiIy. 'How, Ior
example, can historians ever evaluate the second-order eIIects oI a bombing attack
that destroyed, say, ten vehicles but persuaded 200 Republican Guards soldiers to shed
their uniIorms and melt back into the civilian population?¨ asked two authors, one a
historian, one a retired Army two-star general.
501
The last remaining job Ior the land component was to puncture all remaining
resistance within the city and link up V Corps and the I MEF. Two pincers inexorably
closed. First, soldiers penetrated into the center oI Baghdad Irom the west while
Marines moved in Irom the east. At the same time, other soldiers and Marines broke
oII and moved along the outskirts oI Baghdad to capture major road intersections and
encircle the city to the north. It all came to a climax on April 8 at the Tigris River.
Army soldiers Iought oII a counterattack on the bridges. Marines crossed the Diyala
river and headed Ior the east bank oI the Tigris.
On April 9, they linked up. Marines passing by with an M88 tank recovery vehicle
helped joyous Iraqis pull down a notorious statue oI Saddam Hussein.
502
Regime
change was a done deal.
Secretary RumsIeld and General Myers repeatedly stressed that fghting was not
over in Baghdad. On that very day, April 9, Marine Iorward air controllers called Ior
close air support during one particular frefght. Several aircraIt armed with bombs
were stacked in the queue but the controller wanted strafng on the Iraqis. A-10 pilot
Major Scott Cuel Irom the Michigan Air National Guard got the call and 'put about
600 rounds into them.¨
503

£În
The fall of Saaaams statue. (AP/Wiae
Worla Photos)
The 'north fght¨ continued, too. Ten regular army divisions and perhaps a brigade
oI Republican Guards Iorces were still believed to be in the northern area. However,
there was no need to launch a new land oIIensive. SOF Iorces were quelling resistance
around Kirkuk. 'We have been targeting them aggressively, both Irom the air and
then with the Special Operations Forces, Ior the last days,¨ said General McChrystal
on April 10. 'And we judge their capability to have dropped signifcantly, both Irom
casualties and also Irom people just simply leaving the battlefeld.¨
504
General Myers
said those Iorces had been 'subjected to bombing by air power and will continue to be
dealt with in that way Ior some time.¨
505

Still, the conquest oI Iraq had reached its culminating point in just three weeks.
Part oI the success was measured by what did not happen. No Scuds were launched;
no Iraqi aircraIt few. The Iew Iraqi TBM launches did not stop the war. Coalition
Iorces leIt intact key Iraqi civil and economic inIrastructures, including the oil felds.
No catastrophic environmental or reIugee situations occurred.
What did happen was spectacular. SOF Iorces executed daring missions, Irom
rescues to airfeld seizures to capturing the Hadithah Dam to holding territory in the
Iace oI divisions oI Iraqi regular Iorces, all with airpower overhead. The deIeat oI
the Republican Guards outside Baghdad delivered on the promise oI the Coalition`s
precise airpower and ruthless ISR. The fve air wars, ably backed by mobility Iorces
and expeditionary combat support, became a Iramework Ior victory in Iraq.
'Something that I`ve known most oI my career was revalidated Ior me, and that
was the extraordinary power oI the combined arms team; that is the ability to balance
reconnaissance and fres and maneuver,¨ General Wallace said aIter it was over.
506

However, the combined arms team fourished in conditions set by airpower beIore
the frst tank rolled into Iraq. Air dominance allowed USCENTCOM to keep tactical
surprise until the last moment and to start ground operations early when the oil felds
were threatened. Air attacks decimated the Republican Guards. Air dominance backed
the strategy oI sending V Corps and I MEF north to Baghdad at top speed, bypassing
towns and mopping up resistance later.
It was a joint operations success oI the frst order. 'I think that when the lessons
learned come out, one oI the things we are probably going to see is a new air-land
dynamic,¨ said retired Vice Admiral Arthur Cebrowski, Director oI the OIfce oI Force
TransIormation. 'It is as iI we will have discovered a new sweet spot in the relationship
between land warIare and air warIare,¨ he added.
507

Yet the whole design oI the campaign with its geographically separated fghts
and swiIt execution owed a great deal to air and space power. The air component set
the strategic conditions Ior the simultaneous operations taking place across Iraq, Irom
Special Forces operations to the main eIIort oI the V Corps-I MEF drive on Baghdad.
Airpower made it possible to wage simultaneous attacks. It kept the joint campaign
on the oIIensive during needed pauses Ior logistics support or unexpected ones due
to weather. It protected those same supply lines by making it all but impossible Ior
the Iraqis to mass their Iorces. The air component drained the combat eIIectiveness
out oI the Republican Guards and set the conditions Ior the fnal assault on Baghdad.
Throughout the campaign, meticulous and constantly-available close air support backed
up the soldiers and Marines who repulsed ferce Iraqi counterattacks on the ground.
Decisive combat operations in Iraq ended. On May 1, 2003, President George W.
Bush told America`s armed Iorces: 'Because oI you, the tyrant has Iallen, and Iraq is
Iree.¨
508
£Î™
£{ä
A Special Operations Forces move through west Baghaaa, April 12. Special Op-
erations Forces are patrolling the outer perimeter to proviae security for a local
hospital in support of Operation Iraqi Freeaom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt.
Jeremy T. Lock)
|äAºI| 1 I1. A War Well Begun
B
y the time President Bush announced that decisive combat operations were
over in Iraq, nearly six hundred days had passed since controllers in Boston
sent word oI the frst oI the September 11 hijackings to the F-15 alert unit on
Cape Cod.
'It`s been non-stop in every sense since September 11,¨ remarked Major Ron
Henry, an allocation cell chieI in the CAOC at PSAB. 'It`s made everyone Iocus on
the objective. You work to get the mission done no matter how much time you put
in,¨ he said.
510

Operation Iraqi Freedom transitioned to Phase IV, Stability Operations, and began
the long process oI helping Iraq throw oII the political and economic burdens oI three
decades oI Saddam`s dictatorship.
Terminating Saddam`s rule and the Ba`ath Party`s decades oI dictatorship did
not solve all oI Iraq`s problems. The US-led Coalition Iound enormous challenges
awaiting them aIter the lightning success oI OIF. All the 'public utilities, water,
sewer, electrical grid, none oI that stuII had been recapitalized¨ since beIore GulI War
I. The mid-1990s 'oil Ior Iood¨ sanctions exemptions seemed to have made little
diIIerence.
511
'I see us certainly dealing with Iraq Ior quite a period oI time, and really hoping
that that continues on a path toward stabilization,¨ said General Jumper in July 2003.
512
Episodes oI unrest continued in AIghanistan.
Through the Iall, remnants oI Ba`ath Party loyalists and irregular Iorces carried
out a disorganized but dangerous series oI retaliation attacks on individual US military
personnel trying to keep the peace. There were occasional terrorist raids targeting
Coalition Iorces in AIghanistan, too, oIten requiring rapid air strikes or action by teams
on the ground.
No one was more aware oI that than those service members still in Iraq. While
many Air Force units redeployed to home station, many units and people also
remained in the desert. Captain Debbie Horne, a personnel specialist with Air Force
Space Command, was deployed to Tallil. 'Make no mistake, the war` is still going on
here, as we are losing Army Iolks daily and some oI the wounded are brought to our
medical Iacility. The blessed Army and Marines surround us here at Tallil, keeping us
as saIe as possible,¨ she wrote.
513

Nor did the quick victory in Iraq put to rest all doubts about the war in Iraq or quiet
concerns about the Iuture oI the global war on terrorism.
Yet with or without popular acclaim, the Coalition had met its goals and done so
skillIully.
¨Air pover is lhe nosl difhcuIl of aII forns of niIilary
force lo neasure or even lo express in precise lerns.¨
Winston Churchill, 1948
509
£{£
The Airman`s Lessons
For the Air Force, the end oI the decisive combat operations phase oI Operation Iraqi
Freedom capped six hundred days that changed the employment oI airpower in the
joint Iorce.
A major priority was to continue to support ongoing operations in all three
campaigns. Another was to reconstitute the Iorce, a vital part oI preparing Ior whatever
might lie ahead. General Moseley became the Air Force`s Vice ChieI oI StaII in August
2003 and took on some oI those responsibilities. 'Our Number One task is to continue
the global war on terrorism while reconstituting this Iorce,¨ the general told Congress.
The Air Force`s reconstitution plan included resuming the air and space expeditionary
Iorce battle rhythm and incorporating recent combat lessons into platIorm upgrades
and equipment. Beyond that, reconstituting the Air Force`s warfghting capabilities
depended 'on a continued emphasis on advanced joint composite Iorce training and
maintaining a sustained battle rhythm Ior the entire Iorce,¨ General Moseley said.
514
From Operation Iraqi Freedom came lessons that aIfrmed the role oI air and space
power in shaping and executing the joint campaign. Versatile air and space power
allowed the combatant commander to craIt a campaign where distinctive applications
oI airpower served specifc goals, while at the same time linking together as a powerIul
Iorce.
Six broad lessons stood out Irom the frst six hundred days oI combat, culminating
in the end oI decisive combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
£{Ó
An F-15E Strike Eagle prepares to takeoff at a forwara-aeployea location in South-
west Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Terry L. Blevins)
-RLQW:DUIDUH 'The frst lesson is not
losing sight oI the Iact that joint warIare
is the imperative,¨ said General Jumper.
515

For example, Operation Iraqi Freedom was
the frst war since Vietnam to demand high-
volume close air support to maneuvering
conventional ground Iorces over a period
oI weeks. It showcased the value oI the
precision targeting revolution across all
Air Force strike platIorms. 'It is not just
the A-10s close to the ground, dropping
bombs and making noise,¨ General Jumper
pointed out. 'It is also sometimes the B-52
that is 39,000 Ieet in the sky.¨ As a result oI
intensive eIIorts on all sides, 'we were able to mature the relationship between the Joint
Force land component commander and the Joint Force air component commander,¨
he added.
516
Teamwork between the joint Iorce components was a driving Iorce oI
Operation Iraqi Freedom. The seven Air Component Coordination Elements Iormed at
land and maritime Iorce headquarters in theater helped the relationship work smoothly.
'Having commanders think in a more integrated way about how they employ the Iorce
that`s been our goal,¨ Myers said.
517
That legacy oI the six hundred days oI combat
will be oI enduring value to the armed Iorces oI the United States.
$LU DQG 6SDFH 6XSHULRULW\ Second, and just as important, Operation Iraqi
Freedom demonstrated again the value oI air and space superiority. Air dominance in
the south was achieved well beIore the decisive combat operations phase began. The
deployment oI over seven hundred Coalition fghter and attack aircraIt Ior Operation
Iraqi Freedom was just one visible sign oI how important it was to maintain absolute
air superiority and why this remains a top priority Ior the Air Force Ior the Iuture.
Space superiority was likewise assured by years oI careIul investment, planning and
exercises and by quick adoption oI lessons Irom Operation Enduring Freedom.
Air and space capabilities were integrated more than in any earlier confict. From
bandwidth Ior communications to surveillance oI prime targets and operating areas, air
and space Iunctioned as an integrated team. Air and space superiority enabled the joint
Iorce to conduct a rapid, simultaneous campaign that broke the mold oI previous joint
Iorce phasing and sequencing. In doing so, air and space superiority contributed to the
Coalition`s goals oI waging a swiIt campaign with minimum loss oI liIe.
£{Î
An Afghan woman teaches a class in
a girls school near Bagram Air Base,
Afghanistan. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Ricky A.
Bloom, USAF)
0DVWHULQJ([SHGLWLRQDU\2SHUDWLRQV. Third, Operation Iraqi Freedom was a case
study in the importance oI mastering expeditionary operations. The Air Force oI 2003
was about 40 percent smaller than the Air Force Ior GulI War I twelve years earlier.
Fortunately, in that time, it had become a true air expeditionary Iorce, with people and
capabilities organized Ior expeditionary operations. The orderly, phased deployment
cycle oI the air expeditionary Iorce had to prove its fexibility, as Operation Enduring
Freedom continued while preparations Ior Operation Iraqi Freedom began. However,
£{{
Aircraft of the 379th Air Expeaitionary Wing ana coalition counterparts stationea
together in a aeployea location in southwest Asia ßy over the aesert, April 14, 2003.
Aircraft incluae KC-135 Stratotanker, F-15E Strike Eagle, F-117 Nighthawk, F-
16CJ, British GR-4 Tornaao, ana Australian F/A-18 Hornet. (U.S. Air Force photo
by Master Sgt. Ron Pr:ysucha)
the construct worked: some AEFs remained in place; others deployed to join them;
then still more Airmen deployed ahead oI schedule. The AEF concept gave the Air
Force a strong baseline oI deployed capability and a way to surge Ior wartime.
However, the experience oI Operation Iraqi Freedom also underlined the need Ior
constant work on the art oI expeditionary warIare Irom deployment to operations
to support. 'You never really realize how important everyone and every job is until
you`re in a deployed location,¨ said Captain Horne in July 2003. 'We just got 'real¨
Iood (not C rations or Meals Ready-to-Eat like our Army and Marine members have
been eating Ior six months) recently. Morale shot up ten-Iold! Services rock!¨
518

3UHFLVLRQDQG3HUVLVWHQFH. Fourth, Operation Iraqi Freedom highlighted the value
oI both precision and persistence in the battlespace. Laser-guided bombs and JDAM
in all its variants dominated attack profles Ior Operation Iraqi Freedom. This greater
reliance on precision increased the eIfciency oI airstrikes, helped make stringent
collateral damage control possible, and aided in prosecution oI 156 time-sensitive
targets. Just as important as precision was its partner, persistence. From A-10s to
B-1s, Coalition aircraIt were on call Ior tasking Irom ground and air commanders,
providing an umbrella oI protection and a lethal gauntlet oI weapons on target and on
demand. Execution oI the air war was not perIect: it stressed again the need to strive
£{x
As personnel ana aircraft witharew for several months, ana many of the base facili-
ties were being turnea over to the Kingaom of Sauai Arabia, remaining military
members haa to be movea to trailers. The 363ra Air Expeaitionary Wing shut aown
in August, ana the hnal American left Prince Sultan Air Base in September.
constantly to prevent Iriendly fre and to seek out ways oI even more discriminating
attack. Among the items to work on Ior the Iuture will be improving bomb damage
assessment, learning more about remotely piloted vehicles, and developing a multi-
sensor command and control aircraIt 'whose entire job is to integrate sensors Irom
various platIorms.so that the sum oI the wisdom oI all oI those sensors will end up
with a cursor over the target Ior the operator,¨ in General Jumper`s words.
519

$LUOLIWDQG$LU5HIXHOLQJ FiIth, there would have been no precision or persistence
in the battlespace without the mobility supplied by airliIt and air reIueling. The joint
campaign stood on those broad shoulders. The USAF airliIt feet completed over
7,400 strategic airliIt sorties, bringing people and materiel to critical locations. AirliIt
was essential to the operational and tactical initiative oI the campaign, too. C-17s
opened a new Iront in the north with the combat airdrop into Bashur. Every aircraIt
transiting Irom the United States to the Middle East did so with reIueling. Every
combat sortie depended on tankers, oIten pressing Iorward into Iraqi airspace, to carry
out missions over the battlespace. Sister services and other Coalition nations few
airliIt and air reIueling missions, too. But the ability to guarantee mobility Ior a
large theater campaign rested with the Air Force, which also supplied joint partners
and allies. Operation Iraqi Freedom reconfrmed the essential role oI these backbone
capabilities in America`s national security.
3HRSOH The sixth and last oI the Airman`s lessons is the most important. People
the Airmen themselves were the ones who truly brought the air and space power
oI the nation to liIe. As General Jumper said: 'We called that generation oI World
War II heroes the greatest generation` but we generate our own greatest generation`
today.¨
520
Thousands oI Airmen carried out everyday acts oI heroism and bravery,
oI pluck and persistence and patriotism, in devotion to their country and the cause oI
Ireedom. They put their hearts into it. They made air and space power great.
A War Well Begun
In six hundred days, the men and women oI the United States Air Force played a prime
role in making America more secure. 'On September 11, 2001, determined enemies
brought warIare to the streets oI the United States,¨ said General Holland. Each oI
the three campaigns that took place in the frst six hundred days oI combat made
signifcant progress; yet each still continued. 'This great struggle tests our strength
and patience; however, we will relentlessly pursue the terrorists to the corners oI the
earth we will persevere,¨ General Holland continued.
521

There was no question that air and space power would continue to be stretched,
tested and challenged by the war on terrorism, whatever shape it took next. 'What
we have to do is confgure ourselves to be able to go wherever it is,¨ General Jumper
said. 'You build your conops based on the most diIfcult thing you might be asked
to do.¨
522
OI some very important things, there was no doubt.
The frst six hundred days oI combat changed the security oI the United States
Ior the better.
Operation Noble Eagle made the skies oI America and the homeland itselI saIer
Irom attack. It also emphasized that in the 21
st
Century, homeland security in all its
Iorms had become a priority equal to expeditionary operations.
£{È
£{Ç
Operation Enduring Freedom ensured that AIghanistan was no longer a
saIe harbor Ior terrorists. Coalition Iorces dismantled al-Qaeda`s prime base oI
operations. AIghanistan as a nation got a better chance to progress toward peace. In
other locations such as the Horn oI AIrica, Operation Enduring Freedom put in place
the structure to reduce terrorist threats and build a Ioundation Ior improved regional
and international security.
Operation Iraqi Freedom ended the 23-year absolute rule oI Saddam Hussein.
The overthrow oI that regime gave Iraq a chance to work toward prosperity and
tranquility, and made the world a saIer place by removing any prospect oI terror
and aggression by Saddam. He was captured by Coalition Iorces on December 13,
2003.
These three campaigns did not end the global war on terrorism, but they ended
its frst phase. While Osama bin Laden remained unaccounted Ior in the frst six
hundred days, the war on terrorism did result in the death or capture oI 65° oI senior
al-Qaeda leadership. Over 3,000 other al-Qaeda suspects were detained in over 90
diIIerent countries. America would never again be vulnerable in the same way it was
on September 11, 2001.
Secretary RumsIeld was reminded oI Churchill`s quote, made in another time oI
hope and peril: 'This is not the end, it is not even the beginning oI the end, but it is
perhaps the end oI the beginning.`¨
523

