As part of a decisive demonstration of air power over ground forces, three AC-130 Spectre gunships joined the battle to provide air-to-ground fire and close air support. As the last of the three AC-130s still on station early on the morning of January 31, and about to end its mission, Spirit 03 “received a call from the Marines – they needed an enemy missile battery destroyed.

Despite the risk of anti-aircraft artillery fire, and the greater danger of the morning sun casting light on the circling gunship, the crew of ‘Spirit 03’ chose to remain and destroy the position requested.” “Spirit 03” did what it had been asked to do, it destroyed the target designated by the Marines who were under fire, but that action came at a heavy cost. An SA-7 “Grail” man-portable surface-to-air missile was fired by the Iraqis at the now in-the-early-morning-light-visible AC-130 in the sky over Khafji. MORE

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