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Spangdahlem 1980's F-4E Weapons Load


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Greetings all,

 

At some point I will be making the 1/48 Hasegawa F-4E, assigned to the 52TFW at Spangdahlem AB, Germany.  In the early 1980's I was stationed there as a member of the security forces unit and supported the "special weapons" mission. I am looking for information concerning two things: 1) What was the air-to-air payload on the aircraft while it was on Victor Alert. I saw another modeler had placed to AIM-7s on the rear stations and nothing else. 2) While on Victor Alert, what type of pylon/adapter was the B-61 strapped to under the center station? I'm sure no one makes one of these, so what could I use to make something similar? 

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated! 

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Security Forces????  They didn't come up with that garbage until sometime after October of 98.  You were an SP, working security and NOT law enforcement.  I was the same thing, security, when I was stationed at RAF Woodbridge from March of 75 to March of 77.  We had D model F-4s instead of E models.  Are you sure it wasn't Zulu alert?  Victor alert would be for the Air Defense mission while Zulu alert dealt with special weapons, which is what the B-61 you mentioned was.  For our aircraft on Zulu alert, yes they had two AIM-7s on the aft recesses, and an ECM jammer pod, ALQ-119 I believe, on the left front.  Nothing else besides the nuke on the center line pylon was carried.  For the Air Defense mission then they would have had dual AIM-9s on each of the inner wing pylons.  I even remember one time seeing the AIM-4 Falcon pylons on one of our aircraft.  I'm pretty sure those were all gone by the time I left.  I was a cop for not quite four years and cross trained out of it into radar ops and then later into aircraft maintenance.  While I was only a cop for a few short years, I am proud of what I did and believe it has helped me later on through life.  I live near Travis AFB and despise the term Security Forces.  They started that up sometime after recombining security and law enforcement.  One of my former co-workers in my civil service job had a husband who didn't like being called a cop because he was Security Forces.  Total rubbish.  If you work the front gate, write tickets, and respond to domestic disturbance calls, you are a cop!  Get over yourself.  You and I would both have been in a Security Police squadron and although we rarely ever wrote a ticket, we were still cops!  Even said do on our badge!  Let's see, Spang in the early 80s.  I remember those guys!  They lost two F-4s over about a six month period in 82.  The Wing Commander and the DCM got fired after the second one with down (two fatalities).  Members of my mobile radar unit had to secure the accident location until relieved, probably by the some of the cops from Spangdahlem.

Later,

Dave

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5 hours ago, Scout712 said:

Interesting post e8n2. The only thing is that Victor Alert indeed was the nuke and Zulu alert the air defense mission .

Regards

Michael

I second that....  seems like someone has an MOS inadequacy issue.  Anyway, from another website, a guy who served on F-4's in USAFE said that the loadout was as mentioned above, wing fuel tanks and at times, 1-2 AIM-9's.  

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Thanks for the shout out Lord Riot. During my time at Spang the victor alert commitment went away. I was next in line in my squadron to get certified to sit victor alert when it went away (1984). With that, I never saw what the jets on alert had loaded. Nor what the centerline weapon pylon looked like.

I think the above recommendations sound right: B61 on the centerline, ALQ-131 ECM pod in the left forward missile well, maybe 2 AIM-7s in the aft, empty inboard pylons, and external wing fuel tanks on the outboards. 

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21 hours ago, Scout712 said:

Interesting post e8n2. The only thing is that Victor Alert indeed was the nuke and Zulu alert the air defense mission .

Regards

Michael

Suffering from a minor case of CRS, Can't Remember and I'll let you figure out the last part.  As I started to read your post the term VADO came to mind.  Victor Alert Duty Officer.

Later,

Dave

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16 hours ago, 11bravo said:

I second that....  seems like someone has an MOS inadequacy issue. 

I am guessing that 11B must have been your MOS.  In the Air Force it is called your AFSC.  Inadequacies?  Hardly.  I just get tired of how these newer AF cops think that just because they are "Security Forces" that they are somehow better than we were.  I have been in the Travis area for over 32 years now and from how they run the main gate, and even the other gates, these guys don't have a clue as to what they are supposed to be doing, plus they seem to be damn lazy.  They will let traffic back up real bad before they even think about open a second lane.  But somehow they are better than the people I was with when I was a cop?  Not even.

Later,

Dave

P.S.  I was very happy to cross train out of being an SP.

