Refueling the Northern Iraq 2003 Air War

Welcome to episode forty-eight of the Lessons from the Cockpit Show!

Reading about how the Iraqi Freedom North War was planned and executed in March and April of 2003, I realized there are a lot of mistakes in the narrative out there. As Chief of the Air Refueling Control Team for the 2003 Iraqi Freedom Shock and Awe campaign, I felt it was a great time to tell what the Air Refueling Control Team experts had to overcome to accomplish some incredible feats, one of those being two of the longest strike missions in Naval Aviation history… 2800 nautical miles roundtrip!

The Lessons from the Cockpit podcast is supported by Wall Pilot, custom aviation art for the walls of your home, office, or hanger. These beautifully drawn aircraft profiles are printed on vinyl so you can peel them off and stick them to any flat surface. Visit and order from our 126 Ready-to-Print profiles or have them draw a custom print of your favorite airplane.

Captain Stephen “Moose” Laukaitis was the Deputy Carrier Air Wing Eight Commander during the Shock and Awe campaign. His F/A-18C Hornet can be purchased here from Wall Pilot.

Thanks for listening to this episode and please share this and previous episodes of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast with your family and friends found on my website at

I hope all of you here in the United States have a great Thanksgiving with family and friends around the dinner table. 

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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