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US Navy Hornet Units of Operation Iraqi Freedom Part One

US Navy Hornet Units of Operation Iraqi Freedom Part One Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2004 Title US Navy Hornet Units of Operation Iraqi Freedom Part One
Author Tony Holmes Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2004 ISBN 1-84176-801-4
Format 96 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $19.95


From the beginning of Operation Southern Watch (OSW) through the full campaign of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), the F/A-18 Hornet has been continuously demonstrating its capabilities against air and surface targets. Through the six years of this set of operations, the skies of Iraq have been visited by quite a few 'Bug' squadrons and have witnessed through the increasing threat environment and ops tempo the return of color to the aircraft. While subdued markings are still the norm, more Hornets were appearing with color in their squadron markings.

The author walks through the timeline from peacekeeper in OSW through warrior in OIF, including some interesting examples of air operations. For example, one Hornet pilot was tasked to escort an S-3 Viking that was going to attack Saddam Hussein's yacht (which was evidently being used as a floating command post). While the Hornet used its targeting pod to illuminate the ship's bridge with laser energy, the Viking fired its first combat Maverick strike with a laser-guided round hitting its target.

US Navy Hornet Units of Operation Iraqi Freedom Part One

This title also covers the first women to fly the Hornet into combat as well as the introduction of the F/A-18E/F 'Super Bug' into combat operations.

The table of contents maps out the coverage of this well-illustrated title:

  • OSW
  • 'Shock and Awe'
  • Shaping the Battlefield
  • Super Hornets in OIF

Included in this title are numerous color profiles of some of the Hornets to take part in operations over Iraq as well as many nice photographs.

This is a fascinating read for the aviation historian and Hornet lover. Recommended!

My sincere thanks to Motorbooks International for this review sample!