Endnotes
Chapter 1:
Beyond Desert Storm
1
Brigadier General Billy Mitchell, Memoirs of Worla War I, (New York: Random House, 1960), p.
152.
2
President George H. W. Bush, Speech to the US Air Force Academy, June 3, 1991.
3
General Tony McPeak, Briefng at DoD Press conIerence, March 15, 1991.
4
General Tony McPeak, 'Tomorrow`s Air Force,¨ Video Briefng, November 1991.
5
Interview by Dr. Rebecca Grant with General John P. Jumper, ChieI oI StaII, United States Air
Force, July 23, 2003, TFEL Archives.
6
General Tony McPeak, 'Tomorrow`s Air Force,¨ Video Briefng, November 1991.
7
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003.
8
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003.
9
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003.
10
'The Access Issue,¨ Air Force Maga:ine, October 1998.
11
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003.
12
Interview by Dr. Rebecca Grant with Lieutenant General Ronald Keys, Deputy ChieI oI StaII, Air
and Space Operations, July 7, 2003, TFEL Archives.
13
John A. Tirpak, 'Deliberate Force,¨ Air Force Maga:ine, October 1997.
14
John A. Tirpak, 'Lessons Learned and Relearned,¨ Air Force Maga:ine, August 1999.
15
John A. Tirpak, 'Lessons Learned and Relearned,¨ Air Force Maga:ine, August 1999.
16
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003.
17
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003.
18
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003.
19
Buster C. Glosson, War With Iraq (Charlotte, NC: GFF, 2003), p. 278.
20
Brigadier General Robert Scales, Certain Jictory. The U.S. Army in the Gulf War(McLean, VA:
Brassey`s, 1994).
21
William Matthews, 'Triumph oI Jointness,¨ Defense News, April 14, 2003.
Chapter 2:
The Terror Weapon
22
CIA Director George Tenet, Testimony to Senate Armed Service Committee, February 22, 2001.
23
Bob Woodward, Bush at War(New York: Simon and Schuster, 2002), pp. 34-35.
24
Laurie Mylroie, 'The World Trade Center Bomber: Who is Ramzi YousseI, and Why it Matters,¨
The National Interest, Winter, 1995-96.
25
Federal Bureau oI Investigation, 'Fact Sheet: The Charges Against International Terrorist Usama
Bin Laden,¨ December 15, 1999, at usinIo.state.gov.
26
The White House, 'Remarks by the President During USS Cole Memorial Service,¨ Pier 12,
NorIolk, VA, October 25, 2000.
27
Woodward,Bush at Warpp. 6-7.
28
Woodward, Bush at War, p. 7.
29
Report oI the National DeIense Panel, Transforming Defense. National Security in the 21
st
Century
(Washington, DC: December 1997).
30
The United States Commission on National Security/21
st
Century, New Worla Coming. American
Security in the 21
st
Century(Washington, DC: September 15, 1999).
31
Most recent renewal by Exchange oI Notes constituting an Agreement to Extend the North
American Aerospace DeIence Command (NORAD) Agreement Ior a Iurther fve-year period
(Signed and In Force March 28, 1996 with eIIect Irom May 12, 1996) CTS 1996/36.
32
1
st
Air Force, White Paper for QDR 2001, April 2001.
33
Interview by Leslie Filson Ior 1
st
Air Force with Colonel Robert Marr, June 25, 2002.
34
Leslie Filson, 'Fighter Detachment Poised to Protect,¨ American Defenaer, Special Edition, March
1999.
35
Leslie Filson, 'Fighter Detachment Poised to Protect,¨ American Defenaer, Special Edition, March
1999.
£{n
36
Major General Larry K. Arnold, 'NORAD Mission More Relevant Than Ever,¨ American Defenaer,
Summer 1999.
37
General Ed Eberhart, Testimony to Senate Armed Services Committee, March 8, 2000.
38
Air National Guard Interview with Brigadier General Paul Kimmel, November 8, 2001.
39
NBC News Service, '9/11 Detainee: Attack scaled back,¨ September 21, 2003.
40
Bradley Graham, 'Pentagon was unprepared Ior attack,¨ Washington Post, September 16, 2001.
41
All pre-9/11 threat material is Irom White House inIormation released May 16, 2002, and Iound at
cnn.com.
Chapter 3:
Noble Eagle
42
Interview by Leslie Filson Ior 1
st
Air Force with Lt. Col. DuIIy, October 22, 2002.
43
Marr interview, June 25, 2002.
44
Marr interview, June 25, 2002.
45
Marr interview, June 25, 2002.
46
Marr interview, June 25, 2002.
47
Marr interview, June 25, 2002.
48
DuIIy interview, October 22, 2002.
49
Marr interview, June 25, 2002
50
DuIIy interview, October 22, 2002.
51
DuIIy interview, October 22, 2002.
52
DuIIy interview, October 22, 2002.
53
DuIIy interview, October 22, 2002.
54
Marr interview, June 25, 2002.
55
Interview by Dr. Charles Gross, ANG with Major General Larry Arnold, November 19, 2001.
56
MSNBC Buchanan and Press interview with Tori Clarke, June 16, 2003.
57
RumsIeld on ABC News This Week with Sam Donaldson, Sunday, September 16, 2001.
58
Interview by MSgt. David E. Somdahl with Captain Dean 'Otis¨ Eckmann, October 9, 2001.
59
Eckmann interview, October 9, 2001.
60
Marr interview, June 25, 2002.
61
Pilot Report, 'GoIer 06,¨ September 11, 2001, TFEL Archives.
62
Message Irom Major Bill Nix to Mr. J.R. Macdonald, March 27, 2002, TFEL Archives.
63
Interview by Leslie Filson Ior 1
st
Air Force with Major Sue Cheney, October 2002.
64
See 'September 11: Chronology oI Terror,¨ CNN.com; Interview with Secretary RumsIeld on ABC
News This Week with Sam Donaldson, Sunday, September 16, 2001; Interview with General Hugh
Shelton, 'This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts,¨ September 30, 2001; Woodward,
pp. 25-26.
65
Interview by Rebecca Grant with Brig. Gen. Michael Gould, December 16, 2002, TFEL Archives.
66
Interview with General Hugh Shelton, 'This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts,¨
September 30, 2001
67
S. Cheney interview, October 2002.
68
S. Cheney interview, October 2002.
69
Interview by Leslie Filson Ior 1
st
Air Force with Colonel John Cromwell, October 16, 2002.
70
Gould interview, December 16, 2002.
71
S. Cheney interview, October 2002.
72
S. Cheney interview, October 2002.
73
Capt. Robert D. Vance, 'Personal Account oI Events on 11 Sep 01, 'Alaskan Air Defense Sector
Response.
74
Capt. Robert D. Vance, 'Personal Account oI Events on 11 Sep 01,¨ Alaskan Air Defense Sector
Response.
75
Master Sergeant David G. RaIIerty, 'Personal Account oI Events on 11 Sep 01,¨ Alaskan Air
Defense Sector Response.
76
Master Sergeant David G. RaIIerty, 'Personal Account oI Events on 11 Sep 01,¨ Alaskan Air
Defense Sector Response.
77
Zaz Hollander, 'False Sept. 11 hijack signal put Air Force on alert,¨ Anchorage Daily News,
September 29, 2001.
78
Captain Steven J. Thomas, 'Personal Account oI Events Occurring 11 Sept 01,¨ Alaskan Air
Defense Sector Response.
£{™
79
Marr interview, June 25, 2002.
80
Marr interview, June 25, 2002.
81
Arnold interview, November 21, 2001.
82
See Memo Ior the Record, 'Air National Guard Input to Project Vulcan Ior Period 11-14 Sept 01,¨
18 Sept 01, Dr. Charles J. Gross, ANGB Historian.
83
Master Sergeant David RaIIerty, 'Personal Account oI Events Occurring 11 Sept 01,¨ Alaskan Air
Defense Sector Response.
84
MSgt. Robin J. Rosenberger, 932
nd
AirliIt Wing historian, '932 AW Aeromedical Response AIter the
9/11/01 Attacks,¨ September 11, 2002.
85
Arnold interview, November 21, 2001.
86
Admiral Vernon E. Clark, ChieI oI Naval Operations, Testimony to House Armed Services
Committee, February 13, 2002.
87
'The Coast Guard and Homeland Security,¨ United States Coast Guard Fact Sheet, October 2003.
88
Major General Larry K. Arnold, 'Terrorism: CONR Responds,¨ American Defenaer, Year in
Review, 2001.
89
Noble Eagle Facts, TFEL.
90
S. Cheney interview, October 2002.
90
Eric Hehs, 'Conversation with Major General Larry Arnold, Commander, 1
st
Air Force, Tyndall
AFB, FL,¨ Code One Magazine, First Quarter 2002.
92
S. Cheney interview, October 2002.
93
Interview by Leslie Filson Ior 1
st
Air Force with Colonel Mike Robbins, Vice Commander, WADS,
October 16, 2002.
94
Interview by Rebecca Grant with Colonel Steve Callicutt, November 7, 2002, TFEL Archives.
95
Major Bob Thomson, 'Guarding America: Air Control Squadron helps guard United States,¨
American Defenaer. Year in Review, 2001.
96
Callicutt interview, November 7, 2002.
97
Callicutt interview, November 7, 2002.
98
Interview by Dr. Charles Gross, ANG, with Brigadier General Kimmel, November 2002.
99
'Secretary RumsIeld Interview Ior ABC News This Week,¨ September 16, 2001, DoD Transcript.
100
Secretary oI DeIense RumsIeld, News ConIerence, September 27, 2001.
101
Jim Garamone, 'Making the Skies SaIe,¨ American Forces Press Service, September 28, 2001.
102
Woodward, Bush at War, p. 111.
103
Woodward, Bush at War, p. 288.
104
Callicutt interview, November 7, 2002.
105
Robbins interview, October 16, 2002.
106
Callicutt interview, November 7, 2002.
107
Callicutt interview, November 7, 2002.
108
Arnold interview, November 21, 2001.
109
StaII Sergeant Michelle L. Thomas, 'Flying Shotgun Ior NASA,¨ American Defenaer, Year in
Review, 2001.
110
TFEL, 'Point Paper on Noble Eagle Command Relationships,¨ March 28, 2002.
111
Second Lieutenant Elena O`Bryan, 'Air Guard, NORAD Secure Gold,¨ AFNEWS.
112
Linda Kozaryn, 'Air Guard Fighters Protect U.S. Skies,¨ American Forces Press Service, February
21, 2002.
113
Major General Larry K. Arnold, 'Terrorism: CONR Responds,¨ American Defenaer, Year in
Review, 2001.
Chapter 4:
The Challenge of Afghanistan
114
Secretary RumsIeld, DoD Press ConIerence, September 27, 2001.
115
Statement by President George W. Bush at Barksdale AFB, LA, 1:04 PM, September 11, 2001.
116
Briefng by Secretary oI State Colin Powell, September 12, 2001.
117
Statement by President George W. Bush at OIIutt AFB, NE, 1:04 PM, September 11, 2001.
118
International Institute Ior Strategic Studies, The Military Balance. 2000-2001 (OxIord: OxIord
University Press, 2000), pp. 159-160.
119
Catherine Davis, 'AIghans Remember Slain Resistance Hero,¨ BBCi, September 9, 2002.
120
Woodward, Bush at War, p. 38.
121
RumsIeld, 'Meet the Press,¨ October 1, 2001.
£xä
122
General Tommy Franks, Commander in ChieI, USCENTCOM, Testimony to Senate Armed
Services Committee, February 7, 2002.
123
Franks, Testimony to SASC, February 7, 2002.
124
Franks, Testimony to SASC, February 7, 2002.
125
First Resolution oI the 56
th
UN General Assembly, September 12, 2001.
126
TFEL Chronology.
127
TFEL Chronology.
128
Chairman oI the Joint ChieIs oI StaII General Richard Myers, USAF, DoD Press ConIerence,
October 7, 2001.
129
Woodward, Bush at War, p. 208.
130
Sgt. First Class Kathleen T. Rhem, 'Airmen Describe Experiences Over AIghanistan,¨ American
Forces Press Service, October 8, 2001.
131
RumsIeld, DoD Press ConIerence, October 7, 2001.
132
MSgt. Randy Mitchell, 'AIghan Food Drops Underscore Bush`s Humanitarian Pledge,¨ American
Forces Press Service, October 9, 2001.
133
Franks, Testimony to SASC, February 7, 2002.
134
MSgt. Randy Mitchell, 'AIghan Food Drops Underscore Bush`s Humanitarian Pledge,¨ American
Forces Press Service, October 9, 2001.
135
Gerry J. Gilmore, 'Air Force Fliers Continue AIghanistan Food Drop Operations,¨ American Forces
Press Service, October 12, 2001.
136
Special Briefng on Humanitarian Assistance, DoD, November 15, 2001.
137
Gerry J. Gilmore, 'High-Tech Cardboard Boxes Used in AIghan Food Airdrops,¨ American Forces
Press Service, October 12, 2001. See also MSgt. Sue Harper, 'Army, Air Force Riggers Team Ior
AIghan Food Mission,¨ American Forces Press Service, October 9, 2001.
138
Thomas Ricks, 'Bull`s Eye War: Pinpoint Bombing ShiIts Role oI GI Joe,¨ Washington Post,
December 2, 2001.
139
Interview by Rebecca Grant with Major General Deptula, January 29, 2002.
140
TFEL Interview, Lt. Gen. T. Michael Moseley, January 18, 2002.
141
Deptula interview, January 29, 2002.
142
Interview by Rebecca Grant with Lt. Gen. Moseley, Shaw AFB, July 24, 2003, TFEL Archives.
143
Richard J. Newman, 'Tankers and LiIters Ior a Distant War,¨ Air Force Maga:ine, January 2002.
144
Richard J. Newman, 'Tankers and LiIters Ior a Distant War,¨ Air Force Maga:ine, January 2002.
145
RumsIeld, DoD Press ConIerence, October 8, 2001.
146
Remarks by VADM Nathman and RADM Mike Mullen reported in Lisa Troshinsky, 'Navy Pilots
Set Flying and Target Records in AIghanistan,¨ Navy News ana Unaersea Technology, January 22,
2002.
147
David A. Fulghum and Robert Wall, 'Heavy Bomber Attacks Dominate AIghan Air War,¨ Aviation
Week ana Space Technology, December 3, 2001, pp. 22-23.
148
RumsIeld and Myers, DoD Press ConIerence, October 7, 2001.
149
Franks, DoD Press ConIerence, November 27, 2001.
150
Thomas E. Ricks, 'A War That`s Commanded at a Distance,¨ Washington Post, December 27, 2001,
p. 16.
151
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003.
152
Powell interview with Washington Post, November 25, 2001.
153
Peter Finn, '.And His U.S. Partners: Wounded Army Captain Details OIIensive Against Taliban,¨
Washington Post Foreign Service, December 11, 2001.
154
Franks, Testimony to SASC, February 7, 2002.
155
TFEL Interview with Lt. Gen. Maxwell Bailey, January 18, 2002.
156
Peter Finn, '.And His U.S. Partners: Wounded Army Captain Details OIIensive Against Taliban,¨
Washington Post Foreign Service, December 11, 2001.
157
William M. Arkin, 'A Week oI Air War,¨ washingtonpost.com, October 14, 2001.
158
Robert A. Pape, 'The Wrong Battle Plan,¨ Washington Post, October 19, 2001.
159
Woodward, Bush at War, p. 262.
160
Kendra Helmer, 'Gen Franks, in Uzbekistan, Says Fight Against Terrorism Has not Stalled,¨ Stars
ana Stripes, October 31, 2001.
161
Myers, DoD Press ConIerence, October 22, 2001.
162
Powell quoted in New York Times, October 22, 2001.
163
Gerry J. Gilmore, 'AIghanistan Will Be A Long, Long Campaign; Food Rumor False, OIfcial
Says,¨ American Forces Press Service, October 24, 2001.
164
Woodward, Bush at War, p. 261.
£x£
165
Deputy Secretary oI State Richard Armitage, Testimony to Senate Armed Services Committee, June
26, 2002.
166
Myers, Interview with Al Jazeera, DoD Transcript, October 31, 2001.
Chapter 5:
Victories in November
167
Jumper, July 23, 2003.
168
RADM John StuIfebeem, DoD Press ConIerence, November 2, 2001.
169
Charles Heyman, 'Special Forces and the Reality oI Military Operations in AIghanistan,¨ Janes,
November 5, 2001.
170
Woodward, Bush at War, p. 268.
171
StuIfebeem, DoD Press ConIerence, November 6, 2001.
172
Woodward, Bush at War, p. 297.
173
Woodward, Bush at War, p. 301.
174
TFEL Chronology.
175
RumsIeld, Speech at Center Ior Security Policy 'Keeper oI the Flame¨ Award Dinner, November 6,
2001.
176
StuIfebeem, DoD Press ConIerence, November 2, 2001.
177
Deptula interview, January 29, 2002.
178
Interview by TFEL with Lt. Col. Kenneth Rozelsky, May 20, 2002.
179
Rozelsky interview, May 20, 2002.
180
Rozelsky interview, May 20, 2002.
181
Interview by TFEL with Colonel Michael Longoria, May 9, 2002.
182
StuIfebeem, DoD Press ConIerence, November 2, 2001.
183
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
184
Tony Perry, 'Navy, Army Cooperate in AIghanistan Strikes,¨ Los Angeles Times, December 19,
2001.
185
DoD Press ConIerence, November 9, 2001.
186
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003.
187
Deputy Secretary oI State Richard Armitage, Testimony to SASC, June 26, 2002. Armitage cited a
dispatch he received Irom a SOF team in AIghanistan in November 2001.
188
Bailey interview, January 18, 2002.
189
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003.
190
DoD News ConIerence, November 9, 2001.
191
DoD News ConIerence, November 13, 2001.
192
RumsIeld, DoD News ConIerence, November 13, 2001.
193
Myers, DoD Press ConIerence, November 13, 2001.
194
StuIfebeem, DoD Press ConIerence, November 14, 2001.
195
Franks, DoD Press ConIerence, November 15, 2001.
196
Franks, USCENTCOM News Briefng, November 27, 2001.
197
Franks, USCENTCOM News Briefng, November 27, 2001.
198
Kim Burger, 'Interview with General Keane,¨ Janes Defence Weekly, January 30, 2002.
199
Franks, DoD Press ConIerence, November 15, 2001.
200
StuIfebeem, DoD Press ConIerence, November 20, 2001.
201
StuIfebeem, DoD Press ConIerence, November 20, 2001.
202
Franks and RumsIeld, USCENTCOM News Briefng, November 27, 2001.
203
Franks and RumsIeld, USCENTCOM News Briefng, November 27, 2001.
204
DOD News Briefng, November 15, 2001.
205
Sgt. 1
st
Class Kathleen T. Rhem, 'Marines In AIghanistan to Set Up Forward Operating Base,¨
American Forces Press Service, November 26, 2001.
206
TFEL, Interim Report Two.
207
Franks and RumsIeld, USCENTCOM News Briefng, November 27, 2001.
208
Peter Finn, '.And His U.S. Partners: Wounded Army Captain Details OIIensive Against Taliban,¨
Washington Post Foreign Service, December 11, 2001.
209
As reported by Mark Bowden, 'The Kabul-ki Dance,¨ Atlantic Monthly, November 2002.
210
Peter Finn, '.And His U.S. Partners: Wounded Army Captain Details OIIensive Against Taliban,¨
Washington Post Foreign Service, December 11, 2001.
211
Peter Finn, '.And His U.S. Partners: Wounded Army Captain Details OIIensive Against Taliban,¨
Washington Post Foreign Service, December 11, 2001.
£xÓ
212
Interview by TFEL with Capt. Atkins and Capt. Wieser, February 13, 2002.
213
Tony Perry, 'Navy, Army Cooperate in AIghanistan strikes,¨ Los Angeles Times, December 19,
2001.
214
RumsIeld and Franks in Tampa, DoD ConI, November 27, 2001.
215
StuIfebeem, DoD Press ConIerence, December 17, 2001.
216
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003.
217
Interview by TFEL with Lt. Gen. T. Michael Moseley, Shaw AFB, June 25, 2003.
218
Franks, Testimony to SASC, February 7, 2002.
219
Interview by TFEL with Brigadier General Vern Findley, May 2002.
220
Moseley interview, January 18, 2002.
221
Cebrowski quoted in 'AIghanistan: First Lessons,¨ Janes Defence Weekly, December 19, 2001.
Chapter 6:
Tora Bora to Anaconda
222
General Peter Pace, USMC, Vice Chairman, Joint ChieIs oI StaII, DoD Press ConIerence,
December 11, 2001.
223
Woodward, Bush at War, p. 214.
224
TFEL, Intermediate Report Two, USCENTCOM chronology.
225
Franks and RumsIeld, USCENTCOM News Briefng, November 27, 2001.
226
Franks and RumsIeld, USCENTCOM News Briefng, November 27, 2001.
227
Rebecca Grant, The Rise of Global Hawk (Washington, DC: IRIS Press, 2003), p. 44.
228
Grant, The Rise of Global Hawk, p. 44.
229
Franks, Testimony to Senate Armed Services Committee, July 31, 2002.
230
StuIfebeem, DoD Press ConIerence, December 17, 2001.
231
Franks, Testimony to SASC, July 31, 2002.
232
Franks, Testimony to SASC, July 31, 2002.
233
Grant, The Rise of Global Hawk pp. 44-45.
234
TFEL, Intermediate Report Two.
235
Pace, DoD Press ConIerence, December 12, 2001.
236
Pace, DoD Press ConIerence, December 12, 2001.
237
Pace, DoD Press ConIerence, December 12, 2001.
238
Franks, Testimony to SASC, July 31, 2002.
239
StuIfebeem, DoD News ConIerence, December 17, 2001.
240
Pace, DoD News ConIerence, December 12, 2001.
241
StuIfebeem, DoD News ConIerence, December 17, 2001.
242
RumsIeld, DoD Press ConIerence, April 17, 2002.
243
Bailey interview, January 18, 2002.
244
Franks, Testimony to SASC, July 31, 2002.
245
RumsIeld, DoD Press ConIerence, December 19, 2001.
246
Thomas Ricks, 'Battle Sends Broader Message oI US Resolve,¨ Washington Post, March 5, 2002.
247
Thomas Ricks, 'Battle Sends Broader Message oI US Resolve,¨ Washington Post, March 5, 2002.
248
Interview by TFEL with Major Pete Donnelly and others, May 20, 2002.
249
Donnelly et al. interview, May 20, 2002.
250
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
251
Longoria interview, May 9, 2002.
252
GeoIIrey Mohan and Esther Schrader, 'Back at Base, Troops Say AIghans Failed Them,¨ Los
Angeles Times, March 11, 2002.
253
GeoIIrey Mohan and Esther Schrader, 'Back at Base, Troops Say AIghans Failed Them,¨ Los
Angeles Times, March 11, 2002.
254
Donnelly et al. interview, May 20, 2002.
255
TFEL, Operation Anaconaa. A Report, July 31, 2003.
256
TFEL, Operation Anaconaa. A Report, July 31, 2003.
257
Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker, 'AIghans` Retreat Forced Americans to Lead A Battle,¨ New York Times,
March 10, 2002.
258
DoD Press ConIerence, May 24, 2002.
259
DoD Press ConIerence, May 24, 2002.
260
DoD Press ConIerence, May 24, 2002.
261
Tech. Sgt. Ginger Schreitmueller, 'Combat Controller recalls Operation Anaconda,¨ AFSOC PA,
May 29, 2002.
£xÎ
262
Tech. Sgt. Ginger Schreitmueller, 'Combat Controller recalls Operation Anaconda,¨ AFSOC PA,
May 29, 2002.
263
Tech. Sgt. Ginger Schreitmueller, 'Combat Controller recalls Operation Anaconda,¨ AFSOC PA,
May 29, 2002.
264
Lance M. Bacon, 'Airmen oI Roberts Ridge,¨ Air Force Times, June 3, 2002.
265
Tech Sgt. Ginger Schreitmueller, 'Combat Controller recalls Operation Anaconda,¨ AFSOC PA,
May 29, 2002.
266
Interview by J.R. Macdonald with Major General John Corley, January 3, 2003, TFEL Archives.
267
Moseley interview, June 25, 2003.
268
Interview by TFEL with Brigadier General Winfeld Scott, February 11, 2003.
269
Interview by TFEL with Major General John Corley, May 1, 2002.
270
Moseley interview, January 14, 2003.
271
Interview by TFEL with Lt. Col. Mark Coan, June 4, 2002.
272
Rozelsky interview, May 20, 2002.
273
Myers, 'Interview with WolI Blitzer,¨ CNN, March 10, 2002.
274
Myers, 'Interview with WolI Blitzer,¨ CNN, March 10, 2002.
275
Two US Air Force, one US Navy, and fve US Army personnel lost their lives during Operation Anaconaa.
See, Eric Bradley and David Kelly, '8 Men From 3 Services unite in Fight That was Their Last,¨ Los
Angeles Times, March 6, 2002.
276
Franks, DoD Press ConIerence, May 24, 2002.
277
GulI War Air Power Survey, Volume V.
278
Elaine Grossman, 'Jumper: Army, Air Force Work to Avoid Repeat oI Anaconda Lapses,¨ Insiae the
Pentagon, February 27, 2003.
279
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
280
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003
Chapter 7:
Eyes on Iraq
281
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, March 22, 2003.
282
Woodward, Bush at War, p. 137.
283
Franks, Testimony to SASC, February 7, 2002.
284
Anthony Cordesman, 'II We Fight Iraq: Iraq and Its Weapons oI Mass Destruction,¨ CSIS, February
27, 2002, p. 21.
285
Michael Gordon, 'UN Inspectors Prepare Ior Iraq,¨ New York Times, April 8, 2002.
286
Cordesman, 'II We Fight Iraq,¨ p. 22.
287
Cordesman, 'II We Fight Iraq,¨ p. 25.
288
'UNSCOM: The OIfcial UNSCOM Chronology oI Main Events,¨ entries Ior August and
November 1995. Document Iound at csis.org.
289
Maria Wahlberg, Milton Leitenberg and Jean Pascal Zanders, Appendix 9B 'The Future oI
Chemical and Biological Weapon Disarmament in Iraq, Irom UNSCOM to UNMOVIC, in Non-
ProliIeration, Arms Control and Disarmament,¨ 1999, p. 567.
290
Linda D. Kozaryn, 'Saddam Abused His Last Chance, Clinton Says,¨ American Forces Press
Service, December 17, 1998.
291
Cordesman, p. 25.
292
USCENTCOM, 'Interview with David Kay,¨ in Desert Shiela, Desert Storm, Tenth Anniversary
Book, January 2001, p. 208.
293
Richard Beeston, 'Cheney Fails to Win Arab Support Ior Iraq Action,¨ Lonaon Times, March 21,
2002.
294
Richard J. Newman, 'The Iraqi File,¨ Air Force Maga:ine, July 2003.
295
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
296
Thomas E. Ricks, 'Timing, Tactics on Iraq War Disputed,¨ Washington Post, August 1, 2002.
297
Thom Shanker and David E. Sanger, 'US Envisions Blueprint on Iraq Including Big Invasion Next
Year,¨ New York Times, April 28, 2002.
298
Hersh, 'The Debate Within,¨ The New Yorker, March 11, 2002.
299
TFEL, Operation Iraqi Freeaom. Jolume Two, Decisive Combat Operations, 2003.
300
Interview by Rebecca Grant with Capt. Samantha A. Weeks, September 2002.
301
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003.
302
John A. Tirpak, 'Legacy oI the Air Blockades,¨ Air Force Maga:ine, February 2003.
303
Peter Baker, 'Saudis Showcase Cooperation At Air Base with Key Mission,¨ Washington Post,
November 21, 2002.
£x{
£xx
304
John P. Jumper, Remarks to National Space Symposium, as reported in Rich Tuttle, 'Most Air Force
Space Personnel Remain on Iraq Duty,¨ Aerospace Daily, April 16, 2003.
305
DoD Press ConIerence, April 22, 2002.
306
Admiral Dennis Blair, USPACOM, Interview with Channel News Asia, Singapore, January 28,
2002, USPACOM Transcript.
307
Blair, 'American Morning With Paula Zahn,¨ March 22, 2002, USPACOM Transcript.
308
Eric Schmitt and James Dao, 'Airpower Alone Can`t DeIeat Iraq, RumsIeld Asserts,¨ New York
Times, July 31, 2002.
309
Vice President Dick Cheney, 'Remarks to the Veterans oI Foreign Wars 103
rd
National Convention,¨
White House Transcript, August 26, 2002.
310
President George W. Bush, 'Remarks at Cabinet Photo Opportunity,¨ White House Transcript,
September 24, 2002.
311
Walter Pincus and Dana Priest, 'Iraqi WMD May Have Been BluII,¨ Washington Post, October 1,
2003.
312
President George W. Bush, 'Rose Garden Remarks,¨ White House Transcript, November 8, 2002.
313
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
314
Seymour Hersh, 'The Debate Within,¨ The New Yorker, March 11, 2002.
315
Richard J. Newman, 'The Iraqi File,¨ Air Force Maga:ine, July 2003.
316
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003.
317
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003.
318
SSgt. Elaine Aviles, 'Myers Discusses Possibility oI War,¨ Air Force News, January 21, 2003.
319
Jumper interview, July 24, 2003.
320
Interview by Rebecca Grant with Major General Daniel P. LeaI, June 27, 2003.
321
'Iraq: Denial and Deception,¨ Transcript oI Secretary oI State Colin Powell`s Speech to the United
Nations Security Council, February 5, 2003, Department oI State.
322
Interview by TFEL with Colonel Duane Johnson, June 2003.
323
Second Lieutenant Lance Peterson, 'Reservists Support Air Bridge,¨ Air Force News, March 6,
2003.
324
StaII Sergeant Kristina Barrett, 'Base in England Gets BuII`,¨ Air Force News, March 5, 2003.
325
Paul Richter, 'US Scrambles to Get Commitments in Iraq War,¨ Los Angeles Times, March 18,
2002.
326
Johnson interview, June 2003.
327
USCENTAF, Operation Iraqi Freeaom. By the Numbers, April 30, 2003.
328
Philip Pan and Vernon Loeb, 'Turkey Says it May alter Decision on Use oI Bases,¨ Washington
Post Foreign Service, March 18, 2003.
329
DoD Press ConIerence, March 4, 2003.
330
Jim Garamone, 'Iraq Not Complying with UN Resolution, Powell Says,¨ American Forces Press
Service, March 7, 2003.
331
Moseley, July 24, 2003.
332
Master Sergeant Tom Allocco, 'New Yorkers Prepare to Leave One Front Line Ior Another,¨ Air
Force News, March 12, 2003.
333
Remarks by President George W. Bush in 'Address to the Nation,¨ White House Transcript, March
17, 2003.
334
Text oI Speech by Prime Minister Tony Blair, The Guaraian, March 18, 2003.
Chapter 8:
Operation Iraqi Freedom Begins
335
The White House, OIfce oI the Press Secretary, 'President Bush Addresses the Nation,¨ March 19,
2003.
336
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, March 22, 2003.
337
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, March 30, 2003.
338
Bing West and Major General Ray L. Smith, USMC, Ret., The March Up. Taking Baghaaa with the
1
st
Marine Division (New York: Bantam Books, 2003), p. 15.
339
DoD Press ConIerence, March 21, 2003.
340
USSOCOM Public AIIairs, 'Special Operations Force in Operation Iraqi Freedom, May 2003,¨ p. 7.
341
DoD Press ConIerence, March 20, 2003 and DoD Press conIerence, March 21, 2003. See also
comments by Renuart in William M. Arkin, 'Terrorism: The Risky Business oI Modern War,¨ Los
Angeles Times, September 21, 2003.
£xÈ
342
Adam J. Hebert, 'The Baghdad Strikes,¨ Air Force Maga:ine, July 2003; and Lorenzo Cortes, 'Air
Force F-117s Open Coalition Air Strikes with EGBU-27s,¨ Defense Daily, March 21, 2003.
343
Dan Balz, 'US Urges Iraqi Army Loyalists to Give Up,¨ Washington Post, March 21, 2003.
344
Anthony Shadid, 'Explosions Rip through the Quiet oI Morning,¨ Washington Post Foreign
Service, March 20, 2003.
345
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence Q&A, March 22, 2003.
346
LeaI interview, June 27, 2003.
347
DoD Press ConIerence, March 21, 2003.
348
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003.
349
Moseley interview July 24, 2003.
350
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
351
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
352
Richard T. Cooper and John Hendren, 'Strategy Boiled Down to Light vs. Heavy,¨ Los Angeles
Times, March 19, 2003.
353
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
354
TFEL, Operation Iraqi Freeaom. Jolume Two, Decisive Combat Operations, 2003.
355
TFEL Interim Report on Operation Iraqi Freedom.
356
General T. Michael Moseley, Remarks at US Naval Institute WarIare Exposition and Symposium,
October 8, 2003.
357
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, March 22, 2003.
358
USSOCOM Public AIIairs, 'Special Operations Force in Operation Iraqi Freedom, May 2003,¨ p. 6.
359
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, March 24, 2003.
360
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
361
Lt. Gen. Moseley, CFACC, Live Briefng, DoD, April 5, 2003.
362
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, April 10, 2003.
363
Johnson interview, June 2003.
364
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
365
DoD Press ConIerence, March 21, 2003.
366
USSOCOM Public AIIairs, 'Special Operations Forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom,¨ May 2003, p. 7.
367
TFEL, Operation Iraqi Freeaom. Jolume Two, Decisive Combat Operations, Chapter Two, Air
WarIare, 2003.
368
Michael R. Gordon, 'Allied Plan Would Encourage Iraqis Not to Fight,¨ New York Times, March 11, 2003.
369
Lt. Gen. Moseley, CFACC, 'Live Briefng,¨ DoD, April 5, 2003.
370
Douglas H. Stutz, 'Inside the CAOC: Saving Lives with Collateral Damage Estimation,¨ CFACC
Public AIIairs, Report 7, 2003.
371
Douglas H. Stutz, 'Inside the CAOC: Saving Lives with Collateral Damage Estimation,¨ CFACC
Public AIIairs, Report 7, 2003.
372
DoD Press ConIerence, March 21, 2003.
373
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, March 30, 2003.
374
DoD Press ConIerence, Background briefng by USCENTCOM on Targeting, March 5, 2003.
375
USCENTAF, Operation Iraqi Freeaom. By the Numbers, April 30, 2003.
376
Lt. Gen. Moseley, CFACC, 'Live Briefng,¨ DoD, April 5, 2003.
377
Senior Master Sergeant Rick Burnham, 'B-52 Crews use smart-guided` cluster bomb,¨ Air Force
News, April 2, 2003.
378
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
379
TFEL, Operation Iraqi Freeaom. Jolume Two, Decisive Combat Operations, Chapter Two, Air
WarIare, 2003.
380
Robert Dudney, 'Space Power in the GulI,¨ Air Force Maga:ine, June 2003.
381
Master Sergeant Austin Carter, 'Annual conIerence acknowledges space as key to success in Iraq,¨
Air Force Space Command News Service, June 18, 2003.
382
StaII Sgt. A.. J. Bosker, 'Space is ultimate high ground,¨ Air Force News, May 27, 2003.
383
William B. Scott, 'High Ground Over Iraq,¨ Aviation Week ana Space Technology, June 9, 2003.
384
Master Sergeant Austin Carter, 'Annual conIerence acknowledges space as key to success in Iraq,¨
Air Force Space Command News Service, June 18, 2003.
385
William B. Scott, 'High Ground Over Iraq,¨ Aviation Week ana Space Technology, June 9, 2003.
386
Lt. Col. Guy Morley, 26
th
Space Aggressor Squadron, Press Release, October 3, 2003, Air Force
Space Command.
387
John A. Tirpak, 'The Blended Wing Goes to War,¨ Air Force Maga:ine, October 2003.
388
Lt. Gen. Moseley, CFACC, 'Live Briefng,¨ DoD, April 5, 2003.
389
Interview by TFEL with, Maj. Kevin Glenn, USCENTAF A-2, June 2003.
390
Glenn interview, June 2003.
£xÇ
391
MSgt. Chuck Roberts, 'C-130 crews keep the supplies coming,¨ Air Force News, April 16, 2003.
392
Interview by Dr. Rebecca Grant with Secretary oI the Air Force James P. Roche, July 1, 2003, TFEL
Archives.
393
USCENTAF, Operation Iraqi Freeaom. By the Numbers, April 30, 2003.
394
MSgt. Chuck Roberts, 'C-130 crews keep the supplies coming,¨ Air Force News, April 16, 2003.
395
MSgt. Chuck Roberts, 'Operation Iraqi Freedom,¨ Airman Maga:ine, May 2003.
396
MSgt. Chuck Roberts, 'Operation Iraqi Freedom,¨ Airman Maga:ine, May 2003.
397
Vice Admiral Keating, CFMCC, 'Live Briefng,¨ DoD, April 12, 2003.
398
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
399
StaII Sergeant Robert Hayes, 'KC-135 Stratotankers keep allied Iorces fying,¨ Army ana Air Force
Hometown News, April 1, 2003.
400
Lt. Gen. Moseley, CFACC, 'Live Briefng,¨ DoD, April 5, 2003.
401
General John Jumper, Speech to Air Force Association National Convention, September 16, 2003.
402
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
403
CENTCOM Operation Iraqi Freedom Briefng, March 21, 2003.
404
Louis A. Arana Barradas, 'Predator helps in ground war success,¨ Air Force Print News, March 23, 2003.
405
Abizaid, Wall, and Brooks, USCENTCOM Briefng, March 23, 2003.
406
Abizaid, Wall, and Brooks, USCENTCOM Briefng, March 23, 2003.
407
LeaI interview, June 27, 2003.
408
Lt. Gen. Wallace, V Corps Commander, 'Live Briefng,¨ DoD, May 7, 2003.
409
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
Chapter 9:
Unrelenting Airpower
410
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, March 23, 2003.
411
Anthony Cordesman, 'Key Targets in Iraq,` CSIS Paper, February 1998.
412
Interview by Rebecca Grant with Colonel Charles WestenhoII, June 26, 2003.
413
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
414
WestenhoII interview, June 26, 2003
415
Williamson Murray and Major General Robert H. Scales, Jr., USA, Ret., The Iraq War (Cambridge,
MA: The Belknap Press oI Harvard University, 2003), pp. 105-106.
416
Richard Newman, 'Ambush at NajaI,¨ Air Force Maga:ine, October 2003.
417
LeaI interview, June 27, 2003.
418
Rowan Scarborough, 'General Tells How Cell Phone Foiled US Attack in Iraq,¨ Washington Times,
May 8, 2003.
419
LeaI interview, June 27, 2003.
420
TFEL, Operation Iraqi Freeaom. Jolume Two, Decisive Combat Operations, Chapter Two, Air
WarIare, 2003.
421
LeaI interview, June 27, 2003.
422
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
423
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, April 2, 2003.
424
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
425
Jim Dwyer, 'Troops Endure Blowing Sands and Mud Rain,¨ New York Times, March 26, 2003.
426
Bob Jensen, 'Weather Forecasters Aid Mission Planning,¨ Air Force News, March 17, 2003.
427
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, March 25, 2003.
428
General John Jumper, 'Leveraging Lessons Learned with Tactical Operations,¨ Remarks to the
National Security Forum, Maxwell AFB, AL, May 27, 2003.
429
Interview by Rebecca Grant with Major William Cahill and Major David Hambleton, June 2003.
430
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003.
431
Keith B. Richbourg and Susan B. Glasser, 'Iraqi Tanks Try to Break Out oI Basra,¨ Washington
Post, March 27, 2003.
432
David J. Lynch and Steve Komarow, 'Allies Count Day oI Successes,¨ USA Toaay, March 27, 2003.
433
LeaI interview, June 27, 2003.
434
USCENTCOM Briefng, March 26, 2003.
435
LeaI interview, June 27, 2003.
436
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, March 26, 2003.
437
Jumper interview, July 23, 2002.
438
Michael Kelly, 'A Much Tougher` Fight,¨ Washington Post, March 26, 2003.
439
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, March 25, 2003.
£xn
440
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003.
441
United States Army, FM 100-5, 1993, p. 7-5.
442
Murray and Scales, The Iraq War, pp. 127-128.
443
Moseley, July 24, 2003.
444
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
445
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, March 28, 2003.
446
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, March 30, 2003.
447
Lt. Gen. James Conway, Commander, I MEF, 'Briefng From Iraq,¨ DoD, May 30, 2003.
448
General John Jumper, 'Leveraging Lessons Learned with Tactical Operations,¨ Remarks to the
National Security Forum, Maxwell AFB, AL, May 27, 2003.
449
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, April 2, 2003.
450
Master Sergeant Scott Elliott, C-17 Crews Describe Paratroop Drop,¨ Air Force News, March 28, 2003.
451
Master Sergeant Scott Elliott, C-17 Crews Describe Paratroop Drop,¨ Air Force News, March 28, 2003.
452
Master Sergeant Scott Elliott, C-17 Crews Describe Paratroop Drop,¨ Air Force News, March 28, 2003.
453
Louis A. Arana-Barradas, 'Bashur or Bust,¨ Airman Maga:ine, July 2003.
454
Kevin Dougherty, 'Bare-bones Bashur airfeld supports 173
rd
,¨ Stars ana Stripes, April 9, 2003.
455
StaII Sergeant Pamela Smith, 'AirliIters Play Big Role in Iraqi Freedom,¨ Air Force News, April 2, 2003.
456
USSOCOM Public AIIairs, 'Special Operations Forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom, May 2003,¨ pp. 14-15.
457
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
458
Lt. Gen. Wallace, V Corps Commander, 'Live Briefng,¨ DoD, May 7, 2003.
459
Adam J. Hebert, 'Adventures in Bare Bones Basing,¨ Air Force Maga:ine, October 2003.
460
Keys interview, July 7, 2003.
461
DoD Briefng Irom Tallil Forward Air Base, April 17, 2003.
462
Briefng Irom Tallil Forward Air Base, DoD, April 17, 2003.
463
Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt, 'American Planners Stick with the Scalpel instead oI the
Bludgeon,¨ New York Times, March 27, 2003.
464
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, March 30, 2003.
465
WestenhoII interview, June 26, 2003.
466
LeaI interview, June 27, 2003.
467
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
468
LeaI interview, June 27, 2003.
469
DoD Press ConIerence, April 1, 2003.
470
DoD Press ConIerence, April 2, 2003.
471
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, April 2, 2003.
472
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, April 2, 2003.
473
LeaI interview, June 27, 2003.
474
Murray and Scales, The Iraq War, p. 206.
475
LeaI interview, June 27, 2003.
476
LeaI interview, June 27, 2003.
477
DoD Press ConIerence, April 3, 2003.
478
Lt. Gen. Moseley, CFACC, 'Live Briefng,¨ DoD, April 5, 2003.
479
LeaI interview, June 27, 2003.
480
Murray and Scales, The Iraq War, p. 174.
481
Lt. Gen. Moseley, CFACC, 'Live Briefng,¨ DoD, April 5, 2003.
482
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, April 2, 2003.
483
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
484
LeaI interview, June 27, 2003.
485
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
486
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
487
West and Smith, The March Up, p. 142.
488
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
489
Lt. Gen. Moseley, CFACC, 'Live Briefng,¨ DoD, April 5, 2003.
490
Lt. Gen. Moseley, CFACC, 'Live Briefng,¨ DoD, April 5, 2003.
491
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
492
Association oI the US Army, Operation Iraqi Freeaom Chronology, May 2003.
493
Lt. Gen. Wallace, V Corps Commander, 'Live Briefng,¨ DoD, May 7, 2003.
494
Lt. Gen. Moseley, CFACC, 'Live Briefng,¨ April 5, 2003.
495
Richard Newman, 'Ambush at NajaI,¨ Air Force Maga:ine, October 2003.
496
USCENTCOM Press ConIerence, April 8, 2003.
497
DoD, Briefng with B-1 pilots, DoD, April 8, 2003.
498
McChrystal, DoD Press ConIerence, April 8, 2003.
£x™
499
Lt. Gen. Moseley, CFACC, 'Live Briefng,¨ DoD, April 5, 2003.
500
Jim Garamone, 'Pilot Describes Baghdad Crash,¨ American Forces Press Service, July 17, 2003.
501
Murray and Scales, The Iraq War, p. 175.
502
Details reported in Nils J. Bruzelius, 'Daybook,¨ Washington Post, April 10, 2003.
503
Jim Garamone, 'Guardsmen Detail Close Air Support,¨ American Forces Press Service, July 17,
2003.
504
McChrystal, DoD Press ConIerence, April 10, 2003.
505
Myers, DoD Press ConIerence, April 9, 2003.
506
Lt. Gen. Wallace, V Corps Commander, 'Live Briefng From Baghdad,¨ DoD, May 7, 2003.
507
VADM Arthur Cebrowski, DeIense Writer`s Group briefng, May 15, 2003.
508
President George W. Bush, 'Remarks by the President Irom the USS Abraham Lincoln,¨ May 1,
2003, White House Transcript.
Chapter 10:
A War Well Begun
509
Murray and Scales, The Iraq War, p. 178.
510
Capt. Patricia Lang, 'Inside the CAOC: Fatty Daddy and Flowbee,¨ Air Force News, Special Report
#18.
511
Moseley interview, July 24, 2003.
512
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003.
513
'Words home Irom the warIront,¨ Air Force Space Command News Service, July 28, 2003.
514
StaII Sergeant C. Todd Lopez, 'Moseley discusses reconstitution,¨ Air Force News Service.
515
General Jumper, Speech to Air Force Association National Convention, September 16, 2003.
516
General Jumper, Speech to the Air Force Association National Convention, September 16, 2003.
517
William Matthews, 'Triumph oI Jointness,¨ Defense News, April 14, 2003.
518
'Words home Irom the warIront,¨ Air Force Space Command News Service, July 28, 2003.
519
General Jumper, Speech to Air Force Association National Convention, September 16, 2003.
520
General Jumper, Speech to Air Force Association National Convention, September 16, 2003.
521
General Charles R. Holland, Commander, USSOCOM, PreIace, Special Operations Forces.
Operation Iraqi Freeaom (MacDill AFB, FL: May, 2003), p. 2.
522
Jumper interview, July 23, 2003.
523
RumsIeld, DoD Press ConIerence, April 11, 2003.
USAF/CVAX Staff Members
Director, HQ USAF/CVAX (2002-2004) Colonel Thomas Entwistle
Deputy Director (2002-2004) Colonel Mark Bontrager
Director (2002) Colonel Fred Wieners
Director (2001-2002) Brigadier General James 'Beak¨ Hunt

£Èä
Task Force Enduring Look
First 600 Days Author Rebecca Grant, Ph.D., IRIS
Senior Editor JeIIrey Larsen, Ph.D., SAIC
Colonel Roxann Oyler
Lt Colonel (USAFR) Dawn Jones
Lt Colonel Gene Johnson
Major Dean Boles
Major Thomas Farleigh
Major Diane Ficke
Major (USAFR) Larry Wheeler
Major Steven Williams
TFEL Analytical Team
Program Manager (2002-2004) Paul Robbins, Teledyne Brown Engineering
Program Manager (2001-2002) Kurt Willstatter, Teledyne Brown Engineering
Captain Phil Stratton
2nd Lieutenant (USAFR) Josh Lashbrook
MSgt Michael Buehrle
MSgt Keith Fleming
TSgt Michael Jones
SSgt Brian Potvin
SSgt Jason Plummer
Bob Anderson
James Anderson
Matt Anderson
Carol Bachmann
Lyntis Beard, Ph.D.
Mark Beardslee
Essie Bell
Peter Brannon
Trenise Brown
David Brumbaugh
Debra Buettner
Ed Burns
Bullets Campbell
Adan Carabello
Tim Christiansen
Deborah Cobb
Andrei Coley
Tony Cooper
Patricia Cummings
Alicia Curran
Pat Curry
JenniIer De Capua
Thomas Dowdall
Lewis Drew
Kathy Ellis
JeII Fellmeth
Mark FrondorI
Major Doug Gaeta
Mellissa Gambrell
John Georgiou
Darcie Gibson
Tom GriIfth
Sandra Guthrie
Megan Hamel
Ben Harvey
Mark Hursen
Anna Hurtgen
Daniel (Jake) Jacobowitz
Bob Johnston
JenniIer King
Eric Knudsen
Tammy Kumpe
Christine LaIIerty
Brad LaIIerty
Kerri Langley
Bob Lewis
Rina MacNeill
Victoria Molnar
Matt Martin
J.R. McDonald
Cecil Miller
Carl Morris
Steven Neal
Nicholas Palmiotto
Pat Pentland, Ph.D.
Gary Phipps
Eric ReIIett, Ph.D.
Dave Reidel
Ken Quarterman
Rick Sargent
Mac Sayers
Joseph Scalione
Larry (Rusty) SchaeIer
Bob Scott
Robert Sims, Ph.D.
Darlene Smith-Brewer
Joan Sparks
Morris Spence
Jean Starnes
Bill Stevens
Aimee Steussy
Frank Swords
Lt Col (USAFR) Victor Tasiemski
Jerry Thigpen
J.D. Thomas
Kim Triplett
Duncan Van Buskirk
Gilles Van Nederveen
Van Vuong
Charmayne Walker
Judson Walls
Kathy Ward
Larry Weaver, Ph.D.
David Whitehorn
Will Williamson
Elizabeth York
ISßN# 1-892799-O5-7

Published 2004 by IRIS Press 236 Massachusetts Avenue NE Suite 204 Washington, DC 20002 Phone: 202.544.2130 Fax: 202.544.4327

The First 600 Days of Combat Copyright © 2004 IRIS Press All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information address: IRIS Press 236 Massachusetts Avenue NE Suite 204 Washington, DC 20002

ISBN# 1-892799-05-7

THE FIRST 600 DAYS OF COMBAT
Rebecca Grant

.