Edited by e8n2
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Wow, I wasn't expecting such BS from what I thought was a fairly benign question. So, allow me to defend the unappreciated who protected you and your family while you served your 4 years in the AF. I entered the AF in 1980 and yes, I was a security specialist who was a security policeman. In my first two assignments, I supported and protected nuclear weapons that were on war ready alert. Yes, it was Victor Alert because I worked in the QRA for 5 years. I think that might make me a little knowledgeable of this mission. As the years went by you are correct, the name was changed to Security Forces to highlight the change from garrison support to emphasize the need to be more trained and ready to handle security and protection both on and off base, during peacetime and wartime. By the time, I retired after 30 years in 2010 as a Chief Master Sergeant from a security forces squadron, I had served 4 combat deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. Please know that these weren't sitting on the base deployments. These were off the FOB conducting mounted and dismounted combat patrols getting shot at, ambushed, and in hot firefights. Our security forces men and women who were assigned to Army MP battalions earned countless medals for heroism. The two Bronze Star Medals that I was awarded for my actions during combat had nothing to with me being a cop, a security policeman or security forces member. It was about serving our country and making sure that all of us returned home in one piece. Unfortunately, that didn't always happen. So, I'm sorry "Mr e8n2" that you have such little regard for these men and women who serve in all different ways and missions because of the title they were given and didn't ask for. Thank you for serving for less than 4 years as a security policeman and cross training into a radar ops. You served your nation and not everyone does that. So, while I take a break from being a chief of police, during these fun times, not far from you in Travis, I will go back and enjoy making model airplanes of aircraft to honor those I served with. 

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On 17/02/2021 at 02:03, lksavidge said:

At some point I will be making the 1/48 Hasegawa F-4E, assigned to the 52TFW at Spangdahlem AB, Germany.  In the early 1980's I was stationed there as a member of the security forces unit and supported the "special weapons" mission. I am looking for information concerning two things: 1) What was the air-to-air payload on the aircraft while it was on Victor Alert. I saw another modeler had placed to AIM-7s on the rear stations and nothing else. 2) While on Victor Alert, what type of pylon/adapter was the B-61 strapped to under the center station? I'm sure no one makes one of these, so what could I use to make something similar? 

Being ex-RAF I'm afraid I cannot help with most of your questions but I can point out that there is a 1/48th B-61 weapon made by Eduard in their resin "Brassin" range.  The Part Number is ED648559 

The pack contains 2 weapons.  RAF F-4 Phantoms also carried B-61 weapons in the early 70s, (under dual key control) I'm sure they used the same center station pylon that was used by the 600 gallon fuel tank (not the later F-15 fuel tank)  Hope this is helpful and I wish you luck with your build.

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I was USAF ammo. In the UK in the early 1980's, the SP's and us spent many a late night running convoys out to the F-111's during exercises. 

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56 minutes ago, Finn said:

Here is a practice shape on a F-4:

Looks like it's attached to the center line internal ERU without a pylon, my time on the F-4  in the 70s was on an air defence sqn in Germany, so no bombs of any type, just the fuel tank or 20mm SUU gun pod.

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3 hours ago, Slater said:

I was USAF ammo. In the UK in the early 1980's, the SP's and us spent many a late night running convoys out to the F-111's during exercises. 

Thanks Slater. I can totally relate to those mass load exercises. They weren't the most fun but definitely built a lot of character! 

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3 hours ago, Finn said:

Here is a practice shape on a F-4:

 

F-4EBDU-38B61ScottWilson-1.jpg

 

here is the direct link so you don't see the watermark:

 

http://i406.photobucket.com/albums/pp145/avnav526/F-4EBDU-38B61ScottWilson-1.jpg

 

Jari

Hi Jari, thank you for sharing the pic. This is where my confusion lies. Since I wasn't able to get that close to the aircraft when loaded, my memory from the early 80's felt like it was strapped directly under the fuselage, like in your pic. I'm still wondering if the B-61 was loaded like this or had some sort of pylon in between. 

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5 hours ago, Retired Bob said:

Being ex-RAF I'm afraid I cannot help with most of your questions but I can point out that there is a 1/48th B-61 weapon made by Eduard in their resin "Brassin" range.  The Part Number is ED648559 

The pack contains 2 weapons.  RAF F-4 Phantoms also carried B-61 weapons in the early 70s, (under dual key control) I'm sure they used the same center station pylon that was used by the 600 gallon fuel tank (not the later F-15 fuel tank)  Hope this is helpful and I wish you luck with your build.

