The Wild Weasel mission — suppression of enemy air defenses — has been little reported in recent times, but it remains an important capability. For the US Air Force, it is the domain of the F-16CM and a fiercely proud pool of specialist talent.

Ripping it up — ‘Weasel 1’ at low level in Snowdonia, Wales, during the 480th Fighter Squadron’s deployment to the UK in July.
David Lister

WE ARE GOING to be the first into a fight and the last ones out, to ensure everyone completes their mission safely’, says Lt Col Mike ‘Bait’ Richard, commanding officer of the famous 480th Fighter Squadron (FS) ‘Warhawks’. Speaking to Combat Aircraft during a flying training detachment (FTD) from his home base at Spangdahlem AB, Germany, to RAF Lakenheath, UK, in July, Richard is referencing his squadron’s highly appropriate motto: ‘First in, last out’.

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