ABOARD USS CONSTELLATION, At Sea (NNS) -- An EA-6B Prowler from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, USS Constellation (CV 64) Battle Group, successfully fired a High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) March 27.
The Prowler, from Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 131 "Lancers," was on station flying a close air support mission when the crew received tasking to fire the HARM.
Taking off from the foggy flight deck of Constellation at 6:30 p.m. (local time), the Prowler crew headed to their assigned close air support station south of Baghdad.
While conducting jamming operations within their assigned combat area, the crew learned of short-order tasking to fire a HARM missile in support of three other strike aircraft in the vicinity. The three aircraft were planning to conduct a strike mission against three surface to air missile sites in the area.
Working with the other three aircraft, the Prowler coordinated firing the HARM with the estimated time on target predicted for the three strike aircraft.
Lt. Kevin Hendricks, who piloted the mission, commented, "What was impressive was we were operating with one striking agency. The three jets were working with a different striking agency. We (the four planes) were all able to work together to coordinate time on target and figure out the correct timing for the missile to support the fighter strike."
The successful firing of the HARM missile was a first for the Lancer Squadron in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Cmdr. Michael Coury, the squadron's executive officer, was impressed with the entire crew's performance.
"The professional manner in which the shot was set-up and fired, despite so many other distractions, was a terrific accomplishment," he stated. "Launching a HARM in a training environment is certainly a task, but launching it in a combat zone, on a tight timeline amidst Triple A (anti-aircraft artillery), is exponentially more difficult."
Constellation Battle Group is currently deployed in the Northern Arabian Gulf supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Operation Iraqi Freedom is the multinational coalition effort to liberate the Iraqi people, eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and end the regime of Saddam Hussein.
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