Thanks Bob. I did get the Eduard's B-61s. They are good looking bombs. 

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Asked a buddy of mine who was a F-4E WSO with the 480th TFS. 

At the time (1982/83) the 480th Warhawks were the only Sqn at Spangdahlem tasked with Victor Alert. 

The 81st were fully equipped with F-4G's for Wild Weasel SEAD missions, and the 23rd specialised in things like the GBU-15.

Later all 3 Sqn's flew a mix of F-4E/G in Hunter/Killer teams till the Echo's were replaced with F-16's in 1987.

 

Anyway the Victor Alert load out was. 

B61 on centerline

ALQ-131 pod 

ALE-40 Chaff/Flares

Full 20mm gun

Two wing tanks

No A2A missiles carried. 

 

Mission plan was fast & low,knowing if they had to do it for real it was almost certainly gonna be a one way trip. 

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There is a bomb rack on the belly of the aircraft and the bomb was attached to that as per the pic i posted. Here is what it looks like, on the left, with nothing on it:

 

air-force-members-load-mark-20-rockeye-b

 

Jari

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Some interesting things to point out in the photo Jari posted above. 

The 3 bombs are Mk 20 Rockeye anti-armor cluster bombs. Note the suspension lug extender for the lower bomb. I’ve never seen that before.

Just above pylon you can see the lower half of the TISEO camera assembly. TISEO - Target Identification System Electro Optical. About half of ours in the 23rd were inop and capped off or had the glass painted over. The full housing was there, just the glass was replaced by a metal plate. But the ones that worked were fun to play with. Great for getting a visual ID on radar targets. F-15s at about 10 miles and FA-18s about 8. (If I’m remembering correctly. 🤔)

Left of the pylon is a rectangular box attached to the lower surface of the wing root. This is one of two combat documentation camera housings. This one, on the left side, looks to the aft. On the back side of the housing is a small window. On the right (not in the picture) is a corresponding forward looking housing. In 1984 we still had a few E models that had the camera housings. I want to say they were only on the jets that still had the standard SE Asia camo, with the light gray undersides as is the jet in the photo. I’m pretty sure the SEA wraparound jets had them removed when they were repainted. None of the Euro1 jets had them. In 1984 we still had jets in all three schemes. 

Anyway, just wanted to provide some observations about the picture beyond the centerline.  It’s a great photo of a usually not well documented part of the jet. 

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10 hours ago, lksavidge said:

Wow, I wasn't expecting such BS from what I thought was a fairly benign question. So, allow me to defend the unappreciated who protected you and your family while you served your 4 years in the AF. I entered the AF in 1980 and yes, I was a security specialist who was a security policeman. In my first two assignments, I supported and protected nuclear weapons that were on war ready alert. Yes, it was Victor Alert because I worked in the QRA for 5 years. I think that might make me a little knowledgeable of this mission. As the years went by you are correct, the name was changed to Security Forces to highlight the change from garrison support to emphasize the need to be more trained and ready to handle security and protection both on and off base, during peacetime and wartime. By the time, I retired after 30 years in 2010 as a Chief Master Sergeant from a security forces squadron, I had served 4 combat deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. Please know that these weren't sitting on the base deployments. These were off the FOB conducting mounted and dismounted combat patrols getting shot at, ambushed, and in hot firefights. Our security forces men and women who were assigned to Army MP battalions earned countless medals for heroism. The two Bronze Star Medals that I was awarded for my actions during combat had nothing to with me being a cop, a security policeman or security forces member. It was about serving our country and making sure that all of us returned home in one piece. Unfortunately, that didn't always happen. So, I'm sorry "Mr e8n2" that you have such little regard for these men and women who serve in all different ways and missions because of the title they were given and didn't ask for. Thank you for serving for less than 4 years as a security policeman and cross training into a radar ops. You served your nation and not everyone does that. So, while I take a break from being a chief of police, during these fun times, not far from you in Travis, I will go back and enjoy making model airplanes of aircraft to honor those I served with. 

