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Wednesday, June 26, 2024

How a PAF F-16 almost killed US army officer in Bin Laden raid

A retired U.S Army Chief Warrant Officer explains how an F-16 attempted to engage his MH-47G Chinook during the Bin Laden raid in Pakistan. However, due to the intense military training, the officer was able to evade the F-16.

In recent revelations, Douglas Englen, who is a retired U.S Army Chief Warrant Officer, explains how he evaded Pakistani F-16 10 years ago during the historical Bin Laden raid in Abbottabad.

During the raid, one of the two Black Hawks designated for the operation crashed, due to which officer Englen was immediately called in his MH-47G Chinook for assistance.

Having arrived on the scene, his crew joined the effort to help load up Bin Laden’s body and items of potential intelligence interest from the compound, before departing for Afghanistan.

Read more: Former CIA Chief: Israel helped the USA locate Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan

However, according to Englen, as they were leaving, a Pakistani Air Force F-16 Viper attempted to engage his MH-47G at least three times.

Englen further maintains that the encounter was electronic as missiles from the two fighter planes were not fired.

Due to the secrecy of the mission, Englen did not provide further details on what type of electronic warfare systems he employed to evade the Pakistani fighter jet but it is known that the MH-47G has some form of radio-frequency countermeasures system, in addition to infrared and laser missile warning receivers and countermeasures.


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Such sophisticated systems make the Night Stalkers Chinooks the most heavily modified and best-protected versions of that helicopter anywhere in the world.

WTI training course

On evading Pakistan’s F-16 jet, Englen used methods taught to him by the US Marine Corps’ Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course.

Despite helicopters not having much air defense other than terrain masking and concealment, the elite WTI course teaches pilots how to engage their helicopters during air-to-air combat.

Read more: US will resume military training programs for Pakistan

Pilots are practically taught how to fly their helicopters against other helicopters and jets. They are given multiple scenarios (head-on, offset, rear, etc.) which are developed to cover all aspects. They are also taught evasive maneuvering.

According to Englen, fighter pilots tend to be exposed to very limited opportunities to regularly practice techniques against large transport aircraft or helicopters, hence this factor also worked favorably while evading the Pakistani F-16.

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