Co KEVIN ROBB
Commanding Officer of VFA-213
What kind of operations do you conduct now in Syria and what kind of ammunition do you use?
Well I can not be very specific about that. We are here for the operation Inherent Resolve and we are part of a coalition and our job is really to support this coalition. My squadron flights F/A-18’s Super Hornet and we carry a wide range of ammunitions that help support this coalition . We do missions in Iraq, we do missions in Syria. As far as the ordnance we do employ we use the JDAM’s , we use sometimes our gun, the 20mm gun in Super Hornets . We have a cooperation with multinational JTAC’s on ground. We have Danish, Italian, German, UK, French and of course Americans.
Recently we found online a picture with a F/A-18F of VFA-213 loaded with 10 JDAM’s. Tell us about this configuration.
Well it was real combat configuration. This plane flied over Syria and dropped almost all of its ordnance. It was a team effort to achieve this. There were many calculations before to make sure it will fly properly. I believe that it was the first time that a Super Hornet has carried that many thousands pounds of ammunition in combat. I don’t think any other fighter jet can carry more ammunition than this.
How difficult was for this plane to take off?
It is actually a little lighter than 5 external tanks configuration with four drop tanks, around 2500 pounds lighter . It is about the same. You take off, you watch the airspeed and you fly away. Ok, it is not leave the deck as much as the other ones but with a little more steam in the catapult everything is ok.