12 Apr 03. The armchair pundits view that the final battle for Baghdad would be played out with a Monty-style set piece frontal assault on the city was eclipsed by the fast moving ‘Pattonesque’ tactics adopted by the US Army.
Using live video footage from Global Hawk and Predatory UAVs, the US forces were able to accurately pinpoint centres of potential resistance, attack them with artillery, aircraft or armed UAVs and send heavily armed, fast moving columns to take and hold the ground.
An example of the effectiveness of the use of armed UAVs was demonstrated in Southern Iraq when a U.S. Air Force MQ-1 Predator found and destroyed a radar-guided anti-aircraft artillery gun on March 22nd making it the first Predator strike of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The multirole Predator used one AGM-114K “Hellfire II” missile to strike an Iraqi ZSU-23-4 mobile anti-aircraft artillery gun outside the southern Iraqi town of Al Amarah.
“The RQ-1 model is used for reconnaissance, while the MQ-1 model is used as an unmanned strike platform,” said Lt. Col. Brian Pierson, chief of reconnaissance operations at the Combined Air Operations Center located at a desert air base in Southwest Asia.