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Investigation Report


Seal, U.S. Department of Defense

Formal Investigation into the Circumstances Surrounding the Downing of Iran Air Flight 655 on 3 July 1988


Winner of the Doublespeak Award for 1988

“omission, distortion, contradiction, and misdirection”

“Doublespeak and Iran Air Flight 655” {25kb.pdf, source} (Public Language Award Committee, NCTE: National Council of Teachers of English), and see, D.G. Kehl (Professor of English, Arizona State University), “Doublespeak: Its Meaning and Its Menace” {22kb.pdf, source} (“The Best of the 1988 Quarterly Review of Doublespeak”).  CJHjr

Hormuz, Space Shuttle photo
Admiralty Chart 2888, widths:
620px, 780px, 1000px, 1263px, 1580px
Acronyms  CJHjr

28 Jul 88


From: Rear Admiral William M. Fogarty, USN
To: Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command
SubjFormal Investigation into the Circumstances Surrounding the Downing of a Commercial Airliner by the USS Vincennes (CG 49) on 3 July 1988 (U)
Ref: (a) JAG Manual

{1993 list, concealed from the 1988 public report}

Encl: {Enclosures}

(1) Record of Hearing (SNF) (w/table of contents and glossary of abbreviations) / Exhibits (SNF)

(2) USCINCCENT 202256Z Jul 88; Subj: Status of efforts to locate Black Box from Iran Air Flt 655

(3) USS Vincennes 202049Z Jul 88; Subj: Investigation matters (data breakout)

(4) Link II {sic: Link 11} Data Exchange Chart

(5) Air tracks in system from 0653-0655

(6) NAVSWC Dahlgren 080516Z Jul 88; Subj: Data extraction from USS Vincennes tapes (SNF)

(7) IFF information from C&D/IFF interface (SNF)

(8) Link IFF tracks (SNF)

(9) CJTFME 210610Z Jul 88; Subj: Commercial air safety status report

(10) Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

(11) USCINCCENT 210300Z Jul 88; Subj: U.S. investigation into Iran Air incident; request for ICAO assistance

(12) Messages requesting assistance in obtaining IR 655 Black Box

(13) Messages pertaining to data analysis

(14) AMEMBASSY Abu Dhabi 230936Z Jul 88; Subj: Request for official Air Traffic Control (ATC) information

(15) Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

(16) Messages relating to ESM information

(17) Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

(18) Statement of Medical Experts

(19) Investigating team background information

(20) USDAO Muscat 241708Z Jul 88; Subj: Iranian aircraft mimics U.S. IFF squawks

(21) Message relating to commercial air safety

(22) Boyes, J. L., “Testing Human Stress in C3I”, Signal, March 1987

(23) ADMINSUPU Bahrain 270850Z Jul 88; Subj: Medical assistance for USS Vincennes (S)

(24) USCINCCENT 251457Z Jul 88; Subj: Commercial air safety over the Persian Gulf; and USCINCCENT 251431Z Jul 88; Subj: Persian Gulf/NOTAM {p.2-1993}

Redactions: 1993 v. 1988

Text beside a green bar, and text underlined in green, was concealed by the DoD, when it released its report to the public, on August 19 1988.

Five years later, in 1993, the DoD quietly restored this text in a declassification review.

This webpage is the 1993 text.

Much of the content of the 1988 omissions was slowly revealed, here and there, in the interim.

But, important text they continue to conceal from the public. Especially, most of the prima facie unlawful Rules of Engagement.

So too, the exhibits and enclosures they also conceal from the public. References to these documents (in parentheses) terminate many paragraphs in the report, mostly in part III (“Findings of Fact”). The DoD concealed all these document references, from the retyped 1988 report they released to the public. The number of these, their secret redactions, is so immense, I don’t underline them here, to avoid clutter.

  Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

1. (U) As directed by Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command, and in accordance with reference (a), a formal investigation was convened on 3 July 1988. The original record of hearings and additional documents are forwarded as enclosures (1) through (24).

2. (U) The Investigating Officer, after inquiring in to {sic: into} all facts and circumstances connected with the incident which occasioned the investigation, and having considered the evidence, submits the following preliminary statement, executive summary, findings of fact, opinions and recommendations: {p.3-1993}


Preliminary Statement

1. (U) By order of General George B. Crist, USMC, Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command, dated 3 July 1988, Rear Admiral William M. Fogarty, USN, Director, Policy and Plans (J-5), U.S. Central Command, was appointed to conduct a formal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the downing of a commercial airliner by the USS Vincennes on 3 July 1988.

2. (U) The formal investigation was conducted at the Administrative Support Unit, Bahrain, with preliminary interviews and information gathering conducted by the investigating team on board USS Vincennes (CG 49), USS Elmer Montgomery (FF 1082), USS Sides (FFG 14), and USS Coronado (AGF 11), flagship for Commander, Joint Task Force Middle East (CJTFME).

3. (U) Rear Admiral Fogarty, and an investigating team composed of five officers, arrived in Bahrain on the evening of 5 July 1988. ¶

Brief summaries of the service assignments of the team members are provided at enclosure (19). ¶

Preliminary interviews began on board participating units on 6 July 1988. ¶

Two additional investigating team members arrived 9/10 July 1988, one by way of Commander, Seventh Fleet, where he gathered information on the USS Vincennes pre-deployment training. ¶

“ The members of the investigation team are as follows:

Rear Adm. W.M. Fogarty, USN
Capt. A. Creely, USN
Capt. D. Albrecht, JAEC, USN
Capt. D. Knappe, USN
Capt. J. Keiley, USN
Capt. R. Horne, USN
Lt. Cdr. T. Bush, USN and
Lt. Cdr. C. Yuhas, JAGC, USN
Technical advisers:
Cdr. M. Cassidy (PMS 400) and
Cdr. W. Kyle (PMS 400).”

Senate Hearing, p.22 (Sept. 8 1988)

CJTFME,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {RADM A. A. Less, USN}; ¶

USS Vincennes Commanding Officer, Capt W. Rogers, USN; ¶

USS Vincennes Force Anti-Air Warfare Coordinator (FAAWC),  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {Lieutenant Commander Scott Lustig}; and ¶

USS Vincennes Tactical Action Officer (TAO),  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {Lieutenant Commander Victor Guillory}, ¶

were designated as parties to the investigation. ¶

Formal hearings began on 13 July 1988 and closed on the afternoon of 19 July 1988. {p.2-1988}

4. (U) The investigation inquired into all the events which occurred prior to, during, and immediately following the engagement of Track Number (TN) 4131, later identified as Iran Air Flight 655. This designation of TN 4131 is used interchangeably with Iran Air Flight 655 throughout the investigation. There were specific, technically complex issues that required the Investigating Officer to call upon the professional expertise of the Commander, Naval Surface Weapons Center (NSWC), Dahlgren, and NAVSEA (PMS-400) personnel. The USS Vincennes data recording tapes were hand delivered under chain-of-custody immediately following the incident to NSWC Dahlgren. After initial data reduction in the United States, technical representatives from NWSC Dahlgren, led by  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , {Head,} AEGIS Program Office, and NAVSEA (PMS-400) representatives came to Bahrain and provided further analysis on the following matters:

a. AEGIS Weapon System Mark 7 performance and operation;

b. Performance and operation of the AN/SPY-1A radar;

c. Operation and message content in Link 11; {p.4-1993}

d. UPX-29 IFF operations;

e. Reconstruction of Command and Decision (C&D) console operator actions;

f. Comparison of tape data analysis with statements by operators;

g. C&D doctrine enabled and entered;

h. Internal voice configuration and capability; and,

i. Environmental effects on system performance.

5. (U) As the investigation progressed, the statements and testimony of the witnesses were integrated into the timeline extracted from the data reduction, to form a chronology of the engagement. That chronology is attached as I.O. Exhibit (104) to the hearing. Timelines became essential elements of the investigation, particularly as regards the short time period (minutes and seconds) in which the Commanding Officer was required to make his decision to fire. This time period is referred to as the “critical time period” throughout the report.


“ “Secret” shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the national security that the original classification authority is able to identify or describe.”

Executive Order 13292 (March 25 2003) (Wiki).

6. (S U) Because of a divergence between the recorded data on the USS Vincennes’s tapes and the recollection of the witnesses concerning what they saw and when they reported what they saw, a USN Medical Corps Team consisting of a psychiatrist and a physiologist were requested by the Senior Investigating Officer to come to Bahrain. They arrived in Bahrain after the formal hearing closed. They were requested to determine whether the dynamics of the situation which confronted the crew of the USS Vincennes impacted on their ability to perceive and relay the data which was available to them. Their analysis is provided at Enclosure (18).

7. (U) Certain items relevant to the investigation were not available to the Senior Investigating Officer. These items were primarily those which Iran could best provide (black box, recovery of wreckage, manifest, list of deceased, etc.). Requests for assistance through diplomatic channels were submitted via Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command, to obtain {p.3-1988} this information for inclusion in the report of investigation as appropriate. (Encl 12).

8. (U) Enclosures (2) through (24) contain information relevant to the investigation, but were obtained or prepared after the adjournment of the investigation hearing.

9. (U) Certain intelligence statements were prepared utilizing documents or sources classified higher than SECRET/NOFORN Dissemination. References to those documents are contained in I.O. Exhibit (232). ¶

Copies of the actual documents in I.O. Exhibit (232) will be retained in the Special Security Office, U.S. Central Command.

10. (U) All times listed in the findings of fact and opinions are {p.5-1993} “Z” time.

The warship clock

Query:Z” time?

Zulu is Greenwich Mean Time, now termed UTC: Universal Coordinated Time.

Concealed behind this Z-time convention, is this material fact, DoD officials concealed, from this their report:

The warship clock was set 30 minutes different from Bandar Abbas Time:

“ Senator Carl Levin: In any event, it took off at 10:17 local time and you indicated, I believe, that —

Rear Admiral Robert J. Kelly: Sir, that is 10:17 local Bandar Abbas time, which is 30 minutes different from the time on the clock on the ship.”

Senate Hearing, p.26 (Sept. 8 1988)

Doubtless, the warship clock was set to Bahrain Time, the headquarters of the U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet in the Gulf for 40 years. The same as Dubai Time, IR655’s destination: UTC/GMT + 4 hours.

Bandar Abbas Time was 30 minutes earlier: UTC/GMT + 3-1/2 hours.

And what does this mean?

This means, that when Iran Air Flight 655 took off, at 10:17 a.m. Bandar Abbas Time, the warship clock showed 30 minutes later, 10:47 a.m., about an hour after the flight’s Scheduled Time of Departure, as shown on the warship’s airline schedule, either 9:50 a.m. or 9:59 a.m., depending on whether the typographical error in the DoD Report was a faithful copy of the warship’s airline schedule.

In addition to this 30 minutes, senior U.S. military officers also asserted that take-off time (when the wheels leave the ground) was the same as the Scheduled Time of Departure shown on the airline schedule (when the aircraft door closes at the gate). This assertion neglects to allow for the push-back delay at the gate (eg: starting the engines), the taxi-out time to the runway, and the take-off roll. This routine, predictable, time on the ground was 12 minutes, for IR655.

The negligent failure by senior U.S. military officers to inform their warship crews about both of these times issues is one of the many prima facie proximate causes of the ambush.

Hence, their decision to omit, from their misleading report, the warship clock setting, and their decision to misrepresent what take-off time means, in their report and in their sworn testimony to Congress, are prima facie criminal lies.

In combination, these two negligent failings, by senior U.S. military officers, to explain these time issues, recklessly incited their warship crews to wrongly believe, that an airliner — which their duty required them to stand watch for — taking off 15 minutes late from Bandar Abbas was taking off an hour late, instead.

An excellent criminal motive for senior U.S. military officers to unite, in a prima facie criminal conspiracy, to conceal their reckless negligence from their deceitful report.

And, to lie to Congress about the reason the Vincennes crew member, responsible for that duty, did not understand his airline schedule when he looked at it:

“ Admiral William M. Fogarty: At 0648 Zulu the identification supervisor reviewed the commercial air schedule at his station and, because Iran Air 655 was 27 minutes late, he incorrectly concluded that the contact of interest was not flight 655.”

Senate Hearing, p.10 (Sept. 8 1988).

Ditto, Admiral Robert J. Kelly, House Hearing, p.89 (Sept. 9 1988).  CJHjr

11. (S U) During the investigation, the importance of the information being presented by way of the USS Vincennes Large Screen Displays (LSD) became apparent. Therefore, an explanation of that system’s capabilities and limitations is provided here for the benefit of the reviewer.

The AEGIS Large Screen Display (LSD) is a part of the AEGIS Display System (ADS) and is a primary visual information source for the CO, TAO and Force Warfare Commanders. It consists of four 42″ x 42″ flat, vertically mounted, 2-dimensional displays which display the tactical picture contained in the C&D computers. This information is displayed as Navy Tactical Display System (NTDS) symbology with appropriate velocity leaders. The range scales can be varied from 8 to 2048 nautical miles. Geographic outline maps as well as operator selectable line segments, points, circles and ellipses can also be displayed. These latter items can be used to construct operational areas, geographic features, range rings, air lanes, etc. The display operator can also attach a 24 character alpha-numeric label (or “tag”) to any track or point. Therefore the track classification, ID, position relative to other tracks, range, bearing, course and speed as well as position relative to geographic features or airlanes, etc., can be displayed. However, it is important to note, that altitude cannot be displayed on the LSD in real-time.

12. (S U) TN 4133, which lifted off from Bandar Abbas shortly after TN 4131, is used as the identifier for an Iranian C-130.

13. (U) A glossary of abbreviations used throughout the report has been compiled and is attached at the end of the transcript of the proceedings.

14. (S U) The Report of Investigation is formatted to give the reviewer a general overview of the events surrounding the incident in the Executive Summary. The Findings of Fact are arranged with background on the intelligence and operational picture in the Persian Gulf to provide the reviewer with essentially the same data which was available to CJTFME and the {p.4-1988} USS Vincennes on 3 July 1988. Environmental factors, commercial air information, data on Iran Air Flight 655, and relevant portions of the Peacetime Rules of Engagement (ROE) are then treated as discrete blocks of information before addressing the USS Vincennes training and readiness, watch organization, overall combat system status, communications, and combat systems doctrine. With the foundation thus laid, the actual events of 3 July 1988 which led to the downing of TN 4131 are examined beginning with the surface engagement which formed an integral part of the decision process of the Commanding Officer, USS Vincennes. The USS Vincennes data recordings have enabled the investigation to break the critical time period, which comprised {p.6-1993} the air engagement, into a minutes and seconds sequence of specific actions as they occurred along a timeline. Finally, post-incident search and rescue efforts, and after action reports are addressed. Opinions and Recommendations conclude this report. {p.7-1993}


Executive Summary

A. Introduction.

1. (U) On 3 July 1988, the USS Vincennes (CG 49), operating in the Southern Persian Gulf as a unit assigned to Commander, Joint Task Force Middle East, downed a civilian airliner, Iran Air Flight 655 on a routine scheduled flight from Bandar Abbas to Dubai, with two SM-2 missiles.


“ “Confidential” shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security that the original classification authority is able to identify or describe.”

Executive Order 13292 (March 25 2003) (Wiki).

2. (C U) The material condition, combat systems, training and personnel readiness of the ship were satisfactory.

3. (U) The following narrative summarizes the events leading up to and including the downing of Iran Air Flight 655. It is in the form of a chronology because the situation leading up to, just prior to, and during the few critical minutes from Iran Air Flight 655 take-off to downing are considered important to a full understanding of the incident. All times in the report are “Z” time.

B. Pre–3 July Scenario.

1. (SNF U) In the three day period prior to the incident, there was heightened air and naval activity in the Persian Gulf. Iraq conducted air strikes against Iranian oil facilities and shipping 30 June through 2 July 1988. Iranian response was to step up ship attacks. Additionally, Iran deployed two, possibly three, F-14’s from Bushehr to Bandar Abbas. U.S. Forces in the Persian Gulf were alerted to the probability of significant Iranian military activity resulting from Iranian retaliation for recent Iraqi military successes. That period covered the fourth of July holiday weekend.

2. (SNF U) During the afternoon and evening hours of 2 July 1988 {p.5-1988} and continuing into the morning of 3 July 1988, Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) armed small boats (Boghammers, and Boston Whalers) positioned themselves at the western approach to the Strait of Hormuz (SOH). From this position, they were challenging merchant vessels, which has been a precursor to merchant ship attacks. On 2 July 1988, USS Elmer Montgomery was located sufficiently close to a ship attack in progress as to respond to a request for distress assistance and to fire warning shots to ward off IRGC small boats attacking a merchant vessel.

C. 3 July Surface Engagement

1. (S U) On the morning of 3 July 1988, USS Elmer Montgomery was on patrol in the northern portion of Strait of Hormuz Western Patrol Area (SOHWPA). ¶

At approximately 0330Z, USS Montgomery observed seven small Iranian gunboats approaching a Pakistani merchant vessel. The small boats were reported by USS Montgomery {p.8-1993} to have manned machine gun mounts and rocket launchers. Shortly thereafter, USS Montgomery observed a total of 13 Iranian gun boats breaking up into three groups. Each group contained 3 to 4 gun boats with one group of four gun boats taking position off USS Montgomery’s port quarter. ¶

“ We checked with the captain of the Pakistani merchant ship.

He tells us that he issued no distress call that day.

Nor was he harassed.”

Ted Koppel (Nightline Anchor and Managing Editor), “The USS Vincennes: Public War, Secret War” (ABC News, Nightline, July 1 1992) (TV documentary).

At 0411Z, USS Montgomery heard the gun boats over bridge to bridge challenging merchant ships in the area. USS Montgomery then heard 5 to 7 explosions coming from the north. ¶

At 0412Z, “Golf Sierra” (COMDESRON 25) directed USS Vincennes to proceed north to the vicinity of USS Montgomery and investigate USS Montgomery’s report of small boats preparing to attack a merchant ship. USS Vincennes’s helo (Ocean Lord 25/LAMPS MK-III helo) on routine morning patrol, was vectored north to observe the Iranian small boat activity. USS Vincennes was also monitoring a routine maritime patrol of an Iranian P-3 operating to the west. ¶

At approximately 0615Z, the USS Vincennes’s helicopter was fired upon by one of the small boats. USS Vincennes then took tactical command of USS Montgomery and both ships proceeded to close the position of the helicopter and the small boats at high speed. As USS Vincennes and USS Montgomery approached the position of the small boats, two of them were observed to turn towards USS Vincennes and USS Montgomery. The closing action was interpreted as a demonstration of hostile intent. USS Vincennes then requested and was given permission by CJTFME to engage the small boats with gunfire. ¶

At approximately 0643Z, USS Vincennes opened fire and was actively involved in the surface engagement from the time Iranian Air Flight 655 took off from Bandar Abbas through the downing of Iran Air Flight 655.

2. (S U) During the course of the gun engagement of the Iranian small boats, the USS Vincennes, at approximately 0654Z, had maneuvered into a position 1 mile west of the centerline of civilian airway Amber 59. The USS Sides, transiting from east to west through the SOH, was approximately 18 miles to the east and became involved in the evolving tactical situation. {p.6-1988}

D. Bandar Abbas/Iran Air Flight 655/Air Engagement

1. (SNF U) On 3 July 1988, at approximately 0647Z, an Iran Air Airbus 300, Iran Air Flight 655, took off from the Bandar Abbas joint military/civilian airport destined for Dubai airport. The flight was a routine scheduled, international flight via commercial airway Amber 59.

2. (SNF U) Iranian military authorities have in the past notified the commercial tower at Bandar Abbas when hostilities were in progress in a given area. No such notification was made to Iran Air Flight 655 prior to or during the course of the incident.

3. (SNF U) An Iranian military C-130 took off approximately 7 minutes after Iran Air Flight 655, and a number of Iranian F-4’s {p.9-1993} were observed to be operating in the area of Bandar Abbas approximately 30 minutes after the incident.


Query: C-130, “7 minutes”?

Let’s see now.

IR655 took off at 0647.

So the C-130 took off at 0654.

Right?  CJHjr

“ 0651 ... Iranian military C-130 takes off from Bandar Abbas, destination Lavan Island, flight planned route A59-MOBET-W17F.”

ICAO Report, p. A-8.

4. (SNF U) Iran Air Flight 655 took off on runway 21 (heading 210 degrees true), was directed by the Bandar Abbas Tower to squawk IFF mode III code 6760, and began a normal climb out to assigned altitude of 14,000 feet for the flight, which lasted a total of 7 minutes before the plane was hit by the missiles from USS Vincennes. The pilot remained within the Amber 59 air corridor (20 miles wide, 10 miles each side of centerline), made a routine position report to Bandar Abbas departure control at approximately 0654Z, and was ascending through 12,000 feet at a speed of approximately 380 kts at the time of making his report.

ATC intercepts

“ Senator Carl Levin: On page 6 of your report, paragraph 4, you indicate that Flight 655 was directed by the Bandar Abbas tower to begin a normal climb to an assigned altitude of 14,000 feet, to squawk Mode III code, et cetera.

How do we know that?

Admiral William M. Fogarty: Sir, I have to talk to that in closed session. I cannot discuss that at this level.

Senator Levin: We were not in touch with that tower?

Admiral Fogarty: No, sir.”

Senate Hearing, p.25 (Sept. 8 1988).


The intelligence sources, Mr. Fogarty here alludes to, were, presumably:

Naval/NSA signals intelligence officers onboard the Vincennes itself with the Naval Security Group Command (NSGC) in charge of the Ship’s Signals Exploitation Space (SSES), recording all Iranian radio broadcasts.

The NSA/DIA on-shore listening/radar station in Oman, on the Musandam Peninsula {photo: 257kb.html, map: 79 kb gif} (with antennas likely at 2,000 feet or better elevation {67 kb gif}, with line-of-sight to the broadcast antenna at Bandar Abbas airport, no more than 45 n.miles north), recording all Iranian radio broadcasts.

The Hawkeye crew aloft nearby at the time, above the Northern Gulf of Oman, recording all Iranian radio broadcasts.

The AWACS crew aloft at the time, above the Northern Persian Gulf, recording all Iranian radio broadcasts.

Possibly, British Intelligence (on its warships, or its likely GCHQ feed from the same listening station at Musandam), recording all Iranian radio broadcasts.

And, finally, the NSA Head Office at Fort Meade Maryland, and the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon in Virginia, each recording in real time, via satellite relay from their listening station at Musandam, if that’s they wanted to do, all Iranian radio broadcasts.

Plainly, Mr. Fogarty had in his possession multiple tape recordings and transcripts of the broadcast conversations between Air Traffic Control and the IR655 pilot. And, between the IR655 pilot and his airport office.

And surely these were tone time-stamped, automatically in the recording (like Air Traffic Control tapes are), at the uniform U.S. Military time, synchronized to a zillionth of a second, worldwide, by the U.S. Military’s atomic clocks.

These time-stamped recordings are among the most material facts in this investigation. As we shall soon see. And, not being a nincompoop, William M. Fogarty knew that too.

And yet, Mr. Fogarty concealed these material tapes and transcripts from his report.

Concealed them from the classified exhibits to his report.

And concealed them from the classified enclosures to his report.

Why did Mr. Fogarty decide to omit this material information? And thereby commit a prima facie crime (lying by material omission).

He must have had a good reason.

Could this be the reason?:

“ Congressman Les Aspin (Chairman): Is there some reason to doubt that when you are asking a plane to identify itself or its purpose, it may be the plane doesn’t know that it is being addressed? ...

Rear Admiral Robert J. Kelly: What I said was basically that the international distress frequency on VHF, which is a frequency of 121.5, is what is commonly used for these warnings.

There is also an effort underway to install more VHF radios on our ships over there. The VHF radio on Vincennes was difficult to re-tune, so it couldn’t be done very quickly.

One of the recommendations and steps that we have taken is to install an additional VHF radio on those ships which is dialable. In other words, the guy can just dial in the new frequency like a telephone and it will change.

What we were hoping to be able to do was to establish through some network over there another method besides 121.5 to communicate if a coordination problem arises.

For example, if we knew what the frequencies the aircraft were assigned as they transited certain areas of the Gulf, our ships could then come up on those frequencies.

We are still working on that.

In the interim, we have already installed radios on the ships that are serving in the Middle East forces.”

Robert J. Kelly (Rear Admiral, Vice Director for Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Department of Defense), House Hearings, p.184 (Sept. 9 1988)

“ Senator John Glenn: I would be interested ... if you considered assigning any responsiblity for the Vincennes shoot down to the Commander of the Joint Task Force of CinCCent for failure to recognize and extablish adequate procedures to deal with commercial air traffic in the Gulf.

Admiral William M. Fogarty:... There was nothing that I found during the course of my investigation in this regard that would have made me consider assigning any responsibility for the Vincennes incident to Commander Joint Task Force Middle East of USCinCCent.”

Senate Hearing (written questions/answers) p.55-56 (Sept. 8 1988)


And, there are two other good reasons:

See below, for a warning broadcast by the Vincennes IAD radio-talker, while the IR655 pilot was busy talking to Air Traffic Control — a carefully concealed material fact and prima facie crime.

And see here, for carefully concealed evidence that the Vincennes and Montgomery IAD radio talkers were broadcasting and talking at the same time, simultaneously, a jumble of nothing any human being could understand — a carefully concealed material fact and prima facie crime.


These carefully concealed recordings bear directly on the State Responsibility of the United States of America to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Accordingly, to conceal this material evidence constitutes all those participating in the prima facie criminal conspiracy to lie (a “felony”), in this official report, and in testimony to Congress, equally complicit in the foreseeable consequences of their felony conspiracy, namely:

The felony-murder, or manslaughter, of the mostly American victims of Pan Am 103, bombed a few months later (December 21 1988, 270 victims), a promised, foreseeable, apparent, international countermeasure to the first criminal enterprise, the conspiracy of criminal liars, who decided to lie, and falsely deny responsibility, on behalf of the United States, thereby threatening more of the same in the future, and so legalizing an eye for an eye (a species of self-defense).  CJHjr

5. (S U) At approximately 0654Z, the missiles fired from USS Vincennes impacted the aircraft at an altitude of 13,500 feet, approximately 8 miles from USS Vincennes, with Iran Air Flight 655 still in its assigned air corridor. Debris from the aircraft and a significant number of bodies were found 6.5 miles east of Hengham Island at 26-37.75N/56-01E. While no passenger manifest nor list of deceased has been released by Iran, various sources have established that some 290 persons from six nations, were on board Iran Air Flight 655.

6. Vincennes—Critical Decision Window

(a) (S U) At approximately 0647Z — Iran Air Flight 655 was detected by the USS Vincennes’s AN/SPY-1A radar bearing 025 degrees, 47NM, at 900 feet and seconds later was assigned TN 4131. At approximately 0648Z, USS Sides detected Iran Air Flight 655, bearing approximately 355 degrees, range approximately 32 miles at 1500 feet altitude. The aircraft continued to close USS Vincennes with a constant bearing, decreasing range. At approximately 0649Z, USS Vincennes issued warnings on Military Air Distress (MAD) (243.0 mHz) and at 0650Z began warnings on International Air Distress (IAD) (121.5 mHz) to TN 4131 located 025 degrees, 40NM from USS Vincennes.



Query:900 feet”? “1500 feet”?

Are these the same altitude?

They could be.

The explanation, for why these two altitudes could be the same, senior U.S. military officers concealed from their report.

This explanation would reveal some things they were very eager to conceal, namely, the location of the Vincennes.

So they lied, in their 1988 retyped report, and reported altitude values, from two conflicting sources, and concealed it, the altitude sources, and thereby prevented plotting of the approximate location of the warship, several miles inside Iran’s territorial waters, attacking Iran’s coast guard boats many more miles, deep, inside Iran’s territorial waters.

A fine piece of obfuscation. Deceit. One of the many elements in this report, and concealed from it, contributing to the richly deserved recognition DoD officials later received: The annual Doublespeak Award for 1988.

We’ve had the warship clock.

Here, now, another missing piece of this doublespeak jigsaw puzzle:

The 900-feet altitude value, perceived by the Vincennes, was the altitude broadcast by the aircraft’s transponder (mode-C).

An SSR/IFF transponder broadcasts “pressure altitude” (rounded to an even 100 feet), not actual altitude. This is the altitude value used to denominate Air Traffic Control “Flight Levels”. And, because all transponders broadcast this altitude value, Air Traffic Controllers can know with certainty the vertical separation between aircraft aloft.

To accomplish this certainty, the altimeter connected to the transponder, supplies to the transponder an altitude value based on the “standard” barometric pressure of 1013.25 millibars (hPa: hecto-Pascals) (29.92 inches of mercury) (QNE). And this, the pilot cannot alter.

This “standard pressure” was 15 millibars higher than the actual airport air pressure when Iran Air Flight 655 took-off, namely: 998 millibars (hPa) (29.47 inches of mercury) (QNH: adjusted down to mean sea level pressure, by ISA standard formula).

What does this mean?

This means, when the aircraft was sitting on the runway, its transponder (if interrogated) would broadcast an altitude of roughly 400 feet below sea level (about 28 feet per millibar).

This amounts to about 550 feet lower than what the warship radar perceived to be the aircraft’s actual altitude.

See ¶¶ (aa)-(bb), p.56/39, and add 50 feet to the transponder’s altitude broadcast, to reflect the aircraft’s climbing rate of 25 feet per second (1500 feet/minute) during the 2 seconds prior to the warship’s radar altitude value. But see ¶ (g), p.40/28, asserting a 3 second difference, indicating a 525 foot difference instead.

The 150 foot difference (from a runway broadcast) was due to: The 22-foot runway elevation. The height of the warship radar antenna above the sea. The transponder rounding up or down by as much as 50 feet, to an even 100 feet. The DoD report-writers possibly rounding the precise radar altitude value. A slightly different precise air pressure. The state of the tide (on which the warship radar floats up and down, from “mean sea level”): Low tide at 0615. An airport surface air temperature (35°C ) 20°C higher than the ISA standard atmosphere model (15°C), to which altimeters are calibrated. An air temperature at 10,000 feet (18°C) 22.6°C higher than the ISA model, and 2.3°C higher than specified by the ISA “lapse rate” (1.98°C per 1000 feet) from the actual airport temperature. And such. (Meteorological data: ICAO Report, ¶ 1.7, pp.4-5).

The transponder does not broadcast continuously, only in response to an interrogation pulse-train. When interrogated, it broadcasts a pulse-train, encoding either it’s 4-digit identification code number (mode A) or its pressure altitude (mode C) rounded to an even 100 feet. Depending on which pulse-train it received from the interrogator. (The interrogator broadcasts both queries, one after the other).

A transponder broadcasts its reply (on 1090 mHz), 2-microseconds after it receives the last of an interrogation pulse-train (on 1030 mHz). It can reply to 2000 interrogations per second.

The report asserts, that the Vincennes SPY-1 radar interrogated automatically “at one minute intervals”.

Is this a mistake? Perhaps referring to interrogations to an empty sky? Which is not what this report is about. Concealing more frequent automatic interrogations? Once the computer detects a moving target?

I would expect once per second, or thereabouts. An aircraft can cover a lot of altitude in one minute. And though the radar is pulsing fast to watch it, why not pulse the transponder too?

If this assertion be true, and not a mistake, then this detail might have affected events on the day. Because of the sudden jump in altitude displayed to the warship crew, before the radar altitude starts to work (at 6000 feet, in this case). And, thereafter, the jumping disparity between the two altitude values (over a one minute lag). And especially so when, as here, the two altitude values are already more than 500 feet apart to start with.

This sudden jump, in transponder altitude, might be confusing, and suspicious, in a suspicious mind, in a stressed mind. This AirBus was climbing 1500 feet per minute. As it approached.

However, the separate Vincennes rotating air search radar antenna (AN/SPS-49(V)) also interrogates target transponders, as it sweeps, selectable, at either 6 or 12 sweeps per minute (every 10 or 5 seconds). Like an Air Traffic Control radar does. The report does not state whether its radar returns, and transponder responses, are integrated by the SPY-1 computer, automatically updating its database, for all its CRO computer displays. If not, they are anyway certainly shown on the computer console of that rotating radar’s operator (49 ADT).

But I imagine they do update the database, every 5 or 10 seconds. In which event, there is no sudden jump in transponder altitude, and this detail has no bearing on the events of the day.

We’re also supposed to believe this: All warship crew members, in the CIC, having responsibility for aerial threats, can position their computer mouse cursor (“range gate”), on a radar target, displayed on their computer consoles. And thereby manually interrogate a target’s transponder. As often as they wish. And many of them did this, many times, during the flight. Sometimes referred to as a “challenge” (p.48/32, ¶¶ 0650(f); p.49/33, 0651(i)) or an “interrogation” (¶ 7, p.65/47; Crowe endorsement, ¶¶ 5(b)).

