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Wild Weasel Missions: Strike Support and Search and Destroy

Strike Support: First In, Last Out
On strike support missions deep into North Vietnam, Wild Weasels ranged ahead of strike forces to suppress SAM sites and gun laying radars in the target area. Ideally, the Wild Weasels would destroy them, but intimidating the radars to shut down and keeping them occupied also accomplished the main mission of protecting the strike force. To complete their mission, the Wild Weasels selflessly kept themselves between the enemy defenses and the strike force. They remained in the area until the strike force was gone -- hence the motto "First In, Last Out."

Search and Destroy: Trolling for SAMs
The other type of Wild Weasel mission, search and destroy, involved hunting SAMs to destroy them as a primary mission. Usually flying in the southern part of North Vietnam, the Wild Weasel would "troll" for SAM sites, acting as bait to tempt them to fire. When a SAM site fired, the telltale smoke and dust created by the SA-2 launch visually revealed its exact location. After the trolling Wild Weasel outmaneuvered the missiles with a "SAM break," they or other aircraft would attack and destroy the SAM site.

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