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By Bill Gunston

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I had made a few more self-correcting gun runs before “Trident 6” came back with approval for a GBU-12. Here’s where I made a tactical error. I come back around and dropped the LGB on ZPU-1, but a big fire that close to where you’re dropping a laser-guided weapon will drown out laser energy. Without guidance the bomb landed ten metres short, so I came back around and requested a GBU-38. By the time I had flown another orbit the drop had been approved. The JDAM landed on the gun and completely destroyed it.

Each time I flew I kept a list of all the ground commanders, all the JTACs and all the frequencies that I’d used, so I knew roughly where these guys were situated in the Helmand River valley. I just started jumping around to different frequencies trying to find a ground commander who thought it was a good idea to blow this thing up. I knew the PID [Positive Identification] was going to be an issue, so I asked the DASC to relay via IRC [Internet Relay Chat] my request to any assets that could confirm that I was indeed looking at a AAA piece – I was asking for a UAV.

His efforts that day, along with those of squadronmate Capt Jeremiah Parvin, saved the lives of six Marines from MSOT-5 (USAF) Pulling away hard from a KC-135 tanker, A-10C 79-0179 of the 75th EFS dispenses flares for a USAF ‘combat cameraman’ on 12 November 2008. Designed to decoy infrared missiles, the flares have been widely used in OEF to provide ‘show of force’ demonstrations to discourage enemy activity and give reassurance to ISAF troops (USAF) compared to grenades going off ] a second exploding behind you, followed by the sound of the gun.

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