This is apparently possible with the UPX-29 transponder-interrogator system:

“The AN/UPX-29 can be controlled from up to 22 manually operated display positions, one semi-automatic operating position, and one shipboard computer controlled interface. These positions can function simultaneously, and AIMS functions are available at each position independent of the functions selected at other positions.”

because its OE-120/UPX antenna is separate from the interrogator antennas connected to the warship’s two radars (phased array and rotating, though the phased array radar may share this interrogator antenna):

“The AIMS antenna consists of 64 radiating elements arrayed in a circle around the ship’s mast. Unlike conventional IFF systems which employ mechanically rotated antennas, the AIMS antenna elements remain stationary while the beam is steered electronically to scan a full 360 degrees around the ship. The beam can also be positioned selectively in any direction within microseconds and has a continuous scan rate of up to 90 revolutions per minute.”

According to this DoD report, the transponder response appears on a separate display from the normal CRO computer screen (which also displays transponder responses, from interrogations by the two radars.) We’ll hear more about this later, in connection with a certain C-130, ducting, and an F-14.


The Sides was 15 n.miles closer to the airport than the Vincennes. But not in the middle of the airway (as the Vincennes was), due to the geography of the area.

The Sides was, however, likely in Iran’s territorial waters (as the Vincennes was too). I haven’t yet tried to determine the precise territorial boundary at the bend in the Strait of Hormuz, but it looks like the shipping lane boundary is also the territorial boundary. This, because the strait is too narrow to enable ships to be 12 n.miles from all surrounding land. And so, a shipping lane has been agreed by the neighboring countries, to enable the “innocent passage” international law requires.

The Sides was not inside that shipping lane, as I plot its position, but, instead, a mile or two towards the airport from the shipping lane boundary.

This may indicate that the report writers decided to conceal the Sides precise location. And to obfuscate which altitude value they reported. (The lower the altitude, the closer to the airport). And why they use their favorite word, “approximately” (“approximately 355 degrees,” “approximately 32 miles”).

They omitted it too from their classified secret exhibits. They list the position log of the Vincennes, and the Montgomery, but not the Sides. (Position Log: The continuous time-stamped position of the ship, from the inertial navigation system).

Did they have a good reason? To purposely conceal position information on the Sides? Or is this merely their unintentional oversight? Or did they honestly consider that information was not material to their task?

It’s almost like the Sides was standing picket, on the airport, while the Vincennes set out to attack and destroy Iran’s coast guard boats. Part of Operation Praying Mantis.

Being much closer to the airport than the Vincennes, the Sides 1500-foot altitude value, reported by the DoD report-writers, could be the aircraft’s radar altitude, not its mode-C transponder broadcast.

The aircraft was well above the Sides’s horizon, at its 32 n.mile range, and well in view by the Sides radars.

Indeed, at 1500 feet radar altitude, the aircraft would have line-of-sight to the Sides at 45 n.miles. And so, at the airport’s apparent actual range (32-33 n.miles), the Sides could theoretically detect the aircraft at 350 feet transponder pressure altitude (900 feet radar altitude):— Long before it reached 1500 feet transponder pressure altitude (2050 feet radar altitude).

And all this without enhanced detection range, from the ducting they claimed existed on the day.

The Sides AN/SPS-49(V) rotating air search radar is a two dimension radar (2D: range, bearing). It cannot determine the height of a target. (The Vincennes SPY-1A phased array radar can).

Therefore, the Sides could determine the target’s altitude in only two ways: From the target’s transponder broadcast and by locking-on with its fire-control radar, which is a three dimenson radar (3D: range, bearing, altitude) and does determine altitude.

And that’s exactly what the Sides commander did, within a minute or so after take-off.

Hence, the 1500 feet, the DoD report-writers asserted, could be the Sides fire-control radar altitude value, not the aircraft’s transponder broadcast.

And, query, does the Sides fire-control radar have a tape recorder attached? And is there a written log in real-time showing these values (time, range, bearing, altitude)? Is switching on a targeting radar, merely to determine altitude, or to warn a pilot, a big enough deal that the Navy requires a written or tape-recorded record of the event? And a justification for it? Or is it routine, and not logged?

The report asserts, that the Vincennes computer system switched, from the aircraft’s transponder mode-C altitude broadcasts, to the warship’s own SPY-1 phased array radar altitude value, at a range of 34 n.miles, when the aircraft was at about 6000 feet radar altitude, and broadcasting about 5400 feet pressure altitude. This fact they concealed from the public report. One of their many obfuscations.

The Vincennes’s initial altitude value of 900 feet pressure altitude (the transponder broadcast) was detected at 0647:37Z. The DoD report writers concealed from their public report both the time and the altitude. And they concealed the time from their classified report. They disclosed the altitude later, in Congressional hearings. (Senate Hearing, p.10 (Sept. 8 1988); House Hearings, p.88 (Sept. 9 1988)). And the secret ICAO Report later disclosed the exact time (ICAO Report, p. A-3 (Nov. 7 1988)). “At approximately 0647Z,” as the DoD report-writers generalized the time in their report (both classified and public) and in their Congressional testimony.

The Sides, 15 n.miles closer to the airport, was able to detect the aircraft before the Vincennes did. Allowing for a few seconds difference between the two observations, the Sides’s value of 1500 feet, “at approximately 0648Z,” could be identical, if it was a radar altitude value.

But, this cannot be the case.

Unless the report writers misposition on the timeline when the Sides first locked on.

The DoD report writers willfully misposition other events and recollections on the timeline, detailed elsewhere herein, in order to portray a false reality. Did they also do that here?

The report writers positioned directly together on the timeline both the Sides lock-on and the Sidesweapons on target message to the Vincennes (concealed from the 1988 public report). The lock-on and the message are separated in the DoD report only by supposed recollections of the event.

If the “message” they refer to were a verbal radio conversation, then this is unlikely the case. Because the Sides officer first had to lock-on, and wait, before he could evaluate the pilot’s response, if any.

Did the report writers conceal, that the lock-on was that many seconds sooner than the “message,” that the Sides 1500 feet altitude observation was a radar altitude value, not a transponder value?

The Sides did not report altitude to the Vincennes (at least, the DoD report writers don’t say so). Altitude isn’t what the Sides officer was mainly interested in. And that’s not why he locked-on.

He locked-on because that’s what his Rules of Engagement required him to do. To warn the pilot. To attempt to learn if the aircraft was military or civilian.

And so, that purpose required him to wait some seconds to see if the pilot would react, to the cockpit alarm, from his cockpit radar homing and warning receiver (RHAW), which airliners don’t have.

If the DoD report writers buried the Sides earlier radar altitude observation, in this lock-on “message,” then the Sides was yet another mile or two closer still to the airport, and that much deeper still into Iran’s territorial waters, than if the 1500 feet was a transponder value.

An excellent motive. To obfuscate this altitude observation. And to conceal the position of the Sides.

The DoD report writers had two tape recordings of the conversations between the Sides and the Vincennes, and so had no difficulty in knowing precisely who said what, to whom, and when. Any delay, however, between the initial lock-on, and the “message” to the Vincennes would not appear on those tapes. While the Sides officer was evaluating the target’s reaction to being locked-on.

And did the Sidesweapons on target message to the Vincennes (omitted from the report) specify a radar altitude?

If the 1500 feet was a transponder value, then the two reported observations are that many seconds apart that the aircraft climbed in the meantime.

And this I believe to be the fact of this particular altitude report.

The Sides certainly observed the aircraft much sooner. And I suppose the DoD report writers simply concealed that fact. Though, it may be, that nobody on the Sides was asked about, or mentioned, a lower altitude observation.

The “message” the DoD report writers refer to (which they concealed from the 1988 version of their report) was not a verbal conversation on the radio. It was computer-talk: An automatic, computer-generated, Link-11, computer message. This fact the DoD report writers concealed, from both the public and the classified versions of their report, presumably to conceal three separate items of negligence discussed below.


To determine the position of the Sides (which the report writers omit from their report), you have to know, where was the aircraft at 1500 feet altitude? Be that actual or transponder.

How far from the end of the runway?

And to know that, you have to know the weight of the aircraft, and its flight profile, on takeoff.

IR655 may have been at 1500 feet actual altitude directly over the coastline, which lies about 1.5 n.miles off the end of the runway, doing about 150 knots. And, conceivably, he may have been higher. (Admiralty Chart 2888, widths: 620px, 780px, 1000px, 1263px, 1580px).

This, based on its take-off weight of 288,026 pounds (130,921 kg). (ICAO Report, pp. A-4, D-10). And, based on the manual for an AirBus A300B4. (IR655 was a B2, and maybe I can eventually find a B2 manual). And, based on two flight profile sheets from AirBus, in the ICAO Report (pp. D-21, D-22). And, assuming he took off about half way down the runway (2.0 n.miles long).

According to this information, at a take-off weight (TOW) of 290,000 pounds, IR655 rotated (V1), on its take-off roll, at 137 knots, took-off (V2) and climbed under full power at about 150 knots (V2+10 knots), at a pitch of 15-18 degrees nose-up. At 800 feet AGL (above ground level), the pilot reduced thrust to his “climb” power setting, and compensated, by reducing pitch to 10 degrees nose-up, thereby maintaining his speed at about 150 knots, and reducing his rate of climb (but maybe not, as he had also retracted his landing gear by then, and eliminated that drag). By 2000 feet, he may have retracted his flaps (V3: 153 knots), thereby beginning his acceleration. Following slat retraction (V4: 192 knots), he was due to reduce pitch again, to 7.5 degrees nose up, continuing to accelerate to his “final take off speed (Vfto: 222 knots).

If he took off half way down the runway, then the coastline was 2.5 n.miles away.

Could he get to 1500 feet, in two and a half miles? Or 2000 feet?

At 150 knots? (IAS: Indicated Air Speed, not ground speed).

I guess I need an AirBus pilot with a stop watch, or an Air Traffic Controller, to tell me. But I haven’t given up searching for the answer to this. And I’m even thinking about getting out my graph paper, and see if I can plot this profile. And vector his speed (part up), and determine his altitude, from pitch (assuming little additional lift).

If the aircraft was directly over the coastline, at 1500 feet — be that actual (radar) altitude, or be that transponder altitude (about 2050 feet actual) — then the position of the Sides, at that moment, was about 56-24 E, 26-39.5 N. To the right of the “Z in “HORMUZ,” on the chart, above the bend in the Strait. (Admiralty Chart 2888, widths: 620px, 780px, 1000px, 1263px, 1580px). This, based on the observation the report writers attribute to the Sides: “bearing approximately 355 degrees, range approximately 32 miles at 1500 feet altitude”.


Transponder details: “Aircraft information — Equipment,” ICAO Report, ¶ 1.6(c), p.4 (two Collins 621A-6 transponders, Serial Numbers: 3800, 2881). Specification sheet: Rockwell International, Series 500, Collins ATC Transponder, 621A-6A (specification standard ARINC 572), Rockwell document number 074-3874-000, 7M-SP-3-85 (March 1985). What is a Transponder? (Rockwell International, Collins Air Transport Division, Avionics Group, Cedar Rapids Iowa 52498, Instruction Guide, Rockwell document number 523-0773764-10111R, 10-1-88, 8+56 pages, October 1 1988). (A current model Collins transponder: TPR-901). Basic Flight Instruments, Chapter 4 of Instrument Flying Handbook (U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Advisory Circular 61-27C, Jan. 1 1980).


(b) (S U) At approximately 0650Z — Several USS Vincennes CIC personnel heard, on internal Combat Information Center (CIC) voice circuits, a report of F-14 activity ¶

which they believed originated from Ship’s Signal Exploitation Space (SSES). ¶


“ Admiral William M. Fogarty: The Ship’s Signal Exploitation Space (SSES) is that space in the ship, physically separated from the CIC, that collects tactical intelligence on a real-time basis. The information is evaluated in the SSES and, if appropriate, is passed to the Combat Information Center for use in the tactical situation.”

Senate Hearing, written statement, p.54 (Sept. 8 1988)


Note:  I suppose the SSES to be under the command of a National Security Agency (NSA) Naval Officer, with the Naval Security Group Command (NSGC), conducting electronic surveillance.  CJHjr

A momentary {p.7-1988} mode II-1100 IFF indication was detected which was correlated with an Iranian F-14. This was reported throughout CIC over internal CIC voice circuits. Continuous MAD and IAD warnings were ordered at 30NM (5 total warnings on MAD and 4 total warnings on IAD). USS Vincennes continued the surface engagement and experienced a foul bore in Mount 51. In order to unmask the after gun mount, full rudder (at 30 knots) was applied. This added to the increasing tension in CIC. {p.10-1993}

(c) (S U) At approximately 0651Z — As TN 4131 closed to 28NM, USS Vincennes informed CJTFME via the Middle East Force execution net that she had a closing Iranian F-14 which she intended to engage at 20NM unless it turned away. USS Vincennes requested concurrence. CJTFME concurred but told USS Vincennes to warn the aircraft before firing. Warnings continued, but no response from TN 4131 was received, nor did it turn away.

(d) (S U) At approximately 0652Z — Warnings continued over both IAD and MAD. Still no response. Although TN 4131 reached the 20NM point, the CO decided not to engage. The order was given to illuminate the contact with fire-control radar. There were no ESM indications. TN 4131 was ascending through 10,000 feet.

(e) (S U) At approximately 0653Z — At 15-16NM, the last warning over IAD was given by USS Sides to the aircraft bearing 204 degrees to USS Vincennes, range 15.5 miles. During the last 30 seconds of this minute, the CO made his decision to engage TN 4131.

(f) (S U) At approximately 0654:05 — The CO turned the firing key. At approximately 0654:22, two SM-2 Blk II missiles {copy} left the rails. Twenty one seconds later, they intercepted Iran Air Flight 655 at a range of 8NM from USS Vincennes at an altitude of 13,500 feet.


E. Post Incident Investigation

1. (S U) The focus of this investigation was on the key factors that figured in the determination of what information was available to the Commanding Officer upon which to base his decision to engage TN 4131, the validity of that data, and what other factors entered into his decision making process. Essential to this determination was a detailed examination of the USS Vincennes’s data reduction tapes, which portray second-by-second the position, kinematics, IFF information and Link eleven (11) message flow of all contacts held by the USS Vincennes’s AEGIS Weapon System. Immediately following the incident, USS Vincennes’s AEGIS data recording tapes were transported to the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren, Virginia for data extraction and evaluation. The data extracted depicted the Iran Air Flight 655 flight profile from first detection to missile intercept. Further, the data allowed reconstruction of all “button actions” by Command and Decision (C&D) console operators in CIC and the information available to them on their console read-outs. Crucial to the investigation became close examination of the approximately 3 minute 45 second period just prior to the Commanding Officer’s {p.8-1988} final decision to fire. During this period, verbal reports were being made by one of the console operators over internal circuits of decreasing range and altitude. Additionally, the fact that the range of TN 4131 was rapidly {p.11-1993} approaching the final weapons release point for the incoming aircraft factors into the decision to fire. Also crucial to the investigation was the explanation (where possible) of the divergence between the data available in the AEGIS system derived from the data reduction tapes and the reports received by the CO and “GW” (the CO’s principal air war advisor), especially the reports of “F-14”, “Mode II code 1100 IFF”, and “decreasing altitude”.

2. (S U) The data from USS Vincennes’s tapes, information from USS Sides and reliable intelligence information, corroborate the fact that TN 4131 was on a normal commercial air flight plan profile, in the assigned airway, squawking Mode III 6760, on a continuous ascent in altitude from take-off at Bandar Abbas to shoot down. {p.12-1993}

Findings of Fact

A. Setting The Stage

1. Intelligence Background.

a. The Gulf War

(1) (U) The war between Iran and Iraq is the latest iteration of a conflict dating back a thousand years. (IO Exhibit 14, FICPAC Gulf Threat Orientation).

(2) (U) Although Iraq used its superior Air Force to target Iranian oil installations around the head of the Gulf and Kharg Island early in the war, the purchase of EXOCET missiles from France in 1983 provided Iraq with a credible ship attack capability. Anti-shipping strikes commenced in 1984. (IO Exhibit 14, FICPAC Gulf Threat Orientation).

(3) (U) Iraq’s intent on conducting anti-shipping attacks was to put economic pressure on Iran by seeking to limit Iran’s oil revenue and to bring an end to the larger ground war. Iran responded in kind by striking tankers in 1984 to prevent war supplies from reaching Iraq. (IO Exhibit 14, FICPAC Gulf Threat Orientation).

(4) (U) Since the start of the Gulf War, as a subset of the larger Iran/Iraq War, there has been a history of violence in the Persian Gulf. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.6).

(5) (SNF U) The Gulf War intensified in 1987 when Iraq used its Air Force to conduct an aggressive campaign against Iranian oil facilities and shipping. The campaign was centered in the Central Persian Gulf (CPG) and intensified in May 1987, apparently reflecting an Iraqi decision to take greater risks to successfully strike Iranian shuttle tankers. These expanded operations culminated in the 17 May 1987 erroneous attack on USS Stark. (IO Exhibit 14, FICPAC Gulf Threat Orientation). {p.9-1988}

(6) (U) The United States commenced escorting Kuwaiti reflagged tankers in 1987. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.6-7)

(7) (SNF U) Iran viewed the escorting of merchant ships in the Gulf by the United States as provocative because it inhibited its ability to attack shipping in retaliation for Iraqi attacks on their facilities and shipping. (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Briefing).

(8) (SNF U) In addition to its strikes against neutral shipping by aircraft, Iran conducted ship attacks with surface ships and small boats. Additionally, Iran also placed six moored mine fields across the Persian Gulf and in the Gulf of Oman in an {p.13-1993} effort to sink US warships and stop convoy operations. These mine fields resulted in severe damage to both Bridgeton in July 1987 and USS Samuel B. Roberts in April 1988. (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Briefing).

(9) (SNF U) Attacks against shipping in the latter part of 1987 and the first part of 1988 marked the most intensive anti-shipping operations by Iran during the war. The predominant Iranian attack platforms during this period were small boats employing 107mm rocket launchers, rocket propelled grenades, and small arms. Because of the use of various conventional and unconventional tactics, Iranian intentions in the Gulf were suspect at all times. (IO Exhibit 14, FOSIF WESTPAC 060847Z May 88).

(10) (SNF U) Anti-shipping warfare profiles show that Iran conducted 88 ship attacks in 1987. 72% of these occurred in the shipping routes between Abu Musa Island and the UAE. From November 1987 to April 1988, all ship attacks were conducted in the southern Persian Gulf (SPG). During 1987, 50% of the attacks were conducted at night. (IO Exhibit 14, FOSIF WESTPAC 060847Z May 88)

(11) (SNF U) Iran also fired 10 silkworm missiles at Kuwait, damaging 1 U.S. flag vessel (Sea Isle City) and another merchant tanker. In October 1987 the United States responded by an attack on the Iranian owned Rostam Oil platform. (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Brief)

(12) (SNF U) Seven additional silkworm sites were constructed in the Strait of Hormuz area which threatened seaborne traffic through that choke point. (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Brief)

b. (SNF U) Iranian Air Reaction to the U.S. retaliation April 1988 (Operation Praying Mantis)

(1) (SNF U) In retaliation for the mining of USS Samuel B. Roberts, the United States attacked the Iranian Sirri and Sasson offshore oil production facilities in the SPG on 18 April 1988. ¶

In response to the U.S. operation, Iranian aircraft and warships deployed from Bandar Abbas to join Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) small boats from Abu Musa Island and Qeshm Island in attacks on U.S. owned or associated oil rigs, platforms and jack-up rigs. ¶

During the engagement with U.S. forces, 2 Iranian frigates and 1 missile patrol boat were sunk or severely damaged. ¶

Eleven F-4s scrambled during the day from Bandar Abbas. USS Wainwright launched missiles at one of the aircraft, damaging it when the aircraft failed to respond to repeated warnings and continued {p.10-1988} to close the ship. (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Briefing). {p.14-1993}

(2) (SNF U) The preponderance of the action between U.S. and Iranian forces on 18 April 1988 during Operation Praying Mantis occurred in the same area where the 3 July 1988 incident with USS Vincennes took place. (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Briefing).

Iran’s oil platforms,
unlawful U.S. attack

“ 68. The Court notes that the attacks on the Salman and Nasr platforms were not an isolated operation, aimed simply at the oil installations, as had been the case with the attacks of 19 October 1987; they formed part of a much more extensive military action, designated “Operation Praying Mantis”, conducted by the United States against what it regarded as “legitimate military targets”; armed force was used, and damage done to a number of targets, including the destruction of two Iranian frigates and other Iranian naval vessels and aircraft.

* * *

125. The Court, (1) By fourteen votes to two, Finds that the actions of the United States of America against Iranian oil platforms on 19 October 1987 and 18 April 1988 cannot be justified as measures necessary to protect the essential security interests of the United States of America under ... the 1955 Treaty ... as interpreted in the light of international law on the use of force.”

Iran v. United States (“Oil Platforms”) (U.N. I.C.J.: International Court of Justice, The Hague, case no. 90, judgment on the merits, November 6 2003) {29.1mb.pdf, source}.

c. Iranian Aircraft Attacks on Shipping

(1) (SNF U) The Iranian Air Force and Iranian warships have conducted a total of 187 attacks on shipping since the campaign began in March 1984, most of those attacks occurred prior to August 1986. Fighter aircraft conducted a majority of these attacks using iron bombs and Maverick missiles. In comparison to the attacks conducted by the IRGC small boats, the air attacks were among the most damaging. (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Briefing).

(2) (SNF U) Following August 1986, Iranian fighter aircraft were rarely used in the ship attacks in an apparent attempt to conserve platforms. (IO Exhibit 14, FOSIF WESTPAC 060847Z May 88).

(3) (   )  (b)(1)  (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Briefing).

(4) (S U) The Iranians have an inventory of over 1000 Maverick missiles. Each missile can be launched from ranges of .5 to 13 NM and television guided. The launching aircraft must be able to keep visual track of the target but does not have to illuminate the target with radar. (IO Exhibit 14, Possible Iranian F-14 Weapons).

(5) (   ) Although there has been no record of F-14s being used for iron bomb attacks, the aircraft is capable of being modified to be used in that role. To use iron bombs, the F-14 would have to close to within  (b)(1)  {2 NM} of the target. That information was included in the intelligence information provided to USS Vincennes on inchop. (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Briefing).

(6) (SNF U) The most recent, confirmed Iranian Air Force anti-shipping attack was on 2 February 1988 when 2 Iranian F-4s launched two Maverick Missiles at the Liberian Tanker, Petrobulk Pilot, at 30NM SSW of the point where USS Vincennes launched its missiles on 3 July. (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Briefing).

(7) (SNF U) The IRGC is reportedly training pilots to fly suicide missions. (IO Exhibit 14, FOSIF WESTPAC 061020Z APR {p.15-1993} 1988).

d. Iranian Air Force Operations 3 June–3 July 1988

(1) (SNF U) Iranian Air Force operating patterns changed significantly, particularly at Bandar Abbas, in the month prior to 3 July 1988. ¶

Where heretofore the Iranian Air Force had generally operated single fighter combat air patrols (CAPs), they changed to 2 aircraft sections. Twenty-five 2-plane CAPs were flown between 2-15 June 1988 alone, representing a significant increase in the airborne activity from Bandar Abbas. (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Briefing).

(2) (S U) Iranian F-14’s have been observed to fly at airspeeds of between 250 KTS while climbing to patrol station and 350 – 400 KTS while on patrol. During air to air intercepts the F-14’s have achieved speeds of 500 – 550 KTS. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.367). {p.11-1988}

(3) (SNF U) At least one, possibly 2 or 3 Iranian F-14s were transferred to Bandar Abbas from their home field at Bushehr on 25 June 1988. (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Briefing).

(4) (SNF U) The addition of the F-14s to the air order of battle at Bandar Abbas was perceived by CJTFME as a significant upgrade in Iranian air capability at Bandar Abbas. (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Briefing).

(5) (SNF U) USS Vincennes was advised by CJTFME on 18 June 1988 of the changing patterns of F-4s operating from Bandar Abbas:

“All units are cautioned to be on the alert for more aggressive behavior. ¶

Reports of Iranian plans to reconvert some F-4s for air to ground roles using iron bombs, Mavericks, Iranian produced 440 lb bombs, or unguided ‘Eagle’ missiles would all point toward an offensive, vice defensive capability.”

(IO Exhibit 14, CJTFME 181225Z Jun 88).

(6) (SNF U) USS Vincennes was advised on 20 June 1988 of modifications to Iranian aircraft including F-4’s.

“Iran is clearly working hard to develop an anti-shipping capability as well, and innovative techniques of adapting air defense weapons systems for ASM purposes are continuing.”

(IO Exhibit 14, CJTFME//J2//200510Z Jun 88).

(7) (SNF U) USS Vincennes was advised on 26 June 1988 of the unprecedented deployment of Iranian F-14’s to Bandar Abbas:

“The F-14 deployment represents an increased threat to allied aircraft operating in SOH, SPG, and GOO.”

(IO Exhibit 14, CJTFME//J2//260900Z Jun 88).

e. The Iranian Posture 25 June–2 July {p.16-1993}

(1) (SNF U) In the week preceding the USS Vincennes incident the Iraqi Air Force stepped up its attacks on Iranian oil facilities and shuttle convoys in the Northern Persian Gulf (NPG). Iranian reaction to these successful Iraqi attacks was anticipated by CJTFME and they warned the Middle East Force, including USS Vincennes, on 2 July 1988. (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Briefing).

(2) (SNF U) USS Vincennes was apprised of the general Iranian situation on 30 June and 1 July, specifically that because Iraq had extended its successes in the ground war to the NPG with a renewed air campaign against Iranian shipping and oil facilities, Iranian reaction should be expected.

“ the meantime, anticipate IRGC ship attacks in retaliation for Iraqi Air Force attacks on Iranian shuttle tankers.”

(IO Exhibit 14, CJTFME//J2//0212900Z July 1988).

(3) (SNF U) The significant Air Order of Battle at Bandar Abbas as of 3 July 1988 was: at least 1 F-14, approximately 6 operational F-4’s, and 1 C-130. (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence background Brief).

(4) (SNF U) The F-14 flights from Bandar Abbas during this period were:

25 June — patrol (0500-0600Z)
26 June — patrol (1300-1400Z)
27 June — patrol (0500-0700Z)
28 June — patrol (1300-1400Z)
29 June — patrol (0700-0900Z)
30 June — patrol (0500-0600Z)
1 July patrol (0700-0900Z) {p.12-1988}
2 July patrol (0700-0900Z)

(IO Exhibit 14, Iranian Air Force Activity from Bandar Abbas).

f. Activity on 2 July, 1988 — The Maersk Attack

(1) (SNF U) At 021600Z the Danish ship, Karma Maersk {sic: Karama Maersk}, outbound from Saudi Arabia, was repeatedly, though unsuccessfully, attacked by IRGC small boats staging out of Abu Musa Island at a point 20NM SW of that island. (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Brief). {p.17-1993}

(2) (SNF U) The Karama Maersk issued a “Mayday” requesting assistance and USS Elmer Montgomery responded and observed several IRGC small boats fire 3 rockets at the Danish merchant at 1630Z. The IRGC boats included at least 1 Boghammer and 2 machine gun equipped Boston whalers. (IO Exhibit 14, USS Montgomery 022230Z Jul 88, Intelligence Background Brief).

(3) (SNF U) The USS Montgomery fired a warning shot at the small boats at about 1730Z and the boats retired to the NW. (IO Exhibit 14, CJTFME//J2//040030Z Jul 88).

2. Operational Background.

a. (U) The Administrative and Operational Organization Charts for the JTFME are contained in this report as IO Exhibit 141.

b. (U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {RADM Anthony A. Less}, USN, was CJTFME and designated “GB” (the radio call sign for the Officer in Tactical Command) on 3 July 1988. He and his staff were embarked in USS Coronado (AFG 11). (IO Exhibits 61, 134, 141).

c. (U) Commander Destroyer Squadron 25, was embarked in the USS John Hancock (DD 981) and was designated “GS” (the radio call sign for the Surface Warfare Commander) by CJTFME. (IO Exhibits 61, 141).

d. (U) The Commanding Officer USS Vincennes (CG 49) was designated “GW” (the radio call sign for the Anti-Air Warfare Commander) by CJTFME. (IO Exhibits 61, 141).

e. (S U) The CJTFME command ship, USS Coronado (AGF 11), had the following principal communication/information equipment available: (1) SAG-A (UHF-Secure Voice); (2) CMEF execution net (UHF SATCOM Secure); (3) JOTS terminal; and (4) Link 11, receive only information which was displayed on the JOTS terminal. All equipment, with the exception of Link 11, was up and working. (IO Exhibit 140,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.124, pp.444-446).

f. (CU) CJTFME uses the JOTS system and voice communication as its primary means of keeping abreast of the tactical situation. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.445).

g. (S U) Communications between CJTFME and USS Vincennes were conducted on the CMEF execution net (MEFEX). (IO Exhibit 128, 140,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.443).

h. (S U) Key CJTFME personnel in flag plot during the engagement of the small boats and track 4131 were:

(1)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {RADM Less}CJTFME {p.18-1993}

(2)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  — Deputy CJTFME

(3)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  — Chief of Staff, CJTFME

(4)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  — Assistant Operations Officer, CJTFME {p.13-1988}

(5)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  — Intelligence Officer, CJTFME

(IO Exhibits 128, 140,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.443).

i. (U) COMAIR Schedules and routes were not plotted in Flag Plot but were available in the Operations Office. (IO Exhibit 116).


3. Rules of Engagement.

a. General

(1) (U) The USS Vincennes had on board a current copy of the effective ROE for the Persian Gulf. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.422).

(2) (S U) The primary responsibility of the Commanding Officer under the ROE is the defense of his ship from attack or the threat of imminent attack. (Exhibit 131, USCINCCENT 232220Z May 88.) {[Remainder of ROE deleted.]}

(3) (S U) USCINCCENT, CJTFME and the on-scene commanders are all authorized to declare a foreign force hostile under circumstances which require immediate defensive action and do not allow time for communications with superiors. (IO Exhibit 131, USCINCCENT 232220Z May 88.)

b. Surface

(1) (S U) Overflight of nonparticipating littoral states or intrusion into their territorial waters or airspace is authorized in self-defense, or with prior permission from the state, or under emergency conditions. (IO Exhibit 131, USCINCCENT 232220Z May 88 para 5B).

(2) (   ) US units are generally required to maintain a distance of  (b)(1)  from belligerent craft in order to prevent the appearance of provocative action. Helicopters are permitted to approach closer for the purpose of visual identification. (  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.478, 480). {p.19-1993}

(3) (S U) Iran has declared its coastal waters to be a exclusion/war zone. (IO Exhibit 133).

(4) (S U) Iran claims a 12NM territorial sea. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.515).

(5) (S U) The ROE prohibits intrusion into Iranian territorial waters or airspace except in the following circumstances: If a unit has been attacked by a hostile vessel or aircraft, pursuit may be conducted into the offending belligerent’s territorial waters or airspace if the hostile force continues to pose an imminent threat after entry into such waters or airspace. (IO Exhibit 131 CJTFME 232220Z May 88 para 6A).

(6) (S U) Pursuit of hostile forces is permitted if it is initiated in response to, and in defense against the hostile acts or hostile intent of such forces. Pursuit will be terminated when the hostile force no longer poses an immediate threat. (IO Exhibit 131, USCINCCENT 232220Z May 88 para 3.L.)

c. Air

(1) (S U) All tracks originating in Iran will be identified as “unknown assumed enemy.” (IO Exhibit 132).

(2) (   )  (b)(1) 

(a)  (   )  (b)(1) 

(b)  (   )  (b)(1) 

(c)  (   )  (b)(1) 

(d)  (   )  (b)(1) 

(e)  (   )  (b)(1) 

(IO Exhibit 132).

(3) (S U) The ROE states that:

Positive identification of an aircraft is mandatory before declaring the aircraft hostile and engaging it. The sole exception to this principle is an aircraft either demonstrating hostile intent or committing a hostile act.

(IO Exhibit 131, USCINCCENT 232220Z May 88 para 5A)

(4) (   )  (b)(1)  {p.20-1993}

(a)  (   )  (b)(1) 

(b)  (   )  (b)(1) 

1. (   )  (b)(1) 

2. (   )  (b)(1) 

3. (   )  (b)(1) 

4. (   )  (b)(1) 

(IO Exhibit 131 CJTFME 232220Z May 88).

(5) (   )  (b)(1) 

(a)  (   )  (b)(1) 

(b)  (   )  (b)(1) 

(c)  (   )  (b)(1) 

(d)  (   )  (b)(1) 

(e)  (   )  (b)(1) 

(f)  (   )  (b)(1) 

(g)  (   )  (b)(1)  {p.21-1993}

(IO Exhibit 131 CJTFME 232220Z May 88 para 8).

