By Christopher E. Haave
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Additional resources for A-10s Over Kosovo: The Victory of Airpower Over a Fielded Army as Told by Those Airmen Who Fought in Operation Allied Force
That was as late as I could arrive and still be prepared for the briefing and as early as I could arrive to meet “crew rest” requirements. The hubbub in the hallways took on an ominous tone as a breathless major, who worked in the “Wingtip” (31st AEW’s planning cell), ran up to us with maps in hand. He said, “The CAOC didn’t get approval to use Macedonian airspace to attack Kosovo and you’ll all have to go through Albania. ” This was not good news. The F15Es would be the only fighters that would be allowed to fly through Macedonian airspace, since they were categorized as air defense.
The squadron continued to maintain CSAR and CAS ground alert for the following two weeks. Most Panther A-10s returned to Spangdahlem on 28 June, with the last six flying home on 11 July. Lt Col Chris “Kimos” Haave commanded the 81st EFS. 74th Fighter Squadron “Flying Tigers” The 74th EFS was formed initially with personnel and aircraft of the 74th FS Flying Tigers, Pope AFB, North Carolina, in response to a US European Command (EUCOM) request for four additional aircraft. After the success of the 81st’s AFAC missions in early April, EUCOM decided to increase the A-10 presence over Kosovo.
On 12 March Colonel Johnson and Colonel Carpenter (CAOC division chiefs for operations [C3] and plans [C5]) came to Aviano to discuss employment concepts with Col Jeffrey Eberhart (our 31st EOG commander). Coke and Goldie were invited to their meeting, and Goldie quickly briefed them on his AFAC concept. During the next two days, FS weapons officers and leadership representatives (rep) from the 81st (A-10s), 510th and 555th (F-16CGs), 23d (F-16CJ), and 492d and 494th (F-15Es) hashed out the plan’s details.