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Deployments and Combat

Lybia 1986
April 15, 1986
Deployment: None
Action: None

By February 28,1986 Lockheed had delivered 33 F-117A's, giving the Air Force two operational squadrons of F-117As. During this time, Libya's Col. Gaddafi had been challenging the US Navy for about a year and a half and had also sponsored a number of terrorist activities in Europe. After a few aerial incidents which resulted in the loss of a number of Libyan aircraft, and a terrorist attack in Germany that was positively linked by the United States to Libya, the US government decided to strike back.

[Unknown patch made after operation.()] On April 15, 1986 a bombing raid was planned under the code name Operation EL DORADO CANYON. The F-117A was identified as the best suited weapons system for the mission. Although senior officers at TAC knew of the F-117A's capabilities, the theater commanders knew nothing of its capabilities or even that it existed. As a result, the raid was carried out using carrier based Navy A-6s, A-7s, F/A-18s, and USAF F-111s based out of the U.K.

Once again, the F-117As were within less than one hour from launch when Casper Weinberger scrubbed the mission. He felt that the aircraft was too valuable to risk on such insignificant targets and the F-117A's participation in the raid was canceled.

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