The F-14 Tomcat in Combat

“F Arba Ashara! Yalla! Yalla!” In English, that’s “F-14! RUN! RUN!”. A common radio call for Iraqi fighter pilots in the Eighties.

The Tomcat made its combat debut during Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of American citizens from Saigon, in April 1975. F-14As from Fighter Squadron 1 (VF-1) and VF-2, operating from the USS Enterprise (CVN-65), flew combat air patrols over South Vietnam to provide fighter cover for the evacuation route. Tomcats of the U.S. Navy shot down two Libyan Su-22’s on 19 August 1981.

But Iranian F-14’s had been blasting Iraqi MiGs out of the sky since September, 1980.

First squadron of Iranian Pilots of F14 tomcats of Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force at Shiraz Air Base. September, 1979. The first Tomcat pilot to score a kill is unknown but probably in this picture.Left to Right, Back Row: ABBAS HAZIN, ??? ,MOHAMMAD HASHEM ALL-E- AGHA ( KIA 11 AUG 1984), HASSAN AFGHANTOLEE ABOLFASHI HOOSHIAR, ABOLFAZL MEHREGANFAR, ABBAS NEJADI ,HASSAN HARANDI (ejected 19th July 1988).




  • 7 September, 1980-  The First Kill.  Five Iraqi Mil-25 helicopters penetrated Iranian airspace to raid border outposts.  They were escorted by MiG-25’s.  While trading shots with the MiG-25’s (The Tomcats were armed with AIM-9P  Sidewinders), the F-14’s pressed the attack on the helicopters destroying a Mil-25 with cannon fire.  After that, the entire Iraqi formation fled back into Iraq and the Tomcats were ordered not to pursue. The name of the pilot that scored the first F-14 kill in history is still unknown and will probably remain so.
  • 13 September, 1980– The first AIM-54 Phoenix killed was fired by Major Mohamed-Reza Attaie and destroyed an Iraqi MiG-23MS.  This mission was flown with the AIM-54 to prove to the Iranian Clerical Leadership of the effectiveness of the Tomcat while they were considering selling the entire Tomcat fleet.  After this engagement, the sale was cancelled and the F-14 “Shah’s Pilots”  and ground crews were released from prison.
  • 22 September, 1980-  A pair of Tomcats lead by Captain Ali Azimi engaged a MiG-21RF escorted by two MiG-23’s.  Two AIM-54’s were fired.  The first one destroyed the MiG-21 and the other missed due to radar failure in Azimi’s jet.  The MiG-23’s then fled the scene.
  • 29 October, 1980- Operation SULTAN TEN was a deep Iranian strike on Iraqi airbases.  Six F-4 Phantoms were escorted by two F-14’s. The strike was intercepted by four MiG-23’s and a pair of MiG-21’s.  All six were shot down with no Iranian losses.

    Tanker support for Operation SULTAN TEN. October, 1980.
    Tanker support for Operation SULTAN TEN. October, 1980.
  • 1 December, 1980- Tomcats of the 82nd TFS shot down three MiG 21’s in a single engagement.
  •  7 January, 1981- Two F-14’s engaged four Iraqi MiG 23’s at a range of 30 miles with a single AIM-54 Phoenix.  When the lead MiG exploded, debris damaged and downed two more MiGs.  The fourth was seen hauling ass and trailing smoke.  This is the only example of a “Triple Kill” with one missile in any combat of any air force in history.
  • 20 November, 1982– Two Iraqi Generals decided to fly up to the front to find out why two Iraqi divisions had been wiped out.  Flying in Mi-8 helicopters, they were escorted by another two Mi-8’s, a Mil-25 Hind gunship and no less than four MiG-21’s and four MiG-23’s.  Two Tomcats lead by Captain Khosrodad were escorts a flight of F-4 Phantoms who were refueling from a KC-707 .  The Phantoms had been beating the shit out the “missing” Iraqi division for days.  Khosrodad’s AWG-9 lit up with the Iraqi formation approaching.  Leaving his wingman to guard the Phantoms, Khosrodad dove in attack.  Remembering the standing orders for Tomcats not to cross the border, he fired two AIM-54’s from 54 miles inside of Iran.  Nearing the border, he fired two AIM-7 Sparrows for good measure.  The first time the Generals knew they were under attack was when three fighters exploded and fell around them.  An escorting Mi-8 pilot advised the VIP Mi-8 helicopter to leave the area immediately.  The Inspection Tour of Generals Rasheed and Muhsen was over before it began.
  • 1 December, 1982–  Iraqi MiG-25’s developed “Anti-F-14” tactics (later used as “Anti-F-15” tactics against the Americans).  These tactics and flying at 70,000 feet at Mach 3 stymied Iranian efforts to shoot them down. That is until Major Shahram Rostami (Major Mohammad Rafiee, REO) fired an AIM-54 at a Mig-25 at 70,000 feet and Mach 2.3.  Engaging at 61 miles Rostami accelerated to Mach 1.5 and climbed to 45,000 feet.  At a range of 34 miles he fired. It was just inside the radar envelope and as the time to impact counted down to zero the AWG-9 HIT symbol came on.  AWACS confirmed the hit as the Foxbat plummeted into the sea.
  • 26 February, 1984- A single Tomcat attacked an Iraqi strike formation of eight MiG-23’s.  Scoring a kill with his AIM-54 and two more with AIM-9’s, the decimated Iraqis fled.
  • 24 April, 1984-  After four years of combat, Iranian Supreme Commander General Akbar Rafsanjani boasted: “Our Air force is now more potent than in the first days of the war. We have had no F-14 losses.”   Tomcats had achieved air superiority but air supremacy.  Even the Saudi Arabian Air Force warned its pilots not to enter areas where “F-14’s were THOUGHT to be operating”.
  • 14 January, 1986-  A Tomcat of the 8th TFW downs the first Mirage F-1EQ-5.  The Exocet it fired was also shot down to add insult to injury.

