Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

Osprey Combat Aircraft No. 47


F-15C/E Eagle Units of Operation Iraqi Freedom



Steve Davies


S u m m a r y

Publisher and Catalogue Details: Osprey Combat Aircraft No. 47
F-15C/E Eagle Units of Operation Iraqi Freedom by Steve Davies
ISBN: 1841768022
Media and Contents: Soft cover, 96 pages
Price: GB£12.99 online from Osprey Publishing
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: Excellent coverage of subject matter from the perspective of those involved. Highly accurate and informative text
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Reviewed by Ken Bowes

Osprey's F-15C/E Eagle Units of Operation Iraqi Freedom
may be ordered  online from Sq



Osprey Publications has issued their latest volume in the Combat Aircraft Series. Number 47 is focused on the use of the F-15C and E by the USAF in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Author Steve Davies has a long track record in publishing on the subject of the F-15 Eagle including previous Osprey editions. His obvious knowledge of the subject and connections within the Eagle community has enabled him to write a very detailed account of this conflict which occurred not more than a year ago. I, for one, was greatly looking forward to this book after reading an excerpt in Air Forces Monthly at the start of 2004.

The book itself does not disappoint, with his descriptions of the operational environment bringing back memories of being regularly shaken out of bed at three in the morning by yet another pair of Rockets or Chiefs heading north on a combat sortie or having a cold beer at the Point (O Club) at the end of a long day.

Whilst the volume could easily be retitled “4th Fighter Wing in OIF” this book does attempt to cover all aspects of the use of the Eagle during OIF and includes short introductory chapters on Eagle Genealogy and coverage of Operations Northern and Southern Watch. This is fortunate as it gives the author more scope to discuss the final deployments of F-15Cs to the theatre, there being little to tell regarding their involvement once hostilities commenced. Pushed out of the main operating bases to make room for strikers, the F-15Cs conducted CAP over Iraq until it was clear that the Iraqi Air Force had opted out of this war. They then redeployed back to their home bases around the world even before combat ops had ended. The result of this experience is a program to integrate JDAM weapons onto the F-15C, making it a more useful multi-role platform once the air superiority war has been won. The real meat of the book comes after in the subsequent chapters that cover the participation of the 4th Fighter Wing.


The 335th and 336th Squadrons of the 4th Fighter Wing, deployed to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar to form the backbone of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing. The level of Steve Davies access to their crews who had flown in OIF becomes obvious at this point with interviews with key players in the 379th from the Commanding General, Ric Rosborg, down to lowly Second Lieutenants on their first operational trips. Accompanying the numerous and interesting personal accounts, including hair raising stories of multiple Roland SAM engagements, is a well-informed discussion of the operational background of the Strike Eagle involvement in OIF. Command and control, sensors, weapons and tactics are all dealt with in a comprehensive but easy to understand way. If one wishes to understand the intricacies of KI/CAS, the destruction of the Republican Guard south of Baghdad (“We’re not softening them up, we’re killing them…”, my favourite OIF quote from Lt Gen Buzz Mosley, Coalition Air Component Commander) or the overarching importance of the Combined Air Operations Centre to the conduct of the air war, then this book is a good place to start.

This book has strong appeal to all those who have an interest in the most recent Middle-East War and a desire to learn about the state of the art of modern US air power. “Facts and figures" fans are also catered for with a complete list of all F-15C and E participant serials, with the E list cross-referenced to nose art/name. Three pages of 1/96 scale drawings of the F-15E round this section out. As usual for Osprey Publications, 21 colour profiles fill the centre pages, along with 19 full colour photographs of F-15E nose art from Al Udeid. This edition also had a very high number of full colour and black and white photographs scattered throughout, illustrating the authors points, but also of a size and clarity useful for modelling reference. This is not always the case with Osprey books and makes a refreshing change. Screen captures of F-15E Weapons System Video was also interesting to see included.


Having read this volume and also seen excerpts from Tony Holmes coverage of Hornet operations in OIF, I cannot wait for Ospreys volumes on that subject which are due out soon. The book consists of 96 pages printed on glossy paper between cardboard covers.

Very Highly Recommended.


The images on this page are from Ken Bowes' own collection and are provided as relevant subjects for the interest of HyperScale's visitors. They are not included in the book.

F-15C/E Eagle Units of Operation Iraqi Freedom
(Combat Aircraft 47)
Visit Osprey Publishing
Author: Steve Davies
Illustrator: Chris Davey
US Price: $19.95
UK Price: £12.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date: May 25, 2004
Details: 96 pages; ISBN: 1841768022
Shop cart
Buy it from Osprey Publishing

Review Copyright © 2004 by Ken Bowes
Page Created 25 May, 2004
Last updated 25 May, 2004

Back to HyperScale Main Page