For the first mission, we end up with “Close Air Support”. This is a tough mission because it’s so close to friendlies that ordnance misses place more stress on the pilots. It also looks like we have two SA-11s near the target with some AAA and an SA-8 in the center.
For this mission, I take five aircraft plus an E2C-Hawkeye. Getting this mission already places 1 stress on the pilots since there’s no time to prepare. It’s basically a scramble.
Besides the 3 escorts and the Hawkeye, I’ve brought along an EA-6 Intruder to help take out the SAMs and an A-6 Intruder to drop ordnance on the target.
On the way to the target, we draw a “Charlie Foxtrot” card (which basically means, “cluster f^*k”), which reduces our time over the target. One of the SAMs gets a shot off at the E2C Hawkeye, who successfully evades the shot. The EA-6 Intruder takes out the three SAMs near the target area plus the SA-8. A Mig-23 flying over the target area is quickly downed by an F-14 Tomcat.
Over the target, there are two ordnance misses with Mk84s, which results in 2 additional stress due to the possibility of friendly fire. THe E-2C pilot is stressed out big time from having to dodge the SAM near the target.
As we get back, there are problems with fleet resupply, which will limit the munitions available on the next mission. Three of my pilots need rest and time to de-stress over that last mission but I’m not sure there will be enough time for it. Day 1 is complete.