TABLE OF Contents 1 Chapter 1: Beyond Desert Storm Chapter 2: The Terror Weapon 11 Chapter 3: Noble Eagle 19 Chapter 4: The Challenge of Afghanistan 37 Chapter 5: Victories in November 53 Chapter 6: Tora Bora to Anaconda 71 Chapter 7: Eyes on Iraq 85 Chapter 8: Operation Iraqi Freedom Begins 101 Chapter 9: Unrelenting Airpower 121 Chapter 10: A War Well Begun 141 Endnotes 148 .

.

The war was truly global in scope. Predator. All-weather JDAM. America's Airmen played a dominant role in every phase of the first six hundred days. Global Hawk. The sentry on guard at the base's main gate. but it made substantial progress in putting terrorists on the defensive and creating the new security partnerships essential to a sustained global war on terror. wage the global war against terrorism. Operation Iraqi Freedom completed an overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime. Above all. no definitive or final account of how America's Airmen helped defeat the global threat of terrorism can yet be written. Iraq. the Air Force with its joint and Coalition partners fought the first phase of the global war on terrorism. and in two unlikely locations: Afghanistan and. This is the story of how it all began: the first six hundred days of combat. its cities and critical infrastructure. and thousands more like them. this first six hundred days of combat sought to counter the constantly present threat of terrorist attacks against the people of the United States. It included covert and conventional operations. It did not eradicate that threat. space operations for warfighters. with acts of everyday professionalism. 2001. the B-2 stealth bomber. Operation Enduring Freedom broke the Taliban control of Afghanistan and tore apart al-Qaeda terrorist nests in that nation. from the morning of September 11. until May 1. The first six hundred days saw three major campaigns. the tanker aircrew over the Pacific. but it diminished it significantly.2003. For it took a changed Air Force to wage the global war on terrorism. humanitarian airlifts and debilitating airstrikes. F A Decade of Change The story begins with changes in the Air Force after Operation Desert Storm in 1991. bravery and sacrifice. designed to ensure that Iraq could not become a safe harbor for terrorism or for the development of weapons of mass destruction. For that reason. waged in one familiar setting. the crew chief for the F-16 deployed to Kuwait or on alert for NORAD in the United States: all these Airmen. They are still engaged in the battle today." . even more surprising. laser1 . The first six hundred days did not bring the campaign against terrorism to an end. Operation Noble Eagle defended the air sovereignty of North America.CHAPTER 1: Beyond Desert Storm "The great trouble with starting anything new is to break away from the conservative policy of those who have gone before. This is their story. Signs of the change were visible everywhere Airmen operated.Brigadier General Billy Mitchell! or almost six hundred days. over the skies of the United States itself.

"Gulf War lesson one is the value of airpower. Chapter 5 covers OEF's major successes in ending Taliban control of Afghanistan in November and early December 2001. Chapter 4 opens with the decision to rout out al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and describes the beginning of that campaign. How did it happen? The Air Force after Operation Desert Storm transitioned from a Cold War force to an expeditionary force. the US Air Force . Iraqi divisions massed on the border saw a third of their artillery destroyed outright. 2001.and at its core. The joint air weapon . W. data links for real-time targeting. Transformation in military organizations counts only when it makes an impact in combat. Chapter 10 tracks the aftermath of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the impact of the first two years of the global war on terrorism.the first six hundred days . known as Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). form and character. most of all. The six-week air war paved the way for Phase IV.guided bombs on F-16s. Chapter 9 focuses on the critical period leading up to the capture of Baghdad. and the ongoing campaign of sovereign air defense known as Operation Noble Eagle. But the Air Force that led the Coalition to victory 2 . and armored units lost substantial percentages of their vehicles."? From the air. where j oint campaigns come together and where the impact of air and space power is most evident. bridges and tanks. It was prompted by many things: new technologies. the stepped-up activity in the no-fly zones." said Air Force Chief of Staff General Tony McPeak. women in combat assignments. and the political and diplomatic developments leading up to March 2003. This was "the first time in history that an army was defeated by airpower. It was a change in structure. Laser-guided bombs proved effective against buildings. Lessons of Desert Storm Success in Operation Desert Storm over a decade earlier was an achievement carved out in large measure by airpower. the never-to-be-repeated signature victory. even as future threats remained amorphous. The aim of this report is to tell what happened in the first three campaigns . Chapter 8 marks the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom and details the many contributions of airpower to fighting and sustaining the campaign. the war was over. e-mail to the cockpit. the desire to reshape the Air Force to meet America's changing security needs.was so dominant in the short campaign that President George H. and in just one hundred hours. With Chapter 7. Chapter 6 analyzes the shifting nature of Operation Enduring Freedom after December 2001 and the lessons of Operation Anaconda in March 2002. these and other developments paid off at the operational level of war. It starts in Chapter 1 with an explication of the Air Force's internal changes and their impact on joint warfighting from 1991 to 2001. Ten years later. Chapter 3 documents September 11. and the development of war plans. new operational requirements and. 3 Another kind of military might have been content with that high-water mark. the ground offensive. the focus turns to Iraq. Bush said.of the global war on terrorism. C-17 relief food drops on the first night of the war. Coalition fighters made short work of the well-equipped Iraqi Air Force. Chapter 2 reviews the rise of terrorist threats to the United States and the world. ten Air Expeditionary Forces: all these elements of modem airpower and more did not exist in 1991.

Operation Desert Storm was quickly dubbed "the first space war" in spite of the major cultural and operational isolation of the space profession within the Air Force.but except for a few salvos of expendable counter-air drones. F-l11s. Air Force photo) in Operation Desert Storm had transformed itself only just enough. and a handful ofF-15Es . that Operation Desert Shield offered five months to build up forces since they had to be extracted from Cold War battle plans to be deployed. The Joint Surveillance Target Attack System (or JSTARS) that detected the attack at Khafji and safeguarded the massive Coalition ground force repositioning was a test platform rushed into combat with engineers and Ph. Lieutenant General Charles Homer. scientists aboard to keep the system running. Victory can be a poor teacher. F-15C and F-15Efiying during Desert Storm. For the first time. a new period of radical change was just about to start. for the Air Force.could deliver self-designating laser-guided bombs. A handful of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) saw service .F-16A. Barely one hundred Air Force aircraft in theater . Scuds largely eluded Coalition Airmen.F-l17s.D. Strategic Air Command kept custody of bombers and tankers during the conflict. none of the UAVs belonged to the Air Force. However. too. (U'S. control of airpower came under a Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC). It was fortunate. 3 . but internal to the Air Force.

Strategic Air Command. Saddam Hussein again deployed Republican Guard forces on the Iraqi border with Kuwait. True. Air Expeditionary Force However. In October 1994."> McPeak announced in September 1991 that SAC." General Jumper himself took over the JTF SWA billet. TAC and MAC. who by then had Homer's old three-star job as Commander of 9th Air Force." recounted General Jumper." "Something had to happen. "we were looking at the same kind of confusion that we saw in August of 1990 when Saddam came across the first time. Jumper. "No one would describe our Desert Storm command arrangements that way."8 4 ." 6 By June 1. "So I went over and spent three months over in the desert." he said. whatever they might be. 1992. reorganization by itself was not enough.?" General John P. A unified Strategic Command took over control of nuclear retaliatory strikes. without becoming mired in old missions and old ways of doing business. Ohio. It deflated old conflicts over culture and resources and gave the Air Force the opportunity to look at future challenges. The changes of 1992. a process that took several more months to complete. His goal was to provide integrated airpower in units "organized in peacetime the way we intend to use them in combat.Reorganization Secretary of the Air Force Donald B. Systems Command. Navy and several Coalition Air Forces all flew on the air tasking order. TAC and MAC were going away. Logistics Command.Patterson AFB. The Air Force found its deployment packages had not been trimmed and tailored to the needs of a rapid deployment. Air Mobility Command became the home of airlifts and tankers. Rice and Chief of Staff General Tony McPeak began to alter the very fabric of the Air Force in the fall of 1991. Restructuring wiped the slate clean." McPeak said in the fall of 1991. The shape and size of squadrons changed also. gave the Air Force a fresh approach to its future and left it with a basic structure still in place today. What he found was that "we needed a rotation base of some type to be able to react to what was happening in the world that was not set-piece like the Cold War. reflected that Desert Storm exposed "the fact that we had neglected to comply with the basic doctrine of airpower of centralized control and decentralized execution. The reorganization also reached deep to simplify the structure of the Air Force and push authority out to the wing level. "Our own basic doctrine calls for command structures that are clear. a few Marine air assets had evaded centralized control. Another major change came just one month later as the Systems and Logistics Commands consolidated into the new Air Force Materiel Command headquartered at Wright. Tactical Air Command and Military Airlift Command each had its own four-star commander and its own culture. dominated the force. simple and easily understood. Three giant commands known as SAC. USAF. But the USAF itself was still organized for the Cold War. radical as they were. As a result. Intercontinental ballistic missiles moved eventually to Space Command. the Air Force had an all-new combat command structure that left it in a better position to prepare for the future. Air Combat Command included fighters and bombers. There was no doubt that Operation Desert Storm had proved the soundness of the doctrine of centralized control via Homer's performance as the JFACC. who became Air Force Chief of Staff ten years later. and other baronies reflected the sprawling nature of the Cold War force. but the Air Force.

tracking and killing targets on the move." noted General Jumper. It also brought a new level of responsibility for managing collateral damage. minimizing collateral damage became a major issue in the Balkans. often included joint exercises with host-nation forces. But it was an unfamiliar location called Kosovo that gave many of the Air Force's new capabilities a major test." said Ryan. Percentages of fighters and bombers dedicated to the war far surpassed equivalent percentages deployed for Desert Storm or even Vietnam. 15 The length and breadth of the campaign came as a surprise and tested the Air Force's ability to deploy more forces quickly. he began tailoring the Air Force as a whole to the AEF concept. for example.l? Deployment stops in the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. 1999. made its first flight in February 1998. At the initiative of Chief of Staff General Ronald Fogleman. The Air Force capitalized on its Desert Storm experience with a wish list of improved capabilities. the Air Force stood up a new Doctrine Center. adapted from a Central Intelligence Agency drone. long-endurance UAV with advanced sensors. By the mid-1990s. The Predator. 5 . One of these was the C-17 airlifter. the Air Force was truly a precision force. without a land component. Global Hawk. With its expeditionary posture." Ryan realized. the Air Force summoned almost half its forces to the theater. Although it had been a concern in 1991. who as a one-star in 1996 became the Air Force Doctrine Center's first commander. Another was the acquisition of enough precision weapons targeting pods to equip nearly all deploying fighters." said Lieutenant General Ron Keys. General Jumper described it as a test to "put together a force package that could rapidly react to a situation. 11 Many other changes large and small occurred throughout the 1990s."? The Air Force began its first AEF deployments in 1995 as a means for putting 30 additional fighters and 6 bombers into Southwest Asia during gaps in Navy carrier visits. "Minimizing not only collateral damage but also carnage was first and foremost in my mind. A two-week air campaign in Bosnia ended in 1995 with new pledges for peace and new statistics on precision airpower: over two-thirds of the bombs dropped during Operation Deliberate Force were precision weapons." said General Ryan. Its mission was to "write down what works" instead of just handing lessons down "essentially father to son around the campfire. At one point. At its peak the campaign had three times more strike aircraft in action than it had at the beginning." it might have "brought the operation to a dead halt. who was the three-star Combined Forces Air Component Commander during Operation Deliberate Force. a high-altitude. even resulting in the withholding of some targets in Baghdad. Unique political restrictions and wily Serb tactics also put the spotlight on finding. 13 Airmen also got back together with UAVs. 12 It was also a time of tremendous technology evolution. and continued for the next 78 days. When General Michael Ryan became Chief of Staff in 1997.!" Airpower carried the fight alone. who was Chief of Staff from November 1994 through July 1997. 80 percent of tanker crews were involved. "If NATO had committed an atrocity from the air.It was the birth of the Air Expeditionary Force (AEF). "We were the ones that surged. The Lessons of Operation Allied Force NATO's air war to free Kosovo started suddenly on March 24. became an Air Force program with its own "pilots" and a squadron in Nevada. Ryan was the one who ensured that "the Air Force was able to make the right adjustment to make this idea of a rotational force universal.

General John Jumper. Their operators rarely turned them on. where it might make the strike list a few days later . where he commanded United States Air Forces in Europe. gives his personal view of the progress of NATO Operation Allied Force during a Pentagon press conference on May 14. The heart of flexible targeting was the requirement to fuse intelligence. there was one major key: a change in attitude. Air Forces Europe. Everyone in the sensor-shooter loop had to feel the urgency of tracking and killing these "flex" targets. meaning they gave out only brief blips of electronic signatures. who traveled to Vicenza from Ramstein AB. For General Jumper. the SA-6's coordinates could be derived and relayed to a strike aircraft. and by aircrews alike. Ward) u. then hand it off through routine intelligence channels. commander. combined with vigilant reconnaissance. Flex targets demanded a brisk warrior spirit and a desire to break old barriers between intelligence and operations. It proved without a doubt to be an unsurpassed laboratory for the future of air and space power. could sometimes yield a precise location for an SA-6. Germany. (DoD photo by R. Then. The SA-6s could also move and pop up to threaten NATO aircraft.probably after the SA-6 had moved several times. No longer was it good enough for imagery analysts to identify an SA-6. 1999. Italy. surveillance and reconnaissance feeds into a tool for pinpointing elusive targets. Yet predictive analysis of the typical behavior of the SA-6 operators. 6 . Serbian SA-6s were a good example. if the CAOC acted swiftly enough. D. The fledgling process of "flexible targeting" called for a new approach by the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) at Vicenza.s.

It was Northern Watch. As Jumper explained it. It was especially true in the Kosovo crisis. Balkans." The Air Force implemented AOC training. Joint force exercises also tested the AOC's growing abilities. As it turned out. there could be no more important preparation for the challenges that lay ahead in the 21 st century. That meant that its true impact in the global war on terrorism would be judged by the success of joint operations." he said. "And so that agility means that the tactical level warrior needs to have a much different relationship with the air operations center . with the USAF at its core. where "all around Europe you saw these tanker bases and these fighter bases" activated to support the NATO campaign. including major land campaigns. and capable across a spectrum of conflict: the capabilities of the air component. Expeditionary. relied heavily on airpower but downplayed its impact as soon as victory was in sight. There were still more lessons for the expeditionary force to learn. and drug wars. engage and assess. Transformation can be gauged best by performance in combat." General Jumper concluded. and blocks of capabilities. General Schwarzkopf's 7 . and chief among them was a fresh appreciation of combat support. where political tides might grant (or rescind) target approvals. where forces from all components must integrate together. The Gulf War of 1991 ended with unresolved operational issues clouding the air and land components' views of each other. things like that. Southern Watch. "the world that we lived in as we were doing all this was really not a true contingency world. "You'd see them spring up with all sorts of combat support that needed to go in there to make these things happen. General Norman Schwarzkopf. more and more defined the capabilities of the American military as a whole. 17 The result: the concept of the Air Operations Center (AOC) as a weapons system. the pilot in the cockpit needed to draw directly and quickly on the pipeline of processed intelligence from the CAOC. precise. Airpower in Joint Warfare Perhaps the only doubts about the Air Force's transformation initiatives lay with whether or not airpowerwas prepared to take the lead in a combined-arms setting. forty-three percent of the Operation Allied Force targets were grouped as "flexible" targets. The net result was that pilots increasingly launched on missions and then got the coordinates or final approval for their strikes while airborne. target. Ultimately. Put simply. From that flowed specific concepts of operations. airpower had to deliver at the operational level of war. The Commander in Chief of United States Central Command.t'If Above all. 16 Now.The operational level of war had to be "resynchronized with the tactical level of war. Combat support for expeditionary airpower really began "to blossom" in Operation Allied Force. to improve the chain of "find. and where ferreting out Serbian ground forces was a daily effort. The "agility you need to do that is a different mentality than all of us were trained to.. fix. but the tent city was already there." he later said. It was a world where you had a fixed unit at the far end and so you were deploying assets into this fixed unit.because those are the people who are really his pipeline" for rapid target information. track. This shift in air warfare required changes within the Air Force. Joint and combined arms as a litmus test applies especially to airpower because airpower's impact becomes most dramatic at the campaign level. and the highest test of combat art lies in combined operations. Operation Allied Force found that once again the air component was at the center of joint operations..

chief air campaign planner and commander of fighter units. Looking back on that time in 2003. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers commented that "we were basically in a deconfliction mode" in 1991. but had become less so in recent weeks. with US ground forces entering the region only later. his remarks hurt." said thenBrigadier General Buster Glosson.P "Jointness" was far from complete. such as the Army's Certain Victory. Airpower dominated military operations in the 1990s. waged over Bosnia in 1995. documented the bitterness caused by misunderstandings between the land and air components in such day-to-day operations as the target selection process. 1991. the last night of the war. 19 Histories written after the Gulf War. Operation Allied Force ran for 78 days with minimal land force involvement and no ground combat operations. He commented that airpower had been very effective initially. Mark Olsen) famous "mother of all briefings" was televised live from Riyadh on February 27. 8 . as peacekeepers.21 For the rest of the decade there were few real-world opportunities to test air and land component coordination in conventional operations.The B-2 Spirit bomber is a revolutionary blend of low-observable technologies with high aerodynamic efficiency and large payload. Four years later. (U'S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. "The truth was. employed airpower first. Operation Deliberate Force.

Just as the Gulf War helped fuel a push for innovation. the 1990s saw a shift from the air-land battle doctrine of the 1980s to a new doctrine that embraced a broader spectrum of operations.As for the Army. but still gave pride of place to fires and maneuver. Airmen looking back at the 1990s could well be pleased with the progress made in transforming the Air Force to meet new security challenges. 9 . But the biggest challenge of all was just taking shape. it also set some of the conditions for the rise of a new threat: terrorism. Any future conflict would be a test ofwhether the new capabilities of air and space power could be effectively lashed together in major joint force operations.

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the Philippines. Bush received a two-hour briefing from the CIA listing the top three threats facing America. For 50 years after the end of World War II. Clinton signed his first policy directive on counter-terrorism. Ramzi Yousef.F' T The Changing Threat Until 2001. the attack caused state and federal authorities across the nation to re-evaluate their mechanisms for responding to catastrophic attacks. A profound change in America's security strategy began to take shape in the mid1990s. the al-Qaeda. The second event was the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City in 1995." . Containment and deterrence held back direct threats to the territory of the United States. Nearly five thousand people were treated for injuries. 1993. President William J. The willingness to engage abroad was the essence of the strategy of containment. seemed to belong to another era. Six people died and nearly a thousand suffered injuries. Yousef and his coconspirators were trying to put together a plot to blow up a dozen commercial airliners in Asia and the United States when they were arrested. While the Oklahoma City tragedy was not linked to international terrorism. Americans held the view that security began overseas. "Had the attack gone as planned. terrorism had never been portrayed as a primary threat to US security. A network of permanent bases and alliances led by NATO was put in place to dampen conflict and protect the nation's interests. tens of thousands of Americans would have died. was arrested in early 1995 after explosives accidentally detonated in his apartment in Manila." said terrorism expert Laurie Mylroie. Cities were vulnerable even to relatively simple forms of attack. Americans felt safe on their own shores.CHAPTER 2: The Terror Weapon "Osama bin Laden and his global network of lieutenants and associates remain the most immediate and serious threat to US security.I" One of the ringleaders. in June 1995. First was the World Trade Center bombing on February 26. PDD-39. The danger was underlined by an unrelated incident in Tokyo a month earlier when a cult tried to release sarin gas in the subway.CIA Director George Tenet. Three events marked the beginning of intensified concern about terrorism and American security. That linked the 1993 bombing to a group of Muslim extremists. such as Sputnik in 1957 and the Cuban missile crisis in 1963. In early January 2001. President-elect George W. The few history-making exceptions. February 200122 he emergence of terror as a global weapon was to have an indelible influence on the Air Force and was to put its transformations of the 1990s to the test. Two of these were the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and Osama bin Laden's worldwide terrorist network. 11 .

A subsequent fatwa published in February 1998 called for the killing of Americans . capture bin Laden and tum him over to authorities . the episodic terrorist attacks did not signify a coming shift in national security policies. Force protection overseas became a much higher priority. Rumors pointed to some form of involvement by exiled Saudi extremist Osama bin Laden. Concerns focused mainly on increased force protection for US military forces stationed abroad." Saudi Arabia." warned President Clinton at the memorial service. The government of Sudan expelled Osama bin Laden from his home in downtown Khartoum in 1996. the terror weapon remained in the shadows. It was a pointed reference to the US and other western forces . killed two hundred people.including Airmen . Saudi Arabia. we say: you will not find a safe harbor. It claimed the lives of 17 sailors and injured 39 more. "But all the experts in the Directorate of Operations thought it 12 .including civilians . The suicide attack on the Navy destroyer USS Cole while refueling in Yemen in October 2000 was another al-Qaeda work of terror.j> Still. However. He then set up camp in Afghanistan. That all changed in the summer of 1998. who became CIA director in 1997. for most Americans. Kenya. These three events marked the arrival of a whole new set of vulnerabilities. From this new base he issued in August 1996 a Declaration of Jihad "against the Americans occupying the land of the two holy mosques.anywhere in the world. AI-Qaeda Comes out of the Shadows One of the few who knew how dangerous Osama bin Laden and his network could be was George Osama bin Laden. Tanzania.The third event hit US forces overseas. Retaliation strikes with Tomahawk cruise missiles hit a bin Laden training camp at Zhawar Kili in Afghanistan and a suspected poison gas factory in the Sudan. "To those who attacked them. Bombings at the US embassies in Nairobi.v' By this time.who were in Saudi Arabia to enforce UN sanctions against Iraq. Yet with conflicts under way in the Balkans and Africa. In June 1996. Bin Laden was the renegade son of a wealthy Saudi family known for its gigantic construction and engineering business. For its part.unless by chance he fought to the death. Nineteen were killed and dozens more injured. and injured more than four thousand. They began tracking bin Laden more closely after the Nairobi and Dar es Salaam bombings. the CIA could legally mount a covert operation. including twelve Americans. terrorists backed a sewage truck filled with explosives up against the perimeter wall of barracks housing USAF Airmen at the Khobar Towers housing complex in Dhahran. both the CIA and the FBI had small teams dedicated to working on Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda. and Dar es Salaam. Tenet. the FBI issued an indictment against bin Laden and 16 of his associates following multinational investigation of the African embassy bombings.s? United States law forbade assassinations. Bin Laden followed it up in May 1998 with an endorsement of a nuclear bomb for Islam.

would not work - that it would lead to a lot of people getting killed, and not necessarily bin Laden," concluded journalist Bob Woodward, after extensive interviews with Tenet and others. As a result, "the plan never went further."28

Homeland Security: The First Stirrings
Homeland security also became a topic of domestic debate in the late 1990s - but not because of bin Laden. A handful of prominent commissions met to discuss and attempt to define the growing threat to America itself. In December 1997, the National Defense Panel ranked "homeland defense" first in its section on meeting national security challenges in 2020. "The primary reason for the increased emphasis on homeland defense is the change, both in type and degree, in the threats to the United States," explained the panel.Z? However, their report did not single out terrorism; it listed many elements ranging from border and coastal defense to terrorism, information warfare, defense against ballistic and cruise missiles, and attacks on critical infrastructure. Two years later, in 1999, the Hart-Rudman Commission took an even stronger tone. The report of the bipartisan commission was blunt about future prospects: The combination of unconventional weapons proliferation with the persistence ofintemational terrorism will end the relative invulnerability of the US homeland to catastrophic attack. A direct attack against American citizens on American soil is likely over the next quarter century. The risk is not only death and destruction but also a demoralization that could undermine US global leadership.J'' The warning was sobering and the prospect of some form of attack was undeniable. But the terror weapon had not yet taken concrete shape. As yet, no government agency had formally laid out a threat assessment covering potential attacks in America. As a result, there was no drive to alter America's defensive posture.

The Air Defense Posture Before September 11
Primary responsibility for air defense fell to the North American Aerospace Defense Command, known as NORAD. NORAD was a bilateral US-Canadian organization that had been created in 1958 to provide distant early warning and defensive reaction against Soviet bomber and missile attacks. For more than 40 years, NORAD protected North America against attack from outside by maintaining aerospace warning and control. NORAD's mission, as reiterated in March 1996, was as follows:

• •

The primary missions of NORAD [are] ... aerospace warning for North America ... and aerospace control for North America ...[,] [to] include the capability to detect, identify, monitor, and if necessary, take appropriate actions (ranging from visual identification to destruction) against manned or unmanned air-breathing vehicles approaching North America.U

NORAD's headquarters were in a blast-hardened facility dug deep into rock at Cheyenne Mountain AFB, Colorado. From this secure bastion, it was up to NORAD to correlate threat warning information, identity a target such as a bomber or missile approaching the US and declare it hostile, and get authority from the Secretary of Defense and the President to take action.
13

Air defense interceptors were the most visible part ofNORAD 's force structure. In the 1950s, hundreds of fighters were part of the alert force. But the air defense mission waned in the 1970s and 1980s. By 1980, the number was down to 14 units. In 1994, with no apparent threats to the US on the horizon, the Bottom-Up Review conducted by Secretary of Defense Les Aspin cut back the NORAD continental US alert from ten to seven sites. The 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review briefly considered subtracting three more sites and relying on a "four comers" defense. General Howell M. Estes, III, the commander ofNORAD at the time, scotched the idea.i? That left NORAD with what was in effect a reduced Cold War posture. For air defense, NORAD was divided into three regions: Alaska, Canada and the continental United States, known by the acronyms ANR, CANR and CONR. The Commander, CONR, was dual-hatted as the Commander, 1't Air Force. CONR was split into three sectors: the Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS), headquartered at Rome, New York; the Southeast Air Defense Sector (SEADS) at TyndallAFB, Florida; and the Western Air Defense Sector (WADS) at McChordAFB, Washington. The sectors watched the skies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They tracked suspicious aircraft and had authority to launch alert aircraft to close in on what they called "unknown riders." The fighters providing air defense were grouped in "seven sets of two." They were: Unit 102ndFW 119th FW 125th FW 147th FW 148th FW 144th FW 142ndFW Home Station Cape Cod, MA Fargo, ND Jacksonville, FL Houston, TX Duluth, MN Fresno, CA Portland, OR Alert Site OtisANGB, MA Langley AFB, VA Homestead AFRB, FL EllingtonANGB, TX Tyndall AFB, FL March AFB, CA Portland lAP, OR Aircraft F-15 F-16A F-15 F-16 F-16 F-16 F-15

All fighters were on a 15-minute alert. Each sector maintained operational control (OPCON) of the alert forces, which, in the words of Colonel Robert Marr, Jr., Commander, NEADS, gave them the "freedom to scramble.t'{' For the pilots and crew chiefs, the klaxon call to launch their alert jets was an adrenaline-filled event. "Your heart gets going no matter how many times you've scrambled, because you never know what's out there," Major Steve Saari, an F-16 alert pilot from the 148th Fighter Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard, who pulled alert at Tyndall AFB, Florida, said in a 1999 interviewi" Daily operations took on their own unique character at each sector. WADS covered a large geographic area - everything west of the Mississippi River - but had relatively little civil aviation traffic compared to the other sectors. Thousands of commercial airline routes crossed through the busy northeast corridor in the NEADS sector. In 1993, alert fighters scrambled to escort a hijacked Lufthansa airliner inbound from Europe to an uneventful landing in Canada. SEADS was drug runner territory. Its airspace was also filled with general traffic from South America, light planes flying to the Caribbean Islands without a flight plan, and occasional Cuban aircraft. In 1998, SEADS logged over four hundred fighter scrambles compared to fewer than one hundred for WADS.
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Just as evening falls, the lead KC-135Rfrom the 168th Air Refueling Wing, Alaska Air National Guard, takes off for a refueling mission. The force is made up exclusively of Reserve Forces from Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve. (U.s. Air Force photo)

Most of all, the "seven sets of two" were ready at all times. "These jets are hot and cocked, they are ready," said Technical Sergeant Don Roseen of the 148th FW in 1999. "When that alarm goes off, everything else just stops."35

Potential New Threats
Talk of homeland security and terrorist threats in the late 1990s was not overlooked at NORAD. Internally, NORAD was studying potential new threats such as ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and cyber-warfare. The commander of 1st Air Force, Major General Larry K. Arnold, summed it up in the summer of 1999. While the "deterrable enemies that prompted the NORAD Treaty no longer pose the primary threat to our nation, our mission remains viable and important. Non-deterrable threats, such as rogue nations and terrorists, make our job more crucial and challenging than ever," he concluded. General Arnold was beginning to focus his forces on "our near-term capability to detect, track and intercept and destroy cruise missile-type targets" and on upgrading standards for "seamless command and control."36 However, all these new threats retained NORAD's traditional emphasis on threats coming from outside US borders. Commercial aviation flights originating within the United States were deemed "friendly by origin." That would tum out to be a significant assumption. The fact remained that there was little to prompt a full-scale re-examination of NORAD's traditional roles. One area that NORAD could and did emphasize was force protection. "It is our job to protect our people. Although NORAD and USSPACECOM forces do not face the same level of threat as those confronting the regional CINCs, we do deploy our personnel to every location US forces operate .... The intelligence community continues to advise us of the international terrorism threat
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Aside from this littleknown event. al-Qaeda terrorists were planning an attack from within. nor had it figured in Defense Department planning guidance." testified CINC NORAD.37 As a result.P Targeting America As is now known. CIA Director Tenet testified to Congress in February 2001 that "Osama bin Laden and his global network of lieutenants and associates remain the most immediate and serious threat to US security. In 1996." But the true strategic warning of an attack on the United 16 . Looking back. the type of attack executed on September 11 had no direct precursors." discovered Washington Post reporter Bradley Graham five days after September 11. in 2001. it had not been enough to layout a clear warning of what was to come. By then. the World Trade Center in New York and the Federal Building in Oklahoma certainly provide the proof. bin Laden advised scrapping a plan for five coordinated attacks on the east and west coasts in favor of a simpler plan. Another meeting in Malaysia in January 2000 finalized the groundwork for the plot. "I think we lulled ourselves into a thought process that was Cold War-driven: protect ourselves from without.prior to September 11. At the Pentagon. simultaneous attack on multiple targets in the United States was considered a serious possibility . NORAD was still postured to counter threats from beyond American shores. from Nevada to West Virginia. NORAD's own radars clustered on the perimeter and did not penetrate far inland. One major shortcoming of this posture was that radar coverage of US airspace relied heavily on Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) tracking of transponder signals. jet powered plane like American Airlines Flight 77. General Ed Eberhart. propeller-driven commuter aircraft of the kind that tends to pass over the Pentagon. from southern North Dakota to the panhandle of Texas. a Boeing 757.or even a remote one . The middle of the country was completely uncovered. Terrorism was a growing concern.and the bombings of our embassies in Africa. air-breathing. The bottom line was that NORAD did not have the ability to track a rogue airliner over the United States unless the airliner stayed within the coastal coverage areas."40 No evidence has been found that the prospect of a lethal.I? Analysis of events prior to September 11 inevitably raises the question: did anyone know enough in advance to warn authorities of the attacks? Nowhere in NORAD's planning had thought been given to how an unconventional adversary might target the United States . But "the scenarios all had assumed such a crash would be accidental and involve a small." said Brigadier General Paul Kimmel. but even with hindsight. not a larger. French authorities foiled an Algerian terrorist plot to fly a hijacked plane into the Eiffel Tower in 1994. Revelations from Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (captured in Pakistan in 2003) established that alQaeda operatives had been discussing an attack on the United States with airliners since the mid-1990s.much less to the possibility of multiple. 2000. As a result. previous alQaeda attacks and intelligence warnings had put at least a few pieces of the puzzle on the table. NORAD could not track an aircraft in the interior of the country by radar. "security officials had run drills for what would happen if a plane crashed into the building. some of the hijackers were already in training. for example. Air National Guard Chief Operating Officer and Crisis Action Team director. simultaneous attacks. but the threat was not clear or defined. before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 8.

and we ask you therefore to use caution.. it was not American military forces abroad. there were compelling tidbits about bin Laden and potential al-Qaeda attacks. terror groups are known to be planning and training for hijackings. "Hijacking before 9/11 and hijacking after 9/11 meant two very different things. Bush and his senior advisers paid attention to al-Qaeda threats in July and August 2001. According to information released by the White House in May 2002 and widely reported. The sun set on September 10 over a nation unthreatened. actual warning had been produced by various US agencies prior to September 11. 2002. Condoleeza Rice said there were reports of specific attacks in the works by the spring of 2001. the FAA issued two warnings. that "intelligence staff have told me that there is a major probability of a terrorist incident within the next three months. There was a lot of chatter in the system. DC. Even at this late date there were few specific details. but sufficiently robust. very specific.The Statue of Liberty with the World Trade Center in the background. airports and nuclear power plants were reported to be on the list. States was thin. confirmed that President George W. President Bush tasked Dr. Washington." President Bush took an analytic brief on the al-Qaeda on August 6." However. and Los Angeles were identified as potential targets after 1998. though not. This time. In late July."! Snippets like these are compelling in retrospect. Senator Dianne Feinstein commented on CNN on July 1. intelligence suggested that the main threat was to overseas locations. 17 . It mentioned hijackings in the traditional sense. traumatic" attacks. An April 2001 source spoke of commercial pilots being used as terrorists to achieve "spectacular. at peace. Major cities such as New York. along with other daily intelligence update material. She later said that at this time "the threat reporting had become sufficiently robust." White House information released on May 16. Rice for a report on what agencies were doing about al-Qaeda. skyscrapers. On July 5." Dr.. but they confirm that little specific. the last of which said: " . Some came from intelligence sources and some from witnesses in the trial of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers.2001. National Security Adviser Dr. ports. and with an air defense posture to match. Landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty. but the homeland itself that was about to be tested by the terror weapon. Rice later said. again.