(6) (S U) COMIDEASTFOR OPORD 4000-85 amplifies the ROE with regards to required warnings by stating:

“Do not stop after just one step: If there is no response to radio requests/warnings, do something to attract attention. Subsequent warning actions to take include:

(a)  (S U) Locking on with fire-control (radar)

(b)  (S U) Maneuvering to unmask weapons

(c)  (S U) Shooting flares

(d)  (S U) Flashing signal/search lights

(e)  (S U) Training guns

(f)  (S U) Fire warning shots (star shell, AAC timed to offset)

(g)  (S U) If you are confident that the warning has been received, and the contact continues to close, para 9 of reference (a) (Tab A to Appendix 8 to Annex C to COMIDEASTFOR OPORD 4000-85) applies.”

(IO Exhibit 137).

(7) (S U) Tab A to Appendix B to Annex C to COMIDEASTFOR OPORD 4000-85 amplifying the ROE provides in paragraph 9:

“If a potentially hostile contact persists in closing after you warn him away and if, in your judgement, the threat of attack is imminent, it is an inherent right and responsibility to act in self-defense. We do not want, nor intend, to absorb a first attack.”

(IO Exhibit 136).

(8) (U) The following is quoted verbatim from paragraph 3, page c-8-A-l of Ch 2 dated Sept 1986 Tab A to Appendix 8 to Annex C to COMIDEASTFOR OPORD 4000-85 (U): Rules of Engagement, Supplemental Measures —

“The most serious threat is that of terrorist/suicide attack. If such an attack occurs, it is most likely to happen from a craft (e.g. military cargo or surveillance aircraft, non-military boats or aircraft) which appears to be operating in a “normal” manner up to the point of attack. There is less danger of overt attack by Iranian or Iraqi {p.22-1993} Naval ships and combatant military aircraft but that threat, too, is serious.”

(IO Exhibit 136).


4. Environmental Data.

a. (U) At 030400Z Jul 88, the following environmental data existed:

(1) Wind Speed/Direction: 10Kts/340 degrees T

(2) Sea Temp: 30 degrees C

(3) Air temp: 28.3 degrees C

(4) Relative Humidity: 62%

(5) Evaporation Duct Height: 78.5 ft

(6) Surface Pressure: 998.0 MB

(7) Visibility estimate was 8-10 miles

(8) Ceiling: approximately 200 ft/scattered

(I.O. Exhibit 177).

b. (U) Predicated on the environmental data provided from USS Vincennes on 3 July 1988, which is summarized in I.O. Exhibit 177, Joint Electronic Warfare Center (JEWC) San Antonio, Texas, concluded the following as regards ducting:

(1) (C U) Atmospheric conditions suggest USS Vincennes was operating with a strong surface based duct (extending up to approximately 485 ft) and also within an evaporation duct extending up to approximately 78 ft. (IO Exhibit 179).

(2) (S U) AN/SPY-1 (AEGIS radar), AN/AWG-9 (F-14 radar) and AN/UPX-29 (IFF) emitters show strong coupling with these ducts greatly enhancing detection ranges. (IO Exhibits 179). {p.14-1988}

(3) (S U) The data provided by NSWC Dahlgren also validates that, in fact, SPY radar was ducting, resulting in greatly enhanced detection ranges. (IO Exhibits 86, 87, 88, and 184)

5. Commercial Air

a. General {p.23-1993}

(1) (U) Bandar Abbas International is a joint military/commercial airfield. (IO Exhibit 90,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.418).

(2) (U) A total of 18 commercial air routes cross the Persian Gulf area covering at least 50% of the navigable waters. (IO Exhibit 90,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.407).

(3) (U) A total of 12 commercial air routes cross the southern Persian Gulf/Strait of Hormuz area alone. Specifically, 7 into or out of Dubai/Sharjah Terminal Control Area and 5 into or out of Abu Dhabi Terminal Control Area. (IO Exhibit 90).

(4) (S U) Commerical air flights that do not approach Iran during any part of the flight or come from non-belligerent air space and are at the high altitudes normally flown by air carriers are relatively easy to identify. (Enclosure (21)).

(5) (U) The width of the airway assigned to Iranian Air Flt 655 (A-59) was: 20NM (10NM either side of centerline) from Bandar Abbas to reporting position DARAX and 10NM (5NM either side of center line to Sharjah. Airway A-59 runs from an altitude of 4500 feet to infinity. The total length of the air route is 123NM. (IO Exhibit 249).

(6) (U) At least one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five commercial air flights passed through Oman Center for the week ending 13 July 1988. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.410).

(7) (S U) The only message traffic available to CJTFME on civilian airline schedules was the “FICPAC” message of 25 June 1988. That message was readdressed to all CJTFME units on 28 June 1988. (IO Exhibit 124,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  pgs. 394, 408).

(8) (U) The CJTFME’s inchop brief discusses commercial air traffic in general but does not focus on any specific air routes or COMAIR schedules. (IO Exhibit 8 and  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.392).

(9) (S U) CJTFME’s inchop brief discusses the use of MAD (Military Air Distress) and comments that, “Iranians won’t answer nor will commercial aircraft”. Moreover ships are told to use IAD (International Air Distress) to contact commercial aircraft and “unless you are up a regional ATC frequency, use IAD to try to contact ATC”. (IO Exhibit 8, MEF Brief p.4).

(10) (U) The inchop brief alludes to the “very complex but ordered” commercial air picture. It cautions all units to be concerned with those air contacts which deviate from the normal pattern. (IO Exhibit 9, MEF Brief p.3). {p.24-1993} {p.15-1988}

(11) (U) The first time that CJTFME promulgated commercial airline flight information to the ships in the Persian Gulf area was on 28 June 1988. This message showed IR 655 scheduled to depart Bandar Abbas at 0950L (0620Z) on Tuesday and Sunday of each week. (IO Exhibit 124,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p. 409).

(12) (S U) The first documentation of conflict between civilian COMAIR and a CJTFME unit was on 8 June 1988 when the USS Halyburton issued nearly continuous challenges to an aircraft landing at Dubai International. British Airway FLT 147 acknowledged the challenge, made the turn as directed by the USS Halyburton and immediately came into a “near miss” situation with another civilian aircraft. A formal protest was filed by ATC Dubai and an American Embassy letter of apology resulted. (IO Exhibit 119, p.274).

(13) (S U) The only commercial/military IFF information available to any JTFME unit were pass-down items from other Middle East Force ships. (IO Exhibits 120, 121, 122,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.182,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.197).

(14) (S U) U.S. ships deployed to Persian Gulf area are limited to a single VHF radio which is tuned to International Air Distress (IAD) frequency 121.5 mHz. ¶

It can take upwards of 1 hour to change pre-set radio VHF frequencies. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.399).

(15) (U) During USS Vincennes inchop brief, conducted on 22 May,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (CJTFME/Air Ops) and  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (CJTFME/Asst Air Ops) briefed the Helo Det on helo ops but did not specifically discuss commercial air routes or schedules. (IO Exhibit 8 p.176,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.392).

(16) (U) On Sunday, 3 July 1988, there were 10 civilian flights scheduled from Bandar Abbas. They were:

Flight No.ToDepart TimeAircraft Type
IR 655Dubai0959LAirBus 300
IR 236Bandarlengeh1240L737
IR 236Shiraz1240L737
IR 236Tehran1240L737
IR 452Tehran1340LAirBus 300
IR 394Isfahan1400L737
IR 394Tehran1400L737
IR 134Shiraz2050L737
IR 134Tehran2050L737
IR 458Tehran2245LAirBus 300

There is no information to the contrary that the remaining flights did not launch. (IO Exhibit 162, 232).

A solitary flight

Query:10” flights?

These are 6 flights. Not 10. All are domestic flights, internal to Iran, except for IR 655. Which is solitary, the only flight scheduled to depart that morning. And the only departing flight scheduled to cross the Gulf that day.

This simple flight schedule, plainly, the highest priority, of a responsible crew, was to stand watch, for that solitary flight, and especially because the warship was on the centerline of the airway. And so that flight, an airliner on a flight plan, would fly directly overhead.

Query: STD “0959L”?

The scheduled time of departure for IR 655 — wrongly listed here at 0959 local time — was 0950L, 9 minutes earlier. Fogarty corrected this mistake in a written statement to the Senate. He said it was a typographical error. (Senate Hearing, p.26 (Sept. 8 1988)).

But he did not say who made this error. Was this a typo by the DoD Report-writers? Or, instead, did they accurately copy a typo present on the warship’s flight schedule. If it was an accurate copy, then the take-off delay of IR 655 was reduced, by the typo, from 15 minutes (actual) to 6 minutes (perceived).

Query:IR 452”? “No information to the contrary”?

IR 452 would have been the IR 655 AirBus and crew, on their return from Dubai, stopping over at Bandar Abbas on their way back to Tehran, to complete their round trip flight for the day. It “did not launch”. ICAO Report, p.1, ¶ 1.1.1.


(17) (U) As a result of the attack of the USS Stark, the JCS issued an up-dated Notice to Airman (NOTAM) for the {p.25-1993} Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman and North Arabian Sea dated 8 September 1987, which notified all Persian Gulf countries of additional defense precautions which U.S. warships would be exercising. It highlighted the requirement for aircraft operating in the area to maintain a listening watch on 121.5 mHz VHF or {p.16-1988} 234.0 mHz UHF {sic: 243.0 mHz}. Both Department of State and ICAO report that this NOTAM was transmitted through channels to the Government of Iran. (IO Exhibit 52 {and 135}).




This was not an “up-dated” NOTAM.

It was merely a supplemental NOTAM.

Which left in place this NOTAM, which senior U.S. military officers concealed from their report:

“ Aircraft at altitudes less than 2000-feet AGL which are not cleared for approach/departure to or from a regional airport are requested to avoid approaching closer than 5-nm to U.S. naval forces.

It is requested that aircraft approaching within 5-nm of U.S. naval forces establish and maintain radio contact with U.S. naval forces on 121.5-MHz VHF or 243.0-MHz UHF.

Aircraft which approach within 5-nm at altitudes less than 2000-feet AGL whose intentions are unclear to U.S. naval forces may be held at risk by U.S. defensive measures.”

NOTAM, 112119 KFDC.

Iran Air Flight 655 was never “less than 2000-feet” “within 5 n.miles” of any U.S. warship. IR655 was about 15 n.miles inside Iranian territory (along its route), at 12,500 feet and climbing, and 12 n.miles away, when Vincennes Commander William Rogers turned his firing key.

Could that be why senior U.S. military officers omitted this NOTAM from their report? A material omitted fact.

And, why did they omit to quote, in their report, the one NOTAM they did refer to, but carefully concealed, amongst their classified exhibits? (IO Exhibit 52 and 135).

Could this be the reason?:

“ Unidentified aircraft, whose intentions are unclear or who are approaching U.S. naval vessels, will be contacted on these frequencies and requested to identify themselves and state their intentions as soon as they are detected. ...

The measures will be implemented in a manner which does not unduly interfere with the freedom of navigation and overflight.”


IR655 pilots were never once “requested to identify themselves and state their intentions”. As this NOTAM required U.S. radio-talkers to do.

And, this NOTAM assured pilots that they were entitled overfly U.S. warships. A promise to pilots, that U.S. military officers would not deem it hostile intent, if a pilot, high and climbing, approached a U.S. warship in an airway.

Little wonder, senior U.S. military officers, united in a prima facie criminal conspiracy, decided to file an official U.S. report full of misleading prima facie criminal lies of omission. And, to deliver these prima facie criminal lies to Congress.

Here, then, another missing piece of this doublespeak jigsaw puzzle deceit report, what these senior U.S. military officers concealed: The full text of both U.S. NOTAMs, exactly as they appear on the page, in every weekly edition, prior to the ambush, of the U.S. International Notices to Airmen:

“ Iran – Persian Gulf

In response to the recent attack on the USS Stark and the continuing terrorist threat in the region, U.S. naval vessels operating within the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, and the Arabian Sea, north of 20 degrees north, are taking additional defensive precautions. Aircraft (fixed wing and helicopters) operating in these areas should maintain a listening watch on 121.5 mHz VHF or 243.0 mHz UHF. ¶

Unidentified aircraft, whose intentions are unclear or who are approaching U.S. naval vessels, will be contacted on these frequencies and requested to identify themselves and state their intentions as soon as they are detected. ¶

In order to avoid inadvertent confrontation, aircraft (fixed wing and helicopters) including military aircraft may be requested to remain well clear of U.S. vessels. ¶

Failure to respond to requests for identification and intentions, or to warnings, and operating in a threatening manner could place the aircraft (fixed wing and helicopters) at risk by U.S. defensive measures. Illumination of a U.S. naval vessel with a weapons fire-control radar will be viewed with suspicion and could result in immediate U.S. defensive reaction. ¶

This notice is published solely to advise that measures in self-defense are being exercised by U.S. naval forces in this region. The measures will be implemented in a manner which does not unduly interfere with the freedom of navigation and overflight. (FAA FDC 052/87)

U.S. Naval Forces in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, and Arabian Sea (North of 20 Degrees North) are taking additional defensive precautions against terrorist threats. ¶

Aircraft at altitudes less than 2000-feet AGL which are not cleared for approach/departure to or from a regional airport are requested to avoid approaching closer than 5-nm to U.S. naval forces.

It is requested that aircraft approaching within 5-nm of U.S. naval forces establish and maintain radio contact with U.S. naval forces on 121.5-mHz VHF or 243.0-mHz UHF. ¶

Aircraft which approach within 5-nm at altitudes less than 2000-feet AGL whose intentions are unclear to U.S. naval forces may be held at risk by U.S. defensive measures. ¶

This is a joint USCINCPAC and USCINCCENT NOTAM affecting operations within their respective area of responsibility. (112119 KFDC)”

Source: “Foreign Notices, Iran–Persian Gulf,” International Notices to Airmen, June 30 1988 (U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration) {SuDoc: TD 4.11:, ISSN: 0364-6742, LCCN: 76648577, OCLC: 02169082, GPOcat, paper, DL, WorldCat}, bold-italics and additional paragraphing added. Photocopy: ICAO Report, p.F-4. NOTAM FAA FDC 052/87 was originally issued Sept. 8 1987. NOTAM 112119 KFDC was originally issued in 1984 (ICAO Report, ¶ 2.2.1, p.10).

Both appeared together in every weekly edition of FAA NOTAMs.

Both were in force on the day of the ambush.  CJHjr

(18) (S U) The current verbal warnings issued by CJTFME units do not clearly identify exactly which aircraft the ship is attempting to contact. (IO Exhibits 275, 306).

(19) (S U) Commercial aircraft normally do not have radar homing and warning (RHAW) equipment. U.S. Navy ships either “locking up” with pulsed fire-control or continuous wave radars expect no reaction from a commerical {sic: commercial} air flight. (Enclosure (21)).

(20) (U) For the period of 2 June 1988 to 2 July 1988, analysis of challenges and warnings conducted by CJTFME resulted in the following statistics:

(a) 150 challenges were issued

(b) only 2 were to COMAIR (1.3%)

(c) 125 were to Iranian military aircraft (83%)

(d) Largest number of challenges issued were by the USS Spruance patrolling the eastern entrance of the SOH.

(IO Exhibit 118).

(21) (S U) No Iranian F-14’s were challenged during the 2-17 June 1988 timeframe but seven were challenged in the 13 June – 2 July 1988 time period. (IO Enclosure (21)).

(22) (U) Commercial air carriers have been observed changing IFF {modes and} codes when crossing the Persian Gulf area. (IO Exhibits 54, 55,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.174,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.194).

(23) (U) Iranian military aircraft have been observed squawking all IFF modes (I, II, and III) and codes and at times follow commercial air routes within the Persian Gulf. (IO Exhibits 54, 55,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.174,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.7).

(24) (U) Iraqi military aircraft have followed the air routes from Iraq during Persian Gulf ship attack profile (SAP) missions and return using the same air routes. (IO Exhibit 15,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.7).

(25) (U) Iran Air Flight 655 a was {sic: was a} regularly scheduled biweekly flight from Bandar Abbas to Sharjah, often referred to as a “HAJ” flight by ships’ crews. (IO Exhibit 162, 54, 55, 73,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.175,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.197). {p.26-1993}

(26) (U) CJTFME and CO USS Vincennes discussed the complexity of the commercial air picture on several occasions prior to 3 July 1988. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.856, 861).

(27) (S U) Airbus’ normally climb at 350–370 KTS and cruise at 450–460 KTS. (IO Exhibit 238).

b. Iran Air Flight 655 {p.17-1988}

(1) (U) Iran Air Flight 655 Airbus, A-300B2-202, was delivered by the French Airbus Industrie on 30 April 1982 configured with a standard civilian type Dual Collins 621-A6 IFF. The General Electric engines are identified as GE CF6-50C2. Airbus Industrie has never delivered an Airbus equipped with an IFF radar Mode II. (IO Exhibit 247).

(2) (U) Bandar Abbas International is the only active, joint use (military/civilian) Iranian airport in the southern Persian Gulf area. (IO Exhibit 90,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p. 418).

(3) (S U) Iran Air Flight 655 was scheduled to depart Bandar Abbas at 0950(L) or 0620Z but actually took off at 1017(L) or 0647Z. (IO Exhibit 232 & 280).

Take-off time lie


Scheduled Time of Departure (when the aircraft door closes at the departure gate) is shown on a published airline schedule.

Take-off time (when the wheels leave the ground) is not shown on an airline schedule.

These are different events.

Hence, they cannot be contrasted by a “but”.

But, thisbut” — purporting to contrast them — foreshadows an intensive campaign of deceit, by senior U.S. military officers, asserting unanimously, that the flight “took off 27 minutes late”.

IR655 took off 15 minutes late, due to an immigration problem of one passenger at the gate, which delayed closing the aircraft door by 15 minutes.

The unanimous deceitful assertion, of 27-minutes, was made by senior U.S. military officers in an official written endorsement of this report. In sworn testimony and written statements to Congress. And in press conferences and other public statements.

Billions of people in the world have never flown on an airliner. And, hence, have never had to apply their minds, to when they have to be at the airport gate to board a flight.

But these senior U.S. military officers are not among them.

It’s impossible to believe, that these senior U.S. military officers actually believed their own assertion: That an airline’s published scheduled time of departure is the same event as its take off time.

Yet, unanimously, that’s exactly what they asserted. As an unassailable fact.

Nevertheless, regardless of what they believed, they were negligent. By failing in their duty to inform their warship crews, of the difference between these two events.

Without this explanation, they incited their warship crews to wrongly believe that an airliner taking off on time (eg: 12 minutes after its scheduled time of departure) was taking off 12 minutes late.

Adding this item of negligence to their apparent negligence in failing to explain the 30-minute warship clock issue, senior U.S. military officers negligently incited their warship crews to wrongly believe, that an airliner taking off 15 minutes late from Bandar Abbas was taking off an hour late.

Senior U.S. military officers united in this prima facie criminal conspiracy, to diminish the perception of their negligence, in failing to properly instruct their warship crews on these time issues.

So that their warship crews could properly stand watch. For the only airliner scheduled to depart Bandar Abbas airport that morning. And the only departing airliner scheduled to cross the Gulf that day.

“Reckless” negligence. Because they could foresee the deadly consequences of their neglect to do their duty.

This negligence, by senior U.S. military officers, to properly instruct their warship crews on these time issues, is a prima facie proximate cause of the ambush.

An excellent criminal motive for senior U.S. military officers to lie about the extent of the take-off delay. And to conceal the warship clock setting, from their deceitful report.  CJHjr

(4) (S U) Bandar Abbas control tower has in the past informed civilian airlines of ongoing hostilities in the SOH. (IO Exhibit 232).

(5) (U) The control tower at Bandar Abbas failed to warn Iran Air Flight 655 that there was an ongoing naval engagement between U.S. Naval Forces and Iranian Revolutionary Guard naval forces (IRGN). (IO Exhibits 280, 232).

(6) (S U) Iran Air Flight 655, on direction of the control tower at Bandar Abbas International, turned on its IFF Mode III to 6760 on deck prior to launch and the mode was read correctly by the tower as 6760. (IO Exhibit 280).

(7) (S U) Iran Air Flight 655 took off from Bandar Abbas International Airfield on runway 21 at 0647Z. It was cleared to Dubai via A-59 at FL 140 (14,000 FT) with an assigned IFF Mode III squawk of 6760. The pilot reported passing MOBET (position report) at 0654Z and vacating FL 120 (12,000 feet). (IO Exhibits 232, 235, 236, 280).

(8) (S U) Iran Air Flight 655 squawked Mode III 6760 from take off to missile intercept. (IO Exhibits 91, 280).

(9) (S U) IR 655 was 3.35NM west of the centerline of air route A-59 at missile intercept, time 0654:43, passing {p.27-1993} 13,500 climbing to an assigned altitude of FL 140 (14,000 FT), on course of 209.5T, at 383 KTS. (IO Exhibits 91 and 102).

(10) (U) Air Traffic Control Center at Abu Dhabi neither gained radar video nor established communications with Iran Air Flight 655. (IO Exhibits 306, 275).


6. USS Vincennes

a. Training and Readiness.

(1) (U) USS Vincennes deployed 25 April 1988, on short notice, to the Persian Gulf/Middle East Force. (IO Exhibit 166: Encl 1 and 4). {p.18-1988}

(2) (U) USS Vincennes was directed on 20 April 1988 to detach from FLEETEX 88-2 for immediate return to homeport and a 21 April 1988 deployment to the Persian Gulf/Middle East Force. USS Vincennes transit was to be directly from San Diego to Subic Bay and onward to Middle East Force with an arrival in the Persian Gulf of 16 May 1988. (IO Exhibit 166: Encl 2).

(3) (CU) Upon notice of deployment on 20 April 1988, USS Vincennes was in the highest state of training and readiness: C1 in Personnel, Supply, Equipment and Training; M1 in AAW, AMW, ASW, ASUW, C3, EW, and training areas. (IO Exhibit 166: Encl 2A; Definitions of readiness and training ratings included in IO Exhibit 166: Encl 2B).

(4) (CU) Prior to deployment on 25 April 1988, USS Vincennes participated in interim refresher training (26 Oct – 6 Nov 1987), FLEETEX 88-1/COMPUTEX 88-3 (1-12 FEB 88) and a portion of FLEETEX 88-2 (8-19 APR 88). On completion of interim refresher training, USS Vincennes was found to be fully capable of performing duties as AAWC or LAAWC in Battle Group operations. (IO Exhibit 166: Encl 2b, 3a, 4, 2c).

(5) (CU) During FLEETEX 88-1, USS Vincennes participated in a Middle East Force Exercise (MEFEX) 5-8 FEB 88. This exercise simulated an “Earnest Will{1069kb.pdf} escort mission, and provided: anti-silkworm training, terrorist aircraft training, terrorist small boat defense, and anti-swimmer defense. (IO Exhibit 166: Encl 2a, 3, 4, 2c).

(6) (CU) USS Vincennes did not complete FLEETEX 88-2 due to her early deployment; however, USS Vincennes participated in the following training evolutions during FLEETEX 88-2: extensive war-at-sea strike exercises (WASEX); Silkworm missile attacks; training in ROE; and fast patrol boat attack simulations. (IO Exhibit 166: Encl 2a, 3, 4, 2c). {p.28-1993}

(7) (CU) A normal MEF augmenter pre-deployment schedule would have included in addition to the exercises listed in Finding of Facts A.6.a. (4) and (5), two Middle East Force Exercises (MEFEXs) at PMTC, PT Mugu, California, and PMRF Barking Sands, Hawaii. USS Vincennes did not conduct these exercises because of her early deployment and accelerated transit to Subic Bay, RP. (IO Exhibit 166, Encl 4).

(8) (CU) USS Vincennes was provided AEGIS Training Center Briefs on lessons learned on the operation of SPY-1A radar in the Strait of Hormuz/Persian Gulf by AEGIS Training Center, Dahlgren, VA, while inport Subic Bay, RP, on 11 May 1988. (IO Exhibit 166: Encl 8, 9, and 9a).

(9) (CU) During a four day period (9-12 May), USS Vincennes conducted the following Middle East Force training in the Subic Bay operating areas: two missile firings (both successful), one war-at-sea strike exercise (against 17 aircraft), CIWS tracking/firing, Silkworm profiles, air intercept controlling, anti-fast patrol boat exercises (night and day), surface gunnery, and surface to air gunnery. (IO Exhibit 166: Encl 17, 18, 19, 20, and 20a).

(10) (CU) The WASEX conducted on 9 May 1988 included 17 attacking aircraft: 10 USAF (4 Wild Weasel and 6 Pave Tack) and 7 USMC (4 A-6 and 3 F/A-18). A post exercise critique was conducted on 10 {p.19-1988} May with USAF, USMC, and USS Vincennes personnel present. USS Vincennes Large Screen Display (LSD) information was used to reconstruct the events of the exercise. This reconstruction revealed USS Vincennes had to discriminate threat aircraft from numerous other air contacts in the area including USAF AIR-AIR missile participants and normal air traffic in the vicinity of Clark AFB and Crow Valley, RP. ¶

However, Mode IV IFF information was the primary source for identification and discrimination between friendly and belligerent aircraft. (IO Exhibit 166: Encl 17 and 20a).

(11) (CU) Prior to arrival Subic Bay, RP, USS Vincennes modified her Battle Organization to conform to the expected “GW” assignment in the Middle East Force. In a meeting with the CO, XO, CSO and OPSO in attendance, the CO decided that CSO and OPS officer would stand watch as “GW”, operating from the embarked commander’s console (LSD #2). ¶

“GW” (CSO or OPSO) would then monitor the MEFEX communication net and provide the continuous connectivity both for air and surface SITREPS, in the traditional AAWC sense, as well as act as the primary point of contact for the ship over MEFEX net. (Rogers p. 834,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.809, 818,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.788).

(12) (CU) By modifying the Battle Organization, the Commanding Officer did not intend that the “GW” position would usurp the authority of the TAO, but act in support of the TAO. {p.29-1993} At General Quarters, it was intended that the TAO would direct the surface tactical picture, electronic information flow, employment of surface weapon systems, and ship’s course and speed while monitoring the internal communication nets, and overall watchstanding performance. It was further intended that the “GW” position would monitor and direct the air picture, generate air and surface SITREPS to Gulf Bravo, provide ship’s course and speed recommendations, and air threat warning information to the CO and TAO. (Rogers p.834,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.818).

(13) (CU) USS Vincennes reported this Battle Organization modification was implemented during the transit from San Diego to Subic Bay, RP, and exercised during MEF training periods in Subic Bay, RP operating areas (9-12 May 1988) and during the JTFME CVBG familiarization training (21-24 May 88). (Rogers p.834,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.809,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.788).

(14) (CU) Three Rules of Engagement Exercises (ROEX) were conducted by USS Vincennes during the period 6-20 May 88. These exercises tested USS Vincennes’s interpretation and correct response to current ROE for the Persian Gulf/Middle East Force. (IO Exhibit 166: Encls 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, and 26).

(15) (CU) USS Vincennes chopped to CJTFME on 20 May 1988 and was C1 in areas of Personnel, Supply, Equipment and Training as well as being M1 in AAW, AMW, ASUW, ASW, CCC, ELW and MOB. (IO Exhibit 166: Encl 27).

(16) (CU) USS Vincennes CO, TAO and GW stated in their testimony that USS Vincennes was well prepared for their assignment to the Middle East Force by virtue of their AW (in workup exercises), “GW” experience, and in depth MEF augmenter training. (Rogers p. 835,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.824,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.804).

(17) (CU) USS Vincennes conducted Battle Group familiarization training with the CVBG assigned to JTFME in the Gulf of Oman (21-24 May 88) prior to entering the Persian Gulf. Exercises conducted provided training in: WASEX, Silkworm profiles, SUCAP coordination and A/C training. (IO Exhibit 166: Encl 28).

(18) (CU) Summary of USS Vincennes operations since arriving in the Middle East Force: {p.20-1988}


{27} 25 - 27 May 88Task Group Exercise
29 May 88Sitrah anchorage inchop briefings
30 May 88Sitrah anchorage AWACS/LINK interoperability
01 - 08 Jun 88SOHWPA patrol {p.30-1993}
10 - 11 Jun 88Sitrah anchorage for upkeep
12 - 16 Jun 88SOHWPA patrol, conducting AAW and ASUW surveillance
17 Jun 88RPS patrol, conducting AAW surveillance
18 Jun 88Sitrah anchorage for upkeep
19 - 20 Jun 88RPS patrol, conducting AAW surveillance
21 - 29 Jun 88CPG/Escort, AAW surveillance and escort operations
30 Jun 88OPS outside Straits
02 Jul 88FUJAIRAH/SOH/SOHWPA, AAW and ASUW surveillance
03 Jul 88CPG (E)/SOHWPA, AAW and ASUW surveillance

(IO Exhibit 159).

(19) (U) USS Vincennes had not experienced combat prior to 3 July 1988. (IO Exhibit 159,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.816).

b. Watch Organization

(1) (U) USS Vincennes’ Battle Doctrine (VincennesINST C3510.1) was signed by Capt G.N. Gee, USN, the Commanding Officer USS Vincennes just prior to Capt Rogers, on 1 May 85. This document has subsequently been used as a baseline for Pacific Fleet AEGIS cruisers. (IO Exhibit 160, and  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.809).

(2) (CU) CO USS Vincennes Standing, Steaming and Battle Orders were signed on 9 Jan 1988 by Capt Rogers as a modification and sub-doctrine to USS Vincennes Battle Doctrine. ¶

These Standing Orders state that only the CO/TAO have weapons release authority on USS Vincennes. Specifically, weapons release authority is not delegated to those watchstanders standing force CWC duties, i.e. FAAWC/GW. (IO Exhibit 163,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  818).

(3) (U) USS Vincennes’ watch organization during pre-deployment training was in accordance with CO’s Battle Doctrine and Standing Orders. (IO Exhibit 160, { (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) } 809). {p.31-1993} {p.21-1988}

(4) (U) The CO modified basic Battle Doctrine for PG Ops by placing the SITREP officer at OSDA #1 and International Air Distress (IAD) operator at LSD #1. He also placed the data recorder (CICO) directly behind LSD #2 and #3 to maintain a timeline of events. The CICO was in view of all large screens and could see GW’s” CRO. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.570).

(5) (U) On 3 Jul 88, USS Vincennes’ primary AAW watch organization was as follows:

COCapt Rogers
XO (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (on the bridge)
TAO (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 
OSDA (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 
GW/FAAWC (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (At EC console at ADS)
CIC Officer (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (No console) (worktable behind “GW”)
IAD Talker (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (STAO console at ADS)
CSC  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 
TIC (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (DSA/AAW ASUW C&R Net)
IDS (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 
SLQ-32 (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 
EWS (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 
MSS (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 
ARC (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (MAD Talker)
AAWC (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 
ACS (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

(IO Exhibit 174).

(6) (U) USS Vincennesenlisted general quarters CIC watchstanders for 3 Jul 1988 were PQS qualified for watches held that day (IO Exhibit 167, 170).

(7) (U) The Commanding Officer USS Vincennes certified all officer watchstanders as qualified; however  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {Lieutenant Clay Zocher} had not completed PQS for AAWC (his 3 July 1988 GQ station). (IO Exhibits 151, 152,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.722) {wrongly spelled "Zucker" in the transcript of the DoD press briefing, August 19 1988}.


“ A PQS is a compilation of the minimum knowledge and skills that an individual must demonstrate in order to qualify for watch standing or perform other specific routine duties necessary for the safety, security, or proper operation of a ship, aircraft, or support system.”

Personnel Qualification Standards (PQS).  CJHjr

(8) (S U) The Commanding Officer USS Vincennes stated his confidence level before and subsequent to the incident in  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  and  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  was the highest it could be. He also stated he had great faith in his “GW” organization and his CIC team’s experience. (Rogers p. 834-840).

c. Overall Combat System Status

(1) (U) USS Vincennes’ Preventive Maintenance System (PMS), which covers the AEGIS combat system, was recorded {p.32-1993} properly and showed no significant discrepancies. (IO Exhibit 147).

(2) (U) The AEGIS combat system was working exceptionally well on 3 July. No anomalies were noted in data analysis or from operator statements. (Enclosure 15). {p.22-1988}

(3) (U) Semi-annual check for the OE120 IFF Phased Array Antenna was last completed in February 1988 with its next scheduled check to be completed on 12 July 1988. (IO Exhibit 145,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.350).

(4) (U) Upon the completion of the OE120 July Semi-Annual PMS check of the OE120 IFF antenna, the following discrepancies were noted: Phase Shifter #13 had no power out; #12 was 1.0 db below PMS Spec; one Phase Shifter was within spec. The OE 120 has a total of 16 phase shifters ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.350).

(5) (U) The C&D IFF data indicates Phase Shifter degradation was not significant but could open the possibly of sporadic detections in side lobe beams. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.359).

(6) (U) The CASREP summary for USS Vincennes shows no significant degradations of AEGIS Combat System as of the 8 o’clock reports for 2 July 1988, with the exception of CIWS (close in weapons system) Mount 22. (IO Exhibit 139). The data from NWSC Dahlgren substantiates the excellent performance of the system. (IO Exhibit 91; enclosure 15).

