The Southern Flank D+21 (30 July, 1987)

AFSOUTH planning for offensive operations accelerated when word was received from Brussels that the NATO counterattack in Northern German was underway. Debate raged in Naples over what shape NATO’s counterblow on the Southern Flank would take. Sixth Fleet was pressing for a campaign against Soviet ports and airbases on the Black Sea coastline while officers …

The Southern Flank D+16 (25 July, 1987) Part I

The start time for Sixth Fleet’s planned airstrikes on the Soviet amphibious group in the Black Sea had been pushed to 0500 in order to coincide with other NATO air attacks set for the early morning hours. Kennedy’s airwing, with it’s two A-6 Intruder squadrons, was tasked to hit the Soviet amphibs. CVW-17 off Saratoga …

The Southern Flank D+5 (14 July, 1987) Part I

Saratoga’s air wing went back into action in the pre-dawn hours. The morning’s target list included POL facilities and staging areas in southern Bulgaria. CVW-17s airstrikes were not preceded by cruise missile strikes as they had been twenty-four hours earlier. The Los Angeles class attack submarines that had fired most of the TLAMs against targets …

The Southern Flank D+4 (13 July, 1987) Part I

At 0125 hours EEST, the Sixth Fleet went to work. Less than an hour before, twenty TLAMs (Tomahawk Cruise Missile Land Attack Variant) were launched from a trio of Los Angeles class attack submarines, and the single TLAM-armed destroyer in the Saratoga’s battlegroup. The missiles approached the Greek-Bulgarian frontier in a staggered pattern, less than …

The Southern Flank D+1 (10 July, 1987) Part I

The destruction of the Soviet surface action groups in the Eastern Mediterranean marked the end of the 5th Eskadra. Every major surface combatant belonging to the Soviet Navy’s Mediterranean squadron was at the bottom of the sea, along with their escorts, and a number of submarines. The squadron’s commander, Rear Admiral Vladimir Yegorov had perished …