A-10s Tag Team with P-3s to Savage Libyan Coast Guard

More good Libya NFZ gouge from our new favorite AFA cadet Patrick Casey via the “Tell DT” link.  (Use it early and often, folks.)

The Information Dissemination blog reports the following:

A U.S. Navy P-3C Maritime Patrol aircraft, a U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft and guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG-52) engaged Libyan Coast Guard vessel Vittoria and two smaller crafts after confirmed reports that Vittoria and accompanying craft were firing indiscriminately at merchant vessels in the port of Misrata, Libya, during the evening March 28, 2011.

The P-3C fired at Vittoria with AGM-65F Maverick missiles after multiple explosions were observed in the vicinity of the port rendering the 12-meter patrol vessel ineffective and forcing it to be beached.

Two small crafts were fired upon by an A-10 using its 30mm GAU-8/ Avenger gatling cannon, destroying one and forcing the other to be abandoned.

Barry provided situational awareness for the aircraft by managing the airspace and maintaining the maritime picture.

So along with being a no-fly and no-drive-your-armored-vehicle zone, Libya is also a no-sail-your-combatant zone.  Not judging; just wanna keep track of the picture as it develops.

Oh, and Military.com is reporting that the rebels are now losing Misurata, but that’s probably okay because Adm. Stavaridis (EUCOM) has indicated that some of the rebels have ties to al Qaeda.  (Are you getting all of this?)


  • Zap

    Did anybody really believe the propaganda that this is a humanitarian intervention ?
    Its been a set up from the start - Libyan army massacre hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators - Libyan air-force dropping bombs on pro-democracy protests - remember all that ? , it never happened , all pretexts ,not reasons, for the military operations that are going on now .
    And there are loads of innocent anti-Gaddafi pro-Democracy civilians in Surt right ?
    That need us to protect them from their own military by bombing and supporting armed rebels who are firing rocket artillery indiscriminately at them?

    And notices how the mainstream media conveniently now overlooks the fact that a very large percentage of those armed rebels , sorry i mean freedom fighters , happen to be Egyptians

    Some journalist should write a book titled “How Western Democracies Go To War ”
    do a blog post on Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi while you are at it

    • yousuck

      go away

    • blight

      If they were mostly Egyptians, then the Libyan Army would likely have repelled them. However, it seems that someone doesn’t quite have their finger on the will of the people anymore…

  • msufalcon

    I feel like the air strikes in Libya are one great weapons expo…here’s the Rafale blowing up tanks (2 for 1 special if you buy in the next fifteen minutes) and here’s an A-10 strafing ships, bet you didn’t know you could do that..

    • Nadnerbus

      Sunday Sunday Sunday, in Lib Lib Libya! It’s air power MADNESS! Featuring GRAVE DIGGER! Followed by Strike Eagle attacks against hardened IADS targets!

    • Bman

      The antiship maverick must be absolutly worthless. It has a 300lb penetrating warhead and it couldnt even destroy a 38 ft boat with 2 direct hits! At $160,000 per missile it cost more to disable the boat than it cost to build it! It would have been cheaper and more effective to hit it with a Hellfire missile!

  • William C.

    So if the rebels are losing and that isn’t a bad thing what are we doing here again? If these are hardcore Islamists we might as well leave tomorrow and let Gaddafi and them fight back and forth for however long they let.

  • SJE

    As I said in an earlier post, the real story is the importance of TRAINING. The US can provide all sorts of great air support, but the rebel fighters are untrained and undisciplined. No development of defensive works to hold captured territory allows the Ghaddaffi forces to roll right back over them.

  • Valentina

    The U.S. military base at Camp Lejeune (North Carolina) over 2200 marine are preparing to be sent off the Libyan coast.

    The soldiers belong to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, a task force specializes in ground fighting and air. The task force is able to carry out humanitarian missions or evacuation of civilians. The Marines were to be sent in the Mediterranean at the end of 2011 but their departure was accelerated by the events in Libya. The Marines are aboard the warship Bataan in the coming days that will sail the Mediterranean at a time for a mission that could last ten months.
    Alla conquista della Libia

    • Valentina

      The 22nd MEU is a Marine Air Ground Task Force comprised of Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment; Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced); Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; and the Command Element.

      si si specializzati in missioni umanitarie

    • Darrel Kemble

      The group you refer to are MARINES not soliders.
      Thank you
      Doc Kemble

      • marine6172

        Thank you for clarifying that Doc…it gets old after the first ten thousand times. Semper Fi!

