A Very Proud & Very Successful Engineer Friend sent this video from Fallujah with the following report:
This is a video from a F16 doing CAS (close air support) during the recent fighting in Fallujah. We have been bombing insurgent “safe houses” with some success recently. This F16 was on such a mission, to hit a building with an LGB (laser guided bomb).
After the weapon had been launched 30+ insurgents left the building en masse to hurry to a nearby engagement with US Marines. The fighting had been going on for hours. The pilot communicates with the FAC (forward air controller) either in the air or on the ground, and changes the flight path of the bomb while it is en route to the target. You can clearly see the “L” flashing in the MFD (multi-function display), and TGP (terminally guided projectile) is selected. It is the pilot who says “I got numerous individuals on the road, do you want me to take those out?” The FAC says “Take em out!”
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Now, to put this in focus for you so you can get a glimpse into the complexities of the modern battlefield and the flexibilities of the modern U.S. war fighter: You have a supersonic high performance aircraft being driven by a single pilot who, under the tactical control of a FAC, launches a PGM (precision guided munition) at a designated structure (building). The pilot uses the aircraft’s laser guidance video display to guide the weapon to the target (precision). Remember, he is also flying the aircraft. The pilot sees the video on his heads-up display and notices a bunch of combatants leaving the targeted building, turning the corner and heading down the street towards an active firefight. The pilot advises the FAC of the change in the status of the target requesting to target the combatants en route to the firefight rather than hitting an empty building.
My friend adds, “If you have to fight a war, make sure the other guy dies for his country.”
Update: This blast took place at an earlier date but the outcome was certain.