Axeghanistan ’09: Chopper-Bombing Drone-Killer

23.10.09

Categorie: Afghanistan, Air, Axe in Afghanistan '09, David Axe, Robots |

It was a war we thought we’d won. But after eight years of escalating violence, the Afghanistan conflict has morphed into something perhaps unwinnable. U.S.-led forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to deny sanctuary to Al Qaeda, a goal we’ve largely achieved. But in years of occupation, Washington has apparently conflated counter-terrorism with nation-building. Now the U.S., NATO and their allies are struggling to destroy a deeply-rooted insurgency in country with a corrupt, ineffective government, poor infrastructure and few prospects for everyday people, but to fight. David Axe visits U.S. forces to see for himself.

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by DAVID AXE

Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle tail number 89-0487 is one lucky jet. Deployed to Bagram air base in eastern Afghanistan with the 335th Fighter Squadron, the jet has dropped lots of bombs on the Taliban. But that’s not what makes it stand out. It hasn’t been reported anywhere else, but 89-0487 is the fighter that shot down a “rogue” U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone in September, after the Reaper’s controllers lost contact with the robot and it hurtled towards the Afghan border.

Today 89-0487 sports a tiny Sidewinder missile, painted under the canopy, to commemorate the kill. The marking is next to a star marking, indicating that this storied jet was also the one that killed an airborne Iraqi Mi-8 helicopter during Operation Desert Storm, by dropping a laser-guided bomb on it.

Most jets are lucky to get one kill, of any type. F-15E 89-0487 has two of the weirdest kills possible.

The Afghan air war is deadly serious business. But that doesn’t mean airmen can’t have a little fun. One F-16 pilot invited me to write message to the Taliban on a laser-guided bomb. I’m sending them my Website address. Always interested in reaching out to new readers.

(Photo: David Axe)

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35 Responses to “Axeghanistan ’09: Chopper-Bombing Drone-Killer”

  1. David M says:

    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 10/23/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  2. ELP says:

    Wow. That is odd.

  3. [...] Over at War is Boring, David Axe, a civilian war correspondent, notes the unique history of a particular F-15E Strike Eagle.  The fighter has a star and a Sidewinder stamped on its side, indicating two very unique air-to-air kills. [...]

  4. [...] aren’t perfect, as the Air Force discovered in 2009 when a Reaper drone went haywire and had to be shot down by an F-15. The Air Force and Navy have admitted that the control link represents a critical [...]

  5. [...] aren’t perfect, as the Air Force discovered in 2009 when a Reaper drone went haywire and had to be shot down by an F-15. The Air Force and Navy have admitted that the control link represents a critical [...]

  6. [...] aren’t perfect, as the Air Force discovered in 2009 when a Reaper drone went haywire and had to be shot down by an F-15. The Air Force and Navy have admitted that the control link represents a critical [...]

  7. [...] aren’t perfect, as the Air Force discovered in 2009 when a Reaper drone went haywire and had to be shot down by an F-15. The Air Force and Navy have admitted that the control link represents a critical [...]

  8. [...] aren’t perfect, as the Air Force discovered in 2009 when a Reaper drone went haywire and had to be shot down by an F-15. The Air Force and Navy have admitted that the control link represents a critical [...]

  9. [...] aren’t perfect, as the Air Force discovered in 2009 when a Reaper drone went haywire and had to be shot down by an F-15. The Air Force and Navy have admitted that the control link represents a critical [...]

  10. [...] aren’t perfect, as the Air Force discovered in 2009 when a Reaper drone went haywire and had to be shot down by an F-15. The Air Force and Navy have admitted that the control link represents a critical [...]

  11. [...] aren’t perfect, as the Air Force discovered in 2009 when a Reaper drone went haywire and had to be shot down by an F-15. The Air Force and Navy have admitted that the control link represents a critical [...]

  12. [...] aren’t perfect, as the Air Force discovered in 2009 when a Reaper drone went haywire and had to be shot down by an F-15. The Air Force and Navy have admitted that the control link represents a critical [...]

  13. [...] aren’t perfect, as the Air Force discovered in 2009 when a Reaper drone went haywire and had to be shot down by an F-15. The Air Force and Navy have admitted that the control link represents a critical [...]

  14. [...] aren’t perfect, as the Air Force discovered in 2009 when a Reaper drone went haywire and had to be shot down by an F-15. The Air Force and Navy have admitted that the control link represents a critical [...]

