Consulate Crisis! Part 3 – A Command: Modern Air Naval Operations and Combat Mission Shock Force AAR

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The second Tomahawk strike is quickly planned. Target responsibilities remain the same as the first strike, and the package is largely similar. Remaining SAM sites will receive five Tomahawks, while radar sites and strategic targets will receive two. In total, 48 Tomahawks are launched.



By: IICptMillerII,

The Tomahawks fired from the Bainbridge against the two remaining SA-5 sites impact their targets, silencing them for good. A couple of minutes later the rest of the Tomahawks hit their assigned targets. The strike is effective. All of the SAM sites are now either completely destroyed or so heavily damaged that they are now combat ineffective. Most of the targeted radar sites are destroyed or damaged as well. With this second strike, the Regimes ability to defend its own airspace over Al Mout has been greatly reduced.


Now that the airspace over Al Mout is much more conducive, the U-2 is ordered to move in closer to begin direct observation of the city and surrounding area. This will aid in the airport alpha strike and the amphibious infiltration of the city by providing constant real time intelligence. Up until now all of the allied intelligence has been electronically gathered, whether it be from ELINT or radar. Getting eyes on with the U-2 will give our forces much better situational awareness. Flying at an altitude of 85,000 feet, the U-2 will be safe from any known or unknown SAM threats. The Global Hawk is also on its way and, after arriving on station, will enter the airspace over Al Mout to provide direct intelligence to the Marine Landing Party.

The U-2 arrives on station and gets eyes on the airport. One runway is undamaged, and the other is partially damaged. There are only a few aircraft spotted parked in open tarmac spaces. The rest are likely parked in the many hardened aircraft structures, which will be the primary target of the upcoming alpha strike.


An alpha strike is the term the US Navy uses instead of strike package. In general, it means a large strike against a high valued target. More specifically, it can refer to a strike comprising multiple squadrons, with aircraft totaling half the total number on an aircraft carrier. The practice was first developed in the 1960’s during the Vietnam War.

VFA-86, all twelve aircraft, will conduct an alpha strike against Al Mout International Airport. The targets are:

  • 4x Surface Ammo Bunkers
  • 2x Runways

These are the final targets that need to be neutralized in order to shut down the airfield for good.

All twelve Hornets are equipped with the same loadout; 2x AGM-154C BROACH JSOW glide bombs, 1x AMRAAM and 2x Sidewinders for air defense. The Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) is a precision guided glide weapon designed to give aircraft a long-range precision strike capability. It is GPS guided, making it all weather and extremely accurate, and can be launched at ranges between 2-45nm. Additionally, because it is GPS guided, the weapon is fire and forget, allowing aircraft to immediately turn around and stay in safe airspace instead of having to loiter in hostile airspace to keep a target painted. The BROACH warhead is a two-stage warhead designed to penetrate hardened targets, similar to a bunker buster bomb. The warhead itself is 1000 pounds.

The strike is given the go to launch at 0651 zulu, and by 0657 all twelve aircraft are in the air and en route.


As the aircraft of VFA-86 make their way to the target, the airfield and airspace are under constant surveillance. If the enemy spots the incoming strike and tries to launch interceptors against it, there are six CAP Hornets that can interdict the interceptors. The U-2 orbiting high overhead should give plenty of advanced warning by spotting moving aircraft on the tarmac below.

The flight time to weapon release is very short, only about five minutes, thanks to the standoff capability of the JSOW. The first six plane formation reaches the weapon release point and pickles (aviation shorthand for dropping a bomb) off 12 JSOWs. A few moments later, the second formation pickles off their JSOWs.


No enemy aircraft are seen taxiing to the runway to intercept, and as the JSOWs close in on the airfield, no anti-aircraft fire is launched to interdict the weapons. It is likely that due to the cumulative effects of past air and Tomahawk strikes, the airfield doesn’t even know it is under attack.

A few minutes later, and the weapons hit their targets. All weapons hit their targets, and the orbiting U-2 provides a quick battle damage assessment (“BDA”). Both runways are completely destroyed. All four ammunition bunkers are heavily damaged, and one of them is engulfed in flames. The air traffic control tower, as well as other buildings are confirmed to be destroyed. Al Mout International Airport is now incapable of supporting fixed wing aerial operations.

The way is now clear for the USS Wasp and the 2nd MEU.

Stay tuned for Part 4!


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