Young Journalists Club | Latest news of Iran and world

News ID: 44829
Publish Date: 7:13 - 16 January 2020
Tehran 16 January_Horror-struck with Iran’s attack on their military base in Iraq, American soldiers recount how they lost contact with their state-of-the-art unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the sky as the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) targeted the site in retaliation for the assassination of its top commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

Accepting fate, US soldiers ‘were left blind to events’ as Iran missiles hit their base in IraqTEHRAN, Young Journalists Club(YJC)-The air base was struck with a barrage of Iranian cruise missiles early on January 8, over the assassination of the commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force in a US airstrike in Baghdad.     

At the time the attack was launched, the US army was flying seven UAVs, including MQ-1C Gray Eagles, over Iraq to monitor bases where US-led coalition forces are deployed, AFP said in a report on Wednesday.

Having received advance warning from superiors, most of the 1,500 US soldiers at the base had been hidden in bunkers for two hours, but 14 pilots had stayed in containers-turned-cockpits to remotely fly the American drones and “monitor essential feeds from their high-powered cameras,” according to the report.  

One of the pilots, 26-year-old Staff Sergeant Costin Herwig who was flying a Gray Eagle, told AFP that he “accepted fate” after volleys of Iranian missiles poured on the air base, with the first missile blasting dust into their shelter. 

"We thought we were basically done," he said.

The American forces said the volleys of missiles lasted for three hours, slamming into sleeping quarters directly adjacent to the pilots' operations rooms and inflicting damage on fiber lines, thus disrupting communication with the drones.

The fiber lines link the virtual cockpits to antennas then satellites that send signals to the Gray Eagles and pull the cameras' feeds back onto the screens at Ain al-Assad, according to the soldiers.

"No more than a minute after the last round hit, I was heading over to the bunkers on the far back side and saw the fire was burning all through our fiber lines," said First Sergeant Wesley Kilpatrick, adding, "With the fiber lines burnt, there was no control."

The Iranian ballistic missiles had also punched holes across Ain al-Assad's airfield and the control tower was empty, the report said.

Tags
fate ، Iraq ، events
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