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ANG. the Massachusetts Air National Guard manning NORAD's alert detachment already knew something was up. what did you see? What were you thinking?" . Operation Noble Eagle was the air campaign no one thought would ever happen.CHAPTER 3: Noble Eagle "Everybody that you start telling the story to. the trained. through January 2002. 2001. At Otis ANGB. they want to hear it. Airmen in the US Air Force were flying more sorties over America for Operation Noble Eagle than for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.t" 19 . No bombs were dropped. Cape Cod. instead. It was. 200142 N ineteenal-Qaeda hijackers ended America's sense of safety on Tuesday. and one from Washington Approach Control to a C-130 climbing out of Andrews . They had a NORAD exercise scheduled to begin that morning. one of two F-15 alert pilots dispatched to New York City on the morning of September 11. had arrived in time for a staff meeting and then checked in with Major General Larry Arnold. to NEADS and to the Tower at Cape Cod. in Florida. bound for Los Angeles. Commander of NEADS. Commander. The FAA believed they had a possible hijacking of American Airlines Flight 11 out of Boston Logan Airport. I" Air Force. It wasn't Presidential direction or a long-deliberated resolution by Congress or the UN that started this campaign. Colonel Robert Marr. to make sure their communications lines were up and ready. the FAA notified NEADS of a problem with another flight out of Boston. no missiles were fired. New York City The first stir of alarm in the headquarters ofNEADS came between 0835 and 0840 in the morning. he saw "there was a little huddle of people" and realized "there's got to be something wrong. at 0843. Three minutes later. First the transponder signal dropped off the scope and then the voice communication with the airliner was lost."43 It was approximately 0840. instinctive response to a small handful of telephone calls: two from the FAA. one from a Secret Service agent to the Tower at Andrews AFB. United Airlines Flight 175.Lieutenant Colonel Tim Duffy. Airmen would log 23. September 11. FAA controllers were "used to working with the guys out of Otis" and the controllers at Cape Approach had already contacted the tower at Otis at about 0839 that moming. they want to know. 2001. Maryland. In its most intense phase.733 total sorties over the next year to mount a full defense of the airspace of the United States. but beginning on September 11. as Colonel Marr looked out across the operations floor. Then.

Moments later.t"? United Airlines Flight 175. "every hijacker to this day has been an individual that wants to fly an airplane somewhere other than where it's supposed to. "I looked out and we're about 60.just south of Long Island." Marr told Arnold he would "scramble Otis to military airspace while we figured out what was going on.t'P' In the confusion.46 Meanwhile. Florida. NORAD took control of the airspace and NEADS directed the F-15s back to New York City."45 But time was up. Nash was taking the duty temporarily while another pilot prepared for a training sortie. Their F-15Cs raced toward New York at supersonic speeds. and I could see the towers burning. A few minutes later.US President George W Bush has his early morning school reading event interrupted by his Chief of Staff Andrew Card shortly after news of the New York City airplane crashes was available in Sarasota. 70 miles outside Manhattan. They moved away from New York City and held position for a few minutes in the nearest section of the Whiskey 105 training airspace. As Marr said. Lieutenant Colonel Duffy and Major Nash took off in full afterburner at 0852. The F-15s re-entered New York airspace and set up their combat air patrol. Then at 0910. Hijackers didn't crash planes. They informed him that a contact was over New York's John F. (AFP Photo Paul J Richards) Lieutenant Colonel Tim Duffy and Major Dan Nash were the alert pilots that morning. staying on the radio with NEADS and a New York FAA approach control radar. had intercepted the hijacked Lufthansa flight in 1993. flew into the World Trade Center South Tower at 0902. Kennedy Airport. "I had no idea that a second aircraft had been hijacked. Duffy." He thought at first it was that perhaps this guy got too low. and NEADS told him the second aircraft had hit the World Trade Center. NEADS sent out the "battle stations" order." he said. Duffy radioed for "bogey dope" again.was uncertain what to do with the F-15 interceptors.callsign Huntress . NEADS saw "another aircraft come into view and hit the second world trade center. Colonel Marr called General Arnold and told him they had a potential hijack. Colonel Marr thought it had to be an accident. which the F-15C pilots did not know about. [started] flying out of control and hit something on the way into JFK. AA 11 crashed into the World Trade Center at 0846." Lieutenant Colonel Duffy said. "FAA thinks it's going to JFK [John F. New York City]. Kennedy International Airport. on a television wheeled into the operations area. NEADS . The hijacked aircraft looked like it could have been en route to Kennedy airport. NORAD 20 . Once at altitude Duffy contacted NEADS for updated "bogey dope" on the airliner. "This is not an exercise. Next. Lieutenant Colonel Duffy and Major Nash were already halfway out to their aircraft. as it turned out.

And as I was looking at it. Captain Craig Borgstrom and Major Bradley Derrig. it wasn't leaning. DC Just as the Cape Cod F-15s were setting up the CAP over New York City. Covering Washington. "51 For the next several minutes the pair of F-15s chased unidentified contacts over Kennedy airport and near Newark. Fourteen minutes later. dropped its scheduled training mission and started an orbit over Kennedy airport at twenty thousand feet so that one F -15 could take on fuel while the other stayed on station over the city. Dust and ash rose in plumes. The "words almost verbatim were 'we will take lives in the air to save lives on the ground. "No. wasn't twisted or anything.i? At 0930 the two-ship was over the burning towers when NEADS informed the F -15s they were clear to shoot down the next airplane on a hijack track. The Pentagon. A KC-135 from Bangor. North Dakota. Virginia. Lieutenant Colonel Duffy and Major Nash kept up their circling combat air patrol at ten thousand feet. To me it was perfect and I was thinking. while Borgstrom was preparing for a training mission. The next pass directly over lower Manhattan gave Duffy "the sickest feeling I've ever had in a plane. what I was looking at. another two-ship ofF-15s from Otis arrived." said Colonel Marr. all of a sudden it just started getting smaller. An F-16 detachment from the 119th Fighter Wing of the Fargo. Then at 1000. looking straight down at it. Lieutenant Colonel Duffy and Major Nash were flying near Kennedy airport when "I just kind of looked over my shoulder and all of a sudden I couldn't see lower Manhattan. At 0924. the attack on Washington began. just the top portion will bum out. the FAA alerted NEADS that there were problems with American Airlines Flight 77. the south tower collapsed. For the rest of the morning. "Do you have a problem with that?" the NEADS controller asked. and all I could think was. ANG manned the alert site on the other side of the runway from Langley's main base operations. combat or anything else.. okay maybe they'll be able to save it. and the four jets split the now-quiet New York airspace until Duffy and Nash left for home base around two o'clock that afternoon. At about 1230. Maine.informed NEADS that the two alert pilots had clearance to fire on any suspicious aircraft. Washington. and with United Airlines Flight 93. I'm guessing about 5 or 6 thousand feet above it. was NORAD's alert detachment 150 miles away at Langley AFB. All three had heard word of the incidents in New York. 53 The time was 1028.5o The F -15s continued to chase errant planes and helicopters that had not yet obeyed the FAA's 0940 order to ground all aircraft. AA 77 crashed into the Pentagon. until I could see the plume coming out of the bottom and I realized it was imploding right before my eyes. 21 . Lieutenant Colonel Duffy tracked another plane coming down the Hudson. New Jersey. Three pilots were ready to fly: Captain Dean Eckmann. DC. At first it really didn't make any sense to me . replaced it. traveling from Washington's Dulles Airport to Los Angeles.. Eckmann and Derrig sat alert. Later a KC-I0 from McGuire AFB. They quickly determined that by including Captain Borgstrom they could get three jets in the air if necessary instead of only the two normally on alert." Duffy answered back. on its way from Newark to San Francisco. I don't."52 In his words: I was flying right over the top of the north tower.

callsign Gofer 06.2001.still in a descent. That aircraft has impacted the ground. They "scrambled three airplanes out of the Langley detachment of the 119th and headed them to Washington. UA 93.View of the debris at the World Trade Center on September 14. to put them overhead in case United 93 was coming. "I thought it was a car bomb. NEADS could not track UA 93 for nine minutes after the hijackers shut off its transponder. unaccountably.not in response to AA 77. The last people to see AA 77 were crewmembers aboard an Air National Guard C-130 from Minneapolis. the next thing I see is a ball offlame and big cloud of smoke coming up from this ball offlame. 56 Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was still in his office taking a CIA briefing when he felt the shock ofAA 77 hitting the other side of the building.">? Langley's alert fighters arrived over the Pentagon a few minutes later." said Marr as they watched track reappear. Gofer 06 was climbing through 3. "A bomb? I had no idea." He identified it to Washington Departure Control as either a 757 or 767 about four miles out to the west and flying low. DC. but because ofUA 93." said General Arnold. America is under attack. it appeared to be flowing over the Pentagon from someplace else. "Washington." DoD Press Secretary Tori Clarke said of the impact. Said the Gofer 06 pilot: " . At first." said Captain Eckmann. It was Flight 77. Between Pittsburgh and Chicago UA93 turned east. Do you guys see what's burning?" 22 . Then. It "was about over Cleveland. With poor inland coverage. Maryland. And I told Washington Departure Control." AA 77 plowed through the western wall of the Pentagon at 0938. "I looked out the window and raced down the corridors till the smoke was too bad and then went outside. "Oh my God. The jet was heading for the Pentagon but it was not showing on the NEADS radar scopes. Then the hijacked airliner "started to bank up .Y It was too late to interceptAA 77. Gofer 06." said Colonel Marr. he squinted to try to find the source of the thickening black smoke. Eckmann said to his wingmen." he said later. "I think he's looking for a target of opportunity. the transponder signal flipped back on. Washington Departure Control directed the C-130 to tum 180 degrees to follow Flight 77. the pilot of Gofer 06 noticed "a big aircraft at ten o'clock. heading west. About one or two miles south of the Mall. "Now I'm thinking." the C-130 pilot remembered. A few minutes after 0930..t'-" NEADS ordered the Langley alert fighters into the air at 0924 . and saw the devastation and talked to an eyewitness who told me that he had seen an aircraft plow into the Pentagon between the first and second floor. at 15 miles out. NEADS was most worried now about the wandering track of the fourth hijacked airliner. I said.500 feet over Washington after departing Andrews AFB.. "We get to about 35 miles and I start to see some smoke. Then. From the cockpit.

At about 0945. They saw nothing. in less than 10 minutes. NEADS soon detected "fast-movers" approaching from the southwest and Washington Approach confirmed it. "He would have been engaged and shot down before he got there. Eckmann left the CAP to look for the airplane. the loadmaster told the pilot that he "saw the classic shaft of smoke and the black cloud. the Langley F -16s were in position to shoot down the fourth hijacked airliner. Rumors spread that the jet noise from Eckmann's F -16 was the reverberation of a bomb exploding at the State Department.">? Soon Huntress had a handful offighters in two CAPs protecting the city. (UiS. "another McVeigh type. with Reagan National Airport as the bull's eye. It took a moment for the three pilots to realize that NEADS had actually tracked Borgstrom s F -16 over the White House as he flew the racetrack pattern for the CAP. and the inbound airliner. In an unbelievable twist. now over southern Pennsylvania. over southern Pennsylvania. Hundreds of people saw Captain Eckmann's low and fast flight over the Mall. DC." Captain Eckmann remembered." Colonel Marr said emphatically. Cleveland Center then asked them to tum right for one more scan." had caused the fire. navigator and loadmaster scanned the skies. but found nothing. air traffic control at Cleveland Center instructed Gofer 06 to look for airliner traffic at twelve o'clock. eager to protect the White House. the C-130 continued west toward Minnesota." Gofer 06 reported to Cleveland Center: 23 .Police helicopters and emergency ambulance crews stand by to aid injured workers following the crash of a hijacked commercial airliner into a section of the Pentagon. it was Gofer 06 who came the closest to Flight 93. Workers streamed out of the building. "and they're F -16s coming up out of Andrews. Well before ten 0' clock that morning. Nor did Huntress know about them. With the words "Let's roll. co-pilot. Somerset County. The Andrews F -16s did not know the Langley trio was already airborne over the capital under NEADS control. After reluctantly turning away from the burning Pentagon. Passengers and crew aboard UA 93 did the job instead. F -16s scrambled into the air on prompting from the Secret Service.s'' The Langley F-16s could have closed the distance between Washington. But UA 93 would never have reached Washington. At Andrews AFB. "Both Brad and Borgy go ID them. NEADS radioed Captain Borgstrom with the urgent warning that there was an airplane over the White House. Any engagement with the airliner would most likely have occurred over the panhandle of Western Maryland. Pilot. UA 93. Gary Coppage) He thought a truck bomb. DC. Pennsylvania.58 The three F -16s fanned out in a counter-rotating CAP over the city. Then. As Gofer 06 turned." they started a struggle in the aircraft and it plunged to earth. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt.

(UiS.v! Clearing the Skies The FAA and NORAD were now working feverishly to shut down US airspace and thwart any more attacks.. But now they needed official guidance.. and Halifax. regarding international aircraft" to get other countries to accept diverted aircraft. the airports at St.803 flights at 1045. etc. President George W.. You know to even fathom for one day like that. Standard procedure in NORAD for an intercept of a hijacked airplane was to shadow it. Air Force photo by Lt. the traffic across the Pacific from Hawaii shifted north until "Vancouver looked like Los Angeles. North American Aerospace Defense Command has more than 100ANG andAir Force Reserve fighters from 26 locations providing homeland defense. J still wasn't convinced it was an aircraft . and farther away."63 Across the nation. J mean that would have been too much. "We had to coordinate with EuroControl. and 1. Bill Ramsay) "I've got a black cloud of smoke at our nine o'clock position at approximately 20 miles. then fell to 2. The FAA had to request military assistance from NORAD.. with another 100 fighters backing them up.Two F-15 Eagles from the Massachusetts Air National Guard's 102nd Fighter Wingfly a combat air patrol mission over New York City in support of Operation Noble Eagle. Pennsylvania. but now NORAD needed teleconference guidance from the Pentagon to decide on a response.364 flights at 1130. we lost this guy on our scope at about 17 miles from your position' . There were 4.. Newfoundland.. so the tactical response was in place. USMC Liaison to FAA HQ. Nova Scotia. so to see two incidents in one day . At WADS. All aircraft had to land at once. a secondary column of wispy smoke "coming up from the southern edge of a fairly large clearing . Col. stuffed jumbo jets onto taxiways until the airports were at full capacity. John's.107 flights at 0931. Vice Chairman General Richard Myers was on Capitol Hill meeting with Senator Max Cleland from about 0745 until 24 . not very significant yet. said Major Bill Nix. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Hugh Shelton was en route to a NATO summit meeting..62 On the east coast.. And he [the FAA controller] came back and said. huge airliners made for the nearest airport with a runway long enough to accommodate them.785 aircraft airborne in the United States at 0900. Bush was visiting an elementary school in Florida. where the crew again spotted the black smoke cloud.. " Cleveland Center vectored Gofer 06 back to the site. " It was the crash site ofUA Flight 93 in Somerset County. the principals were scattered. 'Well. The sectors had decentralized authority to launch their alert fighters. However.. That number peaked at 5.. The FAA halted US flight operations at 0940 on orders from Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta. NAVCanada. not shoot it down.

Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld did not arrive at the NMCC until half an hour after the Pentagon was hit. (US. on duty at Cheyenne Mountain. the smoke that was coming up. Brigadier General Mike Gould. An air threat conference was convened with Vice President Cheney as the most senior leader. "and could see. a member of the Us. Shelton ordered his airplane to tum around. was in a plane over the Atlantic when he got word of the attacks. 'I will authorize these fighters to engage any other aircraft that looks like he's committing a hostile act over DC or New York. well after the attacks. Coast Guard photo by Tom Sperduto) . When I heard the second plane had hit. CJCS General Shelton. Coast Guard to support improvements with President Bush's Office of Homeland Security initiatives. "'65 Official guidance that the fighters were "weapons free" and cleared to engage followed soon after. following the attacks of September 11. General Eberhart." he recalled. Conferees included General Eberhart at NORAD.about 1100. United States Navy. General Shelton. "There was no doubt in my mind. The MSST's were created and deployed by the Us. their take-off times. when the transponders were shut off. Coast Guard's Maritime Safety and Security Teams (MSST). I knew that wasn't an air traffic control problem or just a pilot problem. Were the attacks over? No one knew what would happen next. kept track of the hijacking events. CINC NORAD. "We came back right over the World Trade Center. who was just two weeks away from retirement. 2001. stands guard near the Brooklyn Bridge on Sep. 19. since the President was out of reach at that time. Secret Service agents rapidly moved him to the White House situation room. Lieutenant Derek Paul. even from that altitude. the devastation. it was clear a new form of air campaign was unfolding almost by instinct. in regard to ROE. said: "And I heard the Vice President eventually say." he said. The CMOC Air Battle Manager officer. He updated Vice President Cheney and other leaders on the flights involved.2002. arrived at Cheyenne Mountain Operation Center (CMOC) shortly after the attacks had taken place. and Vice President Cheney. It was obvious it was going to be horrible.t'= Petty Officer Jason Miele.64 Only Vice President Dick Cheney was in his office at the White House. but as more and more fighters streaked into the air. the times of impact. Secretary Rumsfeld. That was good enough for now.

One WADS officer remembered that they "got a phone call from a guy in a fighter unit in Indiana. Commander of the Western Air Defense Sector. Sgt. "we have maybe one or two hours to defend the western United States." He had to do something." As Gould put it. he grew "concerned that there were going to be rolling attacks coming across the United States basically around the nine o'clock time frame in each time zone. As Major Cheney put it. and another inbound to Anchorage.vf By afternoon. WADS was unable to track interior airliner activity. Alaska. In the end. Now the controllers felt the limitations of NORAD's system. the San Diego-Denver flight was quickly out of the WADS coverage area and WADS would have been radarblind if that aircraft had attacked Denver. I'm on duty here. There were "plenty" of targets near Denver.Defense of the West As Colonel John Cromwell." said Cromwell." They called "every single fighter unit west of the Mississippi and asked them to bring fighters up on alert for us. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. border radars. The San Diego flight was headed to Denver. "we had over one hundred jets on alert. (US. At the control center at Cheyenne Mountain. with its large territory." said Major Sue Cheney.v? Some units called in to volunteer. from the Air Force bases around Colorado Springs to downtown Denver or even Cheyenne Mountain. stands ready at the M-J60 machine gun mounted atop a HUMVEE at the Edwards South Gate. the Denver flight identified itself and landed uneventfully. "The real. Huey is one of more than 50 activated reservists serving at Edwards in support of Operation Noble Eagle. General Gould was on duty that day. on duty at WADS that day. Gould realized. He called up and said. very frustrating thing is at that time we only had the ."! For example. So we've got this enormous hole in the interior where there were supposed to be hijacked aircraft possibly headed our way that we can't see. "if you have to scramble them you'd rather be able to talk to those fighters. [such as] nuclear power plants.v'? Tech. 'Hey. watched the attacks on the East Coast. "we're just thinking what kind of damage could an airliner full of fuel do?"7o WADS personnel were swamped with "rumors of all kinds of other hijackings going on" as flights were still landing. the problem was both radar coverage and communications. I've got myself and another pilot. a reservist from the 95th Securi- ty Forces Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base. We got heaters [AIM-9 missiles] and guns on our aircraft. Jay Huey.. "But the point was we started expanding our focus away from just the northeast corridor." Major Cheney said. Calif." said General Gould. Can you use them?'" WADS ended up sending them over to NEADS to control. California. For WADS.. Cheyenne Mountain had reports of a hijacking out of San Diego. Stefanie Doner) 26 .v? NORAD shared the concern at WADS about rolling attacks. Cromwell told his staff. NORAD also "started considering other critical infrastructure.

but even that system was oriented towards the northern and southern borders. Captain Robert D. or even within 200 NM regardless of what their plan was in the past due to the current threat and events that had just happened in New York. Smith. recalled that "my problem was to convince the Anchorage Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) supervisor that he could not divert any aircraft into the Anchorage airport." recalled Master Sergeant David G.I> Two F-15s from Galena. also scrambled. ANR was well aware of the crisis.the code for a hijacking. ANR reviewed the "chat channel" status via network communications with CMOC. "This made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Given the time difference. were sent to intercept by ANR. and there were hotlines to some FAA centers on their consoles. The ANR Duty Director. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. (US. actually began evacuating its downtown areas in response to an in-bound Korean airliner squawking 7500 . Rimer 3 and Jello 3. Otto as soon as he learned that the second airliner had crashed into the World Trade Center. Vance. Lieutenant Colonel Richard J. the city of Anchorage. "I received word that there was an inbound hijack. The air in the Operations room was electrified." he said of the moment. recalled ANRIDO Colonel Robert P."74 It was 0828 local time when KAL 85 popped up as a potential hijacked aircraft. Next they set up barrier CAPs to protect the main population centers of Anchorage and Fairbanks.T' ANR and FAA worked together to redirect inbound air traffic and form a buffer zone. Alaska NORAD Region While WADS feared that West coast cities might come under attack. of the 611 Air Control Squadron. Two more alert-site aircraft. Lance Cheung) WADS had to handle communications to the fighters via the FAA in many cases. the terrorists were coming for us. Tankers with callsigns Arctic 27 . callsigns Rimer 1 and 2.Two F-16 Fighting Falcons move into a precontact position with a KC-135E Stratotanker before refueling during an Operation Noble Eagle training patrol over the San Francisco Bay on March 16. which began for them in the midst of the 0200 to 1000 mid-shift. Otto then called ANR Commander Lieutenant General Norton Schwartz. They scrambled an E-3 to compensate for the King Salmon radar site (which was down for scheduled maintenance) and shortly afterward scrambled alert aircraft at King Salmon and Galena as well as a tanker from Eielson AFB near Fairbanks. Rafferty. Alaska.

We were quite relieved to have KAL 85 land.and to perform another vital but unexpected task. some points were clear. As it turned out." said Captain Steven J. they need a lot of tanking. for good reason. "We were in foreign territory.generated. Colonel Marr felt the fog of war set in. it "was getting too far away from our radios for us to maintain communication with them. 18 ANG tanker wings delivered 78 tankers .. later. That worked great and we had a radio relay all the way to White Horse with them. of the Vice President. Anything from overseas had to be diverted. "All I was doing was getting any forces someone would give to me. Tankers supported that effort.t'"? As the day wore on." commented Master Sergeant Rafferty." said Marr. Thomas. Texas. again with the Ellington fighters as escort." Captain Thomas addedf "Like You Kicked a Hornet's Nest" September 11 saw a surge of airpower unlike anything imagined before. That evening. 301 fighters were on alert. "If you're going to fly CAPS for 24 hours.all on a volunteer basis..61 and Arctic 64 scrambled to support the fighters and the E-3 . "We were used to protecting the shores. fighters were all over the sky. way out overseas.and would remain so throughout Operation Noble Eagle. Defending major population centers was." Rafferty noted-" ANR diverted KAL 85 to White Horse. It was the beginning of virtually continuous air defense coverage of the President and. 1't Air Force determined in a domestic event conference with the President that the last of the 21 potential hijack aircraft was in fact on the ground in Madrid. not on a flight plan or otherwise accounted for." as Colonel Marr described it. One hundred and seventy-nine missions were flown on September 11. Next. learn it had not been hijacked and no one was harmed. ANR's task in intercepting. Two CANR CF -18s took off from their alert site at Inuvik.77 The hijack squawk turned out to be a misunderstanding and KAL 85 landed safely ." General Kimmel remarked. I had the structure and the eyes. ready and flying . Within 18 hours. 82 "Fighters and tankers were up and down all day. It was hard to distinguish valid reports from guesses.."80 Protecting the President had never been a NORAD mission. Arctic 64 had already launched to support the E-3. even after they were handed off to CANR. or generated. DC. we had 21 unaccounted for aircraft that weren't talking to FAA centers. in the Yukon territory of Canada. However. Our processes and procedures weren't designed for this.8! Operation Noble Eagle was now under way. like you kicked a hornet's nest. Air Force One departed for Offutt AFB. KAL 85 was the only civilian airliner intercepted and shadowed on September 11. "Sergeant Rafferty suggested that Arctic 64 hold and act as radio relay with the Rimer package . Louisiana. the President decided to return to Washington. "Pretty soon. "With Arctic 61 on a parallel heading and an additional tanker working UHF/HF radio relay we were able to maintain communication with the fighters. in the air." remembered Colonel Marr. the heart of the response. tracking and bringing KAL 85 to a safe landing illustrated all the dilemmas NORAD was about to face in preparing to track aircraft in CONR. As Rimer flight tailed KAL 85. In addition to active-duty tankers. Rimer 1 and 2 committed on a stem intercept of KAL 85. but it quickly emerged as a major objective . all I needed was the weapons.s'' 28 . met Air Force One and landed with the President's aircraft at Barksdale AFB. At that time. and picked up KAL 85 after the F -15s brought it over the Canadian border.but not before local authorities began an evacuation of downtown White Horse. "At one point. With a large airspace to cover. Spain. while an AWACS remained above. and Rimer 3 soon joined them in trail. Fighters from EllingtonANGB. Tankers were also scrambled to support the protection of the President. Yukon.

some units were not familiar with a daily air tasking order. the Navy's Third Fleet Commander."90 1't Air Force switched from publishing a weekly ATO to daily tasking cycles. "you have to establish procedures. With fighter units "new" to the air defense mission. and the Marines flew two sorties in the CAP over Washington. on September 11.88 Tactically. by the end of that day. and volunteered his forces." said Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vernon Clark. never practiced the whole idea of just going out and grabbing a fighter unit and having them start pulling alert. too. requested three aeromedical evacuation C-9s and six aircrews to depart in three hours for Andrews AFB. guarding the air and sea approaches to our shores. F-14s scrambled from Naval Air Station Oceana. Next came the tasks of figuring out who was flying where and building a common air tasking order for nationwide operations. "How do we support you?"85 Marine reserve F/A -18s at Andrews AFB borrowed weapons from the 113 FW. The first three C-9s departed Scott AFB between 1811 and 1817 local time. Everyone wanted to help. called General Arnold at 1st Air Force." Bucchi said to Arnold. Operation Noble Eagle transitioned from a token air sovereignty posture that morning to a full-scale defense against air-breathing threats. Their rapid response enabled NORAD to mount a true air defense. approaching or inside the United States. arriving at Andrews by 2052 EDT. C-130s stood ready to deliver crisis responders." concluded General Arnold. "we'd never.Other key elements of air and space support also swung into action on September 11. Navy and Marine Corps units now up in the sky often did not. but there were problems with communications and scramble orders. the Crisis Action Team at ScottAFB. Vice Admiral Michael Bucchi. "We understand CINC NORAD is the supported CINC. 375AWand 932AW mixed active and reserve crews to fly the Nightingales to Andrews AFB and put crews into crew rest in case the requests continued. but the host of Guard. General Arnold.000 miles of coastline. Active.84 Volunteers streamed into Air Force bases. Help came from the Navy. "USS George Washington and USS John C. in Virginia Beach. Most of all. Expanding the AOC so that the JFACC. Reserve. Virginia. Over a hundred augmentees from the 1st Air Force staff joined the 38 members of the initial staff for the AOC. On the west coast." she said. Colonel Steve Callicutt was dispatched from the Air and Space Command. Picking Up the Tempo Combat air patrols continued at a high pace throughout the fall of 2001. 87 The team effort "gave us tactical control of numerous Air Force and naval assets needed to secure the borders and waterways of the United States. A second identical request came in shortly thereafter. NORAD's seven alert detachments knew all the air defense procedures. Turning that "hornet's nest" response of September 11 into a sustainable campaign took several steps. the prompt grounding of all air traffic. Stennis took station off the East and West coasts of the United States along with more than a dozen cruisers and destroyers.s? With timely clearance to engage if necessary. Illinois. Marine Corps and Coast Guard. In another example. and the surge of deployment. "What are our possible scramble routes if we scramble you? How does tower get notified? How do your pilots get notified? There's just so many details to work out. 29 . Over four hundred fighter and support aircraft at 69 locations and on 14 Navy warships were at full combat posture and arrayed against an unknown and unseen enemy. DC.86 The Coast Guard tightened its protection of over 361 ports and 95. could control Operation Noble Eagle was the first order of business." explained Major Cheney at WADS. the results were spectacular. Control.

2001.consisting of radars and tethered aerostats over the border with Mexico . Even so. SEADS and WADS . The Operation Noble Eagle mission fell to Guard as well as active units.t'P? To track and intercept any more air-breathing threats. That "picture" did not exist on September 11. That meant the three sectors . "Most active duty fighter units are in the southern United States. In contrast. General Arnold had to convene a Wing Commanders' Conference in November to make sure all units got the picture. NORAD's assigned sensors . at 1st Air Force. Fortunately. Guard units were spread across the country and were often near major population centers. the North Atlantic Council voted to consider an attack on the United States as an attack against all NATO nations in accordance with Article 5 of the Washington treaty.. Va.NEADS. "we had fighters on alert in places where we had no radar coverage and no radio coverage. the active units were not always based in the right locations to be of any immediate assistance in the air defense surge. Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ASC2ISR) Center at Langley to step in as the A-3. The "E-3 community was really 30 . due in no small part to its heavy use in supporting POTUS movement around the country.P! Tankers and airborne early warning assets were also essential to Operation Noble Eagle. and remained until May 2002. where it churned out its first ATO on September 17. General Arnold's deputy for operations. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. The first coverage came from AWACS launched to provide radar coverage and communications at key locations in the interior.provided coverage only to a depth of about one hundred and fifty to two hundred miles into the interior. You have to go out west to Mountain Home in Idaho before you find a fighter unit in the northern part of the country." noted General Arnold. Colonel Callicutt had personnel from the ASC2ISR Center at Langley AFB drive a set of TBMCS equipment to Florida and install it in the 1't Air Force CAOC. Davis) Intelligence.An F-15 C Eagle from the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force.would quickly lose an aircraft off the scope as it flew beyond the range of NORA D's radar coverage. As Major Cheney at WADS phrased it. is silhouetted against the horizon at sunrise while performing a combat air patrol mission along the East Coast of the United States in support of Operation Noble Eagle. NATO AWACS deployed to the United States to join in Operation Noble Eagle on October 9. Meanwhile. Greg L. (US. Only the FAA had a full picture by tracking transponder signals. 1't Air Force and NORAD strove to link up a nationwide air picture and communications between ground control centers and Operation Noble Eagle aircraft. NORAD would need an integrated air picture for the interior of the United States. Many different assets helped out in sustaining airborne early warning. The burden fell heavily on AWACS.

