The Official F-15 Strike Eagle Handbook

by Richard Sheffield

Mission 7: The Persian Gulf

Scenario: Several times a year, the U.S. Navy conducts maneuvers in the Persian Gulf to show our determination to keep this vital shipping avenue open. This mission pits your F-15—flying on Combat Air Patrol—against attacking Iranian jets and missiles.

Tactics. Since this is the final mission, you probably expect it to be the toughest. You won't be disappointed.

There's no easy or best way to complete this mission. All the possible threats are waiting for you with expert-level operation. Skill and patience will be necessary to destroy all three primary targets and return safely to base. You'll probably take a hit or two in the process.

Once hit, you should immediately determine the handling capabilities of the aircraft and return to base if necessary.

This mission can be broken down into two, or possibly three, steps.

Part I. The first flight is the optional one and consists of a Wild Weasel-style raid on one or two SAM locations on the western bank of the gulf. Destroying these targets will make the flight up to the northernmost target much safer, but will expose you to heavy missile fire during your bomb run and increase your exposure to Iranian aircraft also in the area. You'll have to make this decision: Do you want to complete the mission in two highly dangerous trips or three only slightly less dangerous steps?

I recommend attacking the northernmost target first since it's the most difficult. It's very frustrating to fight your way in and out, destroying the first two targets, only to fail in your attempt on the third. By attacking in this order, you can rack up several bomb hits on each of the lower primary targets and increase your point total. If you get more than one hit on these targets on the first part of the mission and return to base, the mission will be over.

Part II. Once you've successfully completed the first part of your mission, the second part should be no problem.

Figure 8-3. Mission 7

Mission 7 requires at least two, and possibly three, strikes against the various targets.

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