    • Anthony


      • marine6172

        What OPSEC dude? Like it’s not open source news…

    • DualityOfMan

      “To the shores of Tripoli.”

  • Valentina

    from the newspaper Unione Sarda and google translate

    • Valentina


  • Benjamin

    Is it wise to carry a Maverick on a slow moving plane like a P-3? This type of missile puts them in range of the majority of non short range SAM’s.

    • blight

      Probably intended for maritime roles, like blowing up Somali pirate speedboats. Though I thought America had some extended range missiles (not ALCMs, but extended range missiles…). Unfortunately I forget their designation.

      • http://covertshores.blogspot.com/ TLAM Strike

        The P-3 can also carry the Harpoon for naval attacks and for land attacks the SLAM and SLAM-ER. ;)

        • blight

          Found it. Apparently it was called the AGM-130. Never figured out what happened to the thing…?

          • blight

            Anyhow, the P-3 carries what TLAM mentioned. The AGM-130 reference is just as curio reference to a weapon system that labors in obscurity, but can be carried by F-15E’s…

    • STemplar

      It’s got a 15 nmi range, so it was probably pretty far from the coast when it fired.

    • Curt

      They have a variety of weapons they can carry . There are plenty of ships and boats that carry “non-short range” SAMs that you would like to take out without wasting a Harpoon. Additionally, for things like a submarine on the surface or other low RCS targets, like say a Libyan 12m patrol boat, a Maverick is better since it is more precise.

    • Guest

      Don’t let it’s looks fool you, P-3s can haul when they need to…

      • Engineer

        My Dad was a P-3 Pilot. You are right - it has short stubby wings and it can really move when it has to.

  • Brandon

    It would make the most sense to assume this whole operation is about scaring Qaddafi out of power while preserving his bureaucratic and military infrastructures for another leader — one more in line with NATO preferences — to take command of. How could they possibly propel themselves headlong into a scheme to destroy the military and current government after the Iraq lesson? I really think that’s why no one is overly concerned with whispers of an Al Qaeda presence among the rebels. The rebels are simply a catalyst the promote regime change, not Libya’s new leaders. Once Quadaffi is gone the new government will suppress the rebels under NATO’s watchful eye… call if the Egyptian model.

  • DColin

    Didn’t Obama pre election promise that he would get us out of Afgan and Iraq, close the prison on Cuba and not start any wars? I guess that’s what we get for electing a guy that might not have even been born in America.

    • orly?

      He’s slowly becoming republican.

      • blight

        To the repubs, he will never be a Repub. However, he hasn’t completely abandoned working with The Other Side, unlike certain un-named Republicans…

  • Ilive inbizarro world

    hum, we are helping al-qeada in Libya and fighting them in Iraq/Afghanistan?!

    pretty ****** up…

    Oh and if you dont believe me the UN chief admitted this fact.

    and “Humanitarian war” - what a fkn oxymoron. Yes we drop bombs to save lives, lol…

    War is Peace anyone?!

    • blight

      We also helped the Kosovo Liberation Army, which had some tenuous AQ links. Kosovo did not improve under their rule…

    • Razor6a

      thrid line is true. to bad our elected officals don’t tell it the way it is. Now we are helping al-qeada, muslin brotherhood, hamas and other terrorist. And these are the bas—- who are killing our troop in Afgan.

  • new scenario

    Perhaps P-3 should be re-designate F/A-3?

    • SJE

      Well, the F-22 is too precious to actually USE.

  • blight

    I had briefly envisioned some Oerlikon 20’s or Bofors 40…until I realized it was very much the wrong year for that kind of armament.

    It doesn’t look like it would have much. Maybe a heavy mortar of some kind to shell ground targets, or a deck mounted artillery piece? Rockets wouldn’t go very far in terms of reloads, but they would pack a serious sting.

  • http://twitter.com/kilowat @kilowat

    you ppl need to go and look up how many of the chicken hawks GOP congressmen have served in the military? you want find many LOL

    • STemplar

      Aren’t the GOP the ones being critical this time? I read Pelosi singing Obama’s praise, I guess it’s ok to topple dictators as long as its the right party getting credit to her.

  • Chris

    Historic Day! First time a P-3C has ever fired a missile in anger. The Warpig will live on.

