Inside the Strike Eagle Raid

Inside the Strike Eagle Raid: One of the F-15E Strike Eagle pilots behind last week’s strike on a cave complex in Afghanistan for Operation Mountain Lion said identifying the caves dug into a 7,000-foot snow-capped mountain and masked by the irregular, rocky terrain was “tougher than most people would think.” “Shag” and his weapon systems officer “Pepe” told an Air Force journalist that they flew the first pass of the preplanned strike to destroy the caves used to launch mortar and rocket attacks. The two F-15Es from the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron each scored accurate hits—and noted the secondary explosions as stored munitions exploded. According to the other WSO, “Wrecker,” who flew with “Face,” there “was literally nothing left of the caves.”