Monday, December 29, 2008

Ten years ago: 355th EFS returned home from OSW after participating in Operation Desert Fox

By Joachim Jacob

Today, the Alaskan Fairbanks Daily News-Miner published the following archived news article:

Looking Back in Fairbanks — Dec. 29

Published Monday, December 29, 2008


Dec. 29, 1998 — As he guided his A-10 Thunderbolt II into the open hangar, Lt. Col. Bill Travnick raised his hands, each clenched into triumphant fist.

A few minutes later, he climbed down the collapsible ladder stored inside the A-10 behind a door that had written on it in black marker: "Wild Bill in Queen B Kickin' Ass."

Travnick explained his enthusiasm after his wife and four children arrived, spilling out of the back of a box truck to hug and kiss him.

"We're just glad to be home," said Travnick, commander of the 355th Fighter Squadron based at Eielson Air Force Base. The unit was deployed during the recent four-day air assault in Iraq.


Background info: From October to December 1998, elements of the 355th Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Wing (PACAF), Eielson AFB, Alaska, were deployed to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Group at Ahmed Al Jaber AB, Kuwait, in support of Operation Southern Watch. A PDF file Eielson AFB A-10 History, edited by Eielson AFB, Office of History, states the following:

Oct- Dec 98: The 355 FS deployed to support Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. The Warthogs saw their second tour of combat duty over Iraq while participating in the 16-19 Dec 98 Operation DESERT FOX strike missions. In 2.5 months, the 355th FS flew 597 combat and combat support sorties leading up to, then conducting, National Command Authority directed strikes on Iraqi military facilities and suspected weapons of mass destruction storage areas. They achieved 100 percent target-hit rate.

Another PDF file History of the 354th Fighter Wing and Eielson AFB states:

October - December 1998 - The wing deployed both of its flying squadrons to Al Jaber AB, Kuwait to support Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. During the deployment, the 355 FS participated in Operation DESERT FOX, becoming the first Alaska-based unit to engage enemy targets since World War II.

Related info:
Operation Desert Fox
Operation DESERT FOX: Effectiveness With Unintended Effects
Operation Desert Fox
Bombing of Iraq (December 1998)

I will check the web and my archives for further background info.

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