    • Thrust

      No it isn’t….is it? Haven’t P-3’s Harpooned Iranian or Iraqi naval craft in the past?

      Perhaps I’m thinking of the S-3….

      • Curt

        As far as I know, the previous air-launched Harpoon shot in anger was from an A-6.

    • Michael

      Not true. Check the Kosovo records and you’ll see this wasn’t the first time for a P-3C

  • will

    Why are we involving ourselves.The europeans have handled this kind of involvement in the past.Do we really need to involve ourselves?

    • orly?


  • Steve K

    I used to operate acoustic detection equipment on P-3’s back in the eighties. We were trained to load Harpoon missiles back then. I never thought I’d see the day when ANY type of missile was actually fired from a P-3 except for training. THE WAR PIG LIVES ON!!!

  • devildog7885

    nothing like a 3 front war. but wait nato is doing the show!. but hell the U.S. makes up 3 fourths of the manpower and materials. go figure.

    • blight

      We have to justify spending more than every other country on our military at some point…?

    • devildog7885

      spend more? we do not spend more than others actually we spend less. you have to figure in the money like pound versus the dollar just as an example. 90 percent of spending is on R&D like the joint fighter for example. cut that out of the budget and you will see we spend way less than anyone else. most of those R&D projects never reach fruition and thus is money spent and gone!. due to congress abanding the project for the most part with nothing to show for it but paper and no tangable product to show for the money spent. as far as pay Canadaand the European Countries pay there Troops alot more money than Americans ever had. there combat rations are a hell of alot better as well.

      • blight

        Not really. Sixty percent of the DoD budget goes to payroll and infrastructure, not R&D. R&D is notorious, but it’s expensive to send C-17’s to Tashkent, resupply Diego Garcia, the Pacific Islands, have troops in South Korea, Kosovo, Japan, McMurdo, Greenland, Djibouti and Europe.

        • devildog7885

          there are currently a little over 2 million airmen,soldiers,sailor’s and Marines serving so 60% is way to high of a figure as compared to dod’s budget.__ infrastructure well that depends on who is paying to keep the bases i believe that go’s to the state Departments budget. got to admit those two man apartments are quite expensive to build unless there is alot more being built I do not know, so must of that type of sending was from previous years. R&D is where most of it goes things like the joint fighters, skunk works and naval ships and subs. if you look at all the hands reaching into the DOD’s pockets most goes out to various research and congress’s pet project’s.

  • Drake1

    I’m getting it. Our President and many in Congress (from both parties) are idiots.

    • STemplar

      Operation Bingo has commenced……

  • WoundedKnee73

    Drake1: Yep! You’re right. This is getting really old!

  • USMC1-5

    We should be dropping our liberals and progressives over there…they’ll know exactly what to do…they are the most intelligent people in the world..they pushed for Obama, Obamacare, cash for “xyz”, Unions to get more power…Seriously, they know better than anyone what to do…they love chaos…let them have it over there and leave us alone here…send the president to relocate there for a “new world order” country to head up there…we’ll back fill his ex-fil..

  • theman

    The fact is that, at present, the United States has relatively little to lose by supporting these rebels (besides our pilots and any SOF personnel, of course). Looking toward the future, it is far more difficult to try and placate a diverse group of errant democratizers than a single dictator. If we turn our backs on the rebels, and they win, then we end up looking like hypocrites…again. If we turn out backs on Gaddafi, as we have, and he wins, then what is he gonna do-not deal with us? No. It is far easier to apologize and make amends to a small cadre of autocrats that to a mob seething with anger. I think Obama made that calculation in Egypt, and he is doing the same here. If we remain involved in a support role, and the rebels lose, then who cares? We are back to square one: dealing with a nutjob. But if the rebels win, we can for once be proud that we carried a genuine democratic revolution to its fruition.

    • Jay

      democratic? are you joking?

      • theman

        Tell me why they do not have democratic aspirations. They may not, but most indicators suggest that they do.

  • Valentina

    La Revolution Tunisienne

    • Valentina

      there is no doubt that is different
      where are the intellectuals and artists in Libya ?

      • Valentina

        the dove (colomba) that is free from the bars is a strong universal image
        the artist is always the first revolutionary

  • Valentina

    processo della rivoluzione: lo ha bloccato quando ha soppresso i valori per favorire gli interessi (il sostegno dei dittatori, la mano messa sul petrolio e le risorse naturali, la ricerca dei mercati, la dominazione economica, la vendita di armi); lo ha aiutato con lo sviluppo dei mezzi di comunicazione, strumenti di avvicinamento dei popoli e delle culture

    This is very important …it’s true !