" SEADS "gave these two sergeants a bunch of A Us."96 The FAA's radar network was the only nationwide resource for setting up an interior picture. but quickly realized it would not be enough for a comprehensive system." said the 726th's commander. Thirty displays each were eventually provided for NEADS. 2003 as part of their Homeland Security mission."94 One quick step was to dispatch air control squadrons like the 726th ACS. they used AWACS for communications. Ideally. 2. Coast Guard photo) 31 . with a smaller number of displays at the 1st Air Force AOC. Communications were another hurdle. The second problem was that NORAD's computers did not hold enough memory to string together the FAA radars and give coverage of CONR as a whole. "Because they were our eyes and ears in the internal part of the United States and when there were events that were happening and we needed coverage early on." The unit's 240-mile radar helped fill gaps in the interior. SEADS at first augmented its communications by what Colonel Callicutt called "radios on a stick. Idaho. there was also a new software fix available. Coast Guard boat patrols New York Harbor by the Statue ofLiberty on Sept. "They obviously had studied the FAA system closely enough to understand as soon as you tum your radar beacon off." Colonel Callicut said later.instrumental. "We can't replicate the radar coverage the FAA has anyway. and in 30 days. "We don't own that many. the radars were linked even more effectively. SEADS and WADS. This "NORAD Contingency Suite" provided the first interior radar picture and formed the foundation for Operation Noble Eagle's continued activities. they were the ones that did it.i" 1st Air Force positioned its military radars around the country." Colonel Callicutt said. the chances of the FAA finding you drop way down in a hurry. (US. When NORAD 's communications were lacking in the interior. stationed at Mountain Home AFB. "Guarding America through Operation Noble Eagle is something we never expected we would have to do. They can still see them but the average controller is not really trained to look at them and look for raw returns. SEADS managed to quickly connect to selected FAAradars.thesectorcontrollerwouldcommunicate with the alert pilot directly. But they needed a better solution. as NEADS did with the New York and Washington combat air patrols on September 11. "We usually deploy into a battle theater and our team provides radar coverage of enemy territory." commented Colonel Robbins. Fortunately. "Because we don't tune those displays for raw returns. Lieutenant Colonel Kathy Stoddard. Linking up the whole country was another matter. 1st Air Force initially tapped an experimental program with a multi-source tracker that fused FAA and NORAD radar coverage spans into a single air picture. Emergency combat mission needs funding then spurred an upgrade of the NORAD Contingency Suite to fix the problem once and for all."93 The al-Qaeda hijackers exploited that weakness by turning off the transponders. even if we tried.

P? A better answer lay with the FAA's Air Route Traffic Control Centers CARTCC). I" Air Force gave them a STU-III secure telephone. However. extra 2417 CAPs were added in response to threat indicators or major scheduled public events. we have aircraft in the air. the AOC set up a dedicated "JFACC hotline" to streamline the decision process. Secretary Rumsfeld issued guidance early on to maintain CAPs indefinitely over New York City and Washington. Random CAPs for other cities and locations were flown nearly every day. On many occasions. as well.. one that stands out is that it started as a tactical response." General Kimmel remarked.P'' The Strategy for Operation Noble Eagle Of all the unusual things about Operation Noble Eagle.. All the increased activity at bases around the nation demanded much higher levels of force protection. This placed heavy demands on security forces personnel.2001. During week two of the operation. The FAA gave them a control position with a radar screen and access to a phone line. Colonel Callicutt estimated that they occurred once a day on average. 1st Air Force put air battle managers from several Air Force Ground Tactical Air Control squadrons into each of the FAA's 21 ARTCCs. Hurlburt Field in Florida required 20 personnel to control two entry points during the morning rush hour.100 32 . The set of decisions that would have to be made as to whether or not a plane was threatening a high-value target in the United States are complicated. bases were at Charlie and Delta levels. When operations over Afghanistan began.v'? The rest of the strategy for Operation Noble Eagle took shape more slowly. which could follow a suspicious aircraft's track. In other parts of the country we have them ready to take off. and then slowly acquired a strategy to guide it.. but in the fall of2001. "As we began to mobilize. Now. Previous planning for security forces assumed that Force Protection Condition Bravo would be the maximum sustained effort in the continental United States.radios and a pick-up truck and said. Event conferences were frequent early on. with three or four conferences on some days. but the short answer is. The air battle manager called I" Air Force over the STU-III and described for General Arnold the events taking place on the ARTCC scope. strictly enforce base entry procedures and conduct random vehicle checks. it was hard to know when . High numbers of scrambles continued from September 11 through the end of the year. 'Drive all over the southeastern United States and find radio poles and stick them on it.if ever . A plan for a steady state posture with 22 alert sites was sent forward by CINCNORAD. we have people who are prepared to do what might be necessary. including Washington. we didn't have enough steady state security forces to protect our own bases at force protection of Charlie and Delta. and then the radios were tied into the telephone system. Radios were added to telephone poles situated on government land. He said on September 16: "We have in certain parts of the country. and had a number of conversations with the President during that period.Operation Noble Eagle might get to that steady-state level. "I was called any number of times during the period when those rules of engagement were in place. yes. the FAA soon raised objections to having its civilian controllers relay orders to intercept or engage aircraft. the drain was tremendous. let alone lose a bunch of them to go protect an active duty base or go overseas. and set up barriers on roads and obstacles to control traffic flow." said Secretary Rumsfeld during a news conference on September 27. who now had to increase patrols of installations.

which included large civilian airliners. The effect was to speed up potential reaction times. chemicals.I02 Placement of the CAPs was often driven by immediate contingencies: a Presidential trip. small airliners. they started looking at what else they [terrorists] could hit. Vice Commander.2001: "There are times when the situation is sufficiently immediate that the authority is delegated below the (combatant commander level) for periods of time. ranging from cities to shopping malls.An F-16C Fighting Falcon from the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wingflies a combat air patrol mission in the Northeastern United States in support of Operation Noble Eagle. if time still permits. small business jets and light aircraft. etc. Planes might be 33 .t'l''! Arnold remembered being suddenly awash in sophisticated communications equipment. protecting nuclear reactors. and so on. It was "just cap DC and New York until otherwise told. by name. but always. and then to me and. Secretary Rumsfeld briefed the President that nine CAPs were in place. (US." concluded Colonel Robbins. WADS.l''? CONR adopted the Secret Service's taxonomy for the threat. CIA daily intelligence summaries frequently identified dozens of specific threats to US facilities. these air-breathers might be loaded with bombs. the authority to declare a target hostile. for me to go to the president. major public sporting events. Critical infrastructure. Don Taggart) One step toward a sustainable pace came when Secretary Rumsfeld delegated to the regional commanders." Callicutt recalled.U'" "As we stabilized over the major metropolitan areas. Rumsfeld explained on September 27. special events. These commanders were General Arnold for CONR and General Schwartz forANR. It all raised the question: what was the strategy behind Operation Noble Eagle? Early on. On one particular day in early November 2001. in a case like this. expanded the potential requirements for Operation Noble Eagle."I03 The core of the strategy guidance was to protect New York and Washington. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. "It became obvious real quick that we just didn't have the assets to CAP everything. the strategy was driven by the need to make America a harder target. According to this list. nuclear weapons storage and production facilities." said Colonel Mike Robbins. and "high priority landmarks ranging from the White House to Wall Street to tall buildings in other cities such as Chicago to Disney amusement parks. it would be immediately brought up to the (combatant commander). always with the understanding that if time permits. detections of increased threats to nuclear power plants.

special events. New Mexico. Utah.) Protecting the Vice President was another tasking for Operation Noble Eagle. or Shaw AFB. More than one hundred fighter aircraft sat alert at over 30 bases across the nation. There were still areas of overlap with the Army-led Joint Task Force responsible for consequence management. US Customs Service. Georgia. "One night. ANG. As a major population center. but were told to get the CAP in place by 0600. After October. "CONR was still responsible for air defense of the Olympics area but had to answer to the COMAFFOR. .I mean. Atlanta was one example. Throughout the first several months of Operation Noble Eagle. An Olympic Performance One major sign ofthe maturation of Operation Noble Eagle came during the Winter Olympic Games held in Salt Lake City. next night it's Citations . 110 34 . 107 The AOC asked for 48 hours." said one pilot. At their disposal was a system that fully integrated "multiple sensors. it felt like we had more of a defined goal. Fargo. chartered.. also serving as the JTF-Olympics. they used a Customs P-3 aircraft as a radio link and controlled fighters from several bases. "one night's crop dusters. for example. including Duluth. Utah. a recurrent problem was maintaining CAPs over cities without two or more bases nearby to feed the CAPs. Forces from the Western Air Defense Sector and from Canadian forces deployed to a special Air Security Operations Center set up at Hill AFB. Critical infrastructure was frequently a high priority.Uf CAPs guarded other precious infrastructure. On December 5. Another pilot airborne for the launch. "flights of interest" such as Middle Eastern airlines flying into major US airports were added as a possible source of the threat.hijacked or worse. eased the situation. Atlanta was on every CAP list." noted General Arnold.. "Unlike other CAP flights. 2001. but now we were there for a specific asset on the ground. South Carolina) were some distance away. (In addition. we got a call at eleven o'clock from the White House. For example. They logged a total of eight intercepts during the Olympics."106 Requests also came directly from the White House to the operations floor. which would probably give even less warning. added: "Every CAP mission is very important. Great Falls and Sioux Falls. and Secret Service personnel joined NORAD troops for the operation. That fall. but the nearest Air Force bases (such as Eglin AFB. As Colonel Callicutt put it. Cannon had assets deployed near Dallas at the time. Major Sami Said. Space Shuttle flights resumed. in February 2002. people were just grabbing at straws. A forward deployment to Dobbins Air Reserve Base. For one CAP over North Dakota. to pull alert out of home station. which they did by tasking CannonAFB. and we were ordered to be on station by six the next morning. Major John Black. threat indications led to White House orders to place CAPs over some nuclear power plants."109 Routine patrols. In early November. FAA. The AOC was at a loss to give better information on threats to the forces executing Operation Noble Eagle." recalled Colonel Callicutt. Flying high above were F-15s from the 125 FW. The aircraft might take off from either the United States or Canada." recounted Lieutenant Colonel Brian Bunn. and pop-up threats kept the fighters of Operation Noble Eagle and those who supported them busy. Air Force fighters flew more missions for Operation Noble Eagle than they did for Operation Enduring Freedom over Afghanistan. Florida. Compiled statistics of the combat air patrols flown showed a heavy level of activity through the end of 200 1. radars and radios into one battle management system.

Tanker sorties also dropped." said General Arnold. Mark Savage) But the real measure of merit came from the calm. just over five months earlier. efficient organization so changed from the emergency response of September 11. For combating global terrorism also required the offensive employment of airpower. Linked interior radar coverage and communications. Wing Commander of the New Jersey Guard at Atlantic City. Would they have nightmares about it? Of course they would. are an added security measure at the Salt Lake City International Airport on Sept. Still. (US.. This was the new. the level of effort the Air Force sustained for Operation Noble Eagle in its peak phase from September 2001 through April 2002 was even more remarkable in light of other operations taking place at the same time. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Colonel Mike Cosby. 111 Steady State But the pilots remained well aware of what duty might call them to do. 30. would execute that decision without question. looking back. In May 2002. "We train daily to meet our nation's requirements for rapid response to any threat to our air sovereignty."112 The sorties for Operation Noble Eagle declined dramatically after policy decisions in April 2002 returned the response posture to a steady-state level. A spike in the July-August time frame briefly brought the NEADS total fighter sorties to just under two hundred per month. graduated response levels. steady-state phase of air sovereignty. the number of fighter sorties flown in the three sectors averaged well under a hundred sorties per month per sector. While Operation Noble Eagle would remain an ongoing duty. Operation Noble Eagle was now configured to be a primary pillar of America's security posture. both from the Utah Air National Guard's 151 st Security Forces Squadron.Senior Airman Emery Blanchard (left)." said Colonel Cromwell. and a well-defined alert posture for Operation Noble Eagle. this was still far below the levels of 550-750 per month for NEADS in the fall of 200 1. for example. It now had the ability to track and monitor across the interior. The operational outlook.. said: "I can assure you. we stand well prepared to counter the new domestic air threat. 35 . However. Under this plan. 113 Airmen kept flying sorties and supporting the air sovereignty mission. 2001. was changed forever. NORAD had adapted well. "Today. Both its technologies and its tactics were much improved from the emergency response of September 11. this most unusual air campaign had matured into a well-defined military operation that could be sustained over the long term. too. and Senior Airman Andrew Haywood. The first step was an operation directed against bin Laden's home turf: Afghanistan. every one ofthem . ground alert units could be positioned to reach critical asset sites in 20 minutes. and a better definition of critical assets made it possible for Operation Noble Eagle to decelerate.

.

the first step in reducing the threat to America was to eliminate the main bases of operations for the al-Qaeda. The Taliban 37 ." vowed President Bush just a few hours after the attacks. It had been ravaged by 10 years of war with the Soviet Union. it was a military operation like no other." . "We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them. as Special Operations Forces (SOF) teams hit the ground in late October. After launching Operation Noble Eagle. After they took control of Afghanistan in 1996. CIA operatives began to search out Taliban and al-Qaeda targets on the ground. From the start. Yet even after a new interim Afghan government was in place. we believe that acts of war have been committed against the American people. 2001114 he shock and grief of September 11 left the nation yearning for a chance to strike back.2001. T Afghanistan's Landscape Afghanistan had all the earmarks of a quagmire. and then left in the hands of tribal warlords who fought amongst themselves. this will be a war like none other our nation has faced. September 27. and toppled the Taliban's control of Afghanistan in a matter of weeks. A few hundred SOF forces and CIA teams linked airpower to Northern Alliance and other opposition forces. and concluded its initial phase in January 2002. it became a whole different type of war. "and we will respond accordingly=Uv Responding to terrorism on a large scale was a first for the American military. from 1979-1989. It was mountainous." Secretary of State Colin Powell said the next day. The next three chapters examine the role of airpower in Operation Enduring Freedom and how the air component set the pace for a whole new style of warfare." Bush declared. Diplomats worked to gain overflight and basing access to the region. The air campaign focused on fixed military sites in early October.and provided some maj or lessons that the Coalition had to learn before moving on to the next major battleground in the global war on terrorism: Iraq. the actual result was oppression and the decay of basic government functions.CHAPTER 4: The Challenge of Afghanistan "The truth is.U> "Yes. The Taliban initially attracted support by promising to put an end to the civil war and to create a pure Islamic state. the hunt for al-Qaeda and Taliban remnants continued through 2002 . "Make no mistake. It was landlocked. Then.Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. 117 Operation Enduring Freedom began on October 7. the United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.

It was also important to cast the fight as Afghanis against outsiders .such as the Arab volunteers who filled out the ranks of the al-Qaeda. and General Abdul Rashid Dostum. The Arab who'd been holding the camera was on fire. Al-Qaeda terrorists posing as a video camera crew assassinated Masood. All six of the B-2 sorties were longer than 40 hours. Everything was burning. John Lasky) did not follow through on the pledge of peace. The key to the plan was to engage with opposition forces such as the Northern Alliance and push them into combat with the Taliban. However." 119 Masood's death was devastating. with the longest more than 44 hours. (Photo by Tech.the "Lion of Panjshir" . a loose coalition of irregular forces under the leadership of Ahmad Shah Masood. On September 12. teaming with the Northern Alliance's regional warlords and irregular ground forces was still the best way to defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Taliban control of Afghanistan had to end. "It was a terrible scene. As many as 2. plus several other groups. but the mountains belonged to the Northern Alliance. the combination of opposition forces and precision Coalition strikes should overmatch the Taliban's capabilities.000 people died between 1992 and 2000 as the result of internal fighting. "Unconventional approaches are much more likely and more appropriate than the typical conventional approach of armies and navies and air forces. you know." said a local security commander named Raimullah." Rumsfeld predicted. Secretary Rumsfeld directed USCENTCOM to start preparing "credible military options. I rushed into the room. He thought the "antiseptic notion of launching a cruise missile into. took center stage in the war on terrorism when six B-2 Spirits participated in air strikes over Afghanistan during the first three days of Operation Enduring Freedom.The 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base.Uf The Taliban controlled most major cities and 80 percent of Afghanistan. the Northern Alliance and other opposition forces could drive out the Taliban. "When I heard the explosion."I20 The US had to strike hard and fast. Sgt. To smoke out the al-Qaeda.had been the central figure in Afghan resistance for 20 years." Bush wanted a bold response that would be much stronger than the 1998 strikes. Backed by airpower. Masood .. 38 ." It made America look like a "technologically competent but not very tough country that was willing to launch a cruise missile out of a submarine and that would be it. the loose alliance had just suffered what was intended to be a fatal blow. 2001.P! With enough cash and the right kind of help. 76. leader of the National Islamic Movement.5 million Afghan refugees were said to be living in Pakistan. Intelligence reports indicated the al-Qaeda and Taliban were inextricably linked. The windows were blown out. some guy's tent" was "a joke. by the window. former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani. Mo. By one estimate. but without "invading" Afghanistan. On September 9.

on Oct.124 The Air Force was already poised for action. Flanking Rumsfeld are Rep. Fighters and bombers deployed to Saudi Arabia." Other lines of operation spelled out by Franks were humanitarian assistance for more than 26 million Afghan people. Missouri. the direct attack of al-Qaeda and Taliban command and control. As General Tommy Franks. (DoD photo by R. General Franks explained that the "very simple purpose" of Operation Enduring Freedom was "to build and maintain pressure inside Afghanistan with the objective of the destruction of the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the government of the Taliban. the delivery of kinetic munitions from air to ground. Within hours of the attacks on September 11.2001. Ward) 39 . Rumsfeld (3rdfrom left) receives a briefing on B-2 Spirit bomber operations in Afghanistan from Air Force Col. rather than sequentially. Mo. including coalition building.. including. Kuwait. D.122 It was a campaign designed to unfold along multiple "lines of operation" simultaneously. to name but a few. both of Missouri. Oman. Lieutenant Secretary of Defense Donald H. along with an attack order to commence operations on October 7.President Bush was first briefed on a plan nine days later. Ike Skelton (near side) and Sen. Commander in Chief. and political/military activities."123 Gearing Up A full plan for Operation Enduring Freedom was briefed to Secretary Rumsfeld on October 1. 2001. operational fires. B-2 bomber pilots at Whiteman AFB. support to opposition forces on the ground in Afghanistan. information operations. reconnaissance and direct action by Special Operating Forces. Christopher "Kit" Bond (far side). United States Central Command. Whiteman is the home of the B-2 Spirit bomber. Jonathan George (left foreground) during a visit to Whiteman Air Force Base. outlined it. 2001. which is operated exclusively by the 509th Bomb Wing. on September 21. 19. and approved by Bush the next day. went into crew rest in case they were called on for a retaliation mission. the plan called for: "Lines of operation conducted simultaneously. and Diego Garcia over the next several days.

General Charles Wald and his initial staff flew to the theater to put the Combined Air Operations Center on a wartime footing. China offered non-military cooperation. No more retirements or separations from the service would take place for months. everything for the showdown in Afghanistan had to go in by air.127 Logisticians. 27 countries had granted overflight and landing rights to deploying US military forces. Virginia. Support from Afghanistan's neighbors was essential because aside from naval forces. The United Nations passed a resolution condemning the attacks and calling "urgently" for "international cooperation to prevent and eradicate acts of terrorism. no major effort would be possible without strong international support. on September 20 to add to the firepower on scene. both former Soviet republics. The whole Air Force felt the impact of girding for war when a stop-loss notice was issued on September 22. Secretary Rumsfeld gave orders for US forces to deploy to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on October 2. By October 1."126 Nearby states like Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Senior officials consulted with regional powers such as Pakistan. The UAE and Saudi Arabia withdrew their recognition of the Taliban government on September 22 and 25.t'U> From the outpouring of sympathy and shared loss after September 11 came the makings of a powerful international coalition that would eventually include over 60 nations. particularly from Afghanistan's neighbors. For example. 28. The USS Theodore Roosevelt and its 14-ship battlegroup sailed from Norfolk. Kyrgyzstan opened its airspace to the Coalition on September 25. the USS Enterprise was scheduled to return home after six months at sea. where President Pervez Musharraf pledged "unstinted cooperation in the fight against terrorism. Some Navy forces were already in place. (UiS. and teams of Tanker Airlift Control Air Force munitions specialists from the 28th Air Expeditionary Wing download Joint Direct Attack Munitions from a B-52H Stratofortress at an operating location in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on Nov. civil engineers. However. but turned back to the North Arabian Sea as soon as they got word ofthe September 11 attacks. Prime Minister Tony Blair quickly announced that Britain would stand "shoulderto-shoulder" with the United States. and many other allies prepared to contribute forces. Other nations helped in different ways. Shane Cuomo) . prepared to offer unprecedented access and assistance. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt.

Us. and more were among the first to deploy. Operation Enduring Freedom Begins Operation Enduring Freedom began as planned on Sunday. both east and west. and US and British ships and submarines launching approximately 50 Tomahawk missiles have struck terrorist targets in Afghanistan. Air Mobility Command now had in place an air bridge of tankers dotted along the route to refuel inbound aircraft. Nine Pakistani religious leaders also traveled to Afghanistan as a special delegation to see if the Taliban would tum bin Laden over to them. the opening strikes ran like a "finely oiled machine. Meanwhile. cargo handlers. It began on September 11th. some 25 strike aircraft from carriers. the air bridge from the United States ran in two directions." said President Bush in an address from the White House.An FIA-1BC Hornet is launchedfrom the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in a strike against al Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan on Oct. 2001. the UN Security Council demanded that the Taliban surrender bin Laden to authorities and close terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. Taliban leader Mullah Omar refused. To aides he remarked: "The war already began.We Remember" stenciled on its nose. 2001. war might be avoided. For the first time. (DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Greg Messier. They came back empty-handed. If the Taliban would hand over bin Laden." declared one 41 . who was now Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Navy) Elements (or TALCEs) with their command and control specialist. On September 18. as had been mandated months earlier by UNSCR 1333 of December 2000."129 September 11 was certainly on the minds of those who flew the sorties." said General Richard Myers. October 7. "About 15 land-based bombers. 128 "These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and attack the military capability of the Taliban regime. converging on Central Asia.2001. 7. One of the B-52s in the first night's strikes had "NYPD . Afghanistan's government got one last chance." "My crews didn't encounter any threat that we weren't prepared to deal with. For the bomber crews.

and To provide humanitarian relief to Afghans suffering oppressive living conditions under the Taliban regime. Oct. One tanker pilot tuned in to part of President Bush's address to the nation while on the first night's mission. he immediately outlined the goals of Operation Enduring Freedom: • • • • • • 42 To make clear to the Taliban that harboring terrorists carries a price. To make it increasingly difficult for the terrorists to use Afghanistan freely as a base of operation. c.Us. To develop useful relationships with groups in Afghanistan that oppose the Taliban and al-Qaeda. continue high altitude drops of HDRs (Humanitarian Daily Rations) from their C-17 Globemaster III somewhere over Northern Afghanistan." Tanker crews enabled the lengthy missions. 18.. European Command Media Pool) B-52 pilot nicknamed "Woodstock. (Photo by Mannie Garcia/Gannett/Army Times Publishing -. . Air Force crew members from Charleston Air Force Base." he said. Us. To alter the military balance over time by denying to the Taliban the offensive systems that hamper the progress of the various opposition forces. Air Force loadmaster on a C-17 Globemaster IlL goes through a checklist moments before entering the drop zone. To acquire intelligence to facilitate future operations against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. "It kind of made chills go up my back.us.130 As Rumsfeld announced the first strikes. S.

On October 7 and 8, strikes by Air Force bombers and Navy fighters hit air defense sites, airfields, military command and control, and other fixed targets near major cities and installations. The first order of business was to "remove the threat from air defenses and from Taliban aircraft," Secretary Rumsfeld said. "We need the freedom to operate on the ground and in the air and the targets selected, if successfully destroyed, should permit an increasing degree of freedom over time," he added. 131

Humanitarian Assistance
USCENTCOM also put the "simultaneous lines of operation" into play. Two C-17s flew humanitarian missions over Afghanistan beginning on night one of the campaign. It was a 6,500-mile mission from Germany, requiring multiple aerial refuelings. "The fact that you're flying into a combat zone cannot be ignored," said Colonel Kip Self, Director of Mobility Operations at Ramstein AB, Germany. "But if you do the right training and planning ahead of time, you mitigate those threats and rely on your professionalism to get you through." 132 Seven million Afghanis were believed "to be at risk of loss of life as a result of conditions inside Afghanistan," Franks estimated.Uf "This airdrop mission was the first installment of President Bush's $320 million aid package for the people of Afghanistan," said Colonel Bob Allardice.U" The two-ship missions continued for four straight nights and delivered more than 140,000 Humanitarian Daily Rations (HDRs) "100 percent on target," Self added. 135 Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Joseph Collins described the HDRs as "a safe, vegetarian, non-culturally sensitive meal that has everything you need, unless you need taste." Just as with initial combat operations, there was no choice but to do the heavy lifting by air. "The Taliban were known for seizing UN and [International Red Cross] vehicles and warehouses in Mazar-i-Sharif," recounted Collins. "They've taken over most UN vehicles and facilities in Kandahar. They've stolen aid trucks, beaten drivers, and persecuted Afghan aid workers. They've transported troops in vehicles with USUN markings, and they have systematically prevented food distribution into areas not under Taliban control." 136 Airdrops were the only option. Two Air Force loadmasters, Senior Master Sergeant Cliff Harmon and Master Sergeant Donny Brass, helped come up with a better way to deliver the rations without using heavy crates. SMSgt. Harmon, MSgt. Brass and a team of over 60 troops - including some from the Army's 5lh Quartermaster Company, 191st Ordnance Battalion - packed rations into seven-foot high refrigerator boxes with three-ply cardboard walls. Over the target area, the C-l7's crew depressurized the cargo hold and pilots tilted the airlifter's nose upwards. The boxes slid out the back of the C-17. A static line opened the top and bottom of the boxes in the slipstream, leaving the individual meals to "float down to the ground." No parachutes opened to tip off the Taliban to the location of refugees. "We know exactly where these items are going to land at, based upon the land, altitude, ballistics, drift and everything else," said SMSgt. Harmon. The Tri-Wall Aerial Delivery System made each sortie more efficient, too. "We've tripled the size of the payload that we deliver now, and that means you're feeding three times as many people as you used to," Harmon added. 137 Nightly airdrops averaged 35,000 HDRs. Sometimes the number went as high as 70,000. By the end of October, more than a million HDRs had been air-dropped to the Afghanis. 43

Aviation ordnancemen on the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) muscle ordnance into place as aircraft are readied for strike missions against al Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001, during Operation Enduring Freedom. The carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a base for terrorist operations and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime. (DoD photo by Lt. J.G. Douglas E. Houser, Us. Navy)

A New Way to Fight
Nestled on aircraft carriers at sea and at selected bases around the region, the Coalition's fighters and bombers waged a steady campaign under the direction of the Combined Air Operations Center. Housed at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia, this CAOC was a major advance over the "Black Hole" and Tactical Air Control Center of Operation Desert Storm or even the 1,300-man CAOC at Vicenza, Italy, which served as the nerve center for Operation Allied Force. It was a state-of-the-art facility with more connectivity and capability than ever before. The ability to concentrate both data and command authority at a CAOC had grown dramatically in recent years. The CAOC for Operation Enduring Freedom was wired with as many as one hundred T-l lines, carrying torrents of data into and out of the facility. That enabled good connectivity with all strike platforms, be they carriers in the Arabian Sea or bombers at Diego Garcia. "We have come a long way from ten years ago, when we had to fly the ATO out to the aircraft carriers," Jumper said. 138 It also created unprecedented situation awareness. CAOC personnel could track all airborne sorties in real time on huge display screens. The ground picture was improving, but still imperfect. Air and space power integration also reached a new level at the CAOC. For the first time, the CFACC controlled theater space, mobility and information operations assets from the CAOC. "We integrated space, mobility, and 1.0. [information operations] guys into the actual master attack plan planning cell, which was important," said Major General David A. Deptula, one of the CAOC directors.P?

