The North Atlantic D+17 (26 July, 1987) Part II

Late in the morning of D+17, a Soviet Victor II class attack submarine, one of the few remaining Soviet nuclear subs in the North Atlantic stumbled across a large formation of US Navy surface ships one hundred and seventy miles northwest of the Faroes. The formation was steaming north at thirteen knots. The captain of …

The North Atlantic D+17 (26 July, 1987) Part I

COMSTRIKFLTLANT’s suspicions about the real purpose behind Moscow’s bluster and threats regarding continued US and NATO air attacks against Soviet military targets on the Kola turned out to be accurate. The Red Banner Northern Fleet and other air and sea components of the Northwestern TVD had taken advantage of the pause in Strike Fleet Atlantic’s …

The North Atlantic D+15 (24 July, 1987) Part III

As the afternoon went on, Strike Fleet Atlantic remained on station in the northern Norwegian Sea. The three aircraft carriers and their attending battlegroups were still positioned in close proximity to one another, allowing a smoother and better-coordinated mutual defense. Given the new orders that were received earlier in the day, the strike fleet’s staff …

The North Atlantic D+15 (24 July, 1987) Part I

Political developments late in the evening of D+14 necessitated an abrupt halt to SACLANT’s planned operations for the following day. At 0100 on D+15, Admiral Lee Baggett Jr, USN took a phone call directly from President Reagan. The president summarized the hotline conversation he had recently completed with the Soviet general secretary. The situation at …

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 …