(7) (U) The SPY-1A signal processor alignment was completed during the last week of April 1988 and the first week of May 1988. Operational Performance Tests (OPTS) were run weekly with no significant degradation. The system had been operational almost non-stop since arrival in Gulf. Its performance was exceptional. (IO Exhibit 147, 148, 142, 153).

(8) (U) One of the consoles in CIC (AIC) was down. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.707).

(9) (U) At the time of the incident, Mount 22 (CIWS) was down and Mount 21 was in “AAW AUTO” mode with “hold fire” on. (IO Exhibit 91).

d. Communications

(1) (U) On 3 July 1988, the following nets were being recorded on the ship’s 19 channel tape recorder — ¶

{1}  RD 390: Fleet Tactical Net; ¶

{2}  Deconfliction Net; ¶

{3}  ASUW C and R; ¶

{4}  SAG Common; ¶

{5}  MEF Execution; ¶

{6}  International Air Distress (IAD); ¶

{7}  AAW C and R (DSA); ¶

{8}  IO Fleet SEVOCOM; ¶

{9}  ASUW C and R (HF); ¶

{10}  AIC #1 and 2; ¶

{11}  EW C and R; {p.33-1993} ¶

{12}  ASW 1 and 2; ¶

{13}  SAG “A”; ¶

5 erased tracks?

(15)  Command net 15?
(16)  Command net 16?
(17)  CIC cockpit talk?
(18)  ???
(19)  ???  CJHjr

{14}  LAMPS Secure. ¶

{15}  {???} ¶

{16}  {???} ¶

{17}  {???} ¶

{18}  {???} ¶

{19}  {???} ¶

Military Air Distress (MAD) was also recorded on a portable tape recorder. (IO Exhibit 203).

“ Admiral William M. Fogarty: The exact times of the calls are very difficult to establish, the reason being that most of that was passed over the internal phone circuit which we did not have a recording of.

We had to relate it to the time of the firing and move back from there.”

Senate Hearing, p.30 (Sept. 8 1988)

(2) (U) USS Vincennes’s primary radio telephone talker for MEF Execution was the FAAWC “GW”. He was directly responsible for relaying both the surface and air tactical picture, as seen on USS Vincennes, along with the force air picture, as seen on USS Sides and USS Elmer Montgomery, to “GB”. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.809,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.788).


(3) (U) USS Vincennes internal net 15 is designated for warfare coordinators, only, i.e. CO, TAO, OOD, SSWC, CSC, TIC, SSES. (IO Exhibit 160).

(4) (U) On 3 July 1988, the following CIC operators were using net 15 or 16 in addition to warfare coordinators: FWC, IDS, EWS, RSC, SITREP Officer at ECDA, EWS, EWCO and various other stations that had “punched” into the net. (IO Exhibit 160, pp.1-5;  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.528).

(5) (U) Internal communications had to be shifted between net 15 and 16 due to degradation of the CKT during the 3 July 1988 events. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.528). {p.23-1988}

(6) (U) Internal net 15/16 was heavily used and difficult to get information across. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.684).

(7) (U) Internal communications procedures, i.e. specific call ups in accordance with standard procedures, were known by operators but not always used. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.567).

e. Combat Systems Doctrine

(1) (   )  (b)(1)  (IO Exhibit 160, 176;  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.528).

(2) (   ) IFF Interrogate Doctrine — IFF Doctrine activated on 3 July 1988 showed that all SPY-1 surface and air tracks from 5NM to  (b)(1)  were being interrogated on IFF modes I, II, III/A and C at one minute intervals. (IO Exhibits 91, 176).

(3) (   ) ID Doctrine — 23 HIFASTTHR will ID air tracks currently ID “unknown pending” or “unknown evaluated”, at ranges of 30 to  (b)(1)  miles, altitudes 55,000 to  (b)(1)  feet and speeds of 1150 to 2200 knots, as assumed enemy. The data {p.34-1993}  (b)(1)  (IO Exhibits 91, 176).

(4) Alert Doctrine

(a)  (S U) ARC Air Warning 1 — will give an alert for inbound air tracks at ranges from 45 to 55 miles and altitudes 0 to 90,000 feet. (IO Exhibit 176).

(b)  (S U) ARC Air Warning 2 — will give an alert for inbound air tracks at ranges from 15 to 30 miles. (IO Exhibit 176).

(c)  (S U) SSWC Surface Warning 1 — will give an alert for an inbound surface track at a range of 15 to 25 miles with a predicted closest point of approach of 0 to 4 miles. (IO Exhibit 176).

(d)  (S U) SSWC Surface Warning 2 — will give an alert for an inbound surface track at a range of 5 to 15 miles with a predicted closest point of approach of 0 to 2 miles. (IO Exhibit 176).

(e)  (S U) No target tripped the Alert Doctrine during the engagement period. (IO Exhibit 91).

(5) Drop Track Doctrine Activated

(a)  (   )  (b)(1)  (IO Exhibit 176).

(b)  (   )  (b)(1)  (IO Exhibit 176).

(6) (S U) SPY-1 Doctrine

Search Elevation = 0-16 deg

Power = high 261-097 deg = low 097-261 deg

Sensitivity = auto

Manual MTI = 0-64 NM

Freq Mode = fixed

Low Elevation MTI TRK (Ducting) = off

Auto Roll In = off

Cover Pulse Detection Blanking = on

(IO Exhibit 91, 176). {p.35-1993}

B. Events Leading up to the Air Engagement

1. Ancillary Air Data

a. (U) At 0330Z 3 July 1988 the disposition of the non-participant ships, both U.S. and Allied, was as follows:

(1) (U) USS John Hancock was at SITRAH anchorage in Manama, Bahrain.

(2) (U) Halsey was in the Northern Persian Gulf, RPS.

(3) (U) USS O'Brien was off Kuwait waiting to begin the outbound transit of Sea Isle City and M/V Patriot.

(4) (U) USS Fahrion was inport Ras al Khaimah for a routine port visit.

(5) (U) USS Coronado was pier side, Mina Sulman at Manama, Bahrain with CJTFME embarked.

(6) (U) HMS Manchester was 150 NM from the incident, outside the SOH. HMS Beaver and the Italian warship Espero were in the Southern SOH, approximately 75 NM from the incident.

(7) (CU) CJTFME requested all three Allied ships to provide any information relative to TN 4131 and whether they had heard the warnings on IAD. HMS Beaver responded by delivering its recordings and transcripts of the USS Vincennes IAD warnings to the Senior Investigating Officer. HMS Manchester indicated that it did not hear the warnings over IAD. Information received from the Italian Naval Headquarters indicated that the Espero did not hear the IAD warnings.

(IO Exhibits 102, 244, 291).

Query:Beaver ... Espero ... 75 n.miles”?

Why did the Beaver record IAD broadcasts, but not the Espero? When they were both together?

And how did the Beaver receive a line-of-sight VHF broadcast (121.5 mHz), over the horizon, from a surface vessel, 75 n.miles away?

The answer to these questions senior U.S. military officers concealed, from the public, when they released their report, in 1988.

But in 1993, a possible answer became apparent:

“ (f)  (S U) HMS Beaver joined Link 11. HMS Beaver copied IAD.”

DoD Report, ¶ (3)(f), p.44 (below).

And so, the Beaver crew might not have received this broadcast via VHF. They might have copied it via UHF relay from Hawkeye, or off the satellite (UHF SATCOM), if the Vincennes sent that IAD communication net to the fleet.

This, because, if the Beaver logged on to Link-11, then they also likely acquired the fleet voice communications, at the same time.

Link-11 was developed for data communications of radar track data, e.g., from warships on radar picket duty.

Initially, Link-11 was broadcast by a HF radio (High Frequency: 2-30 MHz), which normally carries over the horizon, because its long wave-length normally reflects back to earth, bouncing off the earth’s ionosphere. Those who remember long distance AM radio (50,000 watts) will remember its vagaries: sometimes a good powerful signal, and sometimes not, with reception dead-spots, depending on your location in the hop, skip, and jump pattern of the signal bounce, varying with location and time of day (ionosphere altitude and density), and interference, from sun spot activity, distant broadcasts on the same frequency, lightning, rain, wind turbulence (?), and such. Also, such broadcasts require high power (electricity demand) and, for that reason, might also pose a radio frequency radiation hazard to the sailors.

In theory, Link-11 data can also be broadcast by low-powered UHF radio (Ultra High Frequency: 225-400 MHz), line-of-sight to nearby warships, via NTDS (Naval Tactical Data System), and for relay by Hawkeye, via ATDS (Airborne Tactical Data System). UHF normally does not carry over the horizon, because its short wave length normally penetrates the ionosphere and escapes into space.

But, apparently, Link-11 data can also be transmitted via satellite (why not), and this may be what the Vincennes did, according to the ICAO Report (¶, p.8), via its “link 11 OE-82 satellite communications antenna”.

Satellite Link-11 would enable the Pentagon to follow the action in real-time, near Washington D.C. And, enables the Pentagon to tape-record the action, including the position of its warships and all of the radar tracks.

May be, the Link-11 data is broadcast (as designed) by HF radio, and also by satellite, or relayed to the satellite by the NSA/GCHQ listening station on the Musandam Peninsula, or by fleet HQ at Bahrain, so the Pentagon can have it in real time, and so too submarines, aircraft and ships with poor HF reception.

The position of the warship derives automatically from SINS (Ship Inertial Navigation System), a continuous, time-stamped, report of the warship’s exact geographical coordinates, to 5 decimal places (10 yards or so, I suppose, I’ll compute it eventually).

The listening station on the Musandam Peninsula might also be a UHF relay station, receiving UHF broadcasts from warships and aircraft (eg: the AWACS over the Northern Gulf) and rebroadcasting, from its various microwave-linked antennas sited, at high elevations (up to 6800 feet). And, were it necessary (it’s not), thousands of feet higher still, from a tethered helium balloon. The elevations on the linked admiralty chart are in meters. The highest point on the linked image is 1845 meters = 5996 feet. Two n.miles southwest, not shown on that image, the highest point is 2086 meters = 6779 feet (Jabal al Harim, 56-13-54 E, 25-58-38 N, 56.23167 E, 25.97722 N). (Admiralty Chart 2888, widths: 620px, 780px, 1000px, 1263px, 1580px).

Why did senior U.S. military officers decide to conceal what the Beaver did, their business with Link-11?

Could this be the reason?:

There’s no trustworthy proof the IAD broadcasts were ever, in fact, broadcast. (ICAO Report, pp. 15-16, quoted below).

Merely an assertion, this solitary assertion, that the Beaver received it.

And now we learn, the Beaver may not have received it.

The ‘broadcast’ could be recorded, by the warship’s tape recorder, and communicated to its Link-11 transmitter, or its UHF radio transmitter, or its UHF satellite transmitter, via the warship’s internal communication net, its Integrated Communication System.

Without ever being broadcast on VHF.

Without the IAD radio-talker being connected to a VHF transceiver, or that transceiver being connected to an antenna.

Is that what happened?

Emirates Area Control Center had a complete tape recording of the Vincennes warnings on the military frequency (243.0 mHz).

But not the IAD broadcasts.

The Dubai Approach Control IAD tape was blank, recording no broadcasts.

The Bandar Abbas Tower tape contained only part of an IAD broadcast, after the ambush, at 0656:43, to the C-130. Which the report writers omitted from their report. Presumably because it disproves their ducting tale, to do with an F-14 (yet to be explained, below).

This could mean the Vincennes radio crew meanwhile realized the IAD radio-talker was not connected to a VHF transceiver, or that transceiver was not connected to a VHF antenna, and connected him. Perhaps they had the surface warfare radio-talker connected to that transceiver/antenna, because that same frequency is also the emergency frequency for surface vessels. They surely have many antennas. But they have to be connected. And they don’t want two people broadcasting at the same time on the same frequency. So there may be an either/or switch, in the radio room, for that VHF transceiver/antenna. Though, perhaps that’s handled automatically, in the warship’s communication circuitry.

Or, maybe the IAD radio-talker pushed the wrong buttons, on his handset, on the warship’s Integrated Communication System. And thought he was broadcasting, and wasn’t. And someone straightened him out. Judging from where he was sitting, at the Captain’s table, he was not a regular part of the warship crew. A visiting officer, perhaps. He did not obey his talking script (assuming anybody give it to him). Another marker, that he was not trained, and not suited, for the task he misperformed. (Text of talking script to come).

This lack of proof does not mean, with certainty, the broadcasts were not made. There could be some explanation, for example, why the Sides, and the Montgomery, and Hawkeye, and AWACS, and the Musandam NSA/DIA/GCHQ listening station, did not record or report these broadcasts (if any). Ditto the many other ships and boats in that crowded sea. Including the Oman Coast Guard.

But it does mean, that the senior U.S. military officers, who decided what to conceal from the public, were concerned enough about it, that they decided to deceive, and mislead, the public, and Congress, by reporting this Beaver assertion, but concealing, as ‘Secret,’ the possible explanation.

It proves they were willing to lie, to make their case.

If, that is, the Beaver did not copy the IAD ‘broadcast’ on the VHF frequency it was (allegedly) broadcast on.

The asserted Beaver reception is probably fictitious, a malicious, fabricated, lie — the transcript of the asserted recording was later proven to be a lie, by the ICAO report, the British military or MoD or Foreign Office lying to help the Americans.

But there’s another reason the DoD report writers may have cited the Beaver, as the only “proof of the Vincennes VHF “broadcasts”:

It’s very likely their very many tape recordings of actual VHF broadcasts (as opposed to the Vincennes IAD net, ie: prior to broadcast) revealed a devastating fact:

That each time the Vincennes IAD talker broadcast a “warning,” the Sides IAD talker was also broadcasting a “warning.”

A mish-mash jumble of people talking at the same time, on the same frequency, which no human being could possibly understand.

The evidence of this apparent fact is explained here.

Such simultaneous broadcasts might explain why no other land station received the supposed broadcasts: Their squelch circuits were likely adjusted to mute an over-modulated signal, which this would be, double the usual transmitter power.

If this be the case — simultaneous broadcasts — then this is a prima facie criminal lie by a large prima facie criminal conspiracy of U.S. official criminal liars.

A criminal conspiracy some Members of Congress were likely members of.

As principals.

Each of whom could foresee the deadly consequences of their crimes, namely:

Their felony-murder, or manslaughter, of the mostly American victims of Pan Am 103. A prima facie lawful bombing, a few months later (December 21 1988, 270 victims), if it was conducted by law enforcement officers, acting for Iran, to conduct an international countermeasure (a species of self-defense) to the U.S. refusal to either admit wrongdoing or submit to proper litigation. As Iran publicly promised it would do, if that’s the course U.S. officials decided they preferred.

Finally, there’s always the possibility that the Beaver did not copy these broadcasts. U.K. military officers have lied under oath in their own courtrooms. And so, it’s a very minor matter, for them to step up the plate with a little deceit, to aid and abet an official U.S. Government criminal conspiracy.

Part of a “special relationship.”

A payback, for example, by Margaret Thatcher to Ronald Reagan, for the new generation Sidewinder missiles Reagan gave her for the Falklands war (1982), which enabled her pilots to attack an approaching Argentine aircraft, nose-on, not merely from behind, as before.  CJHjr

“ 2.10.2  Military air distress frequency 243 MHz. A recording of communications on 243 MHz on 3 July 1988 was available from the Emirates ACC (Abu Dhabi). A transcript and recording was also available from USS Vincennes. ... Except for the Italian warship Espero, no other stations reported having heard or recorded communications on 243 MHz at the time of flight IR655.

2.10.3  As civil aircraft did not carry radio equipment capable of being tuned to 243 MHz, these transmissions had no relevance as challenges to a civil aircraft. ...

2.10.5  International air distress frequency 121.5-MHz. A transcript and recording of messages broadcast on the international air distress frequency 121.5 MHz was available from the British warship HMS Beaver and from USS Vincennes.

2.10.6  Personnel at Dubai approach control had listened to their recording of 121.5 MHz for the period 0645 to 0715 hours on 3 July 1988, and reported that there were no messages recorded. The tape was not available. An operator of an oil company radio station located 40 NM south of Dubai reported having heard challenges on 121.5 MHz at about the time of flight IR655 and having recorded the last two or three messages. Requests to verify this report on site by interviewing the operator were denied. No other stations reported having heard or recorded transmissions on 121.5 MHz at that time.

2.10.7  The recording of frequency 121.5 MHz at Bandar Abbas ATC did not contain any communications from 0640 until 0656:43 hours when the latter part of a challenge was recorded. This recording corresponded to a challenge broadcast by USS Vincennes to another unidentified contact (military C-130) approximately two minutes after the destruction of flight IR655.”

ICAO Report, pp. 15-16.

b. (U) At 0610Z the three principal U.S. Navy warships involved in Iran Air Flight 655 incident were:

(1) (U) USS Vincennes (CG 49), located at 26-26 N 056-02E.

(2) (U) USS Elmer Montgomery (FF 1082), located approximately 5 NM from USS Vincennes. {p.24-1988}


My, my.

Now what would that bearing be?

Is that an unintentional oversight?

Omitting that material bearing?  CJHjr

(3) (U) USS Sides (FFG 14), located approximately 18 NM NE of USS Vincennes.

(IO Exhibits 17, 102). {p.36-1993}

c. (U) The USS Forrestal was on routine patrol in the Northern GOO area. (IO Exhibit 250).

d. (S U) The USS Forrestal called away and launched the ALERT-7 F-14 and E-2C at 0647Z. (IO Exhibit 250).

e. (S U) At approximately 0649Z the E-2C checked in with the USS Vincennes and entered the LINK-11 Net which showed the tracks of the hostile surface units and air track 4131. (IO Exhibit 250).

f. (S U) During the track life of TN 4131, the E-2C did not receive any radar, IFF, or ESM data on TN 4131. (IO Exhibit 250).

g. (   )  (b)(1)  (IO Exhibit 234).

h. (   ) Southern AWACS  (b)(1)  was not airborne on 3 July 1988. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.424).

i. (   )  (b)(1) .

{1988 text:}

i. Although the Northern AWACS was airborne, it provided no link information because the Northern AWAC’s radar is unable to provide coverage of the entire Persian Gulf area.

(IO Exhibit 234).


2. Surface Engagement

a. (S U) At approximately 0330Z, 3 July, USS Montgomery observed seven small Iranian gunboats approaching a Pakistani merchant vessel. USS Montgomery reported over MEFEX net at 0333Z that the small boats had manned machine gun mounts and rocket launchers. (IO Exhibit 130,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.44).

b. (S U) Shortly thereafter USS Montgomery observed a total of 13 Iranian gunboats breaking into three groups. Each group contained 3 to 4 gunboats with one group of four gunboats taking position off USS Montgomery’s port quarter. (IO Exhibit 130 and  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.44).

c. (S U) FURY FEZ (code name for missiles tight zone during SUCAP OPS) was activated by “GS” at 0334Z, 3 July 1988. After some discussion between “GW”, “GS”, and “CB”, FURY FEZ was deactivated by “GS” at 0342Z. (IO Exhibit 130, 203, 172).

d. (U) At 0411Z USS Montgomery heard, over bridge to bridge, the gunboats questioning merchants in the area, and at {p.37-1993} approximately the same time heard 5 to 7 explosions coming from the north. (IO Exhibit 172,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.44).

e. (S U) No merchant vessels requested assistance and by direction of “GS”, at approximately 0411Z, USS Montgomery proceeded to the southern section of SOHWPA. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.44).

f. (S U) At 0412Z, “GS” directed USS Vincennes to proceed north to the vicinity of USS Montgomery and to investigate USS Montgomery’s report of small boats preparing to attack a merchant. USS Vincennes’s helo Ocean Lord 25 (LAMPS MK-III) on routine morning patrol was vectored to the north to monitor the Iranian small boat activity in preparation for USS Sides transit. (IO Exhibits 130, 172).

g. (S U) Ocean Lord 25 closed to within 3NM of Oman while conducting surveillance operations. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.471). {p.25-1988}

h. (S U) At 0615Z Ocean Lord 25 reported being fired on by one group of small boats (TN 4667). (IO Exhibits 149, 172, 212).

i. (U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  and  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , Ocean Lord 25 crew, observed several small flashes and puffs of smoke approximately 100 yards from the helo. (IO Exhibits 149, 212).

j. (U) At the time of firing, Ocean Lord 25 was 8-10 miles to the north of USS Montgomery. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.45).

k. (U) Bridge personnel on USS Montgomery reported hearing five detonations to the north just prior to USS Vincennes’s report of the firing on Ocean Lord 25 over MEFEX net. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.45).

Query:8-10 miles to the north”?

Let’s see now.

North. That’s towards Iran.

But whoops.

We don’t know where the Montgomery was.

So how can we know where the helicopter was?

Is that an unintentional oversight?

Omitting that material information?

Or is this an intentional, prima facie criminal lie (by material omission)?

And is this the reason for that lie?:

The Vincennes was at 26 26 N, 056 02 E. (Admiralty Chart 2888, widths: 620px, 780px, 1000px, 1263px, 1580px).

The Montgomery, at this same time (0610), was “approximately 5 NM to the north-west” of the Vincennes (the missing bearing, omitted by the DoD report writers).

This, according to the secret ICAO Report (p. A-1). Later confirmed by the U.S. Government in its court papers, filed in the U.N. International Court of Justice (quoted below).

That puts the Montgomery in international waters, 1/2 mile outside Iran’s territorial waters, 12.5 n.miles offshore Iran (Hangam Island), at 26 29 31 N, 55 58 01 E (26.492 N, 55.967 E).

That puts the helicopter 2.5 to 4.2 n.miles offshore Iran (Qeshm Island and Hangam Island). Menacing the small boats, defying Iran’s territorial boundaries. As deep as 9-1/2 n.miles into Iran’s territorial waters.

That’s the Vincennes helicopter we’re talking about, the one that’s 8-10 n.miles north of the Montgomery, 5 minutes after this position report, when the small boats fired their warning shots (0615). The military helicopter, at 26 39 32 N, 55 58 01 E (26.659 N, 55.967 E) (10 n.miles), or 26 37 30 N (26.625 N) (8 n.miles).

U.S. lawyers, in their court papers, defy charts, coordinates, mathematics, and such, and claim:

“At no time was the helicopter in Iranian internal waters. The helicopter was in international airspace approximately four nautical miles from Iranian territorial waters.”

(Cited below, p.25, footnote 3).

A miracle of fantasy and imagination.

Contradicted by the facts they admit.

And substantiated by no supposed information. Such as the continuous, automatic, time-stamped, inertial navigation, position logs of the Vincennes, and the Montgomery.

Which they carefully conceal.

I guess they decided to lie themselves, or neglect their duty to investigate the truth of their factual assertions, to save exposing this prima facie criminal lie, to Congress, by Ronald Reagan, and the prima facie criminal conspiracy of criminal liars assisting him:

“ [T]he Vincennes sent a Mark III LAMPS Helicopter on investigative patrol in international airspace to assess the situation.”

Ronald Reagan (U.S. President), Report on United States Military Action (White House, July 4 1988) (U.S. Congress 100-2, House Document 100-210, July 6 1988) {SuDoc: Y 1.1/7:100-210, Serial Set: 13880, CIS: 88 H380-8, OCLC: 18239512, GPOcat, paper, microfiche, DL, WorldCat}, reprinted, “Letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate on the Destruction of an Iranian Jetliner by the United States Navy Over the Persian Gulf” (July 4 1988) (“Dear Mr. Speaker (Dear Mr. President)”), 1988-89 PPPUS 920-921 (book 2) {ucsb, rr}, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Ronald Reagan, 1988-89 (book 2) {SuDoc: AE 2.114:988-89/BK.2, ISSN: 0079-7626, LCCN: 58061050, OCLC: 9054188, 1198154, GPOcat, paper, DL, WorldCat}.


30 minutes later, the Montgomery was itself more than 5.5 n.miles deep into Iran’s territorial waters, 4 n.miles west of the Vincennes. Itself 3 n.miles deep into Iran’s territorial waters. (Positions at 0654).

When they opened fire on Iran’s small boats (0643).

North and northwest of them (several miles deeper still inside Iran’s territorial waters).

The small boats were lawfully entitled to fire warning shots. Against the armed military helicopter.

They are law enforcement officers. A military force.

Entitled to enforce their nation’s territorial boundary.

Against an unlawful, armed, military invasion of their homeland.

And, had they been in international waters (which they weren’t, according to the two reports), they would also be entitled to fire warning shots, in their self defense, against an armed, hostile, military aircraft, menacing them.

From a nation which had attacked and destroyed half their naval force, less than 3 months earlier. An unlawful, offensive, pre-mediated, crushing, military attack.

A warning to keep its distance.

And, of course, they were entitled to return fire against two warships, which initiated an armed attack against them.

Warning shots.

Is that exactly what Rogers hoped for?

And ordered his helicopter crew to provoke?

To create a pretext?

For him to attack the small boats?

30 minutes later?


If nobody knew the facts?

And if people believed, or couldn’t disprove, the later lies by the U.S. Government?

Such as lies by Ronald Reagan (U.S. President), to Congress (July 4 1988)?

And lies by Richard S. Williamson (Assistant Secretary of State), to the U.N. ICAO (July 13 1988).

And lies by George H.W. Bush (U.S. Vice President), to the U.N. Security Council (July 14 1988)?

And lies by William M. Fogarty (U.S. Central Command), to the Defense Department (July 18 1988), and to Congress (September 8-9 1988)?

And lies by their many assistants? Aiding and abetting? Conspiring?

Prima facie murder and arson?

Prima facie criminal Rules of Engagement?

Excellent motives for a criminal lie.

By a criminal conspiracy.

Of violent criminals.

And criminal liars.

Richly substantiating this asserton:

“ The U.S. government is unjust, criminal, and tyrannical.”

Usama Bin Laden, March 20 1997, CNN {543kb.pdf}


There’s no self defense against self defense.

It’s not self defense to launch an offensive attack 30 minutes after your pretext, even if the pretext had been valid.

It’s no self defense to charge into somebody else’s territorial waters, to menace them, to defy their borders, and to initiate an armed attack. On small boats 10-12 n.miles deep inside their own territorial waters.

The DoD Report writers concealed the position of the Montgomery at this time.

And they concealed the position of the Montgomery and Vincennes both, at the time of the ambush.

But both were later disclosed in the secret ICAO Report.

And in court papers, the U.S. filed in the U.N. International Court of Justice, when Iran sued for this ambush.  CJHjr


“ All U.S. naval vessels prior to the engagement with Iranian small boats were in international waters. The ICAO investigation determined that at 6:10 a.m. the position of the three U.S. ships was as follows:

USS Vincennes26 26 N, 056 02 E.

USS Elmer Montgomery5 nautical miles northwest of the USS Vincennes

USS Sides— 18 nautical miles northeast of the USS Vincennes

See ICAO Report, Appendix A, p. A-1. These positions are all outside of Iranian territorial waters.

* * *

[D]uring the 17 minute engagement it became necessary for the USS Vincennes, in defending itself, to maneuver into waters claimed by Iran as territorial waters. ...

At the time the USS Vincennes fired its surface-to-air missiles (6:54 UTC), it was located at 26 30 47 N, 056 00 57 E.”

“Preliminary Objections by the United States of America” {7.25mb.pdf, source}, pages 24 n.1, 27, 27 n.1 (March 4 1991), Iran v. United States (“Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988”) (U.N. I.C.J.: International Court of Justice, The Hague, filed, May 17 1989) {70kb.pdf, source, 437kb.pdf, source}, discontinued on settlement, February 22 1996) {115.1kb.pdf, source, 248.7kb.pdf, source}.


Chart, widths: 620px, 780px, 1000px, 1263px, 1580px}

“ 0610  USS Vincennes in position 26 26 N, 056 02 E.

USS Montgomery approximately 5 NM to the north-west {315°}.

26-29-31 N, 55-58-01 E
(26.492 N, 55.967 E).  CJHjr

USS Sides approximately 18 NM to the north-east.

0615 USS Vincenneshelicopter in a position 8 to 10 NM north {0°/360°} of USS Montgomery is fired upon by small boats.

8 n.miles: 26-37-31 N, 55-58-01 E
(26.625 N, 55.967 E).
4.2 n.miles offshore Iran (Qeshm Island).
3.2 n.miles offshore Iran (Hangam Island).

10 n.miles: 26-39-31 N, 55-58-01 E
(26.659 N, 55.967 E).
2.5 n.miles offshore Iran (Qeshm Island).
2.8 n.miles offshore Iran (Hangam Island).


* * *

0654:22  USS Vincennes, first missile launch followed by the second missile. ...

IR655 approximate position 26 40 06 N, 056 02 41 E.

USS Vincennes is at position 26 30 47 N, 056 00 57 E, track 058 degrees, speed 22 kt.

8.9 n.miles offshore Iran (Hangam Island)CJHjr

USS Montgomery approximate position 26 31 N, 055 55 12 E, track 132 degrees, speed 17 kt.

6.5 n.miles offshore Iran (Hangam Island). At that same track and speed, ten minutes earlier, when the Montgomery opened fire on the small boats (0643Z): 3.6 n.miles offshore Iran. Though it likely changed course and speed during that 10 minutes.  CJHjr

* * *

2.11.7  Positions of USS Vincennes and IR655. The position of USS Vincennes at the time of missile launch based on the AEGIS-system data was given as 26 30 47 N, 056 00 57 E and that of flight IR655 as 26 40 06 N, 056 02 41 E.”

ICAO Report, pp. A-1, A-11, 19 (Nov. 7 1988)


l. (U) At 0613Z USS Vincennes sounded General Quarters and proceeded north at high speed in the general direction of where Ocean Lord 25 had been fired upon by the small boats. (IO Exhibits 157, 172).

m. (S U) Before returning to USS Vincennes at high speed, Ocean Lord 25 was able to identify the group of small boats that fired at it and, via the LAMPS MK-III data link, identify the group to USS Vincennes. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.798,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.476).

n. (U) At approximately 0618Z, USS Vincennes observed two groups of small boats 7 to 8 miles away. (IO Exhibit 172,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.792).

o. (U) The two groups of small boats then closed to approximately 4 miles off USS Vincennes’s starboard bow. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.792). {p.38-1993}

p. (S U) At 0620Z USS Vincennes was directed by “GS” to take tactical control of USS Montgomery. USS Vincennes assumed tactical control and positioned Montgomery 8,000 yards off her port quarter. (IO Exhibits 130, 172).

q. (S U) At 0639Z USS Vincennes requested permission by “GS” and “GB” to engage the small boats (TN 4667) with 5″/54 guns {127mm, range 13 n.miles, 22 kb jpg}. (IO Exhibits 130, 172).

r. (S U) At 0639ZGB” requested USS Vincennes to verify the small boats were not departing. USS Vincennes reported the boats were closing the USS Vincennes and the USS Montgomery. (IO Exhibits 130,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.794,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.47).

s. (S U) At 0641Z “GS” gave permission to engage the small boats with gunfire. (IO Exhibit 130).

Query:At 0639Z ... reported the boats were closing”?

“ Admiral William J. Crowe Jr.: Incidentally, the Aegis now over a period of months, the analysis of the Aegis tapes is very helpful in this process, which was not available at the time to the investigator.

But we actually have tracks of the patrol boats, the ones that were in the group that fired originally.

We know where they went, from international waters, and we actually know that they turned around toward Vincennes at time 0942 {sic: 0642 Zulu}.

I won’t confuse you with these times and so forth, but the idea that they were all running away all the time, we not only have eyeball reports but we can actually confirm some of this with the Aegis.”

House Hearing, p.18 (July 21 1992).

t. (U) At 0643Z USS Vincennes and USS Montgomery opened fire on two closing groups of Iranian small boats, including the group of small boats which had fired on Ocean Lord 25. (IO Exhibits 172,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.48).

u. (U) CO Montgomery reported that two small boats maneuvered erratically and appeared to close USS Montgomery and USS Vincennes. CO USS Montgomery also stated his lookouts reported small arms fire coming from the small boats. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.47 and p.50).

v. (U) Crew members topside on USS Vincennes reported small arms fire from the boats, and Repair Locker 2 personnel in USS {p.26-1988} Vincennes reported hearing what might have been small arms rounds impacting the starboard bow area. (IO Exhibits 224, 225, Rogers p.837).

w. (U) CO USS Vincennes stated that the post-action analysis indicated that shrapnel, and/or spent bullets, impacted the starboard bow of the ship and the ablative coating behind the forward missile launcher. (Rogers p.838).

Query:Shrapnel, and/or spent bullets”?

Hummm ...

Now what might that be?

At 1,000 yards, a NATO 7.62mm round is dropping 8 inches per 10 yards. And that drop accelerates, as its velocity decays.

But let’s imagine it maintains its velocity.

Over the second 1,000 yards it would drop 67 feet.