I did 24 years and retired as a MSgt.  Only the first four were as a cop.  As I stated before, I was also in radar ops to include three years in Germany in a mobile radar unit.  While there I was the site security NCO for awhile and due to being a geographically separated unit was also trained for Combat Arms Training and Maintenance.  It was hard to get regular CATMU people up to where we were (near Bremehaven way up north).  Except for a remote to the Philippines my last dozen years were in aircraft maintenance including time at Beale and Travis.  I've been up close and personal with SR-71s, KC-135s, U-2/TR-1s, C-5s, and C-141s.  While I was at Woodbridge we did training for taking and holding austere bases, and besides the regular peashooters (M-16s) and .38 revolvers, we were also trained with M-60 machine guns and both the M79 and M148 grenade launchers.  I spent 40 days in Riyadh in 1981 in support of Operation Elf One.  We had chem warfare drills and more before anyone ever saw an actual chem warfare suit, but when I got to Germany we did have them.  Everybody does their part.  What I object to is when somebody thinks they are better than those that went before simply because they have a fancy new name that doesn't really mean a thing because the job is still the same.  Have a good one Chief.

Later,

Dave

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11 hours ago, mungo1974 said:

Asked a buddy of mine who was a F-4E WSO with the 480th TFS. 

At the time (1982/83) the 480th Warhawks were the only Sqn at Spangdahlem tasked with Victor Alert. 

The 81st were fully equipped with F-4G's for Wild Weasel SEAD missions, and the 23rd specialised in things like the GBU-15.

Later all 3 Sqn's flew a mix of F-4E/G in Hunter/Killer teams till the Echo's were replaced with F-16's in 1987.

 

Anyway the Victor Alert load out was. 

B61 on centerline

ALQ-131 pod 

ALE-40 Chaff/Flares

Full 20mm gun

Two wing tanks

No A2A missiles carried. 

 

Mission plan was fast & low,knowing if they had to do it for real it was almost certainly gonna be a one way trip. 

Thank you sir. That makes great sense. We always knew that if and when they launched, there probably wouldn't be a base for them to return to. 

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11 hours ago, Finn said:

There is a bomb rack on the belly of the aircraft and the bomb was attached to that as per the pic i posted. Here is what it looks like, on the left, with nothing on it:

 

air-force-members-load-mark-20-rockeye-b

 

Jari

Thanks Jari. That center pylon explains my weak visual memories of the B-61 being so tight against the airframe.  

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8 hours ago, e8n2 said:

I did 24 years and retired as a MSgt.  Only the first four were as a cop.  As I stated before, I was also in radar ops to include three years in Germany in a mobile radar unit.  While there I was the site security NCO for awhile and due to being a geographically separated unit was also trained for Combat Arms Training and Maintenance.  It was hard to get regular CATMU people up to where we were (near Bremehaven way up north).  Except for a remote to the Philippines my last dozen years were in aircraft maintenance including time at Beale and Travis.  I've been up close and personal with SR-71s, KC-135s, U-2/TR-1s, C-5s, and C-141s.  While I was at Woodbridge we did training for taking and holding austere bases, and besides the regular peashooters (M-16s) and .38 revolvers, we were also trained with M-60 machine guns and both the M79 and M148 grenade launchers.  I spent 40 days in Riyadh in 1981 in support of Operation Elf One.  We had chem warfare drills and more before anyone ever saw an actual chem warfare suit, but when I got to Germany we did have them.  Everybody does their part.  What I object to is when somebody thinks they are better than those that went before simply because they have a fancy new name that doesn't really mean a thing because the job is still the same.  Have a good one Chief.

Later,

Dave

Thank you for your service Dave. I'm going back to my plane...

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On 2/18/2021 at 9:28 PM, lksavidge said:

Hi Jari, thank you for sharing the pic. This is where my confusion lies. Since I wasn't able to get that close to the aircraft when loaded, my memory from the early 80's felt like it was strapped directly under the fuselage, like in your pic. I'm still wondering if the B-61 was loaded like this or had some sort of pylon in between. 

It was attached directly to the internal release unit, no external pylon.  Special weapons were also carried on the inboard wing pylons, but the centerline station was the preferred one for various reasons.  The assumption behind Victor Alert was that it would have been preceded by a week or two of conventional combat, so air to air missile stocks would have been severely depleted or used up entirely by that time.  Additionally the missions were almost certainly one way, either due to fuel starvation or from being fratted by a "friendly" nuclear detonation, so the powers that be were reluctant to mount air to air missiles on the Victor Alert aircraft and basically throw them away.

 

Regards,

Murph

 

 

Edited by Murph
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