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Deployments and Combat

Central Enterprise 1993
June/July 1993
Operation: Coronet Havoc
Deployment: Netherlands
Action: Excersize

The June 8th, 1993, eight F-117As of the 415th FS deployed to Gilze-Rijen, Netherlands for Central Enterprise 1993 under the code name of "Coronet Havoc". They arrived under the callsigns "Clan" 51-54, 61-64, and spent a total of about 45 days in Holland.

In addition to the usual support units, other units had to be brought in Gilze-Rijen specifically for the F-117A operation. One of these was the 7002nd Civil Engineering Squadron from Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The 7002d was a unit that overhauled and installed Aircraft Arresting Systems (AAS) on runways at permanent military installations, and at foreign civilian airports or contingency locations. Five members of the 7002nd deployed to install two Mobile Aircraft Arresting Systems (MAAS). The MAAS is used to safely arrest fighter aircrafts during emergencies, when an aircraft can't stop on it's own. The pilot will activate the aircraft tailhook, which drops and latches onto a 1 1/4 inch cable pendant stretched across the runway, connected to thick nylon tapes wound onto a large reel, located on two emergency absorbers located on both sides of the runway.
A member of the 7002nd recalled years later:

"We set-up our work shop at the Dutch Fire Station, and began installing the MAAS's a few days ahead of the F-117As arrival. Upon conclusion of MAAS installations, an F-15E from Soesterberg AFB, Netherlands (now closed) came and performed a test certification on our 2 MAAS's. The F-15E pilot performed a "taxi-in" engagement, where he starts from the airfield's over-run, increases speed until at least 100 knots, drops the tailhook and engages the MAAS. The purpose of this is to certify the MAAS for real-world usage. The F-15E pilot came and departed after about an hour, and we waited for the F-117A's to arrive.
We quickly found out that we were not alone, as large crowds of fighter aircraft enthusiasts would patiently await outside the perimeter fencing at the end-of-the runway, to watch the F-117A's. The were there each and every day, waving flags, and shouting with pleasure. I think they even set up some snack bars! One would have easily mistaken the F-117A exercise for an airshow!
We never had an engagement, but we came close once, when one of the F-117A's blew out a tire on takeoff. For a brief moment in time, our pulses raced in eager anticipation of what might have been."

Aircraft Callsign   Aircraft Callsign
807 Clan 51   812 Clan 61
797 Clan 52   808 Clan 62
823 Clan 53   839 Clan 63
830 Clan 54   836 Clan 64

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