  • Ruger 61

    I’m sure our Navy has Lamps helos on all the frigates in the area and the helos can fire Hell fire missiles, looks like thees small helos would be the weapons of choice to be used against costal boats etc.

    • blight

      Marine Cobras would work nicely too.

  • Crash1001

    Obama needed a made up war to help his 2012 presidential run, he has to display that he has kahonas to order a military action. Remember Afgan and Iraq is the Bush conflict not Obama. Of course this goes against his far left base. My personal belief is that we should have let the French and the English to leash their dog and get him under control.

  • Josh

    Although I was a part of the program that added all the new ground attack capability to the P-3 I still think it’s funny to read a headline stating that P-3’s are “savaging” anybody’s coast line.

  • Darrel Kemble

    Savaged !!!??? sounds like some kind of reporter hype.
    CNN reported this morning that the “rebels” are being hammered again.
    What about all the reports saying how quadaffi’s forces have been neutralized ?
    I love it when the news stations say how “they don’t hype the news”

    • Riceball

      I haven’t heard of Khadaffi’s forces being described as being neutralized, his air and some of his armor, yes, but that’s about it. But the rebels are definitely getting hammered again after a couple days of gains. I’m getting the impression that the rebels are getting ahead of themselves and have been pushing too far too fast and not taking the time to consolidate what ground they gain in a mad dash effort to push to Tripoli. Until/unless they manage to get their act together this no-fly, drive, sail zone won’t do any good unless we start saying that any the rebels go on the offensive they are really civilians rushing to reclaim their homes so we can run CAS missions for them.

  • wxgesr

    I think it is a setup for the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) One World Govt. people to attack Israel. They are exercising their doctrine now, ever gumby for the next operation. I am pretty certain there will be at least one more foray into this type of concept before they decide to act with R2P for the innocent Palistenians, dontcha know.

  • EJinVA

    Reminds me of the epic battle for Haiti, everyone wants in on the action for that coveted combat action ribbon….when dingle-Barry hands over the reigns (if he doesn’t declare himself president for life first) will he be investigated for war crimes?

    I predict K’ daffy will survive, and will bide his time until he can take a cheap shot back at the U.S. May be months, may be years, but it’s coming.

  • Michael

    Of course the retreating rebels would love to have U.S. Apache gunships and A-10 Warthogs (even IL Sturmoviks and Luftwaffe Stukas from WWII would be welcome) to strafe and take out Gaddafis’ rockets and tanks! So far I have not read anything about the rebels concerning their NC0s and jr officers who have had anything beyond basic training. All I see are scattered ‘freedom fighters’ with no discipline, let alone training in most weapons.

    • Guest

      What NCOs and JOs? They look like the Keystone Cops out there…

  • roland

    This is just another expensive long war. We are fighting for Libya’s civil war. We are siding to the oposition from whom we dont know who. LKadhafi have 1000 tanks to name a few of his armaments. We are spending infinitely on this wars.Where are the good lining on this events?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronnie.watley Ronnie Watley

    Talk about pulling out all the stops. A missile from a P3. Guess we need to keep the aircraft in use near the same age group

  • Imustbeterrorist

    Why no disscussion about coast gurd Libyan, US military’s. Motohiro Japan, what it is?

  • blight

    Here’s a fun Bush Senior quote to keep things in perspective.

    “What is at stake is more than one small country, it is a big idea — a new world order, where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind: peace and security, freedom, and the rule of law.”

    However, this spirit died shortly after election season.

  • devildog7885

    Anyone Getting the feeling that Our Military is being sold to fight to the highest Bidder?. Lately it seems Our Government has been using Our sons And Daughter’s as a Merc Force shuffled at the whim of the U.N. and Corporations.


  • Infidel4LIFE

    Its a mess but Col Q is on the ropes. Get this over with. France could send troops, Italy too. Its THEIR problem.

  • LittleDragon2

    excuse me but it seems our first concern is to support our troops in harms way. saying stuff like we can’t afford this must be disheartening to our troops. we must support them in this and all their endeavors and leave all politics outside the warzones. is it possible that these politcal comments could lead to hesitation and distraction that could cause our brave troops to get hurt or even killed: please depoliticize this and support our troops!