Mole Crickets and Poobah’s Party: Electronic Warfare

Welcome to the seventy-third episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit Show! I am your host Mark Hasara, former KC-135 pilot and air war planner.

The US Air Force is replacing the EC-130H Compass Call with the Gulfstream G550 EA-37B, missioinized to perform the same electronic warfare missions and functions. This episode describes what some of those functions are and gives historical examples from air operations how electronic warfare dominated the battlefield… Israeli Air Force Operation Mole Cricket 19 and the Bekka Valley Turkey Shoot to the opening night of Operation Desert Storm and the takedown of Saddam’s Integrated Air Defense System via PooBah’s Party.

This episode of the lessons from the Cockpit show is sponsored by the book Tanker Pilot, found in all four formats on Amazon: hardback, softback with black and white pictures, Kindle and Audible. The Kindle and Audile versions have an extra file with the thirty-two pictures which downloads with the book.

Lessons from the Cockpit is also financially sponsored by Wall Pilot, custom aviation art for the walls of your home, office, or hanger. Go by and chose from 138 very detailed Ready-to-Print aircraft profiles printed on vinyl in four, six, and eight foot long images you can peel off and stick to any flat surface. Wall Pilot can create custom profiles of your favorite aircraft with your name, tail number and weapons load on aircraft from World War II to Fifth Gen fighters.

In the electronic warfare arena, if commander’s want to hard kill an Surface-to-Air Missile site they send in the Lockheed Martin F-16CJ Wild Weasel. This Viper Weasel is named BOB, the 35th Fighter Wing’s flagship aircraft. The Crew Chief used a grease pencil to fill in the left sides of the eights to create BOB as it’s tail number!

The 55th Reconnaissance Wing from Offutt Air Force Base is the home of two RC-135W Rivet Joint electronic and signals intelligence collection squadrons. This RC-135W flies with the 343rd Reconnaissance Squadron and plays a critical role in the exploitation of the electronic battlefield.

General Dynamic EF-111A Raven was employed throughout Operation Desert Storm to jam Iraqi air defense early warning and acquisition radar system. This EF-111A Spark Vark as crew’s called it flew with the 390th Electronic Combat Squadron Wild Boars during Desert Storm. It was based out of Mountain Home Air Force Base Idaho before being retired in May 1998.

On their last combat deployment before retiring the airframes to the Boneyard, the LTV A-7E Corsair II flying off the USS John F Kennedy were part of PooBah’s Party in taking down Saddam’s SAMs in and around the Baghdad area. This A-7E belonged to the VA-72 Blue Hawks Squadron Skipper, Commander JR “Shooter” Saunders. The A-7E is armed with AGM-88 High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles or HARMs.

The VA-195 Dambusters had the coolest squadron markings during the late Vietnam air campaign. When the US Navvy was hunting Surface-to-Air-Missiles or SAMs, the mission was nicknamed IRON HAND. This is the VA-195 CAG jet loaded with Mk 20 Rockeye cluster bombs and AGM-45 Shrike anti-radiation missiles flying off the USS Kitty Hawk in 1972. 

This F-4E from the 388th Tac Fighter Wing flying out of Tahkli Royal Thai Air Base is configured for a SAM Suppression mission in the Hunter-Killer role. The F-105G Wild Weasel Thunderchief finds the SAM site and destroys the radar with anti-radiation missiles and the F-4 drops CBU-52 cluster bombs on the launchers.

Thanks for taking the time to download and listen to this episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit Show! I really do appreciate all of you who have gone by my website and downloaded over 22,000 episodes of my show. This and previous episodes of the Lesson from the Cockpit Show can be found on my website at

Through the holidays I will be posting an episode every other week. My family and myself wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Check out this episode

Mark Hasara

Have a great Day!

Sluggo Sends!

P.S. — If you’re reading my book Tanker Pilot: Lessons from the Cockpit, I’d really love to hear your thoughts in a review on Amazon here, I read them all.

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