    IRAQI Mirage_F1EQ-5.
    IRAQI Mirage_F1EQ-5.
  • 26 July, 1986-  The French supplied Super Etendards with Exocet anti-ship missiles to the Iraqis.  The Iranians promptly shot the first one down with an AIM-54.
  • 7 August, 1986-  The Super Etendards return with one being shot down and the Exocet it had fired by a lone F-14.
Iranian ace Jalil Zandi is credited with shooting down 11 Iraqi aircraft during Iran–Iraq War and is the most successful F-14 pilot.
Iranian ace Jalil Zandi is credited with shooting down 11 Iraqi aircraft during Iran–Iraq War and is the most successful F-14 pilot.



Colonel Mohamed-Hashem All-e-Agha

 Since the end of the war Iran has come out to say that one F-14 was shot down by an Iraqi MiG-21 (ATOLL Missile) while the Tomcat was experiencing engine problems.

 11 August, 1984- Colonel Mohamed-Hashem All-e-Agha and his RIO Major Abolfalz Zerfati were shot down by an Iranian SAM over Kharg Island. Both were killed. Col. All-e-Agha was one of the original Tomcat instructors.











Information for this article was found in
Iranian F-14 Tomcat Units in Combat (Combat Aircraft)
by Tom Cooper and Chris Davey © 2012

President Obama Draws a Red Line in the Sand

“Bush Lied, People Died”. Remember the good old days?  The mission objective of Operation Iraqi Freedom was to wrest weapons of mass destruction from Saddam Hussein.  Weapons that our intelligence reports said he had and  weapons he had was known to have used against his own people. But alas, no wmds were found. Evil George Bush started a war on false pretenses. He was getting even because of his Daddy. He was a big fat liar. Well…..sort of.

Yesterday, President Obama caved to the pressure of accusations that he was ducking the White House Press Corps and held a press conference.  During which he said something that was very, very interesting. I rewound the DVR a couple of times to make sure I heard what he just said. Here’s a YouTube clip. It starts getting good at 1:44 into it.

[ed note: Rumors about “High Level White House Officials ” leaking confidential information for political gain are really, really false. Wink…um…wink.]

“We have been very clear to the Assad regime but also to other players on the ground,  that a red line for us, is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.That would change my calculus.That would change my equation.” -President Obama

How about that? The president is concerned about WMD’s that “didn’t exist”. He’s suggesting military intervention to prevent their use against civilians or “other players on the ground “. Sound familiar ? Like Bush, he is NOT LYING, but rather acting on intelligence he as commander in chief is being briefed about.

Remember when Secretary  of State Colin Powell went to the U.N. Security Council with satellite photos about a mysterious convoy of trucks going from Baghdad  to Syria?

Wow! Heavy trucks at WMD sites. Go figure. Fast forward to 2006. Read this, a letter detailing the movement of the WMD’s from Iraq to Syria. The bad english is due to the translation.

Document that was written sometimes after the Iraq war talks about an Iraqi dissident named “Abu Abdallah” who says that Iraqi WMD were moved to Syria before the war on the month of 10 Mouharam (Islamic calendar) i.e. March 10. The document was apparently reviewed by the Department of Defense as the word D.O.D (in Latin letters) was written on the side of the document.


Beginning of the translation 

Dear Respected Sir

Warm salute… and then

To review with regards and please and return the document to Mrs. Mona after the translation with thanks.


Abu Abdallah


To the Respected Responsible for the bureau of follow up and coordination.

Subject: We have information about the location of the Weapons of Mass Destruction

In the day of 10 Mouharam before the coalition forces started the war on Iraq, 50 trucks for land transportation entered Syria on an intermittent convoy. I met some of the drivers and they did not know what they carried in these trucks. These trucks were loaded from an unknown location in Baghdad and was brought to the drivers and the Iraqi Intelligence was with them. Each time they crossed a certain distance, the Iraqi Intelligence stopped them and asked them what are they carrying and their answer was we do not know. And when these trucks arrived to Syria in the area of Deir Al Zour the drivers were taken out of their trucks and the Syrian Intelligence ride instead. These trucks were entered into large warehouses and when these trucks were emptied it was given back to the Iraqi drivers. And they were given a reward worth of 200 dollars for the safety of arrival. One of the drivers mentioned to me that this was second time they carry these secrets loads and the first time was 1 Mouharam.

I have a friend in Syria who works in a Syrian company as partner with a Syrian merchant. This person is an Iraqi ex-Consul in the Iraqi embassies and he resigned from the diplomatic circle and he has strong connection with the Iraqi Embassy in Syria and he knows all the Iraqi Intelligence and those knows that I work for the Iraqi opposition in Syria. I was visiting him daily during this period to find out the important news. When the trucks entered Syria I went to him and told him that Iraqi Weapons entered Syria so he said to me who told you that and I said to him I knew from my sources, and he told me to keep this confidential and not tell anyone because it indeed entered.




Under translation and print

Moustafa Al Khaliye.

Here is the site I snagged that jewel from.

So what do you think? I think the October  Surprise just might be “Operation Syrian Freedom”.

Yeah, click here to buy it.