Fighter Pilot Describes Mission over Libya

As reported in the New York Times, US Air Force Capt. Ryan Thulin, an F-16 pilot stationed in Aviano Air Base, Italy, describes his recent (and first) combat mission, over Libya.

Of note, he flew an 8-hour mission out of Italy, refueling at least twice on the way in and the way out.  He dropped at least two 500-lb precision weapons on targets in Libya.

The Associated Press picture of Thulin accompanying the article shows him sporting a mustache.  He’s not participating in the fighter pilot tradition of growing a mustache while deployed, as he’s flying from his home base.  It’s just coincident timing:  the war in Libya occurred during Mustache March.

As an aside, the New York Times reports A-10s and AC-130s have entered the theatre, which may represent a shift in strategy from the generally high-altitude precision bombardment that has happened to date.