Al Marsh

F-22 pilot tells Iranian F-4 pilots, “You really oughta go.”

September 23, 2013 by Alton K. Marsh, Senior Editor, AOPA Pilot

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, son of an Air Force combat veteran and father of an Air Force pilot, likes to brag on his personnel. At the Air Force Association convention in New Harbor, Md., this month he described what happened when Iranian pilots intercepted a remotely piloted vehicle doing surveillance over the Arabian Gulf. The encounter was first reported in “AvWeb,” and you can see the actual speech here. Change the quality to the lowest possible to help stream the video. (Click on the gear symbol at lower right and choose the bottom setting.)  The comments concerning F-22 pilot Lt. Col. Kevin “Showtime” Sutterfield occur at 18:25 into the video.

Welsh described the March incident this way: “You guys see the news clip not long ago about the Iranian F-4 that intercepted a remotely piloted aircraft over the Arabian Gulf, and then they were warned off? This is the guy that warned them off…after he rejoined on them, flew underneath their aircraft to check out their weapons load without them knowing he was there, and then pulled up on their left wing and called them and said, ‘You really oughta go.’” They left.

6 Responses to “F-22 pilot tells Iranian F-4 pilots, “You really oughta go.””

  1. Alex Kovnat Says:

    Iran still using F-4 Phantom II’s? The F-4 is my favorite high performance jet fighter-bomber of the 1950′s right up to the 1980′s timeframe. The F-4 didn’t walk on water; it had its faults. Yet the Phantom II was the most important hardware example of where our aerospace/ defense industry was at during the 1960′s. What other high performance fighter bomber was capable of Mach 2+, could operate from land air bases or aircraft carriers (which it was designed to do), was adaptable to a variety of payloads and roles, and served in numerous nation’s air forces besides the U.S.? Here in America, the Phantom served with the Navy, the Air Force, and the Air National Guard. While USAF aircraft like the F-106 were one-trick ponies, the Phantom II did it all: Interceptor, ground attack, and intelligence gathering (as the RF-4).

    So hopefully someday when relationships between the U.S. and Iran settle down, their F-4′s will be preserved by groups who value our aerospace heritage.

    The F-15, F-16 and the unfortunately no-longer-in-production F-22 of course are more capable (and in the case of the F-16, more economical) than the Phantom II. But they should be: The F-15 and F-16 didn’t begin service until the post-Vietnam war 1970′s, and the -22 not until the last decade. The day of the Phantom is over for the Luftwaffe and various other air forces of the world, but what a glorious career it had!

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