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#1 Art Ziegler  2016-08-19 17:59
Myself and Steve Rockovich were the sensor operators on "68" on 30-31 Aug 1995, the first night of Operation Deliberate Force in Bosnia. We were the Alert crew that night but were quickly launched from Brindisi, Italy because the primary bird was having sensor/fire control problems. Due to the time sensitive nature, we did not "tweak" the guns and proceeded directly to our assigned target between Sarajevo and Pale, Bosnia-Hercegov ina. Our target was the suspected mortar position that had hit the Markale Marketplace in Sarajevo the previous Sunday that was the catalyst for NATO action against the Serbs. We quickly acquired the target and engaged with 105mm fire for approximately 20-25 minutes and observed a secondary explosion from the stored munitions. The attack was successful with no threats observed, but the EWO's pan scope lit up like a pinball machine upon egress and transit to the Adriatic. After an uneventful return to base, other than keeping a watchful eye on the EWO's gear until we were "feet wet", our deployed mission commander came running out to the aircraft screaming about getting the gunfire footage tape. At the time, we did not know that there was an aircraft awaiting to take our videotape to AFSOUTH Naples for ADM Leighton Smith to conduct a press conference. This was the first time "68" had fired in a combat role, it conducted a show of force in Somalia, but had not directly engaged a highly capable adversary since it had been in the Air Force inventory. Despite being affectionately known as "Sick Eight" by the men of the 16th SOS, 68 performed flawlessly that night and in Afghanistan. Nightstalker will always hold a special place in my heart and memory - Art Ziegler

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