44

The CAOC also had a far more integrated and effective strike force at its fingertips. Precision was a common denominator. JDAM - first used by the B-2 in Operation Allied Force - could now be dropped by Navy and Air Force fighters and all three types of bombers, making 24-hour precision available in any weather. Fighters also carried laser-guided bombs. "The Navy has generated a fantastic number of sorties, both F-14s and F/A-18s, and also their E-2s and EA-6Bs," said Lieutenant General T. Michael Moseley, who took command of the air component in early November. 140 Once fighters arrived on station, however, their service affiliation was irrelevant. "The air operations were seamless amongst the service components," General Deptula commented. "It didn't matter to the planners whether there were Air Force, Navy, or Marine Corps"141 strike aircraft coming into the orbit areas. But the air war was not without its risks. General Moseley underlined why a strong combat search and rescue force was so important. "There was never a notion that if we got a pilot shot down or an aircrew shot down that they would go into some Taliban POW camp and be repatriated somewhere down the road," he said. "You get shot down and float down into that world and they will kill you."142

The First Three Weeks
The keys to Operation Enduring Freedom were building up combat power and striking targets to debilitate Taliban military forces. Support troops were as busy as the strike pilots during the opening weeks. Logistical support for Operation Enduring Freedom immediately demanded the resources of a maj or theater war, and demanded them fast. "The difference between this war and Gulf War is the speed of the response required," said General Charles T. Robertson, Jr., who was commander in chief of US Transportation Command. 143

Airman Jst Class Ryan Van Cleave signals for a communication and navigation specialist during preflight procedures for the KC-J35 Stratotanker at Ganci Air Base, Kyrgyzstan. (US. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James A. Rush)

as Secretary Rumsfeld explained. Pi. The first week's targets were primarily fixed military sites. the pilots didn't know what targets they'd be striking when they launched. The need to bring everything into theater by air added to the mobility requirements. and activate them at different times to bring more air strikes to bear. Special Forces personnel on the ground identified aim points." Secretary Rumsfeld said.Uv Afghanistan was divided up into fixed engagement zones to control strikes on emerging targets such as Taliban troop concentrations and vehicles. Farlin) - Opening up expeditionary bases brought a new set of challenges. Three weeks after the start of Operation Enduring Freedom. Stacy Sveom from the Nebraska Air National Guard runs a ventilation hose to a KC-J35R Stratotanker to ventilate the aircraft after a possible fuel leak was discovered at an operating location in support of the Us. They could also lay special zones over lines of communication.from fueling stations to the basic essentials of sanitation and potable water. "That country has been at war for a very long time. The Soviet Union pounded it year after year after year." acknowledged General Robertson. with high pay-off and low collateral damage predictions. It started with a shift to a combination of pre-planned and immediate response targets.l+' Guard. They have been fighting among themselves. Central Command execution of Operation Enduring Freedom. CAOC planners scheduled packages of strike aircraft to be available 24 hours a day for operations in the engagement zones. such as airfields and air defense sites. "By the end of the first week. "We have to have a clear understanding of what is possible in a country like that. a few days' worth of strikes would not topple the Taliban." said Vice Admiral John Nathman. reserve and active units combined to supply the need for tactical and strategic lift for the conflict. Commander. Much of the country is rubble. (US.Master Sgt."145 N ow pilots needed to hit targets to make a direct impact on the Taliban. "A couple of locations are absolutely abysmal. Airmen had to put up with a lack of established facilities . almost all the active duty C-5 and C-17 fleets were absorbed in building up combat power. for example. However. That meant the CAOC should start seeing fewer pre-planned strikes on Soviet-supplied military equipment and more on "emerging" Taliban ground force targets selected by spotters on the ground. They do not have high-value targets or assets that are the kinds of things that would lend themselves to substantial damage from the air. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Naval Air Forces. then double-checked 46 . Late October also brought a shift in strike priorities.

stripped down its air wing and took Special Operations helicopters on board. and soon took up a major share of the job. have been used to increase battlefield awareness at operating locations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Ultimately. the USS Kitty Hawk. rarely discussed. For the first time in combat.) Bombers suffered less from range limitations." General Myers had said on October 7. these bombers carried systems enabling them to receive updated information such as new target coordinates in real time. Typically. For the Navy.often referred to as PID . Once on station. Instead. (US. "We've got them doing flexible targeting like an A-I 0 does in close air support. to be passed on to the strike aircraft. (A fifth carrier. staff could change the flow of aircraft into an engagement zone in the time it took to transmit a call to the aircraft. That made positive identification of the target . 147 Time-Sensitive Targets The air component also took up another unique task early in the air campaign: tracking and striking al-Qaeda leaders and their strongholds. synthesized from a variety of sources. the Navy used four different aircraft carriers to keep up the coverage required by the CAOC. Eighteen B-52s and B-Is deployed forward to Diego Garcia. but accounting for perhaps 10 percent of all airstrikes. which flew most of the fighter missions. Initial targeting data on Afghanistan rendered little in the way of leadership sites to attack. A major part of the strategy was to take steps to hunt down key individuals and learn more about the al-Qaeda's structure and any plans for future operations. with an enormous impact on overall operations." General Jumper remarked. waiting on the most recent information. the CAOC could count on four sorties per day from the B-Is and five from the B-52s. The main obstacle was distance. Permission to strike these time-sensitive targets was controlled directly by USCENTCOM in Tampa. the need to fly hundreds of miles inland. RQ-l Predator unmanned aerial vehicles. Searching for top Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders became a war within a war. strike and recover within the intricate deck cycle time of the carrier's operations created a major challenge. bomber crews headed first for their pre-planned targets and then were on call any time during the sortie to be redirected to other targets.essential for timesensitive strikes.148 One not-so-visible aspect of the campaign was tracking down terrorist leadership. like this one. many other operations might not be so visible. All aircrews flew long missions to reach the airspace over Afghanistan. the fighters might orbit. From the CAOC.the target coordinates. on instructions from national command authorities. "I want to remind you that while today's operations are visible. Bombers generally did not have their entire load of weapons designated for fixed targets. Air Force courtesy photo) 47 .

use of ground forces had been ruled out. If there were uncertainties at USCENTCO M headquarters about the target being watched like a hawk in theater. every day we have assets that watch these lines of communication and the first thing that's required when one sees vehicles moving is to determine whether these vehicles belong to friends or foes." Another reason for staying in place was the difficulty of moving a large unified headquarters." General Franks said. sailors and Airmen were trained for infiltrating hostile territory. General Franks explained later in the campaign how ISR assets and strike aircraft had to watch carefully to be sure of the true identity of their targets. battle managers and aircrews learned the new rhythm. the mission was "best served" by using the technologies in hand and remaining in Tampa. European allies remembered well the losses their ground forces took in Bosnia before the 1995 Dayton Accords. and I think you'll also agree that we've exercised every caution to be sure that we didn't bomb those. ISO Consequently. The SOF teams had what it would take to give Afghan opposition forces the advice. USCENTCOM was honor-bound to prosecute TSTs by the book.and sometimes targets turned out to be friendlies or civilians. which meant reaching back to the headquarters in Tampa. conducting strategic reconnaissance. The idea of bringing SOF forces in early was in part a by-product of Operation Allied Force in 1999. due in no small part to NATO political sensitivities. The joint teams of highly trained soldiers. There. "In fact. USCENTCOM owned the battlespace and its rules trumped anybody else's ways of doing business. "technology assists. However. stressing again that in this case.Positive identification could take minutes or hours. and two separate staffs before winding up back in the CAOC's hands. the time-sensitive targeting process crossed three continents. support and resources to fight the Taliban. "As you know. handling emergency airstrip operations. USCENTCOM had to give its final approval. which provide 2417 situational awareness. But over time. As he said. Reaching back was another stage in the process and it sometimes strained the time line for prosecuting TSTs. sometimes the positively identified targets got away . Remaining in the United States also kept him close to the national command authorities. Due to nationallevel guidance. eight time zones. when they were trying to guard safe areas and perform "peacekeeping" while all three sides were 48 . "I think what we want is the ability to either be remote or offset or to be present in theater. Special Forces on the Ground Those rules also demanded strict verification of targets and safety procedures for directing airstrikes. permission would not be granted." Franks said." enabled the USCENTCOM staff "to provide intent and guidance without doing the tactical work of subordinate commanders. The final step was handing the tasking off to strike aircraft." General Franks elaborated. and directing resupply efforts.U? After Predators or other platforms found the target and relayed the information to the CAOC. and were not struck. General Franks was comfortable with the arrangement for larger reasons. we move an awful lot of humanitarian assistance up and down the routes inside Afghanistan. Airmen fretted about the doctrinal discomforts of centralized execution. Sometimes the process worked. It would take forces with the right equipment and specialized training to link Afghan opposition fighters with the full force of American airpower. coordinating air strikes and close air support. That was the specialty of US SOCOM's "operational detachment alpha" (or ODA) teams.

some opposition forces that participated in the campaign were not affiliated with the Northern Alliance. For that matter. and Lieutenant General Charles Holland. "some budding relationships" had been established and the teams "rapidly assimilated..154 The CIA "had done an excellent j ob preparing the battlefield." commented one senior commander. Getting forces in place took time. Over time." he said. Special Operations Forces were a must for Afghanistan. the direct action and support from SOF forces.us. However. 2001. money and more. who was the commander of AFSOC. were about to be unveiled. But the main combat effort would come from SOF teams dispatched to work with the leaders of the Northern Alliance and direct their operations in the field.152 The next major lines of operation. Building the necessary teamwork was an individualized process of matching an SOF team to each faction. Secretary of State Colin Powell explained it perfectly: "You had a first-world air force and a fourth-world army and it took a while to connect the two. and was in action the next day. if SOF forces would have been helpful in Kosovo. drew up a plan during Allied Force to try to insert SOF forces. special forces troops ride horseback as they work with members of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom on Nov."155 49 . but it did mean soldiers who could assess the military situation. (DoD photo) still in a shooting war. They headed home to Kentucky . based at Fort Campbell. but it was never executed. validate them and have them struck by airpower. this time to Afghanistan. work with the Northern Alliance. Personnel from the 5lh Special Forces Group. By the time SOF teams went in. General Jumper. for Afghanistan it was "absolutely imperative . at USAFE. Aid ranging from ammunition to horse feed had to be flown into theater and air-dropped to the Northern Alliance forces. Personnel from "other government agencies" such as the CIA were making preparations by late September. 12.2001. But while airpower was available. in 1999. Kentucky. It took time. picking off enough tanks and artillery to render the Serbian forces much less effective. airstrikes peppered Afghanistan. the lack of ground forces made it easier for Milosevic's army and police forces to spread out through Kosovo and do their terrible work. Now. the Northern Alliance was not instantly ready for coordinated air and ground offensives.to prepare to go back. identity targets and most of all. airpower found and engaged those forces. that you start with people on the ground. as October wore on.. As General Jumper put it. were conducting exercises in Uzbekistan when the September 11 massacres occurred.t'I>! That did not mean full divisions. It all depended on the highly trained and highly secretive Special Forces teams and especially on the Special Tactics Squadron (STS) controllers who knew how to spot targets. 153 The first SOF team hit the ground by October 19.

" and lamented the slow. But the core of their mission in Afghanistan was terminal attack control. 157 By late October. many began to wonder whether airpower could do the job. controllers drawn from Special Tactics Squadrons (STS)." "We had to start from scratch to build up a force that was viable to fight the Taliban." he said. where they spent the next three weeks planning operations and getting to know Karzai's "troops. Pape declared in the Washington Post. SOF teams in Afghanistan typically consisted of a mix of personnel. build trust and formulate plans for offensive action. rwo The United States increased the reward for information leading directly to the apprehension or conviction of Osama Bin Laden to $25 million shortly after the attacks of September 11.Daa REWARD FOR I N FORMATION LEAOING TO TH E WHEREABOUTS OR CAPTURE OF THES E TWO MEN. They brought with them the most sophisticated equipment for identifying targets and calling in airstrikes. Captain Jason Amerine of the 5lh Special Operations Group was with one of the first to go in. link them up with their Afghan allies.ODO REWARD FO'R INFORMATION LEADING TO HIE I'IH EREA60UTS OR CAPTURE OF l'HE. columnist William Arkin judged the effort "sparse in the extreme. were air-dropped to Amerine's team. plus food and blankets for the locals. "We appear to be escalating toward a BACK PUStiTO OAR. Amerine also worked to earn Karzai's trust. Within days of the start of Operation Enduring FRONT Freedom.DDD." The team's mission: to link up with the troops of opposition leader Hamid Karzai (who would later become interim President of Afghanistan) and plan to take over the city of Kandahar. disenchantment had spread far and wide.OOO.156 Soon the impact of tea-time talk would begin to show . 50 . help them equip themselves." Weapons and ammunition. Their missions included reconnaissance. "We began to help them organize. U I' TO A $25.2001.but not before there were moments of doubt. team members all had specific jobs to do. Dissatisfaction It would still take weeks to insert more teams. They were also trained in air traffic control for expeditionary airfields.Once on the ground. Karzai's men greeted the heavily laden Americans and strapped their equipment onto pack mules. and combat search and rescue support. Hours later. they reached a village." Amerine recalled. "The initial air strategy against Afghanistan is not working. UP TO A $. including the indispensable air combat control teams. Meanwhile.2 ~. His team landed at night in a remote valley in central Afghanistan that looked like "the back side of the moon." University of Chicago professor Robert A. "I drank a lot of green tea with Hamid Karzai during late nights.SE MEN. plodding pace of the campaign after just one week.

the civilians and 'muj' soldiers are always telling me they are glad the USA has come. "For several days now we've had US troops on the ground with the Northern Alliance."159 It was plain that Operation Enduring Freedom was not going to unfold according to a pre-determined strategy. "without the close air support. Ismail Khan was the principal warlord." he said. General Myers. also known as "the muj . 163Then strike sorties shifted emphasis from preplanned targets to emerging targets in special zones and engagement areas identified by SOF teams on the ground. We think that will have a big impact on the Northern Alliance's ability to prosecute their piece of this war against the Taliban. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage scanned a dispatch sent by one of the Army team members in theater a few days later. and I think they're gathering their strength to at least invest Kabul."161 The next step was up to the opposition forces."166 51 . "The Northern Alliance is on the march in the north toward Mazar-i-Sharif. Hundreds of miles west. "It's been said that those who expect another Desert Storm will wonder every day what it is that this war is all about. three phases of an air campaign went on for 38 days as "we tried to set conditions with the air war. to include terrorist training camps. Among the power brokers was General Rashid Dostum. Karzai's band was on the move in the south. Tajik General Mohammed Fahim had taken over after Masood's death and held the key to putting pressure on Kabul." General Franks said. 158 Waiting for progress on the ground undoubtedly strained the administration's most senior officials. The opposition forces.162 Special Forces controllers began to call in more "emerging" targets. near Herat. On October 23. armored vehicles." the SOF team member went on. too."165A new "line of operation" was about to pay off for the Coalition. More SOF forces were forging links with opposition counterparts. They all speak of their hopes for a better Afghanistan once the Taliban are gone. "Their primary mission is to advise [and] to try to support the Northern Alliance with airstrikes as appropriate. then we had a ground component that went in and finished the job. speaking to al-Jazeera on October 31. and maintenance and warehouse facilities. Only then could the next phase of the campaign roll forward. In the Gulf War." Myers said in late October 2001. explained the tactical concept for the next phase of operations. and that's what they're doing. Each warlord had to have his own specially trained SOF team in order to make a decisive move." "are doing very well with what they have. for example. "This is a different war.vls'' General Myers echoed the point. They are specially trained individuals that know how to bring in airpower and bring it into the conflict in the right way. This war will be fought on many fronts simultaneously. But we couldn't do what we are doing. there were already signs of what the next steps would be. Rice and other advisers in late October: "We've been at this only 19 days. Be steady. "You shouldn't think of this in those terms." Pape observed." said Secretary Powell on October 22. with five more waiting in Uzbekistan. Three teams were in Afghanistan by October 26. Everywhere I go. or start moving on Kabul more aggressively. This was the beginning of the change in employment of airpower that would lead to victory. 164 By the end of the third week of the air war. Taliban command-and-control centers. over 90 strike aircraft hit five planned targets in Afghanistan. emerging targets outnumbered pre-planned targets.sustained air campaign to bomb that country for as long as it takes to topple the Taliban regime. By the end of October. who had a predominantly Uzbek militia ready to press Mazar-i-Sharifin the north. President Bush told Dr.

Sgt. Air Force photo by Tech. (Us. Zimmerman) 52 . Marlin G. Central Command execution of Operation Enduring Freedom.A forward-deployed E-3B Sentry airborne warning and control system (AWACS) crew prepares the aircraft for a mission at an operating location in support of the Us.

. there were discussions about how to prepare for winter and whether to plan for 50. SOF controllers focused airpower for the first time as they ramped up the strikes on Mazar-i-Sharif. Against this background. Most of all. Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman."169 In fact. "If the Northern (Alliance) is feeling emboldened 53 . editor of the encyclopedic Jane s WorldArmies. In Washington. There's no greater example of that than the fact that you had the kid on the horse talking to the B-52 in the air. 170 Throughout the first week of November. Generals Dostum and Khan. such as inserting more SOF teams and guaranteeing transit rights at regional air bases.168 But there were doubts about this unfamiliar style of warfare. "and putting severe stress" on the Taliban.General John Jumper's? arly November found much of the world wondering whether the campaign in Afghanistan could make any progress at all before winter. "We know we're having success. summed up succinctly by defense expert Charles Heyman. worthy of concentrated effort. the big impact predicted by General Myers was about to make itself felt in the first series of rapid gains by the Northern Alliance. It was significant because it controlled land routes to Uzbekistan. General Franks met in-theater with two key leaders." . achievable objective. on October 30.CHAPTER 5: Victories in November "If you infuse the people that work for you with the right mentality and the right vision.000 US ground forces to enter Afghanistan.. Moving on the city would also be a way to score a necessary victory for the alliance. they can make things happen." said Rear Admiral John Stufflebeem. near Kabul. in early November. Stufflebeem said. Tenet characterized Mazar-i-Sharif as a limited. That same day.000-pound bombs on Taliban troops. At this point. there was still a host of minor problems. By doing so they created a lucrative target for air. who said: "At some stage the allies are going to have to establish some forward operating bases inside Afghanistan. and because the Taliban and al-Qaeda massed to try to defend Mazar. airstrikes concentrated on Taliban and al-Qaeda forces and military equipment near Mazar-i-Sharif and farther south. needed for bulk military or humanitarian supplies. there is no other credible military option if the allies are serious about closing with and destroying their enemy. E Mazar-i-Sharif Mazar-i-Sharif was the northernmost of the major cities in Afghanistan. there was as yet no proof that the concept of "simultaneous lines of operation" was working as intended. Aircraft on November 4 dropped two gigantic BLU-82 15.

176 "There's still fixed targets based on the most recent intelligence.t'I?" The Rise of XCAS The fall of Mazar-i-Sharif marked success in the unconventional simultaneous operations.targets selected by ground controllers and delivered by XCAS." General Deptula said of this period. Northern Alliance forces had captured villages around Mazar-i-Sharif. the Northern Alliance claimed Mazar-i-Sharifitself. according to reports from the SOF teams operating with them. November 9. 54 . AN avy four-ship of F -14s might have a "vulnerability" period of two hours over target areas in Afghanistan.the CAOC's shorthand for immediate airborne close air support . By November 6." he explained. "In one month.!"? How those targets were struck marked a mini-revolution in warfare. Dostum and Attah were less than 10 miles short of their objective on November 8. for example.172 The next day. the CAOC's daily ATOs placed fighters and bombers over the battle area with specific vulnerability periods. since October 7th. (MoD photo) or ready to make moves. just as USCENTCOM had planned. 173 Taliban spokesmen soon admitted they had abandoned the city. Much of the credit for that flexibility was due to air and space power. Bombers and fighters both provided XCAS.25 million rations to the starving Afghan people. On November 1. but whitewashed it as a withdrawal for "strategic reasons. they moved fast. Exciting reports flashed back to Washington and hit the press before they could be positively confirmed.175 As forces neared Mazar-i-Sharif. while a B-1 might be on call for four to five hours. our pilots have flown more than 1800 strike aircraft and bomber sorties. Just as they had done in October. The first statistical signs of change came as the number of pre-planned targets struck gave way to unfragged targets . strike aircraft were reporting more weapons drops on unfragged targets than on pre-planned targets. plus dozens more in engagement zones. then that means that it (the bombing) has had the intended effect.Royal Marines.grew exponentially. They have broadcast over 300 hours of radio transmissions. "but there are also engagement zones where you know that there are operations unfolding for the specific item or activity of interest that you know is going on in that area and therefore you make aircraft available. "What does 'Mazar has fallen' mean?" Rice remembered asking one staffer who brought her news of the battle. 65 Coalition aircraft struck nine pre-planned targets."171 When they moved. The town of Shulgareh fell on November 7. One by-product of this decentralized style of warfare was temporary confusion about the exact movement of the Northern Alliance offensive. By early November. and delivered more than 1. US troops and Afghan forces rest together on a mountain patrol. the role of XCAS ." Secretary Rumsfeld said on November 6.

Requests for airstrikes came from SOF team controllers and were relayed back to the CAOC through a short, informal chain. Air Control Elements (ACE) were manned by a few individuals from Special Tactics Squadrons (STS) and attached directly to the SOF Task Forces working at various locations across Afghanistan. SOF controllers who needed airpower contacted their ACE. The ACE then called the SOLE at the CAOC at Prince Sultan Air Base. As Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Rozelsky, Commander, 682nd Air Support Operations Squadron, described it, the way to do close air support was "via mIRC [military Internet Relay Communication] chat ... to the SOLE." At the CAOC, the "SOLE would get up and walk across the room and say, 'Hey, we have this request. '" They were then passed on to AWACS, callsign "Bossman," whose crew of battle managers directed the strike aircraft to the targets. 178 Sometimes they put them in direct contact with controllers. There was no real need for any further consultation. The CAOC's biggest challenge - knowing where the SOF forces were - did not usually factor in when a request went through the SOLE. Moreover, the teams were scattered all across Afghanistan. "Rather than a linear fight, it was a bunch of guys on lily pads floating around shark-infested waters," commented Rozelsky.F? When "there were three flights in Afghanistan and four or five ODAs out at anyone point, there was never a real need for prioritization," he continued.Js'' Plenty of aircraft were available to satisfy all requests. This was a distinctive feature of operations in Afghanistan. Delivering a fast response to the ground controller took priority. There was none of the usual hierarchy of a traditional air-land battlefield with large conventional forces in action. In fact, there was no land component in place. The streamlined control measures worked for several reasons. First, pockets of intense activity were widely separated. In this phase the air war "actually was quite effective because you have large land mass, a lot of air space, little bitty airplanes with a lot of bombs. Everybody's a bad guy; everything's basically a target. With very small US forces, it's a wonderful way to do it," commented Colonel Mike Longoria, Commander, 18th ASOG, the air support operations group attached to 9th Air Force. "There are no restrictions to air whatsoever. All of the airspace control measures that you would normally have to worry about in terms of air/ground relationships are not there. All you basically have to worry about is that airplanes don't run into other airplanes. AWACS does a great job ofthat."181 Afghanistan's air war pressed on successfully under this new style of operations. Sorties averaged about five hundred per week. Air support thrived on a system tailored to a widely distributed ground battle, dominated by special operations using air interdiction as fires and Northern Alliance forces as maneuver. In November, USCENTCOM also increased the ISR assets for Operation Enduring Freedom with the deployment of JSTARS and a pair of Global Hawks to the region. JSTARS was sent to help with the hunt "for trucks or SUVs or others that are moving around," said Admiral Stufflebeem.U'? Global Hawk's "long legs" and array of infrared, electro-optical and synthetic aperture radar sensors increased the dwell time and the air component's ability to stare at key target areas. All aircraft logged exceptionally long missions to make XCAS work. B-2s flew the longest bomber sortie ever, clocking in at 42 hours, while F-15Es from Kuwait took the prize for the longest-ever fighter sortie with a 15.8-hour mission. Global Hawk flew a 26-hour reconnaissance mission.Js-' Both pilots and controllers learned new ways of doing their jobs. "In this war, we're both adapting," said Navy Captain Charles "Snapper" Wright, air boss aboard 55

A B-52H Stratofortress from the 28th Air Expeditionary Wing takes off on a combat mission from an operating location in support of the Central Command execution of Operation Enduring Freedom. (UiS. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Shane Cuomo)l.

u.s.

the USS Carl Vinson and an F -14 pilot. "Everybody thinking that they may have come in with."184

has had to throw out the parochial

Seizing the Initiative
Like a horse given free rein, the Northern Alliance was moving at its own pace and the pace was quickening. "We are not there in a position to advise them when to go," acknowledged Stufflebeem. "We're not there to advise them how they should undertake their particular tactics. We're there responding to their requests. We're there providing targeting for our aircraft, for a matter of precision."185 Precision airpower was key to breaking the Taliban control. General Jumper credited the success to initiative - on the ground and in the air. He said, "if you fuse the people that work for you with the right mentality and the right vision, they can make things happen. There's no greater example of that than the fact that you had the kid on the horse talking to the B-52 in the air. .. "186 An Army Special Forces team member on the ground at the fall ofMazar-i-Sharif reported via e-mail on how it had been done. "We rode on begged, borrowed and confiscated transportation," he said. "While it looked like a rag-tag procession, the morale [going] into Mazar was triumphant. The locals loudly greeted us and thanked all Americans [with] much waving, cheering and clapping, including from the women." "I have personally witnessed heroism under fire by two US noncommissioned officers, one Army, one Air Force, when we came under direct artillery fire last night, less than 50 meters away. When 1 ordered them to call close air support, they did so immediately without flinching. As you know, a US element was nearly overrun four days ago but continued to call close air support and ensured the 'muj' [mujaheddin] forces did not suffer defeat." He concluded, "These two examples are typical of the performance of your soldiers and Airmen. Truly uncommon valor has been a common virtue."187

56

"I don't think we came on this by any grand strategy," said AFSOC Commander Lieutenant General Maxwell Bailey. The use of SOF teams in the field to call in airstrikes was invention born of necessity. "Everybody was looking for something to try and when we tried this, this was working," General Bailey said.188 Indeed it was. The air component made up in firepower and precision what the Northern Alliance and other opposition forces lacked in numbers. Rapid XCAS and XINT - immediate airborne interdiction - delivered on the instructions of SOF controllers kept the Afghan forces on the move. On the whole there was more groundcontrolled interdiction than true close air support. It was rare to have friendly forces engage with troops in contact. Controllers' requests generally came in advance of Northern Alliance troop movements while friendlies were kilometers away from the enemy. Another advantage came from the geographically separated battle areas. Controllers working around Kabul in the northeast did not have to wony about deconfiicting with fellow controllers calling strikes around Kandahar three hundred miles to the south. By the same token, strike aircraft were not likely to bump into each other. These non-linear, simultaneous engagements by airpower made for a quickening campaign. General Jumper said it was "more effective than any kind of close air support we'd done in a long time."189 Successful strikes - guided by the SOF controllers - knocked out key points of resistance and boosted the fighting morale of the Afghan tribesmen. Once all concerned began to trust in the power of on-call precision airpower, many things were possible.

To Kabul
Backed by airpower like that, the war accelerated into high gear after the fall ofMazari-Sharif. "It would be correct to say that there is fighting going on throughout most of the country," said Admiral Stufflebeem.P? Both President Bush and Secretary Powell voiced initial qualms about the Northern Alliance pressing for Kabul. Over the course of a week, the alliance, with its on-call American airpower, took town after town. The air component attacked trench lines outside of Taloqan - center of a major battle in the summer of 2000 - on Saturday, November 10. "It was important for these trenches, and others like them, to be cleared to open the way for the Northern Alliance to advance," General Myers explained.l''! Taloqan fell on November 11. In the west, the Northern Alliance announced the liberation of Herat on November 12. The morning of November 12 also saw the beginning of the end for the Taliban's control of Afghanistan's capital city. B-52 strikes pounded Taliban lines around Kabul in the morning. By late afternoon, Northern Alliance armored forces were moving down the Old Road toward the city, with

Prince Sultan Air Base at Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia.

57

(US. On November 13. The airstrikes around Kabul also killed bin Laden deputy Mohammed Atef. Stufflebeem admitted that it was "difficult in the southern part of Afghanistan.193 Elements of the Taliban were now fleeing south to the sparsely populated areas controlled by Pashtun tribes. we are pursuing them." Rumsfeld said on November 13.D." Myers said." General Myers said on November 13. to be able to positively identify what may be southern Pashtun tribes versus Taliban troops that may be on the move.infantry sweeping through former Taliban positions."194 Airmen of the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base." he added. Fleeing Taliban fighters discarded their equipment and their dead and ran. "Last Friday the Northern Alliance controlled less than 15 percent of Afghanistan. S. "Where we can positively identity Taliban as such.192 "The Taliban appear to have abandoned Kabul and some Northern Alliance forces are in the city. the Northern Alliance's United Front forces took control of Kabul and began to set up police control of the city." said Admiral Stufflebeem. However. and that has clearly played a critical role in killing Taliban and al-Qaeda troops. "Every day the targeting and effectiveness has improved. "By Monday morning they had fundamentally cut Afghanistan into two areas of control. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael Keller) . but we must keep in mind that pockets of resistance do remain. west of Kandahar. Secretary Rumsfeld announced US Special Forces teams were already in Kabul to work with the Northern Alliance. prepare a B-1 Lancer for deployment. Ellsworth aircraft and airmen are deploying to support operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

not just in Afghanistan." General Franks said in November. General Franks summed up the progress to date on November 15. and deployed over three thousand personnel to support the operations. A South Korean ship transported building materials to Diego Garcia. Canadian forces arrived early." as General Franks once called it. They hit pre-planned targets such as cave complexes and in far greater numbers. Some of the players changed as new groups of opposition forces swung into battle. a major participant in combat operations through TLAM strikes and aircraft support. we have more than 20 military liaison teams from 20 different nations. "We in fact have the initiative. but a powerful force against global terrorism. was no textbook alliance. "Specifically at our headquarters over here. but in the wider war on terrorism. "we have said that it's all about conditionsetting followed by our attaining our objectives. France deployed ground forces. Germany sent Special Forces and personnel to train the Afghan police force. attention turned to the last remaining centers of Taliban resistance. joined in later phases of the operations. he recalled. Upwards of fifty nations were providing assistance in some form. Canada. We discuss what our plans are."195 The Coalition Another factor in the mounting success in Afghanistan was the participation of a strong coalition of nations. and described 59 . Greece sent an engineering company. "We meet with them every day.. Fighting at Kunduz was intense. Australia. but elsewhere around the globe. The first thing we did was set conditions to begin to take down the tactical air defense and all of that . All efforts were coordinated from Tampa." he said. sent Mirage fighters to Kyrgyzstan. immediate targets such as a Taliban tank near Kandahar on November 15 and an armored formation near Kunduz on November 18. Among other contributions. whose aircraft flew strike missions. Britain. "I would add that one of the important aspects of what they've provided also is intelligence. General Franks estimated there might be two thousand to three thousand Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters in the fray. including Britain. and Denmark. But the tactics that had been proven over the preceding two weeks remained the same. Airstrikes continued. As Army Vice Chief of Staff General John Keane put it. Jordan. Spain and Sweden lent C-130s. a mine-clearing team. Russia joined in the humanitarian assistance effort. 197 Wrapping Up the Fight After the fall of Kabul.. Special Operations Forces from many countries.. All along. also took the lead for the first ISAF operations." Secretary Rumsfeld said. We provide them intelligence and operations summaries. "those population centers toppled as the result of a combined arms team: US air power and a combination of Special Forces and Afghan troops. The "floating coalition. Turkish naval vessels joined NATO's counterterrorism force in the Mediterranean. among others. and that has contributed significantly to the pressure that exists on terrorist networks. We ask that they be in contact with each of their capitals. and sortied its carrier battlegroup."196 The coalition partnerships built for Operation Enduring Freedom paid off not just in Afghanistan. The next thing we did was set conditions with these Special Forces teams and the positioning of our aviation assets to be able to take the Taliban apart or fracture it."198 The Coalition stuck with its winning formula.In the space of two weeks the Taliban's control of Afghanistan collapsed. Norway and the Netherlands scheduled F-16 deployments.

Mirroring their concern. Shane Cuomo) Kunduz as "heavily infested . Opposition forces had now achieved most of their goal of ending Taliban rule over Afghanistan. the negotiations worked.W The opening up of Afghanistan gave USCENTCOM another grim but vital task: to ferret out sites that might have links to weapons of mass destruction.W But this time there was a twist. with some of the more hard-core people. The air component backed off. Six days later. Here was the opportunity to ransack what was left of certain al-Qaeda sites and learn more about their organization. to get the potential locations ofWMD-related efforts. They can drop their weapons and blend into the communities. over the last two or three months. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Over one thousand Taliban fighters surrendered to the Northern Alliance.An Air Force B-1B Lancer crew chieffrom the 405th Air Expeditionary Wing documents work in a maintenance log at an Operation Enduring Freedom location.. (UiS.. They can defect . which is . although he likened it to the situation just before the fall of Mazar-i-Sharif. the Northern Alliance halted operations at Kunduz to allow three days of negotiations. They can go up in the mountains in the caves and tunnels.."199 Operations to "liquidate" the Taliban became difficult when the Taliban contingent at Kunduz petitioned the Northern Alliance to arrange a surrender and safe passage for foreign fighters. The Taliban fighters had options. General Franks was well aware of the problems of completing the destruction of the Taliban or even gauging what remained. a standoff.201 As it turned out. President Musharraf of Pakistan made it known he wanted Pakistanis fighting with the Taliban to be allowed back to their native country.change their mind." General Franks said." Franks reflected at the end ofNovember. the global war on terrorism meant that there was still another goal to pursue: tracking down the remaining Taliban and alQaeda and finding out more about the shadowy network by raiding its last redoubts. "The first thing that we did was take a look at all of the intelligence feeds. That same day. go back. Coalition forces checked these areas site by site in a process known as sensitive site exploitation or SSE. that we have had over a prolonged period of time. General Franks announced: "We've 60 . too. "The situation in Kunduz and Kandahar remains the same. For the US-led Coalition. however. "They can go across a border and wait and come back. Several days later. capabilities and future plans.join the other side .." Stufflebeem reported on November 20. Kunduz was occupied.

and Australian Special Operations Forces all had to move swiftly into the Kandahar airfield now designated Forward Operating Base Rhino.000 pounds of materiel in 14 pallets so fast that it was ready for take-off just three minutes after it touched down. it was time to focus on Kandahar. Tiffany Page) 61 . UN World Food Program deliveries doubled the pace oftheir October deliveries. in the first week of November." By November 15. the number of rations delivered had exceeded the 1. Over three hundred US Marines from the USS Peleliu and the USS Bataan helicoptered in to an airfield near the city on November 25.204 The Fall of Kandahar Finally. In Operation Swift Freedom.205 Up to one thousand Marines would soon be on the ground and preparing for new tasks. and their October deliveries had been a record for the past few years." said Deputy Assistant Secretary Collins. as November drew to a close. is unloaded at aforward deployed area in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Seabees -the Navy's rapid-response construction crews . "Their purpose is to establish a forward base of operations to help pressure the Taliban forces in Afghanistan [and] to prevent Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists from moving freely about the country. On the ground they kept their engines running. One C-17 off-loaded 87.206 An E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) from Robins Air Force Base. (UiS. The C-17s flew in at night.5 million mark. C-17 s based in the region began shuttling forces and fuel to FOB Rhino. Humanitarian assistance remained a priority.identified more than 40 places which represent potential for WMD research or things of that sort."203 SSEs would now often drive the pace of operations. Ga. Close cooperation between military and non-governmental organizations also "enabled the war and a major humanitarian operation to go on at the same time. steep approach bolting down from 24. "In fact." Secretary Rumsfeld told Pentagon reporters.000 feet to the runway in a tight corkscrew. using night vision goggles (NVGs) and a random. "They are not an occupying force. Dozens of air defense "events" such as anti-aircraft artillery barrages and rocket launches had been noted by flight crews in the FOB Rhino area. The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU)." he said.. Getting them there with equipment and supplies was the job of airlift. before the apparent collapse of the Taliban. and it kept growing. Special Forces under Task Force 58. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt.

It was all part of bringing force to bear on the last part of Afghanistan with substantial Taliban forces.Southern tribal elements." he added. For example. Tarin Kot was the heart of Taliban country. airstrike on Taliban military vehicles in a convoy withdrawingfrom the recently captured Mazar-e-Sharij. "We see evidence. Then AWACS called them with a new target in Tarin Kot: a Taliban headquarters building. capital ofUruzgan province. The pressure was squeezing the al-Qaeda hard as they realized Afghanistan was no longer a safe harbor for them." Franks underlined that the Coalition would pursue them "militarily the same way we have pursued the cities in the North." he said. and Captain Top Photo: Humanitarian Daily Rations. The F-15Es could take out the target with LGBs. "that a great many people of the non-Afghan type are working very hard to get out of Kandahar. 62 . that was exactly what happened.e'? Next. Captain Amerine's team assisting Hamid Karzai was ready to take the city of Tarin Kot. SOF teams with the "southern tribal elements" had been edging closer since the middle of November. and the F15Es attacked the Tarin Kot target. Visible on the left side of the screen are other Taliban vehicles that were destroyed or are burning. by tribal elements . Their wing commander met them on the ramp when they landed to congratulate them on their extraordinary 13-hour mission."207 Airpower and SOF teams closed the ring. 9. To Karzai. "I thought it would be a long time before we were ready to take Tarin Kot. but it would leave them critical on fuel. both from the North and from the South. AWACS agreed to dispatch them not one but two tankers for post-strike refueling. General Franks noted the progress on November 27. But Karzai "was very confident that he could just walk into the town and it would be his. 2001. and you've seen the result ofthat. 70 miles north of Kandahar." Amerine said. Bottom Photo: Footage showing Nov. "We have applied pressure to the city of Kandahar. Airstrikes hit Taliban strongpoints as they were identified. two F-15Es flying out of Kuwait had been working in other areas of Afghanistan for several hours and their mission time was almost over. Karzai's forces."208 Backed up by airpower. Karzai sent word to supporters in Tarin Kot and they started a revolt in the town.

