Dec 16

Operation Desert Fox – 20 years ago – A “First” for Women

Sunday, December 16, 2018 8:00 AM

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Twenty years have passed since Operation Desert Fox, also known as the bombing of Iraq which took place December 16th – December 19th, 1998. The purpose of the attack was to degrade the ability of Iraq to use weapons of mass destruction. The main targets of the bombing included research and development installations, air defense systems, weapons and supply depots & the headquarters of Sadaam’s elite Republican Guard. The bombing was accomplished primarily by American and British jets and cruise missiles launched from the sea. Most of the targets were degraded or destroyed by the fourth night and the mission was declared a success. 

This operation marked a considerable achievement for women in the military as it was the first time women pilots flew fighter jets (the F/A-18C) into combat from an aircraft carrier, as members of Air Wing Three off of the USS Enterprise. Lt. Kendra Williams, Lt. Lyndsi Bates, and Lt. Carol Watts of VFA-37’s “Raging Bulls” all successfully completed their bombing missions during the operation.

981217-N-3962F-002 ABOARD USS ENTERPRISE (December 17, 1998) – A Naval Fighter Pilot from Strike-Fighter Squadron Thirty-Seven (VFA-37) the "Ragin' Bulls" discusses her mission into Iraq with another member of her squadron which was launched from the deck of the USS Enterprise (CVN 65)in the opening stages of Operation Desert Fox. U.S. Navy Photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Tedrick E. Fryman III. (RELEASED)

981217-N-3962F-002
ABOARD USS ENTERPRISE (December 17, 1998) – A Naval Fighter Pilot from Strike-Fighter Squadron Thirty-Seven (VFA-37) the “Ragin’ Bulls” discusses her mission into Iraq with another member of her squadron which was launched from the deck of the USS Enterprise (CVN 65)in the opening stages of Operation Desert Fox. U.S. Navy Photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Tedrick E. Fryman III. (RELEASED)

For more about Operation Desert Fox, see this previous post:

https://www.navalhistory.org/2014/12/16/operation-desert-fox-4-nights-100-targets

 

Or search Naval Institute content from our main page using “desert fox” as the keyword.