What does this trajectory bring to mind?


Springs to my mind.

Well, how about a .50 caliber machine gun?

The maximum effective range of a U.S. M2 .50 Caliber (12.7mm) Browning Machine Gun is 2,000 meters (2,166 yards). And, you only have a 50% chance, at 1,600 meters, of hitting something the size of a warship.

Its absolute maximum range is 6,800 meters (7,366 yards). With its barrel cocked-up 33-degrees, I suppose, for maximum range. But its tracer rounds burn out at 2,200 meters (2,383 yards). So it can’t be targeted beyond that. And especially, from a small boat, bouncing on the sea, at 45+ knots.

Now let’s see. How far away was the Vincennes?

They don’t say. In their report. But they said this to the Senate.  CJHjr:

“ Admiral William M. Fogarty: We do know they fled the area quickly, they dispersed. ...

The range of firing, by the way, at that time, I believe was about 6,700, 6,500 yards {6,700 yards = 3.3 n.miles}. ...

Sir, what we do is we put 50 calibers {12.7mm} aboard our ships, to make sure that if they do get in close we can take them on. But a good commanding officer will try to maneuver his ship the best he can to not permit that to happen.

And in the case of that day, at the range that the Vincennes and the Montgomery took on these boats, they were doing just that. He did not want them to close.

But in answer to your question, if they were to close in inside the minimum range, we do have machine guns aboard and also, I believe, it is the Mark 38 {25mm, range 2,700 yards}, is it not, Captain Gee?

Senator Sam Nunn, Chairman: That did not happen in this case, then?

Admiral Fogarty: No, sir, they did not get in that close.”

Senate Hearing, pp.47-48 (Sept. 8 1988)


“ [P]ersonnel in USS Vincennes reported hearing what might have been small arms rounds impacting the starboard bow area.”

Must have been the Hand of God.  CJHjr

x. (U) At approximately 0646Z, USS Montgomery opened fire with her 5″/54 {127mm, range 13 n.miles, 22 kb jpg} at the two westernmost contacts of the group of four. This is the group USS Vincennes initially engaged. (IO Exhibit 172,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.48).

Query:The group USS Vincennes initially engaged”?

So this group of small boats, deep inside their own nation’s territorial waters, fleeing for their lives, from the Vincennes, attacking them in “self defense,” then find themselves fleeing into a trap? Set by Rogers? Fleeing into the sights of the Montgomery? Waiting to attack them? 6 miles deep into those same territorial waters. In its “self defense”?  CJHjr

y. (CU) At 0649Z one group of small boats (TN 4456), 027 degrees true from USS Vincennes, was reported inbound and was taken under fire by USS Vincennes’s MT52. (IO Exhibit 172).

z. (S U) At 0650Z USS Vincennes suffered a gun casualty to MT51 resulting in a foul bore (chambered round in the gun that could not be fired). (IO Exhibit 172,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.796). {p.39-1993}

aa. (S U) At 0651Z, “GS”, in a transmission to both USS Vincennes and USS Sides, ordered USS Vincennes to take tactical control of USS Sides. (IO Exhibit 130).

bb. (U) The foul bore in MT51 caused the TAO to maneuver the ship radically, using 30 degrees rudder at 30 KTS ship’s speed, in order to keep MT52 pointed at the most threatening of the surface contacts. (IO Exhibit 157,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.796).

cc. (S U) The high speed, large rudder angle turn caused books, publications, and loose equipment to fall from desks and consoles in CIC. (IO Exhibit 157,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.796).

dd. (S U) At 0703Z USS Vincennes ceased firing on the small boats. A total of 72 rounds of 5″/54 ammunition was expended (HE CVT-51 RDS, VT-FRAG-16 RDS, WHITE PHOS-3 RDS, VT-NONFRAG-2 RDS). (IO Exhibit 172).

ee. (S U) At 0706Z USS Montgomery reported confirmed kill on TN 4456. USS Montgomery expended a total of 47 RDS of 5″/54 ammunition. (IO Exhibits 172).

ff. (S U) USS Vincennes entered the territorial waters of Iran during the engagement. (IO Exhibit 157)

gg. (U) Captain Rogers considered applicable ROE before requesting permission to engage the small boats. Those criteria included:

(1)  (S U) The small boats had already committed a hostile act against his unit by firing on Ocean Lord 25. (Rogers p. 837)

(2)  (S U) He had positive identification of the small boats as those that had committed the hostile act against Ocean Lord 25. (Rogers p. 837)

(3)  (S U) He was initially prepared to disengage from the {p.27-1988} small boats when they appeared to present no further threat to his units. (Rogers pp. 836-837)

(4)  (S U) His decision to disengage was changed only when the small boats began to close his units. (Rogers p. 837)

(5)  (S U) The small boats have greater speed and maneuverability than the USS Vincennes. (Rogers p. 842)

Query:Greater speed”?

Probably not.

By convention, the speed of the Vincennes, and other U.S. Navy warships, is stated to be “more than 30 knots”.

But this convention is adopted precisely to conceal their true speed, which is a secret.

The Vincennes is powered by 4 jet engines (General Electric gas turbines), the same ones used to power airliners, on two drive shafts (8,000 SHP: shaft horsepower), with two (presumably) computer-designed low drag propellers (anti-cavitating). And it has a narrow hull design (ie: low drag).

In an inteview at the time, Anders Boghammer, an expert in ship design, was adamant the Vincennes was likely faster than his Boghammer small boats, the ones Iran then had, or at least as fast.

When they were loaded down with weapons, fuel, ammunition, and people.

And with their engines not tuned to their peak performance.

As they were, when he conducted a speed trial on the boats, before he delivered them to Iran.

He told me, in 1988 when I interviewed him, the 50 boats he and his brother Lars supplied to the Iranians (model RL-120-2A) had twin Volvo-Penta 70-D diesel 300 SHP engines (shaft horsepower).

In trials, he said, when new, they achieved 45 knots at 100% engine power with a 60% fuel load (600 liters of the 1,000 maximum) and 4 occupants in still air and deep water. From the photographs he saw at the Swedish Ministry of Defense, he guessed they could do 40 knots, configured with the added weight and drag of rocket-launchers mounted over the forward deck, depending on the weight of the rockets and other ammunition and their fuel load. Fully-fueled with 1,000 liters of diesel, he says their range was about 500 nautical miles. They each had a radar and VHF transceiver and cost about $240,000, in 1988 U.S. dollars.

He was confident the Vincennes could do 45 knots or better, based on its dimensions and specifications (from Jane’s Fighting Ships), and allowing for drag from the super-structure, the generators, and other loads.

He explained that “speed” is specified as the speed in still air, with a normal load, and the engines turning at their maximum recommended sustainable revolutions-per-minute (RPMs), typically 80% of maximum RPMs.

But there are higher speeds.

Engine makers, he said, specify both the recommended and the actual maximum RPMs and state how long the engines can be run, without damage, on “overload” (at various RPMs above the recommended maximum), and for how long at each setting. For example, they might specify 88% of maximum for 1 hour every 12 hours, or maybe 30 minutes every 6 hours, and maybe 96% of maximum for 30 minutes every 12 hours.

And speed is affected by loads. For example: generators, bilge-pumps, and other such equipment can pull up to 5% or more of an engine’s power, he said.

During a high-speed chase, a ship seeking full power can disconnect its generators — and increase its RPMs to reload the engines (compensate for the decreased generator load) — and switch to batteries, causing the lights to flicker, when switching over and back again, when later reconnecting the generator.

A tail-wind decreases load, enabling a higher engine RPM, and higher horsepower, without increasing engine load. The Vincennes had a 10-knot tail-wind, when pursuing the small boats in Iran’s territorial waters, until its sharp right turn, at full-rudder.


The Vincennes was engaged in offensive warfare when it pursued the fleeing boats into Iranian territorial waters.

This is not an act of self-defense.

Likewise, the Vincennes’s helicopter. Deep inside Iranian waters. Menacing the small boats. This too was an offensive threatening act. And a military invasion of their homeland. Against which the Iranians were entitled to defend themselves, by warning shots.

None of this entitled the Vincennes to offensively attack the small boats 30 minutes later.

Which had the legal right to exist.

And the legal right to enforce the integrity of their nation’s territorial boundaries. By firing warning shots at an armed, military, helicopter invading their homeland. And menacing them. And firing at armed, hostile, military, warships invading their homeland.

And the legal right to return fire at armed, hostile, military, warships invading their homeland and initiating fire upon them.

And the legal right — under the international law of blockade — to stop and search passing ships, for contraband, destined for their opponent in a war (Iraq).

And the legal right to attack those who refuse to stop, and submit to a search.

Interfering with their legal right to stop and search is an act of war.

The U.S. Congress has the exclusive legal authority, under the U.S. Constitution, to authorize offensive war. The President has no vote. And Congress did not authorize war against Iran.

The President and his henchmen, the U.S. Military, are prohibited by the U.S. Constitution to usurp the authority of Congress. And any actions they take purporting to do so are unlawful.

Absent a lawful war, offensive acts of war are prima facie criminal, under the laws of peace. Such as attacking Iran’s small boats. These attacks are prima facie attempted murder and arson if they are unsuccessful. And prima facie murder and arson if they succeed.

If the Vincennes had not been engaging in this unlawful activity, it would never have been in the middle of an airway in the first place.

Commanded by a commander, with a guilty conscience. Who knew — or should have known — he was committing a violent crime. And expecting a counter attack. Or at least on guard for one. And in a mind set to convince himself, that any approaching aircraft was military.

And who knew — or should have known — that any airliner he might ambush in the process, of his prima facie criminal attack on the small boats, would be prima facie murder.

Not least, because any military aircraft which might come to attack him would be legally entitled to do so.

A hoodlum — in the act of attempted arson-murder — can not claim self-defense, for killing a pursuing law enforcement officer.


(6)  (S U) The small boats carry weapons capable of inflicting significant personnel and equipment casualties. (Rogers p.838) {p.40-1993}

(7)  (S U) Experience with small boat tactics shows that the greatest threat they present is personnel and equipment casualties when they make high speed massed attacks on their targets, raking the superstructures of ships with gunfire and rockets. (Rogers p.841)

(8)  (S U) The small boats did not turn away after the USS Vincennes fired its first round, but continued to close. (Rogers p.837).

hh. (S U) CJTFME considered the following ROE cumulative indicators in granting permission to engage the small boats:

(1)  (S U) Positive identification of the boats as those having committed a hostile act against a U.S. ship.

(2)  (S U) The small boats were not leaving the area.

(3)  (S U) The small boats were closing the USS Vincennes and USS Montgomery. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.856,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.425)

ii. (S U) USS Montgomery and USS Vincennes disengaged from the small boats when they ceased presenting a threat to U.S. ships. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.51,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.518, Rogers p.839)


C. Air Engagement

1. Data Extraction Background

a. (U) USS Vincennes’s magnetic tapes containing data extracted from her SPY-1A, Command and Decision, and Weapons Control System computers, were transferred by courier from USS Vincennes to Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren (NSWC) on 5 July 1988. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p. 280)

b. (U) NSWC Dahlgren signed a receipt for the tapes on 6 July 1988. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.281)

c. (U) NSWC Dahlgren copied the tapes and performed data reduction on the USS Vincennes’s tapes IAW standard procedures.

d. (U) The results of that data reduction are included as IO Exhibits 81-105. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , pp.279-371) {p.28-1988}

e. (U) Preliminary data extraction results were provided by CO NAVSWC Dahlgren messages 080516Z Jul 88 and 090708Z Jul 88. The former message stated: “Data received and successfully duplicated with the exception of less than 1% of one non-critical WCS tape. Initial basic analysis runs complete and checked. This report based on excellent SPY-1A data and correlations between SPY-1A, C&D, and WCS.” (IO Exhibit 91). {p.41-1993}

f. (U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  ({Head,} AEGIS Program Office, NSWC) stated that the quality of data received was “as good as any data they (his analysts) have ever worked with.” ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.284).

g. (U) The data examined by NSWC Dahlgren indicated the following regarding the track of interest (TN 4131):

(1)  (S U) Altitude as seen by SPY-1 increased steadily, after leaving low elevation, to a maximum of 13,500 feet at intercept. (IO Exhibit 91).

(2)  (S U) Altitude readings received from TN 4131’s Mode III-C IFF transmission increased steadily from take-off at Bandar Abbas to a maximum of 12,900 feet 3 seconds before intercept. (IO Exhibit 91).

(3)  (S U) The only IFF Modes received from TN 4131 as a result of interrogations by the system was Mode III-6760. (IO Exhibit 91).

h. (U) AEGIS Display System (ADS) data cannot be extracted. Therefore, console actions at the CO, “GW”, and TAO positions cannot be determined. (IO Exhibit 91).

i. (S U) No data tapes were available from other units, but the Mode III IFF of 6760 and increasing altitude seen in the data tapes from USS Vincennes were corroborated by testimony and statements from USS Sides. (IO Exhibits 65-73).

j. (a) Information obtained from intelligence sources further corroborated that TN 4131 was squawking Mode III-6760. (IO Exhibit 6).

2. Time Line

a. (U) The time line below is a summary of all the events dealing with the air engagement which occurred between 0647Z and 0654Z on 3 July 1988. From detection to intercept this was a time window of 7 minutes and 8 seconds. The time line is a reconstruction based on data extraction from USS Vincennes’s tapes, as well as statements, testimony, and log entries from USS Vincennes, USS Sides, and USS Elmer Montgomery. The events derived from data tape extraction are underlined. The events are in chronological order, but some event times had to be estimated and may not be in precise time sequence.

b. (SNF U) During this engagement, there were no pre-launch Indications and Warnings (I&W) indicators of impending Iranian air activity available to USS Vincennes from either {p.42-1993} internal ship’s sensors or from external sources. (IO Exhibit 232).

c. (U) Unless otherwise noted, names and associated console {p.29-1988} positions refer to USS Vincennes’s CIC operator positions. (See Figure 1. Figure 1 is duplication of IO Exhibit 174 and is inserted here for ease of review.) {p.43-1993} {p.29a-1988}

{Figure-1: Plan of Vincennes Combat Information Center: Widths: 640px, 800px, 1024px, 1280px} {p.44-1993}

d. (U) When the term “in close control” or “hooked” is used with a TN it means that the operator referred to has the following displayed on the Character Read Out (CRO) display located on his console: TN, ID, grid coordinates, course, speed, altitude, ID amplifying information, Mode I/II/III IFF received, tracking quality, bearing and range.

e. (CU) Throughout this engagement, the large screen displays were on the following range scales: LSD1–8NM; LSD2–64NM; LSD3–16NM; LSD4–8NM. LSD3 (the CO’s display) was expanded to 64NM some time before the air engagement. (IO Exhibit 209).

(1) 0647Z

(a)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (EWS),  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (IDS), and  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AIC-3 ) had an Iranian P-3 in close control. The P-3 was 62 miles west of Vincennes, heading 085. ¶

This was the only air “assumed enemy” in the system. (IO Exhibit 91).

(b)  (S U) The E-2C (AE-602) launched in an alert status from USS Forrestal (CV 59), and proceeded to its assigned “Earnest Will{1069kb.pdf} station. (IO Exhibit 250).

(c)  (S U) The SPY-1 radar initially reported the track of interest at a range of 47NM, bearing 025, ¶

and altitude of 900 feet (low elevation mode). This corresponded to a lat/long over the runway at Bandar Abbas. ¶

Initial course was 210. Mode III was 6760. (IO Exhibits 91 & 232).

(d)  (S U) The radar operators in USS Vincennes cannot discriminate size of a contact regardless of aspect angle. (IO Exhibit 183)  ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.544).

(e)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (RSC) determined from the A-scope that TN 4131 was a single track. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.544).

(f)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (49 ADT) first took close control of the southbound track out of Bandar Abbas and made an identification as “Unknown–Assumed Enemy” as it went “feet wet” in accordance ¶

with CTG 801.7/OPTASK AAW/002/May. Altitude reports to CIC consoles were derived from IFF Mode C since SPY was in low elevation mode. (IO Exhibits 91 & 132).

(g)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (Air Detector Tracker and Track Supervisor-Sides) recalled picking up the track on a course of 200, speed 300kts, with a Mode III–6700 block. (IO Exhibit 71). {p.45-1993}

(h)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (IDS) picked up Mode III-6675 as the aircraft departed Bandar Abbas. System data continued to show a Mode III of 6760. (IO Exhibits 91 & 190).

(i)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AIC-3) also recalled seeing Mode III-6675 on his CRO. (IO Exhibit 196).

(j)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (UBS) saw Mode III-66?? and later saw an unspecified Mode II. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.755).

(k)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (RSC) believed SSES said that planes had scrambled from Bandar Abbas.  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  didn’t recall SSES indication. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.542) ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.561).  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (SSES) stated that he did not report an F-14. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.664). {p.30-1988}

(l)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (TIC) recalled hearing “possible F-4” launch from Bandar Abbas ¶

( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.675) and reported “Padre” over AAW ASUW C&R/DSA net. (IO Exhibit 203).

(m)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (IAD) believed he heard a report of F-14’s from SSES. (IO Exhibit 189).

(n)  (U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (“GW”) believed he heard “F-14” reported from SSES. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.812).

(o)  (S U) Track of interest is reported by USS Vincennes over Link 11 as TN 4474. (IO Exhibit 91).

(p)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (CSC),  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (UBS),  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (IDS),  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (TIC),  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (FC-1),  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AAWC), and  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (EWS) all have track of interest (TN 4474) in close control. (IO Exhibit 91).

(q)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (49 ADT) stated TN 4474 was squawking Modes II and III. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.588).

Query:49 ADT?  “Mode II?  “0647?

The 49 ADT — the operator of the warship’s rotating air search radar (AN/SPS-49(V)) — said he saw a mode II:–

Only one time”.

At 20 miles”.

At 0652 Zulu.

Five minutes later, from this timeline time.

Here, we’re at 45 n.miles, on the timeline. At 0647 Zulu.

This statement is misplaced on the timeline.

Nobody is making any claims, at this early time, of seeing anything other than reality. That the aircraft was squawking civilian, with its transponder.

Is this an honest mistake, Mr. Fogarty?

Or is this a willful, purposeful, malicious lie?

Preparing us? To excuse Scott Lustig’s F-14 lie?


(2) 0648Z

(a)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (TIC) recalled noting Mode III in his CRO for TN 4131. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.676).

(b)  (U) Commercial air schedules were available in CIC and reviewed by decision-making personnel (CO, TAO, “GW”, TIC, IDS) on a regular basis prior to the engagement. The IDS specifically looked at the schedule at his console when TN 4131 first appeared. (IO Exhibits 190 & 195, Rogers, p.839,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.621). {p.46-1993}

(c)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (FC-1),  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (49 ADT), and  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AAWC) took a non-squawking P-3 (track 4472) to the west (RNG 64, BRG 266, CSE 085) in close control for several seconds and returned to the track of interest (TN 4474). (IO Exhibit 91).


(d)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (TIC) recalled seeing Mode I and Mode III on the P-3 (TN 4472). ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.646).

(e)  (S U) The P-3 (TN 4472) was challenged over both MAD and IAD. The P-3 responded that he was on a search mission and that he would stay away from USS Vincennes. The form of the challenge was:

“Iranian P-3 on course 085 speed 270 this is USN warship BRG 085 64 miles, request you state your intentions.”

(IO Exhibit 203).

(f)  (S U) The track of interest (TN 4474) was at a range of 44 NM, BRG 025, CSE 202, SPD 232, and at an altitude of 2500 ft. The altitude source to consoles continued to be Mode C IFF from the aircraft which was still ascending. (IO Exhibit 91).

(g)  (U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (SSES) took TN 4131 in close control. (IO Exhibit 91). {p.31-1988}

(h)  (S U) USS Sides reported the track of interest (TN 4474) over Link 11 as TN 4131. USS Vincennes’s system correlated this with her TN 4474 and correctly maintained reporting responsibility of the track using USS Sides TN 4131. USS Vincennes then transmitted “drop track 4474” on Link-11. (IO Exhibit 91).

(i)  (S U) USS Elmer Montgomery never gained radar contact on TN 4131. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.88), (IO Exhibit 33).

“ Senator Sam Nunn, Chairman: Is there a reason for that? Should they have gotten radar contact where they were located?

Admiral William M. Fogarty: Sir, I believe what happened, if they would have been alone out there I am sure that they would have picked up contact on that. Their SPS-40, which is the radar they had, was working.

What is normally the case with a ship like the Montgomery, which is basically an anti-submarine warfare ship, and as was the case that day, they were under the tactical command and the AAW protection umbrella of the Vincennes.

Vincennes in fact had their AAW protection, and I believe what it was — and again, this is an opinion — is that the crew in the Combat Information Center of the Montgomery was involved in the surface engagement, primarily relying on the Vincennes to be her AAW protection.

Chairman Nunn: Is that normal?

Admiral Fogarty: Sir, it is done quite often as a matter of fact, particularly in ASW situations, where you are fighting a submarine at the same time you are fighting the aircraft. You will often give responsibilities to various ships to handle certain warfare responsibilities. ...

Chairman Nunn: So, it is not something of concern that that radar on the Montgomery did not have contact with the Iranian aircraft? That is not something that caused anybody concern?

Admiral Fogarty: No, sir, not that day. In the CO of the Montgomery’s mind, he felt very comfortable that he was under the protective umbrella of the Vincennes.”

Senate Hearing, pp.48-49 (Sept. 8 1988)

(j)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (TIC) recalled that the track number changed to TN 4131 occurred somewhere beyond 30 NM. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.675).

(k)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (TAO-Sides) observed TN 4131 leaving Bandar Abbas and although it was crossing with respect to USS Sides, he directed his Weapons Control Officer to lock-on with FC-2. The aircraft was heading southwesterly at approximately 400kts at an altitude of about 10,000 ft. (IO Exhibit 59,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , pp.247, 248).

(l)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (WCO-Sides) confirmed receiving the order and recalled that FC-2 acquired the target 50-60 kyds from USS Sides. He thought he noticed an IFF of 6710 but didn’t see an altitude. (IO Exhibit 69,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.269). {p.47-1993}

(m)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (WCC2-Sides) generally confirmed the range report and recalled an altitude of 3500 ft with speed 480 kts. (IO Exhibit 57).

(n)  (S) USS Sides sent a “Weapons on Target” message for TN 4131 over Link-11. (IO Exhibit 91).

(o)  (S U) TN 4131 was designated tactically significant by Vincennes system. (IO Exhibit 91).

Query: A “Weapons on Target” message?

Why did senior U.S. military officers decide to conceal this, from the 1988 version of their report?

And why did the DoD report writers decide to conceal what this means? From both the public and the classified versions of their report? The nature of this “message”?

Could this be the reason?:

The truth would expose, highlight, and emphasize the reckless negligence of the Vincennes officers and crew.

It was not until 5 years later, that we learned the Sides sent any “message” to the Vincennes (here, in this partially declassified version of the DoD report). And it was not until 12 years later that we learned the nature of this “message.” And what it means.

It was automatic computer-talk:


“ Reuben S. Pitts III: Because the Sides had used a fire control radar to track the target, it transmitted “weapons assigned” over Link 11 with its track information.

This resulted in an alert in the Vincennes’ system of “engagement initiated.”

It also resulted in the placement of an “assigned” bar above the “unknown, assumed enemy” hat on the track symbol displayed on the screens.

This is a half bar — a full bar representing “engaged.”

This bar remained in place throughout the incident, as the Sides continued to track with her fire control radar.

Despite this, the voice recordings never indicated that anyone in the Vincennes thought the Sides was firing missiles or was intending to fire missiles.”

Reuben S. Pitts III (“Head of the Data Analysis Team that supported Admiral Fogarty’s formal investigation”), “Human-Centric Warfare,” in “Anonymous” (Comment and Discussion), Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute, volume 126, Issue 3, March 2000, pages 10 et seq. (U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis Maryland) {ISSN: 0041-798X, OCLC: 02496995, LCCN: 64054905, WorldCat}.

Voice recordings”?

The 5 erased tracks?


This fact, concealed from the DoD report, highlights three items of negligence, each a separate prima facie proximate cause of the ambush:

First, Scott Lustig negligently failed to report the Sides lock-on to Anthony Less at Bahrain (0650-0651 Zulu). When seeking permission to attack the aircraft. A material fact in evaluating whether the target was hostile.

Second, the Vincennes officers and crew negligently failed to evaluate the significance of what was staring each of them in the face, on their computer screens: The aircraft did not react to being locked-on by the Sides. A factor their Rules of Engagement explicitly required them to evaluate. No reaction suggests a civilian aircraft because, with no RHWR receiver, it does not know it has been locked-on:

“ Admiral William M. Fogarty: Commercial aircraft normally do not have radar homing and warning (RHAW) equipment.

U.S. Navy ships either “locking up” with pulsed fire-control or continuous wave radars expect no reaction from a commercial air flight.”

DoD Report, ¶ 19, p.25 (1988: p.16) (above).

Third, concealing the truth, also conceals why the Vincennes crew did not do their duty. Namely, the Commander of the Vincennes violated his duty, and Naval Regulations, and falsely certified an untrained officer as qualified for a duty he was not qualified for. The Vincennes crew were distracted, for several minutes, by this officer’s inability to lock-on with the Vincennes fire control radar — 30 failures to push the correct buttons (all of them concealed from the 1988 public version of the DoD report).


(3) 0649Z

(a)  (S U) USS Vincennes’s Link 11 was off for 28 seconds. (IO Exhibit 91).

Query:Link 11 was off for 28 seconds”?

Now why might that be?

Could this be a clue?:

“ The ship had a foul mount, mount 51, and had to turn, a 30 degree turn. This turn took place just at the crucial decision point so it was heeling over at about a 32 degree angle ...”

Frank C. Carlucci (U.S. Secretary of Defense), Press Briefing, August 19 1988, p.2.

“ USS Vincennes: ... link 11 OE-82 satellite communications antenna ...”

ICAO Report, ¶, p.8.

The warship’s satellite antenna is not likely mounted on a gimbal. To avoid movement by the wind. It’s surely stabilized by gyroscopes.

It stays pointed at the satellite, automatically, as the warship turns.

But not when it heels over:

“ The antenna tracks automatically in azimuth and manually in elevation.”

Electronics Technician, Volume 07— Antennas and Wave Propagation, Chapter 2: Antennas, Satellite Systems, Antenna Groups OE-82B/WSC-1(V) and OE-82C/WSC-1(V), page 2-16 {968kb.pdf}.

Presumably, at the warship’s 32-degree list, the satellite antenna lost its lock on the satellite, and had to regain the satellite after the list abated. And, perhaps the operator had to log-on again, to the Link-11 net. Though log-on is likely automatic, in the warship’s computer software.

And all that took 28 seconds.

The report asserts this turn occurred at 0651 Zulu. Not at 0649 Zulu, here, when it asserts Link-11 disconnected. The report asserts that the foul bore, the asserted reason for the turn, occurred at 0650 Zulu

This could be faulty logging in the Vincennes deck log, which the report writers cite as authority for the time of the turn. And faulty recollection by the redacted individual they cite as additional authority.

But, the time of this turn is shown precisely on the authoritative, secret, time-stamped, Vincennes position log, automatically recorded from the warship’s inertial navigation system.

Which the report writers could have cited.

And didn’t.

“ ... some event times had to be estimated and may not be in precise time sequence.”

DoD Report, ¶ 2, p.41 (1988: p.28).

“ Senator Sam Nunn, Chairman: Your report, as I understand it, did not really get into the surface engagement in great detail, did you? Or did you go into the surface engagement that was occurring while all of the air engagement was also under consideration?

Admiral William M. Fogarty: Senator, we looked at the surface engagement as to what led up to it, what involvement the Vincennes and the Montgomery had in it, the situation as far as time, distance, position, and all that.

We did not get into the second by second granular details, as we did with the air incident, no.

But I felt we had a pretty good appreciation of what happened in that surface engagement, which is in the investigation.”

Senate Hearing, p.47 (Sept. 8 1988)

Perhaps they wanted to obfuscate why Link-11 disconnected.

Perhaps they wanted to create the false illusion that “This turn took place just at the crucial decision point,” a distraction, near to the decision to launch the missiles (0654:05 Zulu).

Instead of when it likely occurred (0649 Zulu).

Or both.  CJHjr

(b)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AAWC) ordered TN 4131 to be challenged over the MAD and IAD nets. (IO Exhibit 204).

(c)  (S U) A MAD warning was issued by USS Vincennes to TN 4131

{06:49:39–0650:06 Zulu}:  “Unidentified Iranian aircraft on course 203, speed 303, altitude 4000, this is U.S. Naval warship, bearing 205, 40 miles from you. You are approaching U.S. Naval warship operating in international waters. Request you state your intentions.”

(IO Exhibit 203) {times, from ICAO Report, p.15 ¶ 2.10.2, pp.B-17, B-24 (Nov. 7 1988).  CJHjr}.


No airliner is equipped with a UHF transceiver (military frequencies). Hence, no airliner can receive a MAD broadcast. Military Air Distress is a military frequency: 243.0 mHzCJHjr

(d)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (49 ADT) later recalled that his speed challenges on the MAD net were much slower (about 100kts) than those given on the IAD net. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.602).

(e)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  of the USS Sides recalled the TAO reporting birds affirm on MEF Execution net. (IO Exhibit 73).

(f)  (S U) HMS Beaver joined Link 11. HMS Beaver copied IAD. (IO Exhibits 91 & 291).

(4) 0650Z

(a)  (S U) The following warning was issued to TN 4131 over IAD by USS Vincennes:

{0650:02–0650:22 Zulu}:  “Unknown aircraft on course 206, speed 316 position 2702N/05616E you are approaching US Naval warship request you remain clear.”

USS Vincennes’s system data indicated the same parameters. (IO Exhibits 91 & 203). {Time, from ICAO Report, p.16 ¶ 2.10.8, p.B-16 (Nov. 7 1988).  CJHjr}. {p.32-1988}

“ The plane ... failed to heed, or even answer, the repeated warnings and requests for identification.”

Richard S. Williamson (Assistant Secretary of State, International Organization Affairs, 1988-1989, a lawyer), statement, ICAO meeting, Montreal Canada, July 13 1988 (ICAO: U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization), printed, “Assistant Secretary Williamson, ICAO Council, Montreal, July 13, 1988,” in “Middle East, Iranian Airbus Tragedy” (Department of State Bulletin, volume 88, number 2138, September 1988, pages 38-43, at 39-42) (“The official monthly record of United States foreign policy”) {3 issues, July.-Sept., 1.61mb.txt, 23.84mb.pdf, source} {SuDoc: S 1.3, LCCN: 39026945, ISSN: 0041-7610, OCLC: 1639364, GPOcat, WorldCat}, reported, Jeff Bradley, “Council Agrees on ICAO Probe, Four Favor Condemnation” (Associated Press, July 14 1988, 12:23 EDT, AP880714-0103), reprinted, in the House Report (yet to be posted).



The Vincennes IAD radio-talker did not ask the pilot to identify himself and state his intentions.

As his talking script required him to do.

As the U.S. NOTAM required him to do.

This is not a “warning”:

It contains no threat. Issues no instructions. Requests no reply. And conceals the location of the warship (to “remain clear” of).

It’s a mere “hello” message, informing the pilot (if s/he’s listening) that the warship has radar contact.

This broadcast violated the written orders issued to the IAD radio-talker: His written talking script. Which required him to ask the pilot to identify himself and state his intentions.

This talking-script is a material fact omitted from the DoD Report, and hence a prima facie criminal lie.

This violation, by the IAD radio-talker, of his orders, is a prima facie proximate cause of the ambush.

An excellent criminal motive for senior U.S. military officers to conceal the radio-talker’s talking script from their deceitful report.

Query:Issued to”?

This was a broadcast (allegedly).

Heard by whomever happened to hear it.

It was not “issued to” anybody.

But, it’s a simple matter to “issue to” a target aircraft, a broadcast.

And that’s by speaking the target’s transponder squawk code, a unique identifier, which the pilot knows. (And, of course, broadcasting on a frequency the pilot is certain to be listening to, his Air Traffic Control frequency).

Only if the radio-talker speaks the aircraft’s transponder squawk-code, can a pilot know for certain who the radio-talker is referring to. (If, of course, s/he happens to be listening to the broadcast frequency).

The recklessly negligent failure of senior U.S. military officers to require their warship radio-talkers to speak the transponder squawk-code, when seeking to broadcast to a target aircraft, is a prima facie proximate cause of the ambush.

An excellent criminal motive for senior U.S. military officers to conceal, from their deceitful report, the text of the recklessly negligent talking script, which they issued to their warship radio-talkers.



(b)  (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (IDS) reported seeing a Mode II-1100 and Mode III-6675 on his RCI about 3-4 minutes before engagement when TN 4131 was at 9000 ft and near the SE corner of Qeshm Island. He reported possible F-14 and Mode II-1100 over net 15/16 to “all stations.” USS Vincennes’s system {p.48-1993} data showed only Mode III-6760 at this time. (IO Exhibit 91,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.626).