  15. [...] aren’t perfect, as the Air Force discovered in 2009 when a Reaper drone went haywire and had to be shot down by an F-15. The Air Force and Navy have admitted that the control link represents a critical [...]

  16. [...] aren’t perfect, as the Air Force discovered in 2009 when a Reaper drone went haywire and had to be shot down by an F-15. The Air Force and Navy have admitted that the control link represents a critical [...]

  17. [...] Many other worker mishaps have not been included in a Air Force statistics.  Examples embody a haywire MQ-9 Reaper worker that had to be shot out of a Afghan skies by a warrior jet in 2009, a remotely-operated Navy [...]

  18. [...] Many other drone mishaps have not been included in the Air Force statistics.  Examples include a haywire MQ-9 Reaper drone that had to be shot out of the Afghan skies by a fighter jet in 2009, a remotely-operated [...]

  19. [...] other drone mishaps have not been included in the Air Force statistics.  Examples include a haywire MQ-9 Reaper drone that had to be shot out of the Afghan skies by a fighter jet in 2009, a remotely-operated [...]

  20. [...] Many other worker mishaps have not been enclosed in a Air Force statistics.  Examples embody a haywire MQ-9 Reaper worker that had to be shot out of a Afghan skies by a warrior jet in 2009, a remotely-operated Navy [...]

  21. [...] other drone mishaps have not been included in the Air Force statistics.  Examples include a haywire MQ-9 Reaper drone that had to be shot out of the Afghan skies by a fighter jet in 2009, a remotely-operated [...]

  22. [...] other drone mishaps have not been included in the Air Force statistics.  Examples include a haywire MQ-9 Reaper drone that had to be shot out of the Afghan skies by a fighter jet in 2009, a remotely-operated [...]

  23. [...] other drone mishaps have not been included in the Air Force statistics.  Examples include a haywire MQ-9 Reaper drone that had to be shot out of the Afghan skies by a fighter jet in 2009, a remotely-operated [...]

  24. [...] Many other drone mishaps have not been included in the Air Force statistics.  Examples include a haywire MQ-9 Reaper drone that had to be shot out of the Afghan skies by a fighter jet in 2009, a remotely-operated [...]

  25. [...] Many other worker mishaps have not been enclosed in a Air Force statistics.  Examples embody a haywire MQ-9 Reaper worker that had to be shot out of a Afghan skies by a warrior jet in 2009, a remotely-operated Navy [...]

  26. [...] Many other drone mishaps have not been included in the Air Force statistics.  Examples include a haywire MQ-9 Reaper drone that had to be shot out of the Afghan skies by a fighter jet in 2009, a remotely-operated [...]

  27. [...] Many other drone mishaps have not been included in the Air Force statistics.  Examples include a haywire MQ-9 Reaper drone that had to be shot out of the Afghan skies by a fighter jet in 2009, a remotely-operated [...]

  28. [...] Many other worker mishaps have not been enclosed in a Air Force statistics. Examples include a haywire MQ-9 Reaper worker that had to be shot out of a Afghan skies by a warrior jet in 2009, a remotely-operated Navy [...]

  29. [...] Many other drone mishaps have not been included in the Air Force statistics.  Examples include a haywire MQ-9 Reaper drone that had to be shot out of the Afghan skies by a fighter jet in 2009, a remotely-operated [...]

  30. [...] Many other drone mishaps have not been included in the Air Force statistics.  Examples include a haywire MQ-9 Reaper drone that had to be shot out of the Afghan skies by a fighter jet in 2009, a remotely-operated [...]

  31. [...] Many other drone mishaps have not been included in the Air Force statistics.  Examples include a haywire MQ-9 Reaper drone that had to be shot out of the Afghan skies by a fighter jet in 2009, a remotely-operated [...]

  32. [...] Many other drone mishaps have not been included in the Air Force statistics.  Examples include a haywire MQ-9 Reaper drone that had to be shot out of the Afghan skies by a fighter jet in 2009, a remotely-operated [...]

  33. [...] Many other drone mishaps have not been included in the Air Force statistics. Examples include a haywire MQ-9 Reaper drone that had to be shot out of the Afghan skies by a fighter jet in 2009, a remotely-operated [...]

  34. [...] Many other drone mishaps have not been included in the Air Force statistics.  Examples include a haywire MQ-9 Reaper drone that had to be shot out of the Afghan skies by a fighter jet in 2009, a remotely-operated [...]

  35. [...] perfect, as the Air Force discovered in 2009 when a Reaper drone went haywire and had to be shot down by an F-15. The Air Force and Navy have admitted that the control link represents a critical [...]

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