I’m intrigued by today’s news of a Philippine Air Force airstrike against a terrorist camp on the southern island of Sulu. According toreports, a pair of PAF OV-10 Broncos dropped four 500lb bombs during the 3amraid, killing 15 terrorists (2000lbs of HE packs a hell of a punch). Among thecasualties was one terrorist with a $5 million bounty on his head and two other senior terrorists.
The reports indicated that a US drone provided supportduring the raid. While I have the utmost respect for the men of the PAF andacknowledge that the Bronco is one of the great counter insurgency (COIN)aircraft of all time, I was not aware that PAF OV-10s possessed the capabilityto carry out a precision strike like this in the dead of night. And wouldn’tthe noise of the OV-10′s engines have alerted the terrorists that something wasup?
There is something fishy here. What,exactly, is the nature of this US drone support? While it is certainly possiblethat a US MQ-1 Predator could have designated the targets for the Broncos, it’salso entirely possible that this lethal raid is the work of an MQ-9 Reaper. Or,could the shooter have been a US Navy or USAF platform flying at high altitude?Hmmm.