Query:9000 feet”?


We’re at 4000-4500 feet, Mr. Fogarty.

This 9000-foot recollection doesn’t belong at this point. On the timeline. Where you decided to put it.

It belongs down below.

Two minutes later.

At 0652Z.

When IR655 was at 9000 feet.

Just where the IDS recollected it.

After the IDS’s boss — an authority figure — had publicly proclaimed, the target was an F-14.

Talking on the radio to Bahrain.

Are you trying to trick and deceive us, Mr. Fogarty?

Pretending, that the chicken was the egg?

Pretending, that Lustig and Rogers had some reason to suppose the target was an F-14?

Pretending that — when they decided to lie to Less — their lie was merely negligently reckless? Instead of willfully reckless?

Query: A “possible F-14”?

This was a negligent act. To report a “possible” F-14 without also reporting it was only squawking a civilian squawk-code, staring the IDS in the face from his computer console.

His negligent failure (if that’s what he did), to report the civilian squawk-code, was a prima-facie proximate cause of the ambush.

However, the IDS was not a reckless liar. Like Lustig and Rogers were. He did not pretend to know for certain it was an F-14. As they did. That’s what the word “possible” means: Uncertainty. That’s exactly what he was. And exactly what he said. (According to Fogarty).

This would have been a less faulty report, if he had also reported the civilian-only squawk code. Displayed on the computer console of everyone in the CIC to do with aerial threats.

Including Lustig. And Rogers.

But, the IDS had neglected to note the scheduled departure on his airline schedule, when he looked at it. Or, more likely, his senior officers had recklessly neglected to inform him about the time issues, so that he could understand what he was looking at.

Yet, the IDS was negligent in failing to inquire about these time issues. Because he had a job to do. And he knew, or should have known, that he couldn’t do his job without understanding time issues.

Combining the negligence of himself and his senior officers, the IDS was negligent in failing to stand watch for this airliner.

Which his airline schedule plainly informed him was due to take off 15 minutes before it actually did.

The IDS’s task was greatly encumbered, fatally so, by the reckless negligence of senior U.S. military officers to properly equip his warship with sufficient VHF transceivers, so that he could monitor Air Traffic Control frequencies. And listen to the conversations of the pilot.

A citizen of a country with which the United States was not at war.

And which had never attacked a U.S. warship.  CJHjr

(c)  (S U) Not all RCI indications are displayed in an operator’s CRO because RCI data is not always correlated with a track in the system. IFF data in C&D is always correlated with a track number. (AF Exhibit Enclosure 17).

(d)  (S U) Multiple CIC personnel recalled hearing F-14 report on internal net 15 or 16, or recall it being said aloud. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.812;  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.677;  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.537;  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.637;  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.560;  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.543;  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.570;  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.593;  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.650).

Query:Recalled hearing F-14 report”? “Said aloud”?

Well that’s hardly surprising.

That crew members would repeat what they heard their boss say aloud.

After Scott Lustig said it aloud.

Talking on the radio to Anthony Less, at Bahrain.

An authority figure.

Making an official report.

To another authority figure.

Looks like another misposition on the timeline.

Pretending this gaggle of witnesses recollected beforehand what, instead, they heard Lustig say out loud.

Preparing us? To excuse Scott Lustig’s F-14 lieCJHjr

(e) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (CSC) never saw Mode II, but  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AIC) saw Mode II-1100 and Mode III-6675 on his CRO.  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AAWC) also saw Mode II-1100. USS Vincennes’s system still held no IFF Mode II and held Mode III-6760 for TN 4131. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.537;  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.706;  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.727) (IO Exhibit 91).

(f) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (TIC) reported rechallenging TN 4131 after Mode II report but only got a Mode III ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.678).

(g) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (WCC2-Sides) noted TN 4131 climb to 5000 ft. (IO Exhibit 57,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.236).

(h) (S U) TN 4131 went out of SPY-1A low elevation. SPY-1 data then became altitude source at operator consoles and on Link 11. (IO Exhibit 91).

(i) (S U) TN 4131 was at range of 34 NM, BRG 025, ALT 6160, and a SPD 334. (IO Exhibit 91).

(j) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (“GW”) reported an inbound Iranian F-14 to “GBon MEF Execution net (BRG 025/RNG 32NM). He also reported on the net that he had warned TN 4131 and that the challenge was ignored. (IO Exhibit 203).


This is a reckless lie.

Scott Lustig (the radio-talker) and William Rogers (the warship commander), seated next to Lustig, both knew for a fact, they had no idea what aircraft was approaching, and that no crew member could possibly know what it was.

Yet, they lied to Less (their commander, at Bahrain) it was an F-14.

Rogers acknowledged, in his testimony, to the DoD investigators, that he didn’t know what it was. And the DoD investigators concealed from their report what he said:

“ Admiral William M. Fogarty: I do know that the commanding officer testified that he did not even recognize an F-14. What he was worried about was the threat to his ship from an unidentified aircraft. So I think the F-14 determination was not a large determination in the commanding officer’s mind.”

Senate Hearing, p.20 (Sept. 8 1988)

This lie, by Rogers and Lustig to Less, was a prima facie proximate cause of the ambush.


The IAD broadcast was not a “warning”: It contained no threat. Issued no instructions. Requested no reply. Contrary to what Rogers and Lustig assured Less.

And this, Lustig should have known, because he was seated right next to the IAD radio-talker. Between the IAD and Rogers.

This erroneous assertion by Rogers and Lustig, misinforming Less, that they had issued a “warning,” was a prima facie proximate cause of the ambush.


The IAD broadcast did not ask the pilot to identify himself and state his intentions (as his talking script, and a U.S. NOTAM, required him to do). Or, to alter his course. Or, to reply.

Hence, the pilot did not “ignore” the broadcast. Contrary to what Rogers and Lustig assured Less.

And this, Lustig should have known, because he was seated right next to the IAD radio-talker.

This erroneous assertion by Rogers and Lustig, misinforming Less, that the pilot had “ignored” a “warning,” was a prima facie proximate cause of the ambush.


Rogers and Lustig concealed from Less, that the warship was in the center of an airway, and inside Iran’s territorial waters.

This location of the warship was an innocent explanation for why an aircraft from Iran might be “inbound” to the warship.

This omission, by Rogers and Lustig, concealing from Less material information, bearing on the threat assessment, and the proper application of the Rules of Engagement, was a prima facie proximate cause of the ambush.

Query: Illumination?

Rogers and Lustig concealed from Less, that the target had been illuminated with a fire-control radar and did not react.

This is diagnostic of a civilian aircraft.

A military aircraft has a “radar homing and warning” receiver (RHAW) which sounds a loud alarm when it receives such radar broadcasts. A military pilot, on such an occasion, will normally jenk course, to placate the radar operator, by thereby demonstrating the pilot does not intend to attack.

Civilian aircraft, including airliners, do not have such equipment and are therefore oblivious, when they are illuminated by a fire-control radar. Hence, they do not react to such illumination.

And IR655 did not react. When illuminated by the USS Sides fire-control radar, 1-minute after take-off. The USS Sides reported this illumination, to the USS Vincennes, over their Link-11.

But the USS Vincennes crew negligently paid no mind to this important information. Which their Rules of Engagement required them to pay mind to.

And, Rogers and Lustig concealed from Less, that they had not complied with their Rules of Engagement, which required them to illuminate the target, with their own fire-control radar. A necessary step in the process of identifying aerial targets.

This omission, by Rogers and Lustig, concealing from Less material information, bearing on the threat assessment, and the proper application of the Rules of Engagement, was a prima facie proximate cause of the ambush.

Query: Altitude?

Rogers and Lustig concealed from Less, the aircraft’s altitude. They informed Less only of its range and bearing. This, even though that altitude was staring each of them in their face — on their computer consoles (CRO), directly in front of each of them.

The high altitude of the target was a non-threatening indicator.

The DoD Report writers also concealed the altitude at the time of this radio message (at range 32 NM). At range 34 NM it was at 6160 feet. At range 29 NM it was at 7000 feet.

Extrapolating, IR655 was at 6500 feet at the time of this message to Less.

This omission, by Rogers and Lustig, concealing from Less material information, bearing on the threat assessment, and the proper application of the Rules of Engagement, was a prima facie proximate cause of the ambush.

Query: Flight profile?

Rogers and Lustig concealed from Less, that the aircraft had an innocent, non-threatening flight profile: Climbing, steeply and steadily, from take-off. At 1500 feet per minute.

This omission, by Rogers and Lustig, concealing from Less material information, bearing on the threat assessment, and the proper application of the Rules of Engagement, was a prima facie proximate cause of the ambush.

Query: Airline schedule?

Rogers and Lustig concealed from Less, that an airliner, scheduled to take off about 15 minutes earlier, had not previously taken off. An innocent explanation for the approaching, high, and climbing, target.

This omission, by Rogers and Lustig, concealing from Less material information, bearing on the threat assessment, and the proper application of the Rules of Engagement, was a prima facie proximate cause of the ambush.

Query: Squawk Code?

Rogers and Lustig concealed from Less, the aircraft’s civilian squawk code. This, even though that squawk code was staring each of them in their face — on their computer consoles (CRO), directly in front of each of them.

A civilian squawk code is a non-threatening indicator.

This omission, by Rogers and Lustig, concealing from Less material information, bearing on the threat assessment, and the proper application of the Rules of Engagement, was a prima facie proximate cause of the ambush.


(k) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (“GW”) recalled making a MEF Execution net report when TN 4131 was at 32 NM and recalled an earlier altitude of 9800 ft when TN 4131 was between 38-40 NM. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , pp.813, 814).

(l) (S U) USS Vincennes ordered to take tactical control of USS Sides by “GS”. (IO Exhibit 203).

(m) (S U) TN 4131 reported as “Astro(F-14) over AAW C&R/DSA net by TIC. (IO Exhibit 203).

(n) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (OSDA) tagged TN 4131 as F-14 on the LSD. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.781). {p.49-1993} {p.33-1988}

(5) 0651Z

(a) (S U) “GW” identified TN 4131 as Iranian F-14 (BRG 024/RNG 28) over CMEF Execution net. Indicated intention to engage at 20 NM unless he turned away. Asked “GB” if he concurred. “GB” told USS Vincennes to warn aircraft first before firing. (IO Exhibit 203).

(b) (U) In the limited time available, CJTFME could not verify the information passed by USS Vincennes on TN 4131. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.859;  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.446).

(c) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (TAO-Sides) recalled first being alerted to TN 4131 when USS Vincennes reported an F-14 over CMEF Execution Net. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.247).

(d) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (Sides) recalled hearing USS Vincennes report “Birds Affirm” on TN 4131 when it was at 30NM. (IO Exhibit 54).

(e) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AAWC) recalled altitude at 8-9 kft at 30 NM and ordered continuous challenge until engagement. (IO Exhibit 204,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.730).

(f) (S U) The following MAD challenge was issued by USS Vincennes:

{0651:11–0651:33 Zulu}:  “Iranian fighter on course 210, speed 353, altitude 7000 ft. you are approaching US Naval warship, operating in international waters. If you maintain current course you are standing into danger and are subject to USN defense measures. Request you change course 270 repeat 270.”

 (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (Sides) recalled hearing this report. USS Vincennes’s system data indicated the same course, speed, and altitude. (IO Exhibit 203  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.171) {times, from ICAO Report, p.15 ¶ 2.10.2, pp.B-18, B-24 (Nov. 7 1988).  CJHjr}.

(g) (S U) An IAD challenge was issued by USS Vincennes to TN 4131:

{0651:09–0651:43 Zulu}:  “Unidentified aircraft on course 207, speed 350, altitude 7000. You are approaching US Naval warship bearing 205, 30 miles from you. Your identity is not known, your intentions are not clear. You are standing into danger and may be subject to USN defensive measures. Request you alter course immediately to 270.”

USS Vincennes’s system data indicated the same. (IO Exhibits 91 & 203). {Time, from ICAO Report, p.16 ¶ 2.10.8, p.B-16 (Nov. 7 1988).  CJHjr}.

“ The plane ... failed to heed, or even answer, the repeated warnings and requests for identification.”

Richard S. Williamson (Assistant Secretary of State, International Organization Affairs, 1988-1989, a lawyer), statement, ICAO meeting, Montreal Canada, July 13 1988 (ICAO: U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization) (AP880714-0103).



The Vincennes IAD radio-talker did not ask the pilot to identify himself and state his intentions.

As the U.S. NOTAM required him to do.

This warning — the first of two by the Vincennes IAD radio-talker — was broadcast (0651:09–0651:43) while the IR 655 pilot was busy talking to Tehran Area Control Center (0650:54–0651:30):

Tehran Area Control Centre (THR ACC) 133.4 MHz
0650:54IR 655... (unreadable) ...
0650:59THR ACCStation calling Tehran
0651:04IR 655IranAir 655 from Bandar Abbas to Dubai; out of level 70 {7,550 feet radar actual} for 140; estimating FIR 58, Dubai 0715
0651:20THR ACCRoger; report maintaining 140 and passing DARAX
0651:26IR 655Roger
0651:28THR ACCConfirm you are squawking 6760
0651:30IR 655Affirmative

ICAO Report, p.B-16 and p.16 ¶ 2.10.8 (Nov. 7 1988)


This material fact senior U.S. military officers concealed from their DoD Report, concealed in their press conferences, and concealed in their sworn testimony to Congress. A prima facie criminal lie.

It’s a material fact, because it highlights the reckless negligence of senior U.S. military officers who failed in their duty to order their warship IAD radio-talkers to monitor and broadcast on relevant civilian ATC frequencies, and not on the IAD frequency, which no civilian aircraft is required to monitor, outside the U.S., unless they are over a vast ocean.

This reckless negligence, by senior U.S. military officers, is a prima facie proximate cause of the ambush.

An excellent criminal motive for senior U.S. military officers to unite, in a prima facie criminal conspiracy, to lie in an official U.S. Government report, and to lie to Congress, by concealing, from their deceitful report, the text and time-stamps, of the radio conversations by the IR 655 pilot and the time-stamps of the Vincennes IAD broadcast.

Query:Unidentified aircraft”?

IR 655 was not an “unidentified aircraft”:

It was well identified, by its transponder (SSR) squawk code staring the Vincennes IAD radio-talker in the face from his computer console (CRO).

The recklessly negligent failure of senior U.S. military officers to require their warship radio-talkers to speak the transponder squawk-code, when seeking to broadcast to a target aircraft, is a prima facie proximate cause of the ambush.

An excellent criminal motive for senior U.S. military officers to unite, in a prima facie criminal conspiracy, to lie in an official U.S. Government report, and to lie to Congress, by concealing, from their deceitful report, the text of the recklessly negligent talking script, which they issued to their warship radio-talkers.

Query:Your identity is not known”?

The Vincennes IAD radio-talker did not ask the pilot to identify himself and state his intentions. As a U.S. NOTAM required all U.S. radio-talkers to do.

This violation, by the Vincennes IAD radio-talker, of the U.S. NOTAM, is a prima facie proximate cause of the ambush.

An excellent criminal motive for senior U.S. military officers to unite, in a prima facie criminal conspiracy, to lie in an official U.S. Government report, and to lie to Congress, by concealing, from their deceitful report, the text of that U.S. NOTAM. And the text of the radio-talker’s talking script, which they negligently drafted and issued to him.

Query:To 270”?

These words were not broadcast by the Vincennes radio-talker. They were broadcast by the Sides radio-talker, according to the later ICAO Report, p.16 ¶ 2.10.8 (Nov. 7 1988).

A material omission and a prima facie criminal lie. Because it concealed this:

The recklessly negligent failure of the Vincennes IAD radio-talker to give the pilot instructions — as his talking-script required him to do. This is a prima facie proximate cause of the ambush.

And this: The Sides was apparently broadcasting at the same time as the Vincennes, nullifying the “warning,” because nobody can understand people talking at the same time on a radio.

An excellent criminal motive for senior U.S. military officers to unite, in a prima facie criminal conspiracy, to lie in an official U.S. Government report, and to lie to Congress, that these words were spoken by the Vincennes radio-talker, when — in fact — the Vincennes radio-talker recklessly neglected to speak these words.

And an excellent criminal motive for senior U.S. military officers to unite, in a prima facie criminal conspiracy, to lie in an official U.S. Government report, and to lie to Congress, by concealing from their deceitful report, transcripts of actual VHF broadcasts, an unintelligible jumble.  CJHjr

(h) (S U) USS Vincennes’s systems held TN 4131 at an altitude of 7000 ft at 29 NM. (IO Exhibit 91).

(i) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (Sides) recalled challenging TN 4131 after “GS’s” report and reading an IFF altitude of 7,000 {p.50-1993} ft with a Mode III of 6707. He evaluated it as an Iranian HAJ flight. (IO Exhibit 55,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.196).


(j) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (Sides) recalled the evaluation as a HAJ flight and that he and  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  had reported it to the TAO.  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (TAOSides) does not recall hearing the report of HAJ flight. (IO Exhibits 54 & 59,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.251;  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.177).

(k) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (Standby-Air Detector Tracker-Sides) recalled watching TN 4131 climb to 9 or 10 kft when “GW” said “Birds Affirm” track unknown TN 4131. (IO Exhibit 67).

(l) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (OSDA) recalled TN 4131 being at an altitude of 8000 ft at SE corner of Qeshm Island and descending. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.210). {p.34-1988}

(m) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) (AIC-3) recalled that on his 3rd look TN 4131 was just east of Qeshm Island at 9000 ft and 30 NM. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , pp.706 & 712).

(n) (S U) HMS Manchester joined Link 11. (IO Exhibit 91).

(o) (S U) HMS Manchester transmitted TN 4474 (previously associated with TN 4131) as friendly strike aircraft located in the Gulf of Oman about 100-120 mi SE. (IO Exhibit 91).

(p) (S U) In a USS Vincennes Link 11 message, TN 4131 was reported at an altitude of 8500. (IO Exhibit 91).

(q) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  observed TN 4131 slowly rising at around 8-9 kft. He jumped up and said “possible COMAIR” to the CO and  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (“GW”). The CO acknowledged the report by raising his hand. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.571, Rogers p.849).

(r) (S U) Airway (A-59) was depicted on LSD #2 in front of “GW” as single line and was slightly west of the actual centerline of the 20 mi wide airway. (IO Exhibit 187).

(s) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (TIC) issued a report to “Bravo” (USS Forrestal) on the AAW C&R/DSA net that TN 4131 was an “Astro(F-14) and TN 4472 was “Bluejay” (P-3). “Bravo” reported holding both tracks. (IO Exhibit 203).

Query:Holding both tracks”?

How can an aircraft carrier, over the horizon, in the Northern Gulf of Oman, be “holding both tracks” on targets out of reach of its radar?

The report doesn’t give the position of the Forrestal. IR655 being at 9000 feet at this time, the Forrestal would have to be within 110 n.miles, to have line of sight on it, with its own radar.

But Link-11 is the likely answer instead. A radio broadcast encoding radar track data: coordinates, altitude, and such (I suppose), from which the computer can compute course and speed and range and bearing to the various warships on that Link-11 net.

The Vincennes and the Sides each broadcast Link-11 data and, apparently, via “link 11 OE-82 satellite communications antenna”. (ICAO Report ¶, p.8, describing Vincennes equipment).

And that presumably is what the Forrestal received: radar track data, via Link-11, via satellite.


(6) 0652Z

(a) (S U) A MAD warning was issued to TN 4131:

{0652:00–0652:21 Zulu}:  “Iran aircraft fighter on CSE 211, SPD 360, ALT 9000. This is {p.51-1993} USN warship BRG 202 from you. Request you change course immediately to 270. If you maintain current course you are steering into danger and are subject to USN defensive measures.”

USS Vincennes’s system data indicated the same. (IO Exhibits 91 & 203) {times, from ICAO Report, p.15 ¶ 2.10.2, pp.B-18, B-24 (Nov. 7 1988).  CJHjr}.

(b) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AAWC) recalled seeing TN 4131 with an altitude of approximately 9000 ft and a speed of 360-380 kts. So did the USS Vincennes’s system. (IO Exhibit 91,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.728).

(c) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (49 ADT) recalled that the highest altitude for TN 4131 was 12,000 ft at 25 NM. The system held TN 4131 at 8,400 ft when it was at 25 NM. (IO Exhibit 91,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.596).

(d) (S U) HMS Manchester went off Link 11.  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (FC-1) hooked TN 4474 for 5 secs (RNG 110 NM, BRG 139, ALT 11,900, SPD 448). Forty seconds later TN 4474 was dropped from system. (IO Exhibit 91).

(e) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (CSC) recalled that the last time he looked at altitude, TN 4131 was at 22 NM at 10,300 ft. At 22 NM, USS Vincennes’s system held TN 4131 at 9200 ft. (IO Exhibit 91,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.531).

(f) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (MSS) pushed “Request Radiation Assign” button for TN 4131. System would not allow since AAWC or IDS had not authorized. (IO Exhibit 91). {p.35-1988}

(g) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AAWC) recalled requesting and receiving permission to illuminate at 20 NM. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.730).

(h) (S U) USS Vincennes issued a challenge over IAD to TN 4131:

{0652:33–0653:03 Zulu}:  “Unknown aircraft on CSE-210, SPD-360, ALT 10,000. You are approaching USN warship BRG 201, 20 miles from you. You are standing into danger and may be subject to USN defensive measures.”

The TN 4131 range and kinematics agreed with the USS Vincennes’s system values. (IO Exhibits 91 & 203) {times, from ICAO Report, p.16 ¶ 2.10.8, p.B-16 (Nov. 7 1988).  CJHjr}.

“ The plane ... failed to heed, or even answer, the repeated warnings and requests for identification.”

Richard S. Williamson (Assistant Secretary of State, International Organization Affairs, 1988-1989, a lawyer), statement, ICAO meeting, Montreal Canada, July 13 1988 (ICAO: U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization) (AP880714-0103).



The Vincennes IAD radio-talker did not ask the pilot to identify himself and state his intentions.

As the U.S. NOTAM required him to do.

The first warning, the Vincennes IAD radio-talker broadcast (allegedly) while the pilot was busy talking on another frequency, to Air Traffic Control.

This is his second and final warning.

He allegedly broadcast it while the pilot was one n.mile offshore Iranian soil, 22-25 n.miles from international waters, at 10,000 feet and climbing.

That deep inside Iranian territory, that close to Iranian soil, that far from where any warship might be, and that high, the pilot might not be monitoring the IAD frequency.

Also, the pilot was not headed for the warship. According to the radio-talker, the pilot’s course (210) was different from his bearing to the warship (201). And this means, the aircraft would pass more than 3 n.miles wide of the warship, at 14,550 feet. Way above the NOTAM’s 2,000 foot safety limit.

Or, he could not recognize himself in the warship broadcast.

Because the USS Sides might have been broadcasting at the same time, on the same frequency — an unintelligible jumble of simultaneous broadcasts no human being could understand.

Senior U.S. military officers concealed four of the five Sides warnings from their report. Presumably, to conceal this very fact. Likewise, this is surely the reason they did not disclose any recording or transcripts of any actual VHF broadcasts. They only disclosed a transcript of portions of the internal Vincennes IAD communication net, before it reached the VHF transmitter. And, it may never have been broadcast anyway. There is no trustworthy proof it was.

Even if the Vincennes did broadcast, and even if the Sides did not “step on” the Vincennes broadcast, the pilot would have a hard time knowing who the radio-talker was talking to. This, because senior U.S. military officers recklessly failed in their duty, to require their warship radio-talker to comply with international Air Traffic Control regulations, and speak the aircraft’s unique squawk-code.

And because senior U.S. military officers recklessly failed in their duty, to require their warship radio-talker to broadcast on the Air Traffic Control frequency. Which the pilot was required to monitor. Using the radio-talker’s main VHF transceiver, or his backup VHF. Which he surely had. And which the deceitful report-writers concealed from their report. Nobody goes anywhere in any warship or aircraft without a backup radio, in case one fails.

The Vincennes radio-talker in this broadcast did not ask the pilot to change course, as his talking script required him to do. And, he did not ask the pilot “to identify themselves and state their intentions,” as the U.S. NOTAM required him to do.

Not much of a “warning,” that a firing key will be turned, in exactly one minute (0654:05), and you’ll be dead, in less than two minutes (0654:43).

Even if he broadcast on the right frequency.

And even if he spoke the squawk-code.


And especially so, as the Vincennes IAD radio-talker did not use the mandatory emergency language (“Mayday, Mayday, Mayday”). Even though he was seated right next to Scott Lustig and heard Lustig announce his intention to attack. A minute and a half earlier.

Very, very, Fishy.

But very understandable, as part of Operation Praying Mantis. An unlawful, offensive, prima facie criminal, war of aggression, to destroy Iran’s military assets.

The prima facie violent criminals in such an unlawful U.S. Military Operation seek a pretext to attack. Like Vincennes Commander William Rogers did, when he unlawfully attacked the small boats.

And if they convince themselves, that an approaching aircraft is military, or recklessly hope so, and are willing to gamble, then they likely too would give a purposely defective “warning,” to trick the pilot into doing nothing, so they can kill him, and later claim they did nothing wrong, because they gave him a “warning”.

Is this why they also did not illuminate him with their fire-control radar? As their Rules of Engagement required them to do? Until they launched their missiles? So the pilot would not have a chance to jenk course? To save himself? By demonstrating no hostile intent?

Sick. (If that’s what they did).

But what they claim is, that their unqualified officer did not know what buttons to push, or that he needed to push any buttons, to authorize a lock-on with a fire control radar.

This, because Rogers violated Navy Regulations, and negligently certified as qualified, an officer whom he knew was not qualified, for want of training, to do the job.


(i) (S U) USS Vincennes issued a challenge over MAD to TN 4131:

{0652:44–0653:04 Zulu}:  “Iranian F-14 this is USN warship bearing 199, 20 miles. Request you change course 270 immediately. If maintain current course you are subject to USN defensive measures.”

USS Vincennes’s system data indicated the same. (IO Exhibits 203, 91) {times, from ICAO Report, p.15 ¶ 2.10.2, pp.B-18, B-25 (Nov. 7 1988).  CJHjr}.

(j) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (TAO observer-USS Sides) recalled TN 4131 rising in altitude and as it reached CPA and continuing to rise to 10 or 11 kft. (IO Exhibit 56,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.222). {p.52-1993}

(k) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (49 ADT) stated that TN 4131 IFF broke Mode II on his RCI (not on CRO) only one time. That occurred when it was at 20 miles. It then started to decrease in altitude between 25 and 20 miles. He said on net 12 that the contact was decreasing but did not refer to it by TN. IDS and TIC also noticed a decrease according to  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  and they said it aloud on net. USS Vincennes’s system data indicated TN 4131 was still ascending. (IO Exhibit 91,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , pp.588, 595).

(l) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (MSS) recalled altitude decreasing at 20 NM. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.749).

(m) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (IAD) did not recall hearing declining altitude reports on net 12. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.614).

(n) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (OPREPP/SITREP writer) recalled hearing descending altitude ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.763).

(o) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AIC-3) recalled an altitude of 9000 ft. at 20 NM. USS Vincennes’s system data indicated the same. (IO Exhibit 91,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , pp.706, 712).

(p) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (MSS) continued to push “Request Radiation Assign” button (8 times). No authorization had been given by AAWC or IDS yet. (IO Exhibit 91).

(q) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AAWC) pushed “Assign” button (which is the start of authorization process). (IO Exhibit 91).

(r) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (MSS) continued to push “Request Radiation Assign” button 4 more times. AAWC had not completed authorization sequence. (IO Exhibit 91).

(s) (S U) (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (IAD) recalled seeing altitude 10,500 on TN 4131 ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.609). {p.36-1988}

(7) 0653Z

(a) (S U) USS Vincennes reported altitude of TN 4131 at 10,500 ft over Link 11. (IO Exhibit 91).

(b) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (MSS) pushed “Request Radiation Assign” two more times. Authorization sequence not completed yet. (IO Exhibit 91).

(c) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (WCC-Sides) Recalled that at the time of engagement, TN 4131 altitude was at 11,000 feet about 15 NM on a course paralleling Sides. (IO Exhibit 70).

(d) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (observer-Sides) confirmed {p.53-1993} growing excitement and yelling in CIC about COMAIR. He looked at WCO’s IFF box and “read 6700 block”, altitude about 11,000 ft. (IO Exhibit 73).

(e) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {David R. Carlson (Captain, U.S. Navy), Commanding Officer of the USS Sides} (CO-Sides) recalled evaluating TN 4131 as a non-threat based on CPA to USS Sides, F-14 ASUW capability, lack of ESM and precedent. He noted an altitude of 11,000 ft and shifted his attention to the P-3 to the west. (IO Exhibit 48) ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , pp.151, 153).

(f) (   )  (b)(1)  {ESM intercept:}

(1) (S U) Airbus A300 carries WXR-700C-X NAV/Weather Avoidance Radar

(2) (   )  (b)(1)  {AN/SLQ-32 will show WXR-700-X}.

(3) (S U) Narrow beam of radar plus ascending angle will make the probability of detection of the Airbus radar by SLQ-32 marginal.

(4) (S U) Neither USS Vincennes, USS Elmer Montgomery, nor USS Sides had a AN/SLQ-32 intercept of the Airbus radar (Enclosure 16).

(g) (S U) USS Elmer Montgomery had no ESM contacts that would have correlated TN 4131 to an F-14. (IO Exhibits 27 & 33,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.89).

(h) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  never recalled seeing an altitude above 11,000 ft. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.814).

(i) (S U) TN 4131 was at 16 NM, BRG 018, SPD 371 and ALT 11,230. (IO Exhibit 91).

(j) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (TIC) recalled target altitude of 11,000 ft at 15 NM. He began to update the range every open spot on net 15/16. USS Vincennes’s system data indicated 11,400 feet {the same values} at 0653:31. (IO Exhibit 91,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.682).

(k) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (GW) heard continuous reports of declining altitude. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.815). {p.37-1988}

(l) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (IAD) recalled being prepared to give the final warning when another ship came up and gave a challenge.  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  also recalled that the aircraft was at 7800 ft at that time and at 450 kts. The USS Vincennes’s system data did not hold this altitude until after missile intercept. (IO Exhibit 91,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.610).

(m) (S U) IAD challenge issued by  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (USS Sides) to aircraft BRG 204 to Vincennes, RNG 31kyds, {p.54-1993} squawking Mode III-6700. USS Vincennes’s system data indicated the same. (IO Exhibits 71 & 91,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.172).

“ The plane ... failed to heed, or even answer, the repeated warnings and requests for identification.”

Richard S. Williamson (Assistant Secretary of State, International Organization Affairs, 1988-1989, a lawyer), statement, ICAO meeting, Montreal Canada, July 13 1988 (ICAO: U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization) (AP880714-0103).



The Sides IAD radio-talker did not ask the pilot to identify himself and state his intentions.

As the U.S. NOTAM required him to do.

This is what the Sides radio-talker actually said:

{0653:25–0653:43}:  “Unidentified aircraft squawking 6760 mode-3, you are approaching a US Navy war-ship bearing 090, correction 204, at 31,000 yards. You are standing into danger. Request you alter course 270.”

ICAO Report, p.B-16. {Time, from ICAO Report, p.B-16 and p.16 ¶ 2.10.8 (Nov. 7 1988).  CJHjr}

The distance in yards (15.3 n.miles) is U.S. Navy jargon, for surface distance, unknown to pilots. So too, the term “mode-3,” referring to a military transponder, which can broadcast civilian responses in addition to military responses (modes 1, 2, 4).

The Sides radio-talker broadcast this warning as the pilot was approaching MOBET, a mandatory Air Traffic Control reporting waypoint, 12 n.miles inside Iran’s territory.

17 seconds after this broadcast, the pilot commenced his mandatory report, to the Bandar Abbas Approach/Departure Control (0654:00–0654:11).

When he finished, he was obliged to switch frequencies, to the Tehran Area Control Center (relayed to Tehran via a microwave telecoms network, from an antenna at the Bandar Abbas airport), to make his next mandatory report, less than a minute later, when he reached his assigned flight level 140 (14,550 feet, on that day).

More than 12 n.miles deep inside his own territory, just a mile or two offshore, on the verge of broadcasting these two mandatory reports, and changing frequencies, the pilot was not likely monitoring the IAD frequency.

Senior U.S. military officers recklessly failed in their duty, to require their warship radio-talker to broadcast on the Air Traffic Control frequency. The frequency the pilot was required to monitor.

This ‘warning’ too does not contain emergency language (“Mayday, Mayday, Mayday”).

Yet, it was an heroic effort, by the Sides radio-talker, butting into somebody else’s business, doing the best he knew how to do, to warn the pilot.

While the pilot was switching frequencies, two missiles from the warship were enroute, on their 21 second flight.