Air Force photo by Staff Sgt." he recalled. Special Forces and others in the area helped with rescues and helicopter evacuation of dead and wounded Americans and Afghanis alike. Karzai's forces moved forward to a town 30 miles from Kandahar. Farlin) Amerine's team with them. His team's air controller was Sergeant 1st Class Daniel Petithory. the Taliban convoy approached. There." An errant bomb killed three of the team and wounded Captain Amerine and several other Americans and Afghans. (US. Captain Amerine's SOF forces got into "a pretty heavy firefight" at one point." The ability to tum back the convoy with airpower greatly impressed the Pashtun tribes. piled into a convoy and drove right into the town on November 17. while Karzai continued to talk to supporters and arrange defections. 210 On December 1. the Taliban put up a fight at a bridge over a dry riverbed. Early the next morning.000 lbs offuelfrom a KC-J35R Strata tanker during an air refueling mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The team directed more airstrikes on other stray Taliban units for the next week. tragedy struck "out of the blue.U! Karzai's forces were now in position to assault Kandahar itself. "We saved that town. PJ. bringing in airstrikes as necessary. He called in airstrikes. "We pushed forward with my guys. For two days. The helicopters were so heavy that the MH-53s and an MC-130 were forced into a risky refueling over downtown Kandahar at altitudes of 63 . Then. Then came warning that "the Taliban had launched a massive group of people" from Kandahar to retake Tarin Kot. "They completely mauled that convoy.A RC-J35V/w Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft receives 30. took a cut in the face from shrapnel. who was farther away. for this team. airstrikes dropped bombs on the Taliban concentration. Karzai." Captain Amerine said. Amerine's team set up an observation post.

a Navy section ofF-14s bombed Taliban buildings. all in broad daylight. Fla. and the city fell a few days later on December 4. the 64 . Coalition Airmen continued to press remnants of Taliban and al-Qaeda in the area. Then. Scott Reed) a few hundred feet.. Air Force photo by Tech. A new team replaced Amerine's. On one such mission.212 But the team had done its job and forged Karzai's irregular forces into a well-armed team who. with airpower support. (US." an MJf-53J Pave Low III helicopter crew chief from the 16th Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field. cleans the exterior of an aircraft at an Operation Enduring Freedom location. Sgt.Airman 1st Class "Joshua. could defeat the Taliban forces trying to defend Kandahar.

" said General Jumper. there weren't that many forces to be found. and when they actually capitulated control of Kandahar. "So I was very happy to see in Afghanistan where Tommy Franks created a Joint Force Land Component Commander.SOF controller contacted the F-14s to tell them Taliban vehicles were trying to move out. Secretary Rumsfeld had already anticipated that the Coalition's efforts "will be shifting from cities at some point to hunting down and rooting out terrorists where they hide. one of the F-14 pilots flying that day. Qatar. For the first time. Those forward controllers are doing a great job. s Bottom Photo: special forces troops are using pack animals to carry equipment as they work with members of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom on Nov." he cautioned. Mikolashek as its commander. As Taliban control of Afghanistan collapsed. The Land Component In the midst of this string of successes came an important change in the conduct of Operation Enduring Freedom. a Coalition forces land component was established." said Navy Captain Wright.U'' CFLCC headquarters were at Camp Doha. Afghanistan president. In both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Allied Force." said Admiral Stufflebeem. looked down and saw these vehicles that looked like circus cars with guys jumping out everywhere. "We just rolled back in. From Top Photo: Hamid Karzai. But the campaign to date had byno means eradicated all ofthe alQaeda and Taliban fighters in the country. This is difficult work. or just slipped away."213 With Kandahar for the most part in the Alliance's hands. "And so you can make a pretty good assumption there that there was some coordination done with individuals who would pay for their escape.s.215 Nearly every city that fell repeated the same pattern: a substantial number of al-Qaeda and Taliban retreated. negotiated their way out. 12. Afghanistan shook loose from Taliban control. (DoD photo) u. 2001. 65 . with Lieutenant General Paul T. "We were able to make another strike. many of the hard-core fighters were still at large in Afghanistan." he added. Standing up the land component signaled a change in OEF from SOF forces calling airstrikes and maneuvering opposition forces to a new phase of searching out remnants of the al-Qaeda and exploiting sensitive sites. the Commanders in Chief had not appointed a separate land component commander.U" "I think that we have seen anecdotally the instances where there were a lot ofTaliban forces in Kandahar. the mountains became a refuge again. As a result.

USCENTCOM held on to the authority to approve most airstrikes on leadership and other critical targets. it was the SOF forces on the ground who were to all intents and purposes the "supported" force for key engagements. the CAOC grew accustomed to the new style of warfare and adept at handling the intricacies of the coordination process. SOF and land . By the time the CFLCC stood up on November 20. But both the SOF-centric style of ground operations and the complicated ROE for airstrikes were a big departure from normal doctrine. each with headquarters in a different nation. In areas where the SOF were not operating. for example. not to mention the continuing presence of the CIA and other defense agencies. Yet over time. As General Moseley explained. and constant unknowns about friendlies created a jigsaw puzzle of battlespace control measures. restricted areas. 2001.air. the air component ran the show. "you had to either have a JSOA stood up. The land component did not have the advantage of going through the same learning curve on the rules of engagement. The flush of rapid success obscured how different the war in Afghanistan was from previous air and land component operations. for example. or a killbox stood up. Sgt.An MC-J30E Combat Talon I awaits the arrival of two MH-53J Pave Low III helicopters for a nighttime aerial refueling mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. offlimits sites of interest. they caused them to miss opportunities to hit emerging targets. (US. to strike a target. Scott Reed) late October on. corps 66 . or targets outside of that had to be blessed through an elaborate process" reaching "back to Tampa and in some cases back to Washington.at work in Afghanistan. It was all very different from the phase lines. Airmen chafed at the restrictions when. the CAOC had been prosecuting a successful war for weeks. Now there were three main components . helping in the hunt for key leadership targets. killboxes. Dozens of JSOAs.t'U? The control was so tight that only pieces of the Afghanistan battlespace were "open" for strikes at anyone time. Air Force photo by Tech.

assisted by a few hundred highly-trained Americans on the ground. Airpower from the United States and its Coalition partners enabled Northern Alliance forces to take back control of their own country. Special Forces elements essentially competed with each other to have air requests fulfilled. he did not necessarily have much visibility into Special Forces' air requests and how many bombs were being dropped on what targets. as did the sheer impact of strings of Mk 82s dropped on troop concentrations. and each learned how to coax the CAOC into approving its requests. and nowhere near the massive effort of the Gulf War in 1991. JDAMs were employed on a grand scale. Second. Taking Stock The political landscape of Afghanistan had changed immensely due to the victories in November and early December. Aircrews made every strike count. The lines of control were becoming tangled .on horseback. and retake the 80 percent of Afghanistan once controlled by that oppressrve regime. Operation Enduring Freedom. First was the shift from pre-planned targets to almost total reliance on non-fragged targets. This time. Nothing looked more reassuring than the precision 67 . there were no extended shellings of Kabul or failed assaults. It was a departure from traditional theater air control doctrine. in it peak phase. What made Operation Enduring Freedom unique was that in a war unlike any other. the feasibility of the campaign was never seriously in question. Looking back. The total sortie count through the defeat of the Taliban in December was half of the tally for Operation Allied Force in 1999. Although the CFLCC was the supported commander in theater after mid-November 2001. controllers and commanders used a blend of precision and non-precision munitions to get the effects they wanted. it was hard to get a grasp of the weak spots in the new style of warfare when Taliban-held cities were collapsing right and left. old doctrinal concepts of control lines and area ownership did not apply. but laser-guided bombs remained important. was never a large-scale war. the CAOC had refined its methods of controlling XCAS and XINT. Yet this is exactly what happened.but it would take months for the consequences to show. Despite the challenges. artillery and vehicles. joint airpower was able to start operations fast and employ new tactics in a harsh and politically complex environment. By December 20. the use of airpower in Operation Enduring Freedom displayed some fascinating trends. but it served the needs of SOF forces on the ground. Even in late October 2001. They kept collateral damage and bloodshed on all sides to a minimum.and Americans . All major cities were free of Taliban control. and to do so in less than two months. it scarcely seemed possible that the hard work of routing a wily and experienced Taliban force on its own turf could be accomplished by Afghans . and fifty to one hundred strike sorties per day ingressing from distant bases. Two senior fieldgrade officers who were specialists in air support observed some hiccups through the fall. After weeks of shuttling fighters and bombers into Afghan airspace. Afghanistan had a new interim government under the leadership of Hamid Karzai. On top of that. the day before winter began. Airpower enabled the Northern Alliance to overcome the Taliban's numerical advantages and their supply of tanks. In OEF.boundaries and fire support coordination lines of a doctrinally-conventional battlefield. The teams working with opposition forces were widely scattered and rarely got into "troops-in-contact" situations.

fire of the 105 mm gun on theAC-130. General Moseley warned that as far as "command and control A lead element of 45 Jordanian special forces soldiers stationed outside of Aman arrived in Mazar-e-Sharif. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Airpower had stretched itself to the limit and made a victory possible. Mobility forces supplied fuel in the air and fuel plus everything else on the ground. Firepower was always available. "This is probably the first time everything to successfully fight a war on the ground has come in by air. "I believe that the precision of this effort has been incredible. Bagram and Kandahar. Fourth." said Brigadier General Vernon Findley.219 To be sure. ready to drop a few JDAMs or a full load. stayed on orbit for four and five hours at a time. They also could not push the new tactics too far. Soon there were TALCEs at airfields near Mazar-i-Sharif. Air Force fighters endured 10-15 hour missions. Bombers. (UiS. Coalition forces benefited from the relatively primitive air defense environment and the lack of a well-trained." said General Franks. despite exceptionally long missions. Overlapping 1SR assets worked their tracks and boxes and a slew of tankers kept the force airborne.v-lf Third. the Director for Mobility Forces (DIRMOBFOR). The Navy's air bosses quickly learned to work their deck cycles in sequence and so provided the majority of fighters over Afghanistan. the air component enabled the joint force to reach this most inaccessible of locations and sustain operations there. in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. "My view is thatthis has been the most accurate war ever fought in this nation's history. The air component kept up a major humanitarian relief effort while at the same time it was delivering nearly all war materiel to surrounding bases by air. blessed with the tactical freedom offered by air superiority. Cecilio Ricardo) 68 . They are here to establish and provide security for the field hospital that will meet basic clinical and surgical needs for people of northern Afghanistan. as the situation required. Afghanistan. state-run military. the air component proved its persistence.

"220 Nevertheless. Shane Cuomo) and pushing airplanes up there."221 N ow the major tasks remaining were to help shore up Karzai's interim government and to keep an eye out for al-Qaeda and Taliban remnants who might threaten Coalition forces and the stability of the new Afghanistan. results. we can do this in Afghanistan but we're not going to be able to do it this way somewhere else.An Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber. who was serving as Director of the Pentagon's Office of Force Transformation. (US. 69 . This is not scaleable. from the 28th Air Expeditionary Wing at Diego Garcia. It proved the validity of a concept: US and allied airpower working efficiently with local ground forces to accomplish the combatant commander's objectives. and the speed of effect that we have here. 23. the main achievement of applying SOF and airpower tactics stood out. in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. "I don't think any of them have seen the speed. "There have been battles fought in Afghanistan for centuries. takes offfor a combat mission on Oct." pointed out retired Vice Admiral Arthur Cebrowski.

.

On October 9.not least because rumor had it that bin Laden might be hiding there. 2001222 liminating remaining resistance and investigating sensitive al-Qaeda sites would become the new focus of Operation Enduring Freedom. beginning early in the campaign. He had not been seen in public since November 10.223 Airstrikes had already targeted the cave complex on several occasions.000 feet." . "Around the end of November we started looking at the Tora Bora mountain region because we had indications there from a variety of sources that said Tora Bora was where the bad guys were.226 Newly arrived in theater was the long-range reconnaissance UAV Global Hawk. and leaving behind an Afghanistan that is free from terrorists operating in their territory. USCENTCOM had been keeping an eye on Tora Bora from the beginning because it was a suspected bin Laden hide-out. about one hundred miles east of the Khyber Pass. to include the Jalalabad area and down toward Tora Bora. the joint force components learned some painful truths about their ability to work together. There is still work to be done in that." said Major David Hambleton.000 to 13.227 Working the infrared. General Myers briefed that unmanned Predators were surveying the Tora Bora region.General Peter Pace. they assembled a collage of two kilometer by 71 ." and all signs pointed to paying "very close attention" to Tora Bora. one of the Global Hawk liaison officers at the CAOC. eliminating the Taliban leadership.224 General Franks acknowledged that there was a "very interesting" hunt for leadership going on in "the area between Kabul and Khyber. for example. The two major episodes were the "caves and graves" campaign. we have been able to watch a variety of terrain and undertake review of a whole variety of imagery and talk to an awful lot of people over time."225 Preparations for an attack began with stepped-up surveillance. In the process. General Franks said. Mountain peaks ranged from 5. and the revealing Operation Anaconda in early March 2002.CHAPTER 6: Tora Bora to Anaconda "Wehave gone into this battle with the intent of eliminating the al-Qaeda leadership. Now was the time to go after this stronghold . E Tora Bora Tora Bora was a group of caves and valleys on the zig-zag eastern border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. "we have worked through all of the intelligence capabilities that we and our coalition partners have involved in this effort. December 11. beginning at Tora Bora in mid-December 2001 and continuing at other sites through mid-January 2002. electro-optical and synthetic aperture radar sensors in spot mode.

"231 Pakistan stationed thousands of troops on their western border at prime exfiltration points to try to block al-Qaeda and Taliban from escaping into Pakistan. USCENTCOM's plan called for "an approach up two parallel valleys. From November 25 through December 72 . with blocking forces at the ends of those valleys."229 SOF and CIA teams worked their way into Tora Bora and began to call in airstrikes."233The Global Hawk team worked fifty to one hundred new targets that night alone. 2001. for example. on occasion. In the early morning hours. As they poured on the pressure. Global Hawk was starting a mission when the team "got the word that every single target we had planned for was cancelled. the CAOC called on its ability to re-task ISR assets in real time. Marines and Special Forces in Afghanistan at the time. He had only about 1.The AC-J30 gunship s primary missions are close air support. Global Hawk's new orders from the CAOC were "to go VFR direct straight up to Tora Bora and start taking pictures.P? Afghan forces began cave-to-cave searches." General Franks said. and US air controllers brought heavy ordnance to bear." General Franks recounted. "We had Special Forces troops with those Afghans. The Afghans would therefore be the main body of the attack.300 soldiers.P? On December 10. see people on trails. "As the Afghan forces moved to contact. Air Force photo) two kilometer images of trails and caves in the area. (US. One flight ofF-14s struck vehicles and personnel in a wooded area. Coalition forces began their attack."228 Speculation on the number of enemy forces at Tora Bora "ranged from a few hundred to a few thousand." Franks later said. local Afghan time. That was a complete change." said Major Hambleton. "It was Afghans who wanted to attack the Tora Bora area. Fighters and bombers continued their strikes. They spotted al-Qaeda campfires and "could. air interdiction and force protection. to be sure. as they had been in the major battles of November." The resolution was so good that one imagery analyst told them they could see al-Qaeda on foot along with "some on a fourlegged creature. they encountered al-Qaeda and residual Taliban elements up in there. and they were spread across 17 locations. but we don't know ifit's a camel or a horse.

insisted reports of bin Laden's presence at Tora Bora were "not verifiable. As General Bailey said. saw use of the 15."243Opposition forces had control of the country. From the start. The bad thing was that once they ceased armed resistance.P" AC-130s. other intelligence-gathering sources. Coalition Airmen dropped over 1. "you're getting scraps of intelligence from all kinds of sources: open press." commented General Pace.16."236 Fighting continued as Northern Alliance forces worked their way through the cave areas. 20 could [be] walking out of there. (U'S. adding. for the global war on terrorism."242 Tora Bora seemed to be aturningpoint.238 Control on the Afghan side of the mountains was not watertight.600 bombs. referring to Tora Bora. Stuffiebeem pointed out that barter was common and "allegiance can be bought. "the Taliban had clearly changed their strategy to one of survival. we believed that he was in that area. "We do know that it was targeted on troops" and their fortifications.237 Pakistani soldiers captured a total of about three hundred fleeing al-Qaeda and Taliban. They had ceased resistance. December 11. "so it is certainly conceivable that groups of 2. As Stuffiebeem explained. 000 pound conventional free-fall weapon is prepared for loading.000-pound BLU-82 "daisy cutter" bomb. by that time. "AC-130s. and it was risky to leave large numbers A BLU-82 Commando Vault 15. people who walk in and provide information. in fact. 3. Surrenders behind lines. zeroed in on the al-Qaeda and Taliban forces. However. were used the last couple of days in that same vicinity very effectively. "We do know that it exploded on target. 15." "And now we're not as sure because we don't have the same intensity of the level of traffic for us to monitor" bin Laden's location." noted General Pace. "240 Had bin Laden slipped through the net? "A few days ago. most of them precision JDAMs. the anti-Taliban forces [also] ceased attacking. and we do know that there was effect. but Secretary Rumsfeld."235 Day two of the battle. "it's a very precise weapon system and they have been effective. officials made clear that Taliban and al-Qaeda were still escaping from the fight.s"! Reports suggested that bin Laden himself might have left Tora Bora on December 16 and crossed the mountains into Pakistan. for one. Air Force photo) 73 . there were still broader objectives to accomplish. negotiations and even the escape of non-Afghan forces of the al-Qaeda did not change that fact. interrogation of detainees."239 "There are multiple routes of ingress and egress." said Admiral Stuffiebeem. andperhaps the lastmaj or ground engagement. sometimes cued by other sensors. Then the all-source intelligence faded. Pace announced. on the Tora Bora complex.

of al-Qaeda on the run."246 In February. in some cases." said General Myers. "And we've been following that. Zhawar Kili operations marked the end of the main phase of air component activity in Operation Enduring Freedom. Unlike other 74 . "go to work in the Tora Bora area."245 One growing area of concern was the Khowst-Gardez region on the eastern border with Pakistan. SOF and airpower targeted small al-Qaeda pockets like the one at Zhawar Kili. rather than US forces. They're still fighting. allowing it to develop until we thought it was the proper time to strike. They "started to get together in a place where they could have enough mass to be effective. After January 14.. The CAOC continued to provide on-call airpower as conditions dictated. Central Command watched closely as the clot of al-Qaeda collected in the Khowst-Gardezregion morphed from a force on the run to a concentrated threat. When the intelligence was rich enough. Uzbekistan. January 2002 brought the start of serious planning for potential operations in Iraq. He began moving TF Mountain's headquarters from Karshi Karnabad. The standards were changing and the pressure was building. Operation Anaconda "I would think that it would be a mistake to say that the al-Qaeda is finished in Afghanistan at this stage." He believed it was "hundreds" and added that while he could not say he was satisfied with the operation.v'? They also devised a plan for operations in the Khowst-Gardez region." Secretary Rumsfeld said after Tora Bora. It would take more direct action by the Coalition to ensure Afghanistan's terrorist nests were cleaned out entirely. "They're still in pockets. After mid-December. the "pounding we put into that area. another mountain cave site attacked and exploited in mid-January 2002. the land component was starting to play a bigger role within Afghanistan. the numbers of caves and compound complexes that were closed . The air component was still heavily focused on a stepped-up campaign against air defenses in the no-fly zones. the call for munitions tapered off dramatically. In February 2002. the effort scaled back. to Bagram airfield. Meanwhile. north of Kabul."244 From the air component's perspective. As General Franks put it. was designated as the CFLCC Forward and took command of Task Force Mountain. New activities in the Hom of Africa and in Yemen were widening the war to a truly global focus. he was satisfied with the decisions made to let the Afghans.2002. SOF teams were inserted to watch the region more closely. General Hagenback's command post was in the midst of the move when the SOF teams brought forward their initial plans for Operation Anaconda. while also running Operation Southern Watch over Iraq. there were few targets left to strike. Special Forces continued sensitive site exploitation missions. Success at Tora Bora was hard to measure. Commander.and it was one that would shock the military components and cause them to re-evaluate their plans for the future of the global war on terrorism. 10th Mountain Division. The Tora Bora operation marked a peak in weapons expenditures.. Fighters and bombers flying the long strike missions were now routinely returning without having dropped any of their bombs. Maj or General Buster Hagenback. make it virtually impossible to know how many were killed. Yet there was still a major battle ahead in Afghanistan . to set up a base for more operations in country.

the al-Qaeda and Taliban forces would be trapped. participants called it "Taliban math" because experience showed that when intelligence said there would be a thousand al-Qaeda troops. Sirkankheyl and Babukheyl. SOF teams . there might only be a few hundred.500 regular army forces along with the three Afghan forces. But this time. 2002. With US Army forces on the mountain slopes. General Mikolashek and General Hagenback heard their first briefing on Operation Anaconda when the CFLCC visited Bagram on February 17. Instead of tabulating the enemy in the vicinity. But although no one knew it at the time.248 Teams of US Army forces would enter the objective area of the Shah-i-Kot Valley by helicopter and take up several blocking positions on the mountain slopes above the three villages ofMarzak. TF Mountain had for some reason narrowed its focus to counting enemy fighters in a smaller geographic area. we had plenty of folks who could lock those LOCs. while two other Afghan forces under the commanders Zakim Khan and Kamil Khan held blocking positions to the south to seal off the easy escape routes to Pakistan. The final plan for Operation Anaconda down- Weapons cache in Shahi Koht. and the land component laid plans to execute Operation Anaconda at the end of February.v'? After that. Tracking since January cited the presence of one thousand to two thousand al-Qaeda and Taliban in the Khowst-Gardez region. designated Objective Remington. Then. The plan as briefed seemed straightforward enough. confusion about the estimate of enemy forces and the fast pace of planning were a recipe for trouble. Tora Bora included. 75 . Operation Anaconda called for extensive use of regular US Army forces as well as Afghan forces to block and herd al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters holed up in the hills of Khowst-Gardez. The special operators wanted to hand off overall command and control of the operation to the CFLCC Forward because their command and control systems and operational style were not suited to handling almost 1. That alone was nothing new. the plan somehow adopted the very lowest estimate. as Zia Lodin's forces pushed into the valley." said one officer involved in the planning. CJTF Mountain's estimate defined the number as those within Objective Remington. The fact was that estimates of enemy troop strength had varied widely in nearly every major engagement of Operation Enduring Freedom. Apparently.from the United States and other nations including Australia . The "hammer and anvil" concept designated one Afghan force under the command of Zia Lodin to move into the objective area.would already be in position on several ridgelines. Now "we had the 10 1st in town and the 10th Mountain there." said one SOF planner.operations to date. they "could put a fish net around all four sides. it would take just a few days to round them up. The first problem was that estimates of enemy forces varied widely.

handed the operation on short notice Capt. Finally. 72-hour round-up operation and left little margin for error. TF Mountain was also sending in a dozen or more tactical air control parties with the teams seizing blocking positions above Objective Remington. CJTF Mountain . there was not full coordination between the components.250 Also. This major flaw inevitably cast Operation Anaconda in the light of a swift. Air Force photo by StajJSgt. there was not enough information available from TF Mountain to put together a "collection deck" and get the full benefit of scans by ISR assets before the operation. less than ten fixed targets were approved for airstrikes prior to Operation Anaconda. Equally serious. They were not all equipped with the latest gear or training. In contrast to the days of bombing at Tora Bora. As a result. 99th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron. Some requirements were never formally defined. had not been tested. prepares to land his U-2 Dragonlady after a mission supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Stephen Rodriguez. Lowerlevel contacts between TF Mountain and the CAOC began around February 20. The SOF teams would be with the Afghan forces and in other strategic overlook locations. The 18 special operations teams taking part in Operation Anaconda had highlytrained and well-equipped controllers. That left no room for reckoning with the potential presence of hundreds more in adjacent areas. Reynaldo Ramon) 76 . Thirty or more SOF and TF Mountain teams would be operating in a tiny battle area only a few miles wide with their sight lines to each other blocked by the ridges and valleys of the rugged terrain. but General Moseley himself was not briefed on Operation Anaconda until February 25. General Moseley had the air component "scrambling just to figure out how to get the airplanes into the airspace" over the Shah-i-Kot valley so they could deliver on-call firepower to the lightly-equipped ground forces. which concerned General Moseley. (US. pre-strike targeting and other essential items of support were left to the very last minute. the connections between OEF-style airpower and TF Mountain's conventional land forces. and the CAOC and the SOF teams had honed their cooperation in Operation Enduring Freedom. which were relatively new to the theater. fuel for Army helicopters staging the operation out of Bagram. Airlift requirements. close air support procedures.scoped the estimate and pegged it at about two hundred enemies in the objective area of the Shah-i-Kot Valley. leaving no opportunity to bring the full force of air and space power to bear in advance. the air component got late notice about the plan.

"It was nuts. was with the small air support cell at Bagram. the air component rushed to put a skeleton crew of a few individuals in place in the command center at Bagram to help TF Mountain coordinate air support to the troops in the Shah-i-Kot Valley.had never built up the ASOC structure needed to process a high volume of CAS requests. an Air Liaison Officer with the 10th Mountain Division.2002 . Their commander. soldiers regrouped and air controllers flooded the command cell at Bagram with requests for airstrikes." he said ofthe activity the first day. Then the CH-47 Chinook helicopters air assaulted in the first waves of troops from the 10th Mountain Division and the 101st Airborne division.411 Army soldiers hit the ground over the next few days. 77 . Their numbers were far greater than predicted. said: "We survived three mortar barrages during the day and at one point we had nine or ten al-Qaeda coming to do us. That afternoon. "There were many bad people shooting very big caliber weapons at them.on February 17. Major Pete Donnelly. taking a number of hits. One American soldier was killed by an off-target AC-130 gunship. The first to land were under attack from the start. Some sheltered in the cave system while others occupied prepared positions on the mountain ridges. concerns about shortfalls in planning did not stop the operation from moving forward. a small detachment from the 101st Airborne also met fierce opposition. and no ASOC to prioritize and deconflict. On the ground.2002. They limped back to Bagram with battle damage so heavy that six of the eight were not combat-ready by the end ofthe day." as Longoria put it."253 The ground forces had landed in an al-Qaeda sanctuary. we did them."254 Apache helicopters dove into the fray taking multiple hits from RPGs and small arms.251At the last minute. Trucks carrying Zia Lodin's 450 Afghan troops plus US and Coalition Special Forces toward the Shah-i-Kot Valley took the lead. US Apache helicopter gunships raked the landing sites above Objective Remington. 1. The plan was briefed to General Franks on February 26 during a video teleconference. all present thought they had been hit by al-Qaeda mortar rounds. Lodin's attack stalled. Battle Begins Operation Anaconda began on March 2. Colonel Frank Wiercinski. but instead. Commanders who were present for the conference discussed their outstanding concerns. forecasts of low visibility led to a two-day weather delay because the assault helicopters could not operate safely in low visibility conditions. "you had a division level headquarters with corps-like responsibilities with a brigade size force. although at the time. but the intent to wrap it up in three days categorized Operation Anaconda as a relatively low-risk undertaking. He approved it. Fighters and bombers held in tracks offset a few miles from the battlefield while the CAOC directed them onto targets in sequence. the ones who hit Ginger. We pushed them everything we had. An immediate request went out for Marines on the USS Bonhomme Richard to lend five AH-1 Cobras to TF Mountain for the fight. were in close combat for about 18 hours. As a result.P? South of Sirkankheyl." said Major Bryan Hilferty of the 10th Mountain Division. As Coalition forces later found. Al-Qaeda fighters were dispersed in small groups sized from as few as three men to as many as a score or more. In the end. In the next phase of the attack. the strongpoints were well supplied with weapons brought in over the preceding months. A lot of our guys. "It was non-stop and it went for about 24 hours. Then the convoy suddenly came under heavy fire. All told.

The situation was so desperate that controllers called on two F/A-18Cs. as seven died in fierce fighting during attempted helicopter insertions near a mountaintop called Takur Gar on March 4." one senior officer commented. fell from the back of the helicopter and later died of a bullet wound while fighting on the ground." General Moseley recalled. Moseley and General Mikolashek spoke about areas ofmutual concern. sending experienced pilots to Bagram to help manage air support. or one every 10 minutes." explained a military official. and movingA-10s into place to help out as airborne controllers and strike platforms. That night. and then committed the theater reserve to beefup blocking positions. Actual drops ebbed and flowed with the ground situation. N ow it was a rescue . Takur Gar For US forces." said the military official who studied the battle for Franks. AC-130 gunships attacked targets with 40mm and 105mm guns while also passing coordinates on to other strikers. Below it was Objective Ginger."257 It took concentrated airpower and smart tactical decisions by the soldiers on the ground to hang on for the first three days. the team "dropped much of their equipment to lighten them up" and returned to the ridge "taking just their combat gear and additional ammunition. an Army aviator later commissioned by General Franks to report on the battle. with 64 precision weapons released by bombers and fighters from 1300 to 1800 local time. One helicopter was hit through the hydraulic lines.not a long mission . Two B-52Hs dropped strings of 27 Mk 82s on troops in the open and on a ridge line for a total of 54 non-precision bombs dropped on D-Day. all as immediate CAS. First to discover the al-Qaeda nest was a SOF team from an independent task force trying to insert troops under cover of darkness. The air component also made some quick changes. generating additional strike targets.The air component was the sole source of heavy firepower. But on Takur Gar's shaded side. And you don't want to put a whole lot of stuff in there to tell the enemy you're coming. CJTF Mountain extricated teams in grave trouble. A Navy SEAL. the last of the original blocking positions still not in US hands. three feet of new snow masked hardened sites where alQaeda fighters were ready to put up deadly resistance.258 Tactical surprise was gone. to strafe enemy firing positions. but continued day and night.and they needed to move fast. Scarface 73 and 74. The snow canopied on a pine tree and filled in footprints that might have revealed the presence of the enemy force.P= "No plan ever survives the first encounter with the enemy. including the "absolute requirement" for better target ID and target coordinates. and withdrew hastily. "This was a stealthy infil[tration] to an outpost. while a second helicopter picked up the team and took them back to save Roberts. making sure that aircraft had mixed weapons loads to better serve ground controllers' needs. the worst was yet to come. prioritizing CAS. The damaged helicopter crash-landed seven kilometers away. First. 259 After re-insertion. the team 78 . Special Forces were on top of the ridge to help with airstrikes and reconnaissance. Afternoon was the peak time. Petty Officer Roberts.255 "Day one or day two. the precision weapons (JDAM and GBU-12s) delivered for immediate CAS averaged out to over six bombs per hour. I'm not happy now with what we're seeing. "and this plan changed 180 degrees. To get back to Roberts. and the problems caused because not all GFACs had the equipment to determine precise target coordinates. The ridge at Takur Gar commanded a view of the entire Shah-i-Kot valley. On day one of Operation Anaconda. making three passes and delivering four hundred rounds of 20mm cannon apiece just as darkness closed in.

