The North Atlantic D+14 (23 July, 1987) Part IV

CVW-7’s missions in the afternoon against Kola air defenses and radars brought about mixed results. The majority of SA-5 and SA-10 sites sustained damage from ARM hits. The damage inflicted on Soviet radar sites was more decisive. Though many SAM sites were effectively blinded for a temporary period of time, they were not permanently out …

The North Atlantic D+14 (23 July, 1987) Part III

As the last Corsairs and Prowlers were trapping on board Forrestal, Eisenhower’s air crews went through last minute pre-flight preparations for their upcoming missions over the Kola. CVW-7’s targets were the long-range surface-to-air missile sites located farther inland closer to the main Northern Fleet naval bases of Severomorsk and Polyarny. These included three SA-5 Gammon …

The North Atlantic D+14 (23 July, 1987) Part II

Following a lengthy but necessary UNREP after the carrier-air battle on the previous day, Strike Fleet Atlantic’s three remaining carriers and their escorts turned back north and steamed into range of Soviet military facilities and other targets on the Kola Peninsula. The air tasking for D+13 gave the carrier air wings two primary operational cycles …

The Politics of Global War: In the Shadow of Escalation Part II *Limited Post*

The National Security Council convened in the Situation Room shortly after midnight on 23 July, 1987. Despite the hour, President Reagan appeared quite fresh and well-rested. The chief executive of the United States had been under enormous pressure over the past two weeks. The fate of the world was quite literally on his shoulders. Though …

The Politics of Global War: In the Shadow of Escalation Part I

In the last forty-eight hours leading up to the start of hostilities in early July, 1987, officials from the United States and Soviet governments undertook a series of clandestine meetings in Zurich, Switzerland. These meetings were not eleventh-hour negotiations aimed at averting war. By this point it was a generally accepted fact in Washington, Moscow, …

The Northern Flank D+14 (23 July, 1987) Part III

The Soviet air strikes against Brigade North positions, Banak, and Andoya earlier in the afternoon underscored the need for more ground-based air defenses. They also served to impress upon NATO commanders the fact that Soviet air power could still operate effectively when allowed to concentrate their assets against a handful of targets. The HAWK batteries, …