Precisely one minute after the Sides broadcast, the aircraft, and its 290 souls on board, were shredded, by two explosions, and 10,000 steel ball bearings (0654:43).


(n) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AIC-3) recalled an altitude of 7700 feet on his fourth look at TN 4131 when it was at 15 NM. USS Vincennes’s system data at 15 MM showed an altitude of 11,000 ft. (IO Exhibit 91,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , pp.706, 712).

(o) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AAWC) pushed “Engage” button in response to system tutorial message to “Select Weapon” and received another “Select Weapon” message. (IO Exhibit 91).

(p) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (MSS) again pushed “Request Radiation Assign” button. Authorization sequence was still not completed by AAWC. (IO Exhibit 91).

(q) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AAWC) pushed “Assign” button in response to “Select Weapon” message. Again he received a “Select Weapon” message. He then pushed “Engage” and got a “Select Weapon” message. (IO Exhibit 91).

(r) (S U) TN 4131 was at 14 NM, ALT 12,000, and still at SPD 382. (IO Exhibit 91).

(s) (S U) USS Forrestal’s E-2C started transmitting on Link 11. It never locally held radar, IFF or ESM information on TN 4131. [IO Exhibits 91 & 250).

(t) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (MSS) pushed “Request Radiation Assign” button 7 more times. Authorization sequence was still not completed by AAWC. (IO Exhibit 91).

(8) 0654Z

(a) (S U) USS Vincennes’s system held TN 4131 at RNG 12 NM, SPD 380, ALT 12,370, CSE 211 at the beginning of this minute. (IO Exhibit 91).

(b) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (RSC) reported hearing that the target had dropped in altitude 5-6000 ft at 12 NM. ¶

He also stated that the RSC console has no altitude read-out. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.543).

(c) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AAWC) hit the “Engage” button twice in response to “Select Weapon” message and continued to receive “Select Weapon” in response. (IO Exhibit 91).

(d) (S U) USS Vincennes issued a MAD challenge to TN 4131 {06:53:48–0654:10 Zulu} CSE 211, SPD 385. In background noise “Standard missile, hit Standard missile” is heard. USS Vincennes’s system data indicated the same. (IO Exhibits 91 & 203). {The concealed {time} of this MAD broadcast, from the ICAO Report, pp.15, B-18, B-25 (Nov. 7 1988)  CJHjr}. {p.55-1993}

(e) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (IDS) observed TN 4131 at 445 kts at an altitude of 7800 ft and descending during engagement. He recalled it being a minute from launch. USS Vincennes’s system information showed TN 4131 at an altitude of 12,000 ft., ascending, and at 380kts. (IO Exhibit 91,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.620).

(f) (S U) At 0654:05 the firing key was turned and “Forward/After Launcher Upgrade” alerts were sent. (IO Exhibit 91). {p.38-1988}

(g) (S U) Three seconds later  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AAWC) (after receipt of a “Select Weapon” message) correctly hit the “Standard Missile” button. An “Order Sent” message was received in response. (IO Exhibit 91).

(h) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AAWC) recalled an altitude of 6000-7000 ft at engagement. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.730).

(i) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AIC-3) recalled TN 4131 at an altitude of 7-8000 feet at missile launch. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.706).

(j) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (MSS) hit “Request Radiation Assign” button causing illuminator #3 to be assigned to TN 4131. He then received a “Launcher Assign” alert. (IO Exhibit 91).

(k) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (MSS) requested and received verbal confirmation of the “Take” order from the AAWC. (IO Exhibit 204).

(l) (S U) USS Vincennes reported TN 4131 at altitude of 12,500 ft over Link 11. (IO Exhibit 91).

(m) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (TIC) recalled giving range and altitude reports once a mile after 11 NM. Between 15 NM and 11 NM he recalled no change in altitude. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , pp.676, 683).

(n) (S U) At time 0654:19,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (MSS) hit the “Firing Authorize” button. TN 4131 was at 10 NM. (IO Exhibit 91).

(o) (S U) At 0654:22, a missile left the forward launcher, rail A. TN 4131 was at 10 NM, BRG 010, SPD 385 and ALT 12,950. One second later the second missile left the forward B rail. (IO Exhibit 91).

(p) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (49 ADT) recalled that at 10 NM TN 4131 was 7800 feet. He stated “That, I haven’t been able to get out of my mind” ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.596). {p.56-1993}

(q) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  recalled hearing after the shot that the altitude was 7800 ft. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.640).

(r) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (TIC) recalled the missiles leaving the rail when TN 4131 was 10,000 feet at 10 NM, altitude declining. He also recalled it at 9 NM at missile launch. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , pp.683, 686).

(s) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (IAD) was in process of initiating the last IAD warning when missiles went off. The message was not sent. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.610).

(t) (S U) The sound of missiles going off was recorded on IAD net. (IO Exhibit 203).

(u) (S U) TN 4133, an Iranian C-130, was reported by SPY-1 as taking off from Bandar Abbas. RNG was 42 NM. (IO Exhibit 91) (IO Exhibit 232).


“ 0651... Iranian military C-130 takes off from Bandar Abbas, destination Lavan Island, flight planned route A59-MOBET-W17F.”

ICAO Report, p. A-8.

And now we come to another missing piece, of this deceitful, doublespeak, jigsaw puzzle.

At 0654:22, the Vincennes was 46.5 n.miles from the VORTAC navigation radio at the center of the Bandar Abbas airport, about 45.5 n.miles from the end of the runway. Vincennes at 26 40 47 N, 056 00 57 E. VORTAC at 27 13 05 N, 056 22 50 E. (ICAO Report, pp. A-11, 5).

The Vincennes detected IR655 at 900 feet at 47 n.miles.

And so, at 42 n.miles, it would detect the C-130 at a lower altitude, maybe 700 feet (yet to be computed).

The C-130 was climbing at 1000 feet per minute, on average, to 5000 feet.

At that average, it would reach 700 feet, 42 seconds after takeoff. Doubtless sooner, as it climbs more steeply at take-off, under full power, with flaps, at maybe 170 knots {2347kb.pdf}.

Maybe just past the end of the runway, at range 45 n.miles.

At 0651, during its takeoff minute, or early 0652.

Not at 0654.

The Vincennes radar certainly detected the C-130 at 42 n.miles.

But not “taking off.”

As their decision to conceal the C-130’s altitude confirms. And as further analysis further confirms.

And it surely detected the C-130 previously, as well, at 45 n.miles.

Which the DoD report writers omitted to report.

And, at 0651 or early 0652, as well.

Which the DoD report writers also omitted to report.

Not to forget the Sides, about 32-33 n.miles from the end of the runway, which doubtless reported the C-130 via Link-11.

Which the DoD report writers also omitted to report.

{Comment to come. Here’s a hint:}

The maximum rate of climb of Iran’s C-130s (models E and H), purchased pre-1979 under the Shah, was 1800 feet per minute (both models E and H).

The Shah was installed in power by the United States in 1953 by force, when the United States overthrew Iran’s democratically elected government, on the secret orders of U.S. President Dwight David Eisenhower (Jan. 20 1953-1961 Jan. 20).

Following the 1979 revolution, which ousted the Shah, the United States embargoed spare parts for Iran’s U.S. military aircraft. Iran had to purchase these spare parts, at a premium, from other countries.

And so, to preserve their engines, the pilots probably climbed, normally, at reduced power, around the 1000 feet per minute average reported by the Vincennes radio-talkers, at the times reported by ICAO (5000 feet in 5 minutes, 5700 feet in 5.5 minutes).

These reports, and times, were omitted by the DoD report writers from this report.

Doubtless, for the deceitful reasons yet to be explained below.  CJHjr


“ { Vincennes MAD talker }: 0656:15-0656:37: Iranian aircraft on course 199, speed 239, altitude 5000 feet ...

{ Vincennes IAD talker }: 0656:34-0656:55: USS Vincennes, IAD operator challenges TN 4133 (Iranian C-130) on 121.5 MHz ... altitude 5700 feet ...:

{ Vincennes IAD talker }: 0656:34-0656:55: Unidentified aircraft on course 250, correction on course 195, speed 200, altitude 5700 ...

{ Vincennes MAD talker }: 0659:40-0700:01: Iranian aircraft on course 209, speed 219 knots, altitude 7000 feet ...”

ICAO Report, pp. B-19, A-12, B-13, B-20.


(v) (S U) USS Vincennes sent an altitude report of 13,000 feet for TN 4131 in a Link 11 message. This was followed by a “Firing” and two “Birds Away” messages. Net cycle time was 4 seconds. (IO Exhibit 91).

(w) (S U) SPY-1 reported detection of both standard missiles outbound to TN 4131. (IO Exhibit 91).

(x) (S U) Four seconds later, terminal homing began. Illuminator #2 was used and illuminator #3 was turned off. (IO Exhibit 91). {p.39-1988}

(y) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (AIC-3) said he wrote IFF Mode II-1100 and Mode III-6675 on his console shortly before intercept. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.715).

(z) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (49 ADT) took TN 4133 in close control and identified it as Unknown Assumed Enemy. TN 4133 was squawking Mode I-11. Two seconds later AAWC and IDS also took TN 4133 in close control. (IO Exhibits 91 & 132).

(aa) (S U) At 0654:41, USS Vincennes received last Mode C altitude from TN 4131 which was 12,900 feet.  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (49 ADT) returned to TN 4131. (IO Exhibit 91).

(bb) (S U) At 0654:43 missile #1 intercepted TN 4131 at RNG of 8 NM, BRG 001, ALT 13,500, SPD 383. Altitude reported in Link 11 message from USS Vincennes was 13,500. One second later missile #2 intercepted TN 4131 and illuminator #2 turned off. (IO Exhibit 91).

(cc) (S U) CO, USS Montgomery {John James Kearley (Captain, U.S. Navy), Commander of the USS Elmer Montgomery}, located on the {p.57-1993} ship’s port bridge wing, observed the missiles impact TN 4131 and the descent of the aircraft. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.52).

(dd) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (MSS) recalled an altitude of 7000 feet and range of 6 NM at intercept. System data indicated a range of 7 NM after intercept. (IO Exhibit 91,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.749).

(ee) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (UBS) recalled target at 7000 feet and 6 miles when it was shot. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.757).

(ff) (S U) At 0654:51, the system assessed “Kill” and sent “Probable Kill with Track” message to AAWC. (IO Exhibit 91).

(gg) (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  recalled recording altitude of 7800 and range 6 NM on his console at intercept. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.712).

(hh) (S U) TN 4131, at 17 sec after intercept, was at altitude 12,000 per USS Vincennes Link 11 message. (IO Exhibit 91).

(9) 0655Z

(a) (U) TN 4131 descended rapidly following missile intercept. ¶

Altitudes recorded by the system were as follows (IO Exhibit 91):

0655:04 — 10,500 ft.
0655:14 — 8,300
0655:24 — 6,500
0655:34 — 4,700
0655:44 — 3,000
0655:54 — 1,900

(b) (S U) The aircraft went down approximately 6.5 miles east of Hengham Island at 26-37.75N/56-01E. This was 3.37 miles west of the centerline of Air Route A-59. (IO Exhibit 102).

3. Facts Bearing on the Commanding Officer’s Decision

a. Table 1 summarizes the information detailed in the {p.40-1988} prior section that was available to CO USS Vincennes with respect to TN 4131. (See Table 1). {p.58-1993}


{Table to come}

b. (S U) Capt Rogers recalled having the following indicators in declaring track 4131 hostile and deciding to engage:

(1) (S U) F-14s had been recently moved to Bandar Abbas. (Rogers, p.835).

(2) (S U) Iranian fighters had flown coincident with surface engagement on 18 April 1988. (Rogers, p.839).

(3) (S U) The aircraft was not responding to verbal warnings over IAD or MAD. (Rogers, pp.838, 846).

(4) (S U) There had been warnings of an increased threat over the July 4th weekend. (Rogers, p.835).

(5) (S U) Increased hostile activity had been predicted for the 48 hours following recent Iraqi military victory. (Rogers, p.835).

(6) (S U) The aircraft was not following the air corridor in the same manner as other commercial aircraft had been seen consistently to behave (i.e., flying exactly on the centerline). (Rogers, p.850).

(7) (S U) It was flying at a reported altitude which was lower than COMAIR were observed to fly in the past. (Rogers, pp.847, 850).

(8) (S U) Track 4131 was reported to be increasing in speed. (Rogers, p.838).

(9) (S U) Track 4131 was reported to be decreasing in altitude. (Rogers, p.838).

(10) (S U) Track 4131 was CBDR to USS Vincennes and USS Montgomery. (Rogers, p.837).

(11) (S U) Track 4131 was reported by USS Vincennes’s personnel squawking Mode II-1100 which correlates with an F-14. (Rogers, p.837).

(12) (S U) No ESM was reflected from track 4131, however, F-14s can fly “cold-nose” (no emitters). (Rogers, p.838).

(13) (S U) F-14s have an air-to-surface capability with Maverick and modified Eagle missiles. (IO Exhibits 9 & 10).

(14) (S U) The aircraft appeared to be maneuvering into an attack position. (Rogers, p.838). {p.59-1993}

(15) (S U) Pk of on board defensive missile systems diminishes inside 10 NM. (Rogers, pp.838-839). {p.41-1988}

Query:Probability of Kill”?

No intermediate range missiles?

Was the failure of senior U.S. military officers to provide such missile defenses for the Vincennes a negligent omission on their part?

The Vincennes had Stinger missiles, for close-in air defense. Range: 1-8 kilometers (4.3 n.miles). These are shoulder-fired missiles, by a person with a launch tube resting on his shoulder.

At least one Stinger crew was on deck at the time, with the tube on a sailor’s shoulder, standing-by, as shown on a video tape, recorded on the day, at the time of the ambush.

The Vincennes LAMPS MK-III helicopter was aloft at the time. Presumably, it was not armed with Sidewinder missiles, for intermediate range air defense. Range: 10-18 n.miles.

But the U.S. F-14s were. They were standing-by on station, 58 n.miles away, before IR655 took off. And, one might have been very close, south of the Vincennes a few miles, as a radar image suggests.


(16) (S U) Visual identification of the aircraft was not feasible. (Rogers, p.839).

c. (S U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  recalled the following additional indicators which he use in assessing the threat posed by TN 4131.

(1) (S U) The aircraft had lifted off from a military airfield in Iran heading south. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.812).

(2) (S U) The aircraft appeared to veer toward USS Montgomery after Capt Rogers ordered that the target be illuminated. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.814).

(3) (S U) The aircraft’s lift off from Bandar Abbas was observed to be in a pattern that did not match previous COMAIR flights. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.812).

(4) (S U) Track 4131 was reported as an F-14. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.812).

(5) (S U) SSES provided no information to negate the reported assertion that track 4131 was an F-14. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.813).

Query:SSES provided no information”?

And why should he?

He’s not located in the Combat Information Center.

And so, presumably, could not overhear Scott Lustig tell Anthony Less, on the satellite radio, that the target was an F-14. At his remote location, the SSES presumably didn’t know anyone thought it was an F-14.

Why didn’t Scott Lustig, or William Rogers, ask him?

For his opinion?

As the most experienced, and most trustworthy, person onboard (presumably), for interpreting electronic information.

Sitting there, with his VHF tape recorders running and, possibly, listening as well on his speakers, to the airline pilot talking to Air Traffic Control. And to his airport office.

He might have had an opinion.

Was their failure to ask him, a negligent omission by them?

To do their duty?  CJHjr

(6) (S U) P-3 turned inbound and was tracking in the classic targeting profile. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.814).

d. (S U) CJTFME considered the following indicators under the ROE when concurring in USS Vincennes decision to engage track 4131:

(1) (S U) The aircraft had been identified by USS Vincennes as an F-14.

(2) (S U) USS Vincennes indicated that the aircraft was inbound on USS Vincennes.

(3) (S U) USS Vincennes was told to warn the aircraft. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.426;  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.856).


D. Post Engagement Activity

1. Search and Rescue

a. (SNF U) The IRGC boats which were involved in the gun fight with Vincennes/Montgomery departed the area toward the wreckage in the very early 0700Z hour. (IO 232, recap of events) {p.60-1993}

b. (SNF U) Several Iranian helicopters were in the area of the wreckage by 0750Z and Iranian F-4’s, which had departed Bandar Abbas at 0717Z, circled the wreckage site at approx 0840Z. (IO 232, 129, recap of events)

c. (SNF U) At least 1 hovercraft and up to 20 small boats including tugs were probably involved in a SAR effort from 0800Z thru 1200Z. (IO 232, 129 recap of events)

d. (U) An unofficial list of Iranian Air Flt 655 passengers and crew is included as IO Exhibit 237. {p.42-1988}

e. (SNF U) USS Montgomery and USS Vincennes were ordered by “GW” to provide assistance to the crash site. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  p.55)

f. (SNF U) USS Vincennes offered assistance but got no response. ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , p.55)

2. Operational Reporting

a. (U) 0719Z — Vincennes reported F-14 splashed over CMEF Execution Net.

b. (S U) CJTFME initially reported the boat engagement by CJTFME 030710Z Jul 88, OPREP-3P/004. Included was the first indication to an “unknown assumed hostile closing from north.” (IO Exhibit 267).

c. (S U) CJTFME updated their OPREP-3/004 with CJTFME 030727Z Jul 88, OPREP-3/004A, confirming kill of an Iranian F-14. Details of altitude, speed, and IFF were provided. (IO Exhibit 266)

d. (S U) CJTFME OPREP-3P/004B 031445Z Jul 88 reported the downing of the probable F-14 and noted that CJTFME had been informed of the fact that IR 655 was overdue at Dubai. (IO Exhibit 265)

e. (S U) Vincennes OPREP-3 031630Z Jul 88 was readdressed by CJTFME under the same DTG providing a timeline for both surface and air engagement and reconfirming altitude as 7800 feet and descending, speed 445kts, mode II, 1100, ID as F-14, and that the aircraft had ignored MAD and IAD warnings. Additionally, TN 4131, Bearing/Range 005T/9NM; mode III, 6675, course 185T, and CBDR amplifying data was supplied (IO Exhibit 233). (IO Exhibit 171 further amplifies.) {p.61-1993}


A. General

1. (U) The USS Vincennes did not purposely shoot down an Iranian commercial airliner. Rather, it engaged an aircraft the Commanding Officer, USS Vincennes reasonably believed to be hostile and a threat to his ship and to the USS Montgomery (FF 1082).

2. (U) Based on the information available to and used by the CO in making his decision, the short time frame available to him in which to make his decision, and his personal belief that his ship and the USS Montgomery were being threatened, he acted in a prudent manner.

3. (U) Iran must share the responsibility for the tragedy by hazarding one of their civilian airliners by allowing it to fly a relatively low altitude air route in close proximity to hostilities that had been ongoing {for several hours}, and where IRGC boats were actively engaged in armed conflict with U.S. Naval vessels. {p.43-1988}

4. (U) The downing of Iran Air 655 was not the result of any negligent or culpable conduct by any U.S. Naval personnel associated with the incident.

5. (U) Based on the information available to CJTFME, his confidence in Capt Rogers and the capabilities of USS Vincennes, his concurrence to engage TN 4131 was correct.

6. (U) The AEGIS Combat System’s performance was excellent — it functioned as designed. Had the CO USS Vincennes used the information generated by his C&D system as the sole source of his tactical information, the CO might not have engaged TN 4131.

7. (U) Time compression played a significant role in the incident. From the time the CO first became aware of TN 4131 as a possible threat, until he made his decision to engage, the elapsed time was approximately three minutes, 40 seconds. Additionally, the Commanding Officer’s attention which was devoted to the ongoing surface engagement against IRGC forces (the “wolf closest to the sled”), left very little time for him to personally verify information provided to him by his CIC team — a team in which he had great confidence. The fog of war and those human elements which affect each individual differently — not the least of which was the thought of the Stark incident — are factors that must be considered.

8. (U) The digital data extracted from USS Vincennes data recording tapes is valid and provided invaluable insights and information for the reconstruction of the events of 3 July 1988 {p.62-1993} including the evaluation of individual CIC console operator actions.

9. (S U) The Commanding Officer Vincennes decision to engage TN 4131 was based primarily on the following:

(a) (U) The aircraft had lifted off from an airfield used jointly by military and civilian aircraft in Iran heading directly toward his ship at a relatively low altitude.

(b) (U) Track 4131 was CBDR to USS Vincennes and USS Montgomery.

(c) (U) TN 4131 was flying at a reported altitude which was lower than USS Vincennes observed COMAIR to fly previously. Additionally, it was not flying exactly on the airway centerline as USS Vincennes had seen previous COMAIR consistently do.

(d) (U) It appeared to veer toward the USS Montgomery.

(e) (U) Track 4131 was reported to be increasing in speed, decreasing in altitude, and closing range.

(f) (S U) No ESM was reflected from track 4131, however, F-14s can fly “cold-nose” for delivery of weapons (no emitters). {p.44-1988}

(g) (U) The aircraft was not responding to verbal warnings over IAD or MAD.

(h) (S U) Track 4131 was reported by USS Vincennes personnel to be squawking Mode II-1100 which historically correlated to Iranian F-14’s.

(i) (U) The aircraft appeared to be maneuvering into an attack position.

(j) (U) Visual identification of the aircraft was not feasible due to the lack of combat air patrol.

(k) (CU) Iranian fighter aircraft had flown coincident with the surface hostilities involving U.S. and Iranian Forces on 18 April 1988.

(l) (S U) Warnings had been issued for increased hostile activity for the 48 hour period which included the July 4th weekend.

(m) (CU) An Iranian P-3 airborne to the west of USS Vincennes, turned inbound and was tracking in a classic targeting mode.

(n) (U) The Stark incident. {p.63-1993}

(o) (S U) Iranian F-14’s have an air-to-surface capability with Maverick missiles, iron bombs, and modified Eagle unguided rockets.

(p) (U) TN 4131 could have been a suicide attack.

10. (U) Having other forces under his tactical control (Sides, Montgomery) intensified the CO USS Vincennes’s feeling of responsibility to defend his task group from hostile action.

11. (U) The information available to CO, USS Vincennes, upon which he based his decisions, conflicted in some cases with the data available in USS Vincennes’ command and decision (C&D) system. Specifically:

(a) (U) The C&D system contained no Mode II IFF information on TN 4131 yet operators in CIC had used Mode II as a means of declaring TN 4131 an Iranian F-14.

(b) (U) The C&D system showed TN 4131 continuously ascending, while the CO received reports of “descending altitude” immediately prior to enabling the firing key.

12. (U) Psychological factors: As the investigation developed, and it was discovered that there were disparities between the C&D tape data and what various members of CIC believed they saw, the {p.45-1988} senior investigating officer requested the professional advice of USN Medical Corps personnel who have studied combat stress. The following opinions draw heavily on their conclusions. (See Encl. 18)

– Stress, task fixation, and unconscious distortion of data may have played a major role in this incident.

TIC and IDS became convinced track 4131 was an Iranian F-14 after receiving the IDS report of a momentary Mode II.

– After this report of the Mode II, TIC appears to have distorted data flow in an unconscious attempt to make available evidence fit a preconceived scenario. (“Scenario fulfillment”)

TIC’s perception that there was an inexperienced, weak leader in the AAWC position led to the emergence of TIC in a leadership role. TIC’s reports were accepted by all and could have influenced the final decision to launch missiles.

13. (U) Captain Rogers’ action in delaying engagement of TN 4131 with missiles until it was well within 15 NM demonstrated an appreciation for the seriousness of the consequences of his actions and was balanced with his responsibility to defend his ship. {p.64-1993} {p.46-1988}

B. Rules of Engagement

1. (U) CJTFME and CO, USS Vincennes, properly selected and applied the correct Rules of Engagement to both the surface and air engagements.

2. (U) Based upon the information presented to Captain Rogers, engagement of TN 4131 was within the parameters of the Rules of Engagement.

C. This Section Incorporates Various Opinions Related to the USS Vincennes’s Training, Readiness, and Battle Organization

1. Training and Readiness/Battle Doctrine.

a. (U) The USS Vincennes was adequately trained to perform her missions as a unit of JTFME.

b. (U) With the exception of the AAWC position, USS Vincennes’ General Quarters AAW watch organization was experienced and qualified.

c. (U) Ship’s Battle Doctrine was sound.

2. CIC Watch Organization.

a. (U) “GW” was considered by CO USS Vincennes as his primary force and ship air warfare advisor.

b. (U) The Persian Gulf modifications to the USS Vincennes’s CIC organization moved the ship’s AAW coordination function away from AAWC and left him acting largely as a console operator. Assignment of “GW” to Force AAW, Ship AAW, and MEF execution net talker for surface and air SITREPS degraded his ability to independently assess the actual profile and ID of TN 4131.

3. Material/Combat Systems Readiness.

(U) There were no AEGIS combat systems maintenance or materiel problems which contributed to the incident.

D. Surface Engagement

1. (U) Ocean Lord 25 took hostile fire from one of the groups of IRGC small boats it had been monitoring.

2. (U) The group of boats which USS Vincennes took under fire included the group which had fired at Ocean Lord 25.

3. (U) USS Montgomery and USS Vincennes were fired upon by IRGC gun boats during the course of the surface engagement. {p.65-1993} {p.47-1988}

4. (U) The ongoing surface engagement was a significant factor in increasing tension within USS Vincennes’s CIC.

5. (U) The foul bore and resulting high speed maneuvering of the ship to keep MT 52 in position to engage IRGC craft were complicating factors which prevented the CO from devoting his full attention to TN 4131, and it contributed to the tension in the CIC of USS Vincennes.

6. (U) The surface engagement conducted by USS Vincennes and USS Montgomery was effective.

E. Air Engagement

1. (   ) SSES probably made the initial alert of an F-14 coincident with the recognition of TN 4131 by CIC. However, even if SSES did not make this identification, CIC personnel believed SSES did, providing TN 4131 with positive (though inaccurate) identification  (b)(1) .

Query:SSES probably made the initial alert”?

That’s not what you said, when asked about it, a few months later.  CJHjr

“ Admiral William M. Fogarty: From the testimony and interviews that I conducted, the report of a Mode II squawk was not attributed to SSES, but was made by IDS and reportedly observed by several others.”

Senate Hearing, p.54 (Sept. 8 1988)

2. (U) At no time did IR 655 actually descend in altitude prior to engagement.

3. (U) Iran Air Flight 655, an Airbus 300, was on a normal climb out from Bandar Abbas and was flying within the established air route, A-59, from Bandar Abbas to Dubai.

4. (U) IR 655 was not on the exact center of airway A-59, but was 3.37 NM west of the centerline. However, it was in the assigned airway.

5. (U) Iran Air Flight 655 was not squawking Mode II-1100, but squawked Mode III-6760 during the entire flight.

6. (S U) The IDS mis-correlated an RCI readout of Mode II-1100 with TN 4131. This occurred, according to analysis of the data, when the IDS hooked TN 4131 as it departed Bandar Abbas and left it hooked for almost 90 seconds. This meant that as the hooked symbol moved toward USS Vincennes the read-gate for the RCI remained near Bandar Abbas. A Mode II transmission from an aircraft on the ground in Bandar Abbas would then be displayed in his RCI if the signal could get to the ship.

7. (S U) The un-correlated IFF Mode II-1100 obtained by IDS could have been generated by a military aircraft (C-130, F-4, F-14) located on the ground at Bandar Abbas. This was supported by his IDSRCI set-up and the RF ducting condition in effect on 3 July. Therefore, any number of military aircraft, present at the airfield, could have responded to a Mode II IFF interrogation {p.66-1993} by USS Vincennes due to the ducting conditions prevalent that day.

8. (U) The CO, “GW” and key CIC AAW operators sincerely believed that they were engaging a hostile aircraft. {p.48-1988}

9. (U) The range and altitude information passed to the CO on Net 15 was correct until TN 4131 reached approximately 15 NM. Approximate time 0653:45.

10. (S U) TN 4133 (Iranian C-130) which departed Bandar Abbas almost simultaneously with missile launch was squawking Mode I-11 and could have been a potential source of confusion between Mode I-11 and Mode II-1100 on IDS and AAWC’s RCI.

11. (U) In the excitement of the impending engagement, it is entirely possible that reports of decreasing altitude passed over the net by TIC after the 15 NM point could have occurred if TIC passed only range values, which were interpreted as altitude, or he simply mis-read his CRO and interchanged altitude and range.

12. (U) The ship’s air controller supervisor’s recollection of 7800 ft altitude at 6 NM was actually the altitude of TN 4131 33 seconds after missile intercept. In other words, the plane’s altitude as it was plummeting to the water.

13. (U) Recollection of Mode III IFF responses other than 6760 for TN 4131 were caused by imperfect recall by the IDS, ACS, AAWC, SSES, console operators in CIC, as well as the post incident SITREP writer.

14. (U) The violent maneuvers of the ship, the noise of the guns firing, gear falling in CIC and the lights in the LSD’s flickering, heightened the tension in CIC during the critical time TN 4131 was being evaluated.

15. (S U) Except for Mode IV, IFF codes are not absolute determinators for engagement. Mode III is the least reliable because all aircraft are capable of squawking Mode III.

16. (S U) AN/SLQ-32 Set-up in USS Vincennes/Sides/Montgomery were adequate to intercept a COMMAIR radar. The position and nose attitude of Flight 655 precluded AN/SLQ-32 from intercepting/displaying IR 655’s radar — if it was in fact transmitting.

17. (U) There were no Link-11 dual designations (two separate vehicular tracks with the same LINK-11 STN) of TN 4131 during the period of interest. Therefore, a LINK-11 track crossover problem did not occur. {p.67-1993}

18. (U) The warnings issued by USS Vincennes over IAD and MAD nets were transmitted and were heard by other units. However, it is impossible to know whether a particular aircraft has heard a challenge unless it replies or turns away.

F. Commercial Air

1. (U) Commercial air, particularly commercial air from Iran, is at risk in the Persian Gulf as long as hostilities continue in the area. Unless an aircraft can be visually identified as a {p.49-1988} non-threat, any aircraft approaching a U.S. Navy ship could be considered a threat. However, an aircraft at high altitude (above 25,000 ft) will likely not be evaluated as a threat.

2. (CU) U.S. Navy units operating in the Persian Gulf have insufficient current information on commercial traffic schedules, on commercial air routes, and on the type and ranges of IFF codes used by commercial traffic. With over 1,000 commercial flights per week within the Persian Gulf area, it would be difficult for individual ships to maintain current, accurate airline information.

3. (U) Due to heavy pilot workload during take-off and climb-out, and the requirment {sic: requirement} to communicate with both Approach Control and Tehran Center, the pilot of Iran Air Flight 655 probably was not monitoring IAD.

4. (U) Any aircraft, including commercial aircraft, could be used in a suicide mission role, therefore, Commanders cannot disregard an aircraft squawking Mode III, IFF, flying on a commercial air corridor, and on a CBDR to his ship.

5. (U) Current verbal warnings and challenges used by JTFME units are ambiguous because they do not clearly identify to pilots exactly which aircraft the ship is attempting to contact.

6. (U) The limited number of VHF radios on U.S. surface units degrades their ability to simultaneously monitor the IAD frequency and communicate with civilian air traffic control agencies.

7. (U) Bandar Abbas Tower, Approach Control and Tehran Center did not hear, or failed to relay, the IAD warnings issued by USS Vincennes to IR 655.

8. (CU) The current tools used by the U.S. Navy for differentiating between friendly and hostile unknown aircraft were designed primarily for the open ocean environment. U.S. Naval weapon systems can reach further and often react more quickly than sensors can evaluate. This is especially true {p.68-1993} in the Persian gulf areas where reaction time is constrained by geography. Therefore altitude is one of the most useful indicators for establishing “no hostile intent.”


1. (U) CJTFME’s confidence in CO USS Vincennes, and in the capability of the AEGIS system, coupled with information available to him in his Flag Plot, were the factors involved in his concurrence with CO, USS Vincennes decision to engage TN 4131. He exhibited prudence and good judgment in telling USS Vincennes to warn the aircraft before engaging it. {p.50-1988}

2. (U) Because CJTFME did not have a usable real time data Link, he could not have independently verified the data provided by USS Vincennes regarding TN 4131.

3. (U) The CJTFME watch organization was sound, personnel were qualified and they performed satisfactorily. {p.69-1993} {p.51-1988}


A. General

1. (U)  (b)(5) .

{1988 text:}

1. No disciplinary or administrative action should be taken against any US naval personnel associated with this incident.

2. (S U) Since it appears that combat induced stress on personnel may have played a significant role in this incident, it is recommended the CNO direct further study be undertaken into the stress factors impacting on personnel in modern warships with highly sophisticated command, control, communications and intelligence systems, such as AEGIS. This study should also address the possibility of establishing a psychological profile for personnel who must function in this environment. Additionally, it is recommended CNO task the Surgeon General of the Navy with the responsibility of providing any necessary psychological/psychiatric assistance to crewmembers of the USS Vincennes in anticipation of possible post-traumatic stress syndrome. This should be done at the earliest possible time to ensure best results. (Enclosure 23 pertains).

3. (S U)  (b)(5) .

{1988 text:}

3. Visual identification (VID) is the only positive means to distinguish friendly or commercial aircraft from potentially hostile aircraft. Since there is insufficient U.S. land or carrier based tactical aircraft to provide continuous VID duties in the Persian Gulf, the USG should immediately convey the following to the Government of Iran:

“To minimize the risk of another accidental shoot down of a commercial airliner, the Government of Iran should be aware that any fixed-wing aircraft flying over the waters of the Persian Gulf to or from Iran is suspect as to its intentions towards U.S. Naval Units. Neither United States Naval Forces, nor those of any other nation, are capable of assessing the intentions of an aircraft in flight. Accordingly, to avoid the possibility of an accident, and to preclude possible defensive actions by U.S. warships and aircraft in the Persian Gulf, United States naval forces will presume that any aircraft entering or exiting over Persian Gulf waters to or from Iranian Air Space will be considered a non-threat to U.S. forces only if it transits over the Gulf waters at an altitude greater than 25,000 feet. Small aircraft incapable of reaching 25,000 feet and rotary wing aircraft should make their intentions known by radio at least five miles from any U.S. unit.” {p.70-1993}  (b)(5) .


4. (U) That no changes be made to the existing ROE. {p.52-1988}

5. (U) To prevent the possibility that commercial aircraft could become innocent victims in this area of armed conflict, the USG should seek ICAO’s immediate attention to revise the existing commercial air route structure over the waters of the Persian Gulf. The State Department should direct our embassies to urge affected countries to cooperate in this endeavor. Pending the results of this request, the USG should also urge ICAO to promulgate an immediate NOTAM that all flights climb to at least 25,000 feet over land prior to crossing the Gulf and begin their descent over land.

6. (U)  (b)(5) .

{1988 text:}

6. Concur with the measures taken by USCINCENT to enhance commercial air safety over the Persian Gulf with the exception of paragraph l.C.(l)(B), relative to voice warnings. It is recommended that this paragraph be revised as follows:

“Unidentified air/surface contact squawking           (Ex: Mod III-XXXX), at           (positional reference to some geographical point), at           altitude, on course          , speed          , you are approaching U.S, warship operating in international waters. Your identity is not known/your intentions are unclear (one or both), you are standing into danger and may be subject to United States defensive measures. Request you alter your course immediately to remain clear of me.”

7. (U) That CJTFME strengthen the MEF “inchop brief” to include an in depth review of the unique problems associated with COMAIR within the Persian Gulf Area.

8. (U) That CJTFME continue to liaise with Air Traffic Control agencies and American embassies to resolve the COMAIR problems unique to the Persian Gulf Area (e.g., identification, communications, ICAO procedures, etc.).

B. USS Vincennes Battle Organization

1. (U) That the Commanding Officer, USS Vincennes, take action as required to strengthen the AAWC position in the USS VincennesCIC organization. {p.71-1993}

2. (U) That the Commanding Officer, USS Vincennes, document any CIC organization modifications required by Persian Gulf operations in the existing Battle Doctrine. If the USS Vincennes uses a split warfare TAO CIC organization e.g., surface and air, “GW” should not be given MEF execution net responsibility as a radio telephone talker. {p.53-1988}

C. Aegis System Recommendations

1. (U) It is recommended the CNO:

a. (U) Determine the cause of reported STC-2/IVCS net 15/16 degradation (due to loading), and issue a class advisory if required.

b. (U) Reassess the design of the AEGIS large screen display (LSD) to allow the option of displaying altitude information directly on the LSD.

c. (U) Investigate the best means of providing a mode in the UPX-29 which will slave the RCI challenge gate to a hooked track.

D. Training Enhancements

1. (U) If we must operate in a low intensity conflict and in the presence of COMAIR, we must train to that environment, real or simulated. Request the CNO develop a fleet wide identification matrix for dense air traffic environments in third world/low intensity conflicts. Battle Group training doctrines, AAW procedures, numbered Fleet Commander Fighting Instructions, and workups should reflect consensus on ID matrices to deconflict COMAIR within war zones, when being used as “cover” for military aircraft, or when being used as suicide attackers. For example, live missile exercises could include a percentage of the inbound drones be flown on COMAIR profiles, with proper modes and codes, in close proximity of simulated hostile targets. Another method would be to have aggressor aircraft act as COMAIR to challenge the deconfliction capabilities of surface ships with/without VID capability.

2. (U) Request CNO review AEGIS IFF operator training procedures and provide a class advisory to ensure operator familiarity of pros and cons of various RCI selectable modes.


William M. Fogarty {p.72-1993}



{1993 list, concealed from the 1988 public report}


1. Appointing order with amendments

2.  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (designation letter dtd 10 Jul 88)

3. Capt Rogers (designation letter dtd 10 Jul 88)

4.  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (designation letter dtd 10 Jul 88)

5.  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (designation letter dtd 10 Jul 88)

6. Intelligence brief and operations summary relative to the events of 3 Jul 88

7. Halsey 020500Z Jul 88; Subj: MARREP

8. CJTFME INCHOP brief to all units

9. CJTFME 011610Z Jun 88; Subj: Force intel advisory — 085/71/88 — Iranian weapons development (U)

10. CJTFME 200510Z Jun 88; Subj: Force intel advisory — 096/88 — IRAF aircraft modification projects (U)

11. FOSIF WESTPAC 061021Z May 88; Subj: INCHOPPER support message (IO/PG-08) — Iranian air operations (C); and CTG 801.7 AAW OPTASK

12. DOD Flight Information Pub: Airport facility directory

13. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

14. Intelligence briefing and operations summary compiled for the investigation by  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

15. Persian gulf charts ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  Intel briefing)

16. US forces disposition at 030330Z Jul 88

17. US forces disposition at 030330Z Jul 88 (graph)

18. Allied forces disposition at 030330Z Jul 88 (graph)

19. VincennesSidesMontgomery disposition at 030400Z Jul 88 (graph)

20. VincennesSidesMontgomery disposition at 030519Z Jul 88 (graph)

21. VincennesSidesMontgomery disposition at 030610Z Jul 88 (graph)

22. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

23. VincennesSidesMontgomery disposition at 03O642Z Jul 88 (graph)

24. VincennesSidesMontgomery disposition at 030655Z Jul 88 (graph)

25.  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (Background/Privacy Act Statement)

26. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

27. USS Elmer Montgomery: EW log

28. USS Elmer Montgomery: MEF EX log

29. USS Elmer Montgomery: Position log

30. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

31. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

32. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

33. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

34. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

35. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

36. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

37. USS Sides: IFF correlation codes

38. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

39. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

40. Diagram of gun Engagement ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  )

41. Drawing of downed aircraft ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  )

42. USS Elmer Montgomery: DRT 030905C Jul 88 {p.73-1993}

43. USS Elmer Montgomery: Deck log

44. Drawing of aircraft’s bearing in relation to Vincennes and Montgomery ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) )

45. Recommended verbal warnings to aircraft

46. Drawing of Montgomery’s CIC (IO)

47. USS Elmer Montgomery; SAG A log

48. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

49.  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  (Background/Privacy Act Statement)

50. USS Sides’ Navigation chart 3 Jul 88

51. Diagram of air corridors (USS Sides)

52. JCS 081107Z Sep 87; Subj: Updated NOTAM for Persian Gulf

53. Diagram of CIC (USS Sides)

54. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

55. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

56. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

57. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

58. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

59. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

60. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

61. USS Sides RD 390 tape

62. Task group organization and LINK II {sic: 11} participants for 3 Jul 88

63. USS Sides: Battle orders

64. USS Sides: Standing orders to the OOD

65. USS Sides: CIC log

66. USS Sides: Deck log

67. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

68. Diagram radar symbols

69. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

70. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

71. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

72. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

73. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

74. CTG 801.7 011853Z Jun 88; Subj: AEGIS Link interoperability

75. CTG 801.7 041748Z Jun 88; Subj: MEF OPGEN LIMA supplement 002

76. CTG 801.7 141757Z Jun 88; Subj: NC/SC Link II {sic: 11} and voice CKT management matters

77. USS Vincennes 261149Z Jun 88; Subj: Gulf Echo EW coordination Msg 01-88

78. USS Vincennes 031659Z Jun 88; Subj: Unit SITREP

79. USS Elmer Montgomery 021503Z Jun 88; Subj: June 2 OPS

80. USS Vincennes 021628Z Jun 88; Subj: SAAM board/seizure (C/)

81. AEGIS ship combat system (slide)

82. AEGIS engagement sequence (slide)

83. AEGIS combat system (slide)

84. AEGIS data reduction (slide)

85. List of data recovered from Vincennes tapes

86. SPY-1 XY plot (chart)

87. SPY-1 range time (chart)

88. SPY-1 range height (chart)

89. C&D data and track data (chart)

90. Persian Gulf air corridors: low altitude (chart)

91. Data reduction analysis of Vincennes tapes (5 Vols)

92. Kinematic data — track 4131 (slide)

93. Time period of close control — track 4131 (slide)

94. IFF information from tapes (slide) {p.74-1993}

95. Link IFF tracks from tapes (slide)

96. Embarked command and ownership command display groups (slide)

97. ADS consoles (slides)

98. CRO partitioning into areas (slide)

99. ADS vehicular track close control (slide)

100. Close control display (slide)

101. USS Vincennes: navigation chart 62393

102. USS Vincennes: navigation chart 62392

103. USS Vincennes: CIC room (slide)

104. USS Vincennes: timeline (8 charts)

105. USS Vincennes: SPQ-9 tracks (from data)

106. USS Vincennes: Force track management observations (from data)

107. Diagram AEGIS IFF implementation

108. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

109. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

110. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

111. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

112. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

113. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

114. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

115. USS Vincennes: navigation chart 62392 (2nd chart)

115 A. Investigating teams plot of Vincennes’ track chart 62392

116. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

117. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

118. Analysis of challenges and warnings to aircraft 02 Jun 88 – 02 Jul 88

119. Messages relating to British Air Flt 147 incident

120. USS Sides: IFF codes (WCO console)

121. USS Valley Forge: IFF codes

122. Halsey: IFF codes

123. USS John Hancock; IFF codes

124. COMSEVENTHFLT 270355Z Jun 88; Subj: Commercial flight information

125. CJTFME 132040Z Jul 88; Subj: Commercial airline flight information addendum (Chg-1)

126. Air corridors overlayed on Persian Gulf (drawing)

127. MEF EX communications (verbatim transcript)

128. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

129. CJTFME: watch log and MEF EX log

130. CJTFME: CMEF execution log

131. Peacetime Rules of Engagement

132. CTG 801.7 142132Z May 88: Subj: OPTASK AAW/002

133. DMAHTC 071602Z Aug 87; Subj: Special warning number 72 — Persian Gulf — Strait of Hormuz — Gulf of Oman

134. COMIDEASTFOR command orientation brief

135. JCS O81107Z Sep 87; Subj: Updated NOTAM for Persian Gulf

136. COMIDEASTFOR OPORD 4000-85: Tab A to Appendix 8 to Annex C

137. COMIDEASTFOR OPORD 4000-85: Tab B to Appendix 8 to Annex C

138. Drawing of CJTFME Flag Plot ( (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) )

139. USS Vincennes; CASREPS

140. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

141. CJTFME organizational chart and combined warfare commanders

142. USS Vincennes: Combat systems 8 o'clock reports

143. USS Vincennes: CSMC log {p.75-1993}

144. USS Vincennes: SOP for condition 3

145. USS Vincennes: IFF PMS for 13th qtr

146. USS Vincennes: PMS for automated systems

147. USS Vincennes; SPY-1 PMS for 13th qtr

148. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

149. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

150. CTF 78.9 031422Z Jun 88; Subj: OPTASK AIR HELO/CTF 801/002/JUN

151. USS Vincennes: TAO training/qualifications

152. USS Vincennes: Weapons qualifications of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

153. USS Vincennes: AN/SLQ 32(V)3 operational/maintenance legend

154. USS Vincennes: Watchbill

155. USS Vincennes: List of watchstanders in CIC

156. USS Vincennes: Position log

157. USS Vincennes: Deck log

158. USS Vincennes: Bridge to bridge R/T log

159. USS Vincennes: Overview of operations 26 May 88 — 01 Jul 88

160. USS Vincennes: Battle doctrine

161. USS Valley Forge: IFF codes

162. COMSEVENTHFLT 270355Z Jun 88; Subj: Commercial flight information

163. USS Vincennes: Captain’s standing steaming and battle orders

164. USS Vincennes: Exercise and inspection status report

165. USS Vincennes: Enroute training

166. USS Vincennes: Pre-deployment training

167. USS Vincennes: Watchbill PQS

168. USS Vincennes: Battle group familiarization training and post-exercise reports

169. USS Vincennes 061644Z Jul 88; Subj: Small Boat Engagement 3 Jul 88

170. USS Vincennes: Watchbill PQS

171. USS Vincennes: Message reports on 3 Jul 88 air and surface engagements

172. USS Vincennes: Timeline of small boat engagement

173. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

174. Diagram USS Vincennes CIC

175. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

176. USS Vincennes: Weapons doctrine

177. USS Vincennes: Meteorlogical {sic: meteorological} data

178. NAVOCEANCOMCEN 150600Z Jul 88; Subj: Airbus 655 investigation (ducting)

179. JEWC 142330Z Jul 88; Subj: Investigation assistance (ducting)

180. ADMINSUPU Bahrain 140921Z Jul 88; Subj: Investigation assistance (ducting)

181. USCINCCENT 141900Z Jul 88; Subj: Investigation assistance (ducting)

182. USCINCCENT 122230Z Jul 88; Subj: Investigation support — weather data

183. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

184. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

185. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

186. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

187. USS Vincennes; Large Screen Display (hardcopy)

188. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {p.76-1993}

189. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

190. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

191. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

192. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

193. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

194. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

195. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

196. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

197. USS Vincennes: Long range training plan

198. Photograph RC1

199. Diagram RC1 Mode I 11--

200. Diagram RC1 Mode I 10--

201. Photograph CRO screen

202.  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  comments on statements of witnesses

203. USS Vincennes: RD 390 tape

204. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

205. USS VincennesINST 3120.1, section 5/officer training

206. USS VincennesNOTE 1300, Subj: Executive assistants, collateral duties and councils/boards; assignment of

207. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

208. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

209. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

210. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

211. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

212. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

213. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

214. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

215. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

216. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

217. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

218. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

219. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

220. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

221. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

222. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

223. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

224. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

225. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

226. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

227. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

228. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

229. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

230. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

231. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

232. SI Annex (message references)

233. CJTFME 031630Z Jul 88; Subj: Aircraft engagement (readdressal Vincennes OPREP-3)

234. USCENTAF ELF ONE CMD Riyadh 200001Z Jul 88; Subj: Consolidated OPGEN LIMA serial number 8807-A

235. Iran Air Flight 655: Flight strip and flight plan

236. Abu Dhabi: Official ATC log

237. Iran Air Flt 655: List of crew and passengers (UAE newspaper report)

238. Photograph of an Airbus A300

239. JEWC 081630Z Jul 88; Subj: Praying Mantis after action rpt {p.77-1993}

240. ITS Espero: News report of incident

241. USDAO Muscat 030719Z Jul 88; Subj: Alleged violation of Omani territorial waters

242. USDAO Muscat 051134Z Jul 88; Subj: Report that number of passengers on board IR Flt 655 fewer than reported

243. JCS 030915Z Jul 88; Subj: Downing of Iranian aircraft (report of downed airliner from Dubai)

244. HMS Manchester 040522Z Jul 88; Subj: Reply to request for information regarding IR Flt 655

245. USS John Hancock 051921Z Jul 88; Subj: Iranian Air Flt 655 (reply to request for information)

246. AMEMBASSY Paris 151045Z Jul 88; Subj: The Iran Airbus tragedy: information from Airbus Industrie

247. AMEMBASSY Paris 091059Z Jul 88; Subj: Information from Airbus Industrie

248. SECSTATE 060040Z Jul 88; Subj: Air Traffic Controller questions U.S. claims on Iran Air 655 incident

249. AMCONSUL Montreal 071937Z Jul 88; Subj: Request for information, Airway A59 and A59W width

250. CTG 800.1 801800Z Jul 88; Subj: Iran Air Flight 655:

Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

251. CTG 800.1 032200Z Jul 88; Subj: Transcripts of 3 Jul 88 (MEF EX)

252. CTG 621.1 (Espero) 071410Z Jul 88; Subj: Request for information — surface to air engagement of 3 Jul 88

253. CTG 621.1 (Espero) 090740Z Jul 88; Subj: Request for information — surface to air engagement of 3 Jul 88

254. CTG 801.3 031700Z Jul 88; Subj: UNITSITREP (information leading up to and immediately following)

255. CTF 801 030800Z Jul 88; Subj: OPREP-3P (timeline)

256. CTF 801 031535Z Jul 88; Subj: Distress assistance summary of 2 Jul 88

257. CTG 801.7 031755Z Jul 88; Subj: Surface to air engagement 3 Jul (verbatim comms IAD)

258. CTG 801.7 031305Z Jul 88; Subj: Surface to air engagement 3 Jul (verbatim comms MEF EX)

259. CTG 801.7 031030Z Jul 88; Subj: Surface to air engagement 3 Jul (QUICKLOOK SITREP)

260. CTG 801.7 030736Z Jul 88; Subj: OPREP-3P (timelines)

261. Halsey 020500Z Jul 88; Subj: MARREP

262. USCINCENT 152230Z Jul 88; Subj: UK data on Iran Air Flt 655

263. USS Sides 061652Z Jul 88; Subj: Boghammer/Aircraft Engagement 3 Jul 88 (C/) (CANCEL 032050Z)

264. USS Sides 032050Z Jul 88; Subj: Boghammer/Aircraft Engagement 3 Jul 88 (C/)

265. CJTFME 031445Z Jul 88; Subj: OPREP-3P/004B (Engagement of small boats and aircraft)

266. CJTFME 030727Z Jul 88; Subj: OPREP-3PFB/004A (Details engagement of small boats and aircraft) {p.78-1993}

267. CJTFME 030710Z Jul 88; Subj: OPREP-3P/004 (Details Boghammer Boston Whaler type boats taken udner {sic: under} fire by Vincennes)

268. CTG 800.1 032200Z Jul 88; Subj: Transcripts of 3 Jul 88 (verbatim transcript of MEF EX)

269. AMEMBASSY Abu Dhabi 051215Z Jul 88; Subj: Passenger Data: Iran Air Flight 655

270. AMEMBASSY Abu Dhabi 051351Z Jul 88; Subj: Local reaction to Iran Air tragedy — day two

271. AMEMBASSY Abu Dhabi 070617Z Jul 88; Subj: Walk-in: American Embassy Abu Dhabi

272. UN Charter, Article 51

273. Bahrain Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Bahrain flight info

274. AMEMBASSY Abu Dhabi apology for incident involving British Air flight

275. USLO Abu Dhabi:  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  Report of meeting with Abu Dhabi ATC

276. USS Vincennes: Foul bore/hot gun exhibits

277. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

278. CIA 142334Z Jul 88; Subj: Comments by senior Iran Air official regarding the downing of Iran Air Flight 655

279.  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  151332Z Jul 88; Subj: IAA recommend VHF Listing Watch Procedure Gulf Area Operations

280. Iranian report to ICAO on the technical aspects of the shooting down of Iranian Air Flt 655 by U.S. naval forces

281. USS Vincennes: Transcript of DSA (Link) coordination net 3 Jul 88

282. Dubai International Airport: Incidents USN warships

283. Dubai International Airport: Aircraft summer schedule

284. UAE: Emirates F.I.R.

285. UAE: Air Traffic Service System

286. ATC VHF frequencies for Persian Gulf

287. AEROGULF HELO routes to oil rigs off UAE

288. COMIDEASTFOR 210719Z Aug 86; Subj: ROE (recommended warnings to aircraft)

289. CJTFME 1318052 Jul 88; Subj: 3 July follow-up actions

290. AMEMBASSY Abu Dhabi 140822Z Jul 88; Subj: CivAir and Gulf routes: More on UAE views

291. HMS Beaver IAD transcription and tape

292. USS Dahlgren 101925Z Jul 88; Subj: Link II {sic: 11} track information concerning downing of Track 4131

293. USS Elmer Montgomery: Deck log

294. USS Elmer Montgomery: CIC watch log

295. USS Elmer Montgomery: NC-2 tracing

296. USS Elmer Montgomery: DRT tracinsg {sic: tracings}

297. USS Elmer Montgomery 030852Z Jul 88; Subj: Summary of events of 3 Jul 88

298. USS Vincennes: Navigation chart 62392

299. USS Vincennes: Final timeline (from detailed data analysis)

300. COMTHIRDFLT 262359Z APR 88; Subj: Deployment

301. COMTHIRDFLT 2102312 APR 88; Subj: USS Vincennes Deployment schedule

302. CTF 801 160603Z May 88; Subj: Task Force 801 promulgation

303. CTF 800 Command structure wiring diagram

304. DMAHTC 071602Z Aug 87; Subj: Special Warning Number 72. Persian Gulf – Strait of Hormuz – Gulf of Oman {p.79-1993}

305. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

306. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

307. COMDESRON 25 (GS): Staff watch tape recordings

308. USS VincennesINST 3120.1 Ship’s organization and regulations manual (chapters 1, 2 and 3)

309. CTG 801.3: Staff watch log

310. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

311. USS Vincennes; Letters of support

312. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

313. Statement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) 

314. USS Vincennes: Messages regarding AEGIS/GW interoperability

315. Capt W. C. Rogers (Biography/Privacy Act Statement)

316. Drawing of Vincennes CIC console positions (Capt Rogers)

317. Diagram of small boat “swarm tactics” (Capt Rogers)

318.  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  and  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  Notes



{1988 list, omitted from the 1993 CD-Rom}

List of acronyms / unofficial Navy abbreviations

AAWAntiair Warfare
ABAlpha Bravo (Call Sign)
ACSAir Control Supervisor
ACTSAEGIS Combat Training System
ADSAEGIS Display System MK 1
ADTAutomatic Detection and Tracking
AECMActive Electronic Countermeasures
AEWAirborne Early Warning
AICAir Intercept Controller
ARCAir Radar Controller
ASAlpha Sierra (Call Sign)
ASACAntisubmarine Air Control
ASASAntisubmarine Air Supervisor
ASOAcoustic Sensor Operator
ASROCAntisubmarine Rocket
ASTABAutomated Status Board
ASUWAntisurface Warfare
ASWAntisubmarine Warfare
ATACOAir Tactical Controller
ATOAirborne Tactical Officer
AWAlpha Whiskey (Call Sign)
AWACSAirborne Early Warning and Control System
AXAlpha X-Ray (Call Sign)
BBDBright Bridge Display
BCOBright Bridge Console
BGBattle Group
BOLBearing Only Launch
C&DCommand and Decision System MK 1
C&RCommand and Reporting
CAPCombat Air Patrol
CASREPCasualty Report
CCSSCombat Cryptological Support System
CENTCOMU.S. Central Command
CFARConstant False Alarm Rate
CICCombat Information Center
CICWSCIC Watch Supervisor
CJTFMECommander Joint Task Force Middle East
CINCCENTCommander in Chief, Central Command
CMEFCommander Middle East Force
COCommanding Officer
COCControl Officer Console
COMAIRCommercial Airlines
CPAClosest Point of Approach
CROCharacter Read Out
CSCCombat System Coordinator
CSLCCoherent Sidelobe Cancellor {p.2-1988.anym}
CSOCombat System Officer
CSOOWCombat System Officer of the Watch
CSOPCombat System Operating Procedures
CSOSSCombat System Operational Sequencing System
CSROCombat System Repair Officer
CSRTCombat System Readiness Test
CTCryptological Technician
CTFCommander Task Force
CTSLCentral Track Stores Locator
CMCComposite Warfare Command
CWIContinuous Wave Illumination
DCDamage Control
DDRTDigital Dead Reckoning Tracer MK 6
DECMDeceptive Electronic Countermeasures
DEG/TDegrees True
DICASSDirectional Command Activated Sonobuoy System
DIFARDirectional Frequency Analysis and Recording
DROP SYNCDrop Synchronization
DSAData Link Support and Administration
D/WDead in the Water
ECEmbarked Commander
ECCMElectronic Counter-Countermeasures
ECDAEmbarked Command Display Assistant
ECMElectronic Countermeasures
EMCONEmission Control
EMOElectronic Maintenance Officer
EOOWEngineering Officer of the Watch
EOPEngineering Operating Procedures
ESMElectronic Support Measures
ESMOESM Operator
EWElectronic Warfare
EWCOElectronic Warfare Console Operator
EWSElectronic Warfare Supervisor
FAAWCForce Antiair Warfare Coordinator
FADForce Air Defense
FAPFacilities Attack Profile
FASUWCForce Antisurface Warfare Coordinator
FASWCForce Antisubmarine Warfare Coordinator
FCForce Coordinator
FCSfire-control System
FEWCForce Electronic Warfare Coordinator
FICPACFleet Intelligence Command, Pacific
FTCForce Tactical Commander
FTPFly to Point
FWCForce Warfare Coordinator
GBGolf Bravo (Call Sign) (CJTFME)
GFCSGun fire-control System MK 86
GFCSSGun fire-control System Supervisor
GLOGunnery Liaison Officer
GMLSGuided Missile Launching System MK 26
GOOGulf of Oman {p.3-1988.anym}
GOSPGas Oil Separation Plant
GQGeneral Quarters
GRSGrid Reporting System
GSGolf Sierra (Call Sign) (COMDESRON 25, on USS Hancock)
GWGolf Whiskey (Call Sign) (USS Vincennes)
GWSGun Weapon System
HEHigh Explosive
HEMTHigh Explosive Mechanical Time Fuse
HIFRHelicopter Inflight Refueling
HVUHigh Value Unit
HWSHarpoon Weapon System
IATAInternational Air Traffic Association
ICAOInternational Civilian Aviation Organization
IADInternational Air Distress
IDSIdentification Supervisor
IFFIdentification Friend or Foe (System)
INSURVInspection and Survey
ISDInitial Search Depth
JEWCJoint Electronic Warfare Center
JDFJamming Direction Finder
JODDJunior Officer of the Deck
K/FTThousand Feet
K/YDSThousand Yards
LAAWCLocal Antiair Warfare Coordinator
LACLAMPS Air Commander
LAMPSLight Airborne Multipurpose System
LOBLine of Bearing
LSDLarge Screen Display
MADMilitary Air Distress
MAFMarine Amphibious Force
MARPATMaritime Patrol
MARREPMaritime Report
MADVECSMagnetic Anomaly Detector Vectors
MEFEXMideast Force Execution Net
MIDEASTFORMiddle East Force
MODE IMilitary Aircraft (Non-Switchable in Air)
MODE IIMilitary Aircraft (Not Selectable in Air)
MODE IIICivilian Aircraft
MODE IVMilitary Aircraft (Not Selectable in Air)
MONTUSS Montgomery
MPAMain Propulsion Assistant
MSSMissile System Supervisor
MTIMoving Target Indicator
MVMotor Vessel
N PLOTNorth Plotter {p.4-1988.anym}
NAVNavigation System
NCNet Control
NCSNet Control Station
NCUNet Control Unit
NGFSNaval Gun Fire Support
N:NENorth by Northeast
NOTAMNotice to Airmen
NOTMARNotice to Mariners
NTDSNaval Tactical Data System
OLOcean Lord
OODOfficer of the Deck
OPDECOperational Deception
OPREPOperations Report
ORTSOperational Readiness Test System MK 1
OTHOver the Horizon
OTSTOver-the-Side Torpedo
PSPatrol Boat
PDPoint Data
PECPassive Equipment Cabinet
POA&MPlan of Action & Milestones
PGPersian Gulf
RBLRange and Bearing Launch
RCPRemote Control Panel
RCSRadar Cross-Section
RDPRadar Digital Plotter
READEXReadiness Exercise
REFTRARefresher Training
REMRORemote Radar Operator
RMRadio Monitor
ROERules of Engagement
ROSRemote Optical Sight
RPSRadar Picket Station
RVPRadar Video Processing
S PLOTSouth Plotter
SAGSurface Action Group
SAMSurface-to-Air Missile
SAPShip’s Attack Profile
SAUSurface Action Unit
SHFSuper High Frequency
SHMShip Heading Marker
SITREPSituation Report
SIWOSignals Intelligence Warfare Officer
SMStandard Guided Missile
SM2 BLK 2Standard Guided Missile, Block 2 {copy}
SOSonar Operator
SOHWPAStrait of Hormuz Western Patrol Area
SOPStandard Operating Procedures
SPSound Power
SPY-1ARadar System AN/SPY-1A {p.5-1988.anym}
SRCSurface Radar Coordinator
SSESShip’s Signal Exploitation Space
SSSCSurface/Subsurface Surveillance Coordinator
SSSS (SNAKE)Surface/Subsurface Surveillance Supervisor
SSWCSurface/Subsurface Warfare Coordinator
SSWSSurface/Subsurface Warfare Supervisor
STCSensitivity Time Control
STD MSLStandard Missile
STOSystem Test Officer
SUCAPSurface Combat Air Patrol
SURFPACSurface Force Pacific
TACCOMTactical Communications
TACANTactical Air Navigation
TACONTactical Control
TAOTactical Action Officer
TCTactical Command
TDSTactical Data System
TFTask Force
TGTask Group
TICTactical Information Coordinator
TNTrack Number
TSTrack Supervisor
UBSUnderwater Battery Supervisor
UFCSUnderwater fire-control System MK 115
UHFUltra High Frequency
UNITREPUnit Report
USDAOUnited States Defense Attache Offices
USLOU.S. Liaison Offices
VABVariable Action Button
VCNUSS Vincennes
VECTACSVector Attack
VLADVertical Line Array DIFAR
VTFVariable Time Fuse
WCCOWeapon Control Console Operator
WCIPWeapon Control Indicator Panel
WCOWeapon Control Officer
XOExecutive Officer



Seal: U.S. Central Command


United States Central Command
Office of the Commander in Chief
MacDill Air Force Base
Florida 33608-7001

5 August 1988

First Endorsement on Rear Admiral Fogarty's ltr of 28 July 1988

From: Commander in Chief, United States Central Command
To: Secretary of Defense
Via: Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
SubjFormal Investigation into the Circumstances Surrounding the Downing of Iran Air Flight 655 on 3 July 1988 (U)

1. (U) Readdressed and forwarded.

2. (U) The proceedings of the investigation and findings of fact are approved. The opinions and recommendations are approved except as noted below.

a. Opinions. (S U) Opinion E.1: Approved with the qualification that regardless of the validity of early identification by the Ships’s Signal Exploitation Space (SSES), the Identification Supervisor (IDS) identified the aircraft as “mode II-1100, breaks as F-14,” and the aircraft was entered into the system as an F-14, thus forming a positive, authoritative identification.

Rationale: SSES denied making the report and IDS confirmed his identification.

b. Recommendations:

(1) (U) Recommendation A.1: Disapproved.

Rationale: See paragraph 4.b.

(2) (S U) Recommendation A.2: Approved with the additional suggestion that the Chief of Naval Operations consider instituting a program for Command, Control, Communication and Intelligence (C3I) stress management to test and evaluate the impact of human stress on C3I operations in complex modern warships such as the AEGIS Cruiser. Integral to this program would be the incorporation of measures of human effectiveness into battle simulation techniques to assess the effect of peak overloads and stress on the human players.

Rationale: High level of responsibility and stress associated with these sophisticated ships require assigned personnel possess the highest personal suitability.

(3) (S U) Recommendation A.3: Disapproved.

Rationale: Appropriate matters contained in the proposed demarche are being handled through ICAO channels. {p.2-1988.crist}

(4) (U) Recommendation A.6: Disapproved. {p.2-1993.crist}

Rationale: The revised warning as promulgated by CJTFME is adequate.

3. (U) The following additional opinions concerning the more contentious issues in the investigation are offered in order to provide a sharper focus and my thinking on these issues.

a. (U) A major consideration in reviewing the report is the time compression within which the actions described in the investigation took place. Only seven minutes and five seconds elapsed between the time Iran Air Flight 655 was first detected by USS Vincennes and the decision made to fire the missiles. The Captain of USS Vincennes was made aware of a possible incoming threat aircraft, some four minutes before the decision to fire. Captain Rogers actual decision window was confined to less than one minute when the suspect aircraft was approaching to within ten miles of the ship.

b. (U) The report substantiates that a Mode II-1100 Identification Friend or Foe System (IFF) signal was received on USS Vincennes through the Remote Control Indicator (RCI). This signal was received only once in the first minutes of the Iran 655 flight and never received again. It was not picked up by the ship’s SPY-1 Radar System. While the source of this signal cannot be verified, the possibility of emanation through the “ducting” phenomenon from a military aircraft