Brown contacted the F-15Es. Brown had to do something.uphill. two more helicopters were on their way to the scene. In the process they called on anAC-130 and two F-15Es for support and one unleashed a five hundred-pound LGB on the ridge." Brown recalled. But the downed helicopter. An attack on the bunker . When Sergeant Brown saw the enemy fire. 260 An RPG took off the rear rotor. Another RPG killed the right-side gunner.failed. The CH-47 dubbed Razor 1 landed "about 50 meters from that bunker at the top. "My job was to concentrate on bringing in the bombs to knock out the enemy. A quick reaction unit from Bagram Air Base with combat search and rescue specialists and rangers was summoned to aid the trapped team. While one F-15E refueled on an aerial tanker track 20 miles away. he realized they were too close to risk using LGBs." said the military official. Four died instantly. now a refuge for the wounded. dropping the Chinook onto the mountain. Still. "All I kept thinking was we needed close air support and we needed it now. and several more were wounded.on the ground picked their way forward up the steep mountain over a period of two and a half hours to reach Roberts. made an eye-catching target. in snow . leaving close air support as the only immediate recourse. Scott Reed) . Air Force photo by Tech. 751hRangers. an F-15E Strike Eagle moves into the pre-contact position to refuel from a KC-135R Stratotanker from the 319th Air Expeditionary Group. callsign Slick 01. With the team was Combat Controller Staff Sergeant Gabe Brown. Surviving aircrew and the soldiers from the 1st Battalion. (US."261 After getting communications up and speaking with a fellow controller two miles away. During nighttime air strikes over an operating location in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. set up defensive positions 150 feet from one of the snow-concealed bunkers. Sgt. and I knew I needed to do it fast. Among the dead was Senior Airman Jason Cunningham.

tanker aircraft that are flying through there. the F-15E's job was tough. including some of the Vice President's C-17s being used for his trip to the region and Marine KC130s." Corley explained." Scott said. Brown estimated he made 30 calls for air support. "You could smell the burning pine off the trees and see the snow kicking off the ground." Most of the pop-up requirements were for more ammunition.I need guns only!" No F-15E had ever used its gun in combat for close air support. a pilot with plenty of CAS experience from three years offlying theA-10. Brown called it the bonsai tree. At last. F/A-18s. the pair ofF-15Es flying CAP that morning was led by Major Chris Short. found his team reacting to the surging Army requirements. 263 Even with common visual references.268 To build up and sustain the Army at Bagram.. F14s. but the rushed air planning for Operation Anaconda had not provided for this additional control measure. "They immediately started pushing requirements after the hostilities began.269 By then. fast-moving aircraft." said Brown. "What we had was a better understanding and arrangement of activities at Bagram. "we have enemy troops 75 meters away . for the air component. At times the CAOC had "B-52s at higher altitudes dropping JDAMs. Major Short had only a few seconds to target and fire for the strafing run before he had to pull up or hit the ground."270 One improvement was the use of strike aircraft as FAC-As. The fuel situation at Bagram was critical. During earlier phases of Operation Enduring Freedom. The battlespace was "extremely constrained. aircraft contributing to the ISR assets. unmanned vehicles such as Predator flying through there. Delivering Close Air Support The battle at Takur Gar epitomized the persistence of close air support. "We were refragging [changing tasks] missions left and right. P-3s. "That became the number one priority-sustaining Anaconda. General Scott." Major General John Corley. Throughout the day fighters and bombers provided close air support as the team on the ground held off the alQaeda for fourteen hours. changes were taking hold. On pass three." added General Moseley-v? Airlift also helped keep the Army in the fight." Brown remembered. CAOC Director. what systems were up. That "cleaned up the misperception and confusion relative to who they could talk to. Maj or Short put a one-second burst of about one hundred rounds into the enemy position.262 Sergeant Brown told the F-15Es. Snow flew and pine splintered. All Sergeant Brown and the F-15Es could target was a single pine tree. joint fighter and attack aircraft often worked as airborne FACs.264 "The noise was just like it sounds in the movies. what was the ROE. Two passes failed to line up. the lone visual reference both could sight. the DIRMOBFOR. In fact." said General Corley. A continual flow of airlift kept passengers and supplies moving back and forth from Kandahar to Bagram. . F-16s.e= On top of all this "we had three civil air routes opened up. "We gathered up every available flying resource that we could in that part of the world. "If we couldn't kill the bunker. darkness fell and another helicopter extracted them. B-1s at lower altitudes.They were already two hours into the fight. So you begin to see and sense the degree of difficulty of deconfiiction. one of the big concerns was preventing mid-air collisions. too. F-15Es. etc. It was a direct hit." said General Moseley. "I was a big time traffic cop out there. and Sergeant Brown waved the F-15E off. helicopters down at the ground. Fortunately." 80 ." General Scott said. we were going to be surrounded. said later."265 But LGBs and JDAM soon proved their value.

said A-lO pilot Colonel Mark Coan. "They dropped one at I00 meters and this huge piece of flaming metal flew over our heads. New estimates of enemy strength were taken into account in gearing up to bring combat operations to a close. for example. Those not killed by the bombing could be picked off as they emerged from caves and hideouts. Close air support had helped TF Mountain and the Special Forces teams stay in the fight. Seizing Objective Ginger CJTF Mountain still had one major task to complete: seizing Objective Ginger. went halfway down the hill. to lace up control of the valley. Now it would strike al-Qaeda concentrations and help ground troops close in on the final objectives. precise airstrikes delivered heavy blows.. such as having to break off search or attack efforts and "bingo out" due to fuel." the ETAC later said. "just trying to direct people and keep people from running into each other. keeping JDAMs from dropping through people . As General Myers said in the Top Photo: Troops disembark as part of Operation Anaconda. With US ground forces pinning the al-Qaeda. and strikes that generally satisfied the controllers' requests. Bottom Photo: B-52s provide Close Air Support. We thought that was a little close. 2002. "271 Another improvement was designating engagement zones and pre-planned targets aligned with TF Mountain's top priorities. repeated efforts to find and strike targets.. Most telling of all. 81 . soldiers were gearing up to renew the assault. the air component continued to deliver round-the-clock close air support. blew up and started a big fire. Air Force and Navy/Marine Corps aircrew mission reports told a very consistent story of close cooperation. Pre-planned targets allowed XCAS aircraft to drop bombs even when controllers did not have immediate requests. After March 10. As a result. One ETAC later reported that weapons were dropped from as close as one hundred meters to no more than three hundred meters away. and spotting targets that for some reason were not approved for strike. the number of bombs recorded as pre-planned XCAS increased steadily. too. occasional episodes of not getting clearance due to other aircraft in the area. because of friendlies in the area or TST rules. By March 5.272 There were frustrations for the aircrews. XCAS strikes on pre-planned DMPls outnumbered immediate strikes for the rest of Operation Anaconda.

P? Operation Anaconda left no doubt that the air component could perform. and so close to friendly troops."273 The final assault to take Objective Ginger created the two heaviest days of bombing in Operation Anaconda. and the assault began with airstrikes from fighters.into such a small area." according to Jumper. 2002. Fresh groups of Afghan forces captured the key points in the Shah-i-Kot Valley and linked up on the morning of March 12. the "giant lesson learned. Weary ground soldiers began to withdraw back to Bagram. aided by a contingent from the Canadian Forces Princess Patricia light brigade. The al-Qaeda cluster was gone. "Operation Anaconda sought to clear the enemy in that valley area and in those hills. At the tacticallevel." Planning and execution depended directly on the relationships between the components." General Franks said a month later. In Operation Anaconda. but it's still going to take some time to figure that out. Ground forces then pushed forward and had Objective Ginger in their hands by mid-morning on March 10.274 Fighting and Learning Eight Americans died in Operation Anaconda and eighty were wounded.middle of the operation. "before we went in there. the 64-square mile area took an average of 253 bombs per day-or about 3. Senior military leaders wanted to learn all they could about the successes and failures of Operation Anaconda and apply the lessons quickly before the next major operation. gunships and Army and Marine attack helicopters throughout the early evening hours of March 9. bombers. Coalition aircraft flew 140 strike sorties (both interdiction and CAS) against the armored Republican Guard's Tawakalna Division and 12thArmored Division in Killbox AE6. Yet as General Jumper pointed out. was that "we absolutely positively must have the right interfaces at the operational level of war. On February 25. but also that no one would want to take on a big fight in Iraq with the poor component coordination of Anaconda. "and succeeded in doing so where many operations in history had not been able to get that done. the execution of close air support by the air component was not the problem. At the operational level. After a brief weather delay.V> Yet it was ultimately a success. Killbox AE6 took 840 bombs that day-or an average of . Never before had Coalition aircraft delivered so many precision weapons . "Thank goodness for the bravery of those soldiers that we were able to take the fight to the enemy and be successful here. Operation Anaconda was a powerful harbinger. Operation Anaconda brought 82 . started sensitive site exploitation of the area. soldiers were in position. 2002. Operation Anaconda was over. 1991 (D+ 1 for the ground war. is a small part of that." he said. we heard everywhere from 200 to several thousand.job one was to improve and standardize equipment and training for those calling in airstrikes."276 Persistent and precise close air support proved its mettle under emergency conditions. we think. This was the single highest number of airstrikes against any killbox during the ground war.93 bombs per square mile.9 bombs per square mile-about four times the peak intensity seen in this example from Operation Desert Storm. Other teams. And what's left." said General Myers. By March 16. The density of airstrikes topped even Tora Bora. The intensity of strikes in Operation Anaconda's battlespace surpassed that of Operation Desert Storm a decade earlier. "We know how to do close air support at the tactical level. In this sense. We think there were hundreds.and stunning air-burst Mk 82s . Day 39 for the air war). Yet if each strike sortie delivered six weapons.

. Large-scale improvement depended on the higher-level commanders themselves. Sgt.. Cedric H."278 In battle. Rudisill) that into focus." he reiterated. In the heat of battle "they're frustrated. so [to them] the sky is falling and this whole thing is just totally screwed up. General Moseley said.v--? "Those sorts of things are the things that got corrected for Iraq." Good equipment.B-1B Lancer from the 28th Air Expeditionary Wing receives fuel atfrom a KC-10A Extender from the 60th Air Expeditionary Group during a bombing mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Air Force photo by Tech. "there is always going to be a captain or a lieutenant that couldn't find their tactical air. In the fall of2002. for "at the operational and strategic level." and so on. because "at the actual place of the engagement." he went on." General Jumper finished. the Peloponnesian wars. good training and good communications could improve the situation immensely but would never make it perfect. (US." "That lesson learned is no different than the lesson learned from . it's confusing. "it is an issue of orchestration: planning and execution. It always will be.P? 83 . all Army and Air Force four-stars met to make sure "we both understand each other's business better than we have.

.

"Today. the United Nations passed Resolution 687. we have seen no evidence that Saddam Hussein was willing to undo his weapons of mass destruction program. "Iraq is the only major recent user of weapons of mass destruction. there were some who discussed Iraq. this pursuit of weapons of mass destruction is a great threat to a great many nations on this planet. no one was ready to take on other battles. but the battle is broader. "Every nation has a choice to make. including 28. First. in his mind. Between 1985 and 1990. "So he had the interest. As General Franks saw it. Iraq had fabricated 25 biological weapon missile warheads and 166 85 .t'P'" President Bush himself told a television interviewer in April 2002: "I made up my mind that Saddam Hussein needs to go. there was no question that Iraq was a strategic threat.286 The tally of biological weapons finally declared by Iraq was astonishing. we focus on h Afghanistan. In this conflict. But dealing with Iraq was. March 22." At the time." as a Stockholm International Peace Research Institute report aptly described it. In April 1991. and he continues to have the interest. although President Bush spoke those words with force and meaning. they have become outlaws and murderers themselves. outlining an extensive plan for the disarmament of Iraq. Since "the end of the Gulf War. with operations in Afghanistan winding down.000 munitions already loaded with chemical agent. "were there no other reason to characterize Iraq as a strategic risk. a great deal of intense planning and a great deal of what-iffing by all of us has gone into this." he had said on October 7."283 As a report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies summed up a few weeks later. "out of the question" until Afghanistan was no longer a safe haven. 2001."285 I The Challenge Iraq presented two problems.General Tommy Franks. UNSCOM supervised the destruction of large quantities of chemical weapons components. From 1991 through 1994. Iraq would remain under strict international sanctions until the UN certified it to be clear of weapons of mass destruction." continued Franks. And I believe. "Obviously. In my opinion." he later recalled in an interview. "in effect.CHAPTER 7: Eyes on Iraq "For a period of about a year. attention shifted to Iraq. Resolution 687 was. I would do so.2003281 raq ad been on President Bush's mind from the beginning.282 Now. a conditional cease-fire. there is no neutral ground." . If any government sponsors the outlaws and killers of innocents." he testified in mid-February 2002. And they will take that lonely path at their own peril. the post-Gulf War inspections that had been intended to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction had not been carried to completion.

the United States and Britain joined in Operation Desert Fox. the situation deteriorated further in 1998. 8. Iraq was believed to have 79 civilian facilities in existence that could be quickly used for biological weapons manufacturing." with "no guards or visible indications they were a military facility."287 The Iraqis and the inspectors played cat and mouse. biological and missile capabilities Iraq eventually declared to the UN." Since Iraq retained a large pool of experts and some non-weapons grade uranium.and the question of whether Iraq was still actively working on weapons of mass destruction. but without an inspection monitoring program. Iraq's Minister ofIndustry and Minerals with responsibility for all Iraq's weapons programs.291 The United Nations stated that Iraq "has the capability to reinitiate both its chemical weapons and biological weapons programs within a few weeks to months. botulinum toxin. Iraq's next tactic was to designate new "presidential" sites and then declare these off-limits. especially if Iraq could import fissile material clandestinely. and 220 liters of aflatoxin. Iraq also admitted researching other virus strains. Iraq retracted previous declarations and owned up to an extensive biological weapons program and in-depth research on long-range missiles. Iraq insisted on keeping together the teams of scientists and experts from the weapons programs. Then."290 That left the question of what kind of arsenal Iraq might have retained . to include several critical missile production complexes and former dual-use CW production [sites]. While waiting to enter one site in September 1997. inspectors got one of their biggest breaks when General Hussein Kamel. Until 1995. or aflatoxin. "left unchecked. Inspectors believed Iraq was free of fissile material. President Clinton said at the time. all along." The CIA then went on to describe Iraq's efforts to build shortrange missiles and convert Czech L-29 jet trainers into UAVs. In all." Raw supplies included about 20. this type of activity must be regarded as likely.425 liters of anthrax solution. That fall. Iraq ceased cooperation with UNSCOM entirely.000 liters of botulinum toxin solution.P? Despite a visit to Baghdad by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to meet with Saddam Hussein in February. Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again." The CIA demurred that it had "no direct evidence" of renewed Iraqi WMD programs. In December 1998. the CIA told Congress that after Desert Fox. it is difficult to determine ifIraq had done so. The missile research was still active.four hundred-pound aerial bombs "filled with anthrax. Most of these key personnel remained in Iraq. Iraq had run 18 major biological weapons sites before the Gulf War. UNSCOM inspectors videotaped Iraqis burning and dumping files. UNSCOM inspectors also dredged up more missile components dumped in the Tigris River. One report described them as "nondescript. Former UN chief weapons inspector David Kay 86 . but said that "given past behavior. As late as August 1997.288 Tips from defectors led the inspectors to more documents. In August 2000. in August of that year. However. restarting a nuclear bomb program was also a possibility. Republican Guards headquarters and suspected WMD manufacturing or storage areas. In November. Jordan turned back a shipment of missile components headed for Iraq. "Baghdad again instituted a reconstruction effort on those facilities destroyed by the US bombing. including air defense sites. Iraq staunchly denied that it had a biological weapons program. defected to Jordan. Inspectors had personally witnessed the destruction of only a small fraction of the chemical. Airstrikes and TLAMs hit key targets in southern Iraq.

the USCENTCOM war plans still concentrated on countering possible attacks by Iraq into Kuwait. His 1999 support for the Islamic Bomb was another worrying note. highly-enriched uranium or plutonium.294 USCENTCOM's job was to lead a Coalition to depose Saddam's regime. incarceration or foreign flight of Saddam." Kay added. On top of this. and Removal ofIraq's capability to employ WMD. His regime's illicit weapons programs focused on the most lethal agents and toxins. The agenda for the global war on terrorism called for something more: regime change. Throughout 2002 and early 2003. The names had not changed since General Norman Schwarzkopf had reviewed the plans in 1990 during Internal Look exercises before the first Gulf War. The risks of weapons of mass destruction and terrorist connections were too strong to ignore.several times. What did shift . the core strategy for war in Iraq did not change significantly. Death.292 Four years with no inspections made it impossible to know what Saddam had done with his weapons programs. the second problem was the potential for links between Iraq and the al-Qaeda or other terrorists.was how the conflict would start and how the air. land. the desired endstate of military operations in Iraq would be: • • • Regime change. "I think everyone that I know of in the community agrees that if the Iraqis had the nuclear material. and right up until the war began ." A second and equal objective was to "eliminate Iraq's WMD threat to its neighbors. The bottom line was ifSaddam's Iraq was or could become a "safe harbor" for terrorists then his control of that proud and ancient country had to end. It was Osama bin Laden himself who first made the connection in 1998 when he cited the no-fly zones over Iraq as one of the reasons for his fatwa calling for the killing of Americans. USCENTCOM's War Plans The real possibility that Iraq still had biological or chemical weapons was one of several key assumptions that influenced USCENTCOM's deliberate planning process.explained in January 2001. 87 . Added to that was his record of brutality to his own people. It was the only way to make sure that al-Qaeda could never use Iraq's resources against Americans and their allies at home or abroad. they would have a weapon in less than a year. USCENTCOM kept an active war plan on its shelves. It was validated by periodic war game exercises known by the codename Internal Look. and special operations components would weave together their combat power." "The explosive manufacturing and missile program has gone ahead." For General Franks. Hezbollah terrorist Abu Nidal also turned up dead in Baghdad. General Franks outlined the basic objectives: "Eliminate Saddam's regime through the destruction of his security apparatus using direct attack by US/Coalition forces. Tenet told the Senate Armed Service Committee in March 2002: "There is no doubt there have been contacts or linkages to the al-Qaeda organization.v-'<' Saddam had an unprecedented track record of aggression and a unique history of using outlawed weapons. "There was a conscious effort to switch to looking at the removal of the regime. A decade later." said one USCENTCOM planner.

commander. Front-line troops dug fire-trenches and brought forward artillery to pound Coalition forces. "We had the CINC's huddles once a month." and so forth. US 88 . and General Tommy Franks. Hanging over it all was a hope that key military leaders in the Republican Guards and regular army could be convinced to give up the fight early. especially ground forces. "and out of that would come planning exercises" and guidance for specific conops. The commanders "went through all those planning iterations from the baseline of 1003-98 . Base access was uncertain. and show force on the eastern border with Iran. "conops for the urban CAS. speed was of the essence. Iraq's forces were dispersed close to regular garrison locations throughout Iraq. with a series of meetings among the component commanders to refine the plan. But USCENTCOM also had to accomplish other objectives. as for Afghanistan. how many days to allow for preparatory airstrikes. with armored units and the Republican Guards backing them up as the second echelon. USCENTCOM wanted to avoid targeting Iraq's infrastructure and population. True integration between the components was the goal and it started at the top. conops for the ISR piece.. All plans were driven by conditions that differed greatly from the Gulf War of 1991. It would also depend on making full use of every advantage air and space power could give the Coalition. too. such as the air component's strategic attack plans. a very high degree of coordination amongst the components. All of Iraq had to be controlled. Conditions were different for the United States.. then swinging rapidly west to envelop them. how to damp down the WMD threat. Most of all. Regular army and elite forces had to protect Baghdad." said General Moseley. For Iraq.1 don't know. Central Command. Iraqi regular army forces were densely packed on the Kuwait-Saudi border. Taking time to attrit forces to permit a breakthrough. the shape of the plan would depend on non-linear. General Franks' objectives necessitated a campaign to gain control of the whole of Iraq. was an essential strategy. keep a presence in the north around Mosul and Saddam's home base ofTikrit. Few guessed that the Iraq campaign was going to throw out old concepts of campaign shaping and phasing. USCENTCOM's initial planning began in January 2002. There. non-contiguous. but there must have been a thousand ofthem. non-sequential operations all across Iraq. This time. at the same time.Added to this."295 The planning revolved around a few key variables: the length of time required to build up combat forces. like nabbing the WMD threat. . and with that. A protracted war could erode both domestic backing and international tolerance for this phase of the global war on terrorism.

a revision referred to as "the Hybrid" added a second front attack in the north from Turkey to stymie Iraq's elite Republican Guards.Maintainers worked around the clock to keep the F-16 CJ sfiying missions in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (Photo by SSGT Derrick C. In response to discussions at the White House meeting. This plan gave the air component 16 days to hit Iraqi ground forces and strategic targets while more forces flowed into theater. USCENTCOM's planners put together a list of potential Iraq trigger events. Franks briefed President Bush in May 2002. this officer said." envisioned two months of force build-up above and beyond normal theater operations in the no-fly zones and Afghanistan. "You would see a higher level of maneuver and airborne assault. White was a medium-level response on the scale of 1998's Operation Desert Fox. with initial estimates contemplating the use of70.000 troops. Blue covered a single event and used only forces in place.I"? The reports were not far off the mark. A red response initiated the time-phased deployment of forces and again left a 16-day margin for airstrikes while forces closed in theater. for example. the New York Times reported that the administration was "concentrating its attention on a major air campaign and ground invasion. USAF) which allies would make bases available.the start of the ground attack . a second iteration known as "Running Start" took on the possibility that Iraq might make a move to trigger war and launch the Coalition into battle with only the forces available in theater. 296 Word of the planning soon made headlines. Red." commented one senior official. Red was for a large response to WMD employment. SOF forces would be inserted in western Iraq to suppress and deter Scud launches." he added. G-Day . In late April. Several major planning iterations emerged during the spring and summer of 2002: Generated Start. Running Start. One officer also gave a hint as to the operational flavor of the planning. White and Blue. nicknamed "Generated Start. One of the first.000 to 250. in July 2002. The air component would attack major target sets and then ground forces would move into Iraq from Kuwait after perhaps a week of airstrikes. 89 . In March. Then. "We would not need to hold territory and protect our flanks to the same extent" as in Desert Storm.would follow. Goode. "It's difficult because you don't know which countries you can count on or what the consequences in the region will be. Finally. The Hybrid. Britain was the only other nation expected to contribute troops.

No one knows how much it will cost. If Saddam is gone and his sons dispatched. and it's madness to think that these people. While USCENTCOM worked on its plans in secret. One nightmare would be that Saddam used weapons of mass destruction against Israel and you'd end up with a US-Israeli war against Iraq. these plans also left the final sequence of events and the start of the war up in the air. and there will be those who want to hold on to whatever weapons they've held back. Iraq is a proud country that has been humiliated. Only three to four days would pass between A-Day and G-Day. While the planning exercises had sketched the broad lines of operation.in [the] control of some small army group with its own agenda. As Moseley said. Meanwhile. "After all of that. It was a degree of flexibility perhaps never seen before. With so many variables in play. one lasting benefit of the planning process was simply its side-effect of constant mental rehearsal. air and land effort to force Iraq into rapid collapse. Building. General Moseley likened it to weapons school instruction.298 It was a tall order for any military operation. you have an intellectual construct . and quickly. US-led Coalition forces would have the upper hand. but the operation had to succeed on many fronts. you have thought about this so much that you intuitively and instinctively know how far it is from al Qaim to al Kut to al Arnaud back to al Qaim to Mosul to Kirkuk to the southern oil fields. additional Coalition forces would already be in theater when hostilities started. while hating Saddam. The essence of USCENTCOM's war planning boiled down to speed and achieving a degree of operational surprise. we must have a stable. Former Reagan administration NSC official Geoffrey Kemp characterized the overall strategic setting that was influencing USCENTCOM's planning process: Whatever happens. This plan also put forward the idea that blocks of Iraqi forces would surrender quickly. General Franks wanted the campaign to be "fast and final" and warned his commanders: "I am going to push you hard. In fact. there was worldwide debate about the next steps in the war on terrorism. At the end of the day. Latent nationalism will emerge. reviewing and changing plans gave commanders and staff alike a crash course in terrain and tactics and made the Iraqi battlespace a familiar one. You could have an interruption in oil supplies. But it's important also that you look at the worst case. are in love with the United States. Bush cannot afford to fail. The danger is that these capabilities could pop up somewhere else . "299 90 .. you will still need two things: complete cooperation of whoever is running the show and inspection teams to cleanse every bedroom and every crevice in the palaces. You have no idea how hard I am going to push you.. you've still got Afghanistan. the plan as a whole depended on the use of airpower in several different forms to achieve simultaneous objectives ranging from attacks on leadership to rapid maneuver into Iraq.In this plan. War with Iraq was a high-stakes game. It also put great weight on a near-simultaneous SOF. They would need that experience when the time came." It was as though USCENTCOM had been a football team reviewing a season's worth of game tapes and thinking through all the possible defensive patterns and offensive plays.. The whole purpose of going in is to cleanse Iraq of all weapons of mass destruction capability. pro-Western government in Baghdad.

Efforts redoubled in the year before Operation Iraqi Freedom.I?" Southern Focus set conditions for rapid airstrikes against regime targets and gave the Coalition advance air superiority in the south. the war in Iraq actually started in 2002 with an upsurge in the effort to pick apart Iraq's air defenses. a generation of Airmen gained firsthand experience in "the sandbox. the quiet air war heated up. we think that they were pretty much out of business. "painting" Coalition aircraft with anti-aircraft sensors. beginning in 1999.2002. "Now is the time to start breaking these guys down. And there has been degradation of the integrated air defense system in Iraq.000 sorties against the integrated air defense system in Iraq and against surface-to-air missiles and their command and control. Generals Wald and Moseley had each seen the need to press hard on Iraq's air defenses. F or Airmen. and it delivered results vital to the upcoming campaign. it turned the no-fly zone patrols into a gradual but relentless air campaign. the Iraqis became more aggressive." she said. Operation Northern Watch and Operation Southern Watch were often routine. the focus on Iraq had already become almost a way oflife over the past decade. provided a typical example. Dubbed Operation Southern Focus. but over time. the war before the war gave USCENTCOM increased flexibility in its planning options and prepared the way for a massive combined arms blow. and "that really opened the door." 301 USCENTCOM declared that "Iraq fired at Coalition aircraft nearly 500 times" in the year 2002 and drew about 90 retaliation missions. But it backed up the UN inspections with demonstrations of force to add military pressure for compliance. "We ought to be taking some bold steps. General Franks approved the initiative." he added." Young aircrew members such as F-15C pilot Captain Samantha Weeks got their first taste of combat conditions while policing the no-fly zones." In June 2002. In many ways. 303 Southern Focus was not a formal part of US CENT COM's brewing war plans. The Coalition fired back with carefully placed precision attacks on air defense systems. 91 ." Gove acknow ledged." and "just take those out of the fight. Coalition aircraft "actually flew about 4.300 Then.Southern Focus Aircrews on patrol in the no-fly zone were already pushing hard on Iraq's air defenses. Now the no-fly zone fighters "were able to aggressively go after command and control and the surface to air missile sites that had been there for a long time. The total number of retaliatory strikes increased in 1999 and over time began to whittle away at Iraq's air defenses. Between June 2002 and March 2003. as Coalition aircraft bombed Iraqi air defense communication facilities near Al Kut and Basra in southern Iraq." said Jumper. Weeks described a day when she and her flight lead spotted an Iraqi jet that appeared to be in violation of the northern no-fly zone. Any opportunity that they have to understand the capabilities and the layout ofIraqi air defense weapons systems is useful for their own experience base. After Operation Desert Fox in December 1998. "We got to commit out on that Iraqi plane and that was awesome because you're going to do the job you trained for every single day." Jumper told his fellow members of the Joint Chiefs. At the Pentagon. Joint Staff spokesman Rear Admiral David Gove said that the pilots in the no-fly zone "are essentially flying combat missions. A broad team of joint and Coalition partners began patrolling Iraqi airspace in 1991 to enforce the two UN-backed no-fly zones." Jumper recalled. "By the time we got to March. Ultimately." according to Air Force Chief of Staff General John Jumper. 302 November 21. and "I had been bugging them in the Tank.

Kenya and Djibouti. disrupt and defeat transnational terrorist groups operating the region.and US military personnel also assisted in building roads. he stressed." Admiral Blair noted that even with the Americans working primarily at battalion headquarters there were still dangers. Somalia. on Operation Enduring Freedom. most notably in the 1998 bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. in which we have advantages to complement the human intelligence which is pretty well developed by the Philippines. understandably. It helped the Philippines strengthen their anti-terrorism capability . CJTF-HOA's primary mission was to "detect. At the same time. Admiral Blair made clear that Philippine military personnel were leading all operations. airspace and coastal waters of Sudan. it's important to recognize that our forces remain at risk in other extremely important operations as well. Ethiopia.Operation Southern Watch was the and coalition enforcement of the no-fly-zone in place in Iraq prior to the fall of Sad dam Hussein. In the USCENTCOM area. founded by a brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden. Eritrea. external support and material assistance for terrorist activity. notably Abu Sayyaf. I think. The Republic of the Philippines was home to indigenous Muslim extremist groups and had a history of being a transit point for al-Qaeda. Operation Enduring Freedom opened another chapter in October 2002 with the formation of Combined Joint Task Force-Hom of Africa. primarily technical intelligence. "We're helping them now with advisers and training and assistance and I think we're going to make them a lot more effective." said Admiral Dennis Blair. US Navy P-3s provided electronic surveillance while Special Forces conducted training and exercises. started in January 2002." said Admiral Dennis Blair. The Hom of Africa had a turbulent history of inter-state conflict and civil war. u. advice and assistance were the main tasks." The task 92 ." including denying them "safe havens. Yemen. Commander in Chief. its people had also been victims of al-Qaeda." said Secretary Rumsfeld in late April 2002. United States Pacific Command. "Our troops are not in the front lines. and it had also been identified as a breeding ground for terrorist operations. The Philippines and the Horn of Africa "Though we focus. CJTF-HOA's area of operations included the land. However. You bring those together you get a much better picture of what's going on."306 The exercise concentrated on the Basilan area. "We can provide intelligence. United States Pacific Command.300 US personnel before the exercise formally ended in July 2002.s.I''? The exercise ran for six months and ultimately involved over 1. host of the task force's headquarters at Camp Lemonier." said the admiral. The United States sent about six hundred troops to the Philippines in January 2002 to help train Philippine military personnel to find and stamp out terrorist groups. "They're not riding point in patrols out in the Philippines. Commander in Chief. in March 2002. bridges and well systems in the Basilan area.305 One such operation. in the Philippines.

A case was building for major military action. Above all. (DoD photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class James H. Air Force security forces helped provide airfield security. Navy) u.s. 29. host-nation training. The arguments whittled down to continued containment with renewed inspections versus military action to remove Saddam.308 Vice President Dick Cheney said of Saddam: "What he wants is time and more time to husband his resources. voiced his opinion that limited airstrikes or Iraqi-led insurgencies would not work. To accomplish its mission. there was the problem of Iraq's uncertain WMD arsenal.force also was chartered with countering the re-emergence of terrorist groups. for one. The Nimitz battle group is operating in the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch. u. "They have chemical weapons and biological weapons and they have an appetite for nuclear weapons and have been working on them for a good many years.s. along with allies such as France. 1998. and there's an awful lot we don't know about their programs." Secretary Rumsfeld said. there was still much to be done in building the case against Iraq and trying to enlist cooperation from the United Nations and from allies."309 Navy Lt. Airmen made many different contributions to the new task force. B-52s based elsewhere in theater joined livefire exercises to provide close air support training. Watson. Secretary Rumsfeld.800 US personnel. began to carry out a number of activities ranging from direct action counter-terrorism operations to multinational exercises. Airmen on the j oint headquarters staff helped in the key mission of collecting sensitive intelligence around the region. Although military planning and no-fly zone operations were well under way. such as organizing charitable donations. and improving the long-term stability of the region. Rick Krystof watches an F-14 Tomcat hurtle down the catapult of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) on Jan. 93 . CJTF-HOA truly embodied the many techniques used in the global war on terrorism. Building the Case Late summer and early autumn of 2002 brought Iraq back into the public debate. Intelligence reports indicated six coups had been attempted in Iraq since 1991 and all six had failed. and projects designed to improve civil military relations. the 1. to invest in his ongoing chemical and biological weapons programs. and to gain possession of nuclear arms.

"Baghdad's vigorous concealment efforts have meant that specific information on many aspects ofIraq's WMD programs is yet to be uncovered.t'U'' Congress passed the resolution on October 11.President Bush urged Congress to "act now to pass a resolution." President Bush said of UN resolution 1441.t'U! On November 8. "The world has now come together to say that the outlaw regime in Iraq will not be permitted to build or possess chemical. The components had to build stronger working relationships. The UN had a little more time to make diplomacy work . Those same resolutions formed the legal basis for the nofly zones and gave the Coalition a broad foundation for military action against Iraq.U'' Following USCENTCOM's lead." General Moseley explained. One innovative move was to rehearse tactics for the Scud hunt expected to unfold in Western Iraq. A CIA white paper issued in October 2002 stated. and above all. Congress authorized the President to use military force against Iraq "as he determines to be necessary and appropriate" to: • • Defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq. Rehearsals for War With the diplomatic clock ticking. "Moody Suter taught all of us a long time ago that you're only surprised by [what] you don't think about. and Enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq. It started with advanced planning. the air component had started its own crisis action planning at USCENTAF's stateside headquarters in January 2002. biological or nuclear weapons." It called for unrestricted access for weapons inspectors and warned that any "false statements" or other non-compliance would put Iraq in material breach not just of 1441. Iraq fired 39 Scuds at Israel during the 1991 Gulf War.312 The latest resolution offered Iraq "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations. For the fight that lay ahead. Although many members expressed misgivings. which will hold Saddam Hussein to account for a decade of defiance. more of a shared understanding of what airpower could and could not do for the land component and other elements of the joint force.and US forces had time for an extraordinary round of rehearsals in case diplomacy failed. and it took diplomatic pressure and quick dispatch of Patriot anti-missile batteries to Israel to prevent that nation from retaliating. the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1441. President Bush met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Washington and discussed the need for Israel not to retaliate if hit by 94 . Scuds in western Iraq posed the same potential problem in 2003.all of which were designed to prod Iraq into authentic disarmament. Different Iraqi triggers or defensive actions could directly affect the air component's operations. but of the long series of binding UN resolutions dating back to April 1991 . Planning conferences allowed the air commanders to think through potential complexities. 2002. the air and land component coordination had to improve. In February 2002. the Air Force used the fall of 2002 to sharpen its skills for conflict in Iraq. 2002. Planning and exercises that fall gave the Air Force a chance to correct shortfalls from Operation Enduring Freedom and thoroughly prepare for operations in Iraq.

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