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New Details on the Mission to Rescue Downed F-15E Crew

by John Reed on June 7, 2011

This video posted over on Steve Trimble’s blog, The DEW Line provides some interesting details of the mission to rescue the crew of the Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle that went down in Libya a couple of months ago. We’ve all heard that Marines aboard the MV-22 Ospreys  sent to rescue the pilot opened fire when they thought they may have encountered enemy fighters. However, the video features Lt Col Romin Dasmalchi, former commanding officer of VMM-266 saying that the crashed Strike Eagle’s wingman remained on station performing strafing runs to keep the enemy from the downed crewmen and that he was soon joined by two Marine Corps Harriers who also performed kinetic ops. This is the first time I’ve heard it confirmed that the fast movers dropped ordnance during the rescue.

“There was kinetic stuff going on there,” says Dasmalchi in the video. “The guy on the ground was calling for strikes, his wingman performed some strafing runs our guys got on board, the Harriers, they actually had some engagements so there was enemy activity in the vicinity of this guy.”

The colonel goes on to say that the Ospreys’ speed allowed the Marines to shave an hour or more off the amount of time it would have taken to execute the mission using traditional helos.

The back seater from the downed jet managed to make his way to rebel lines and was turned over to U.S. forces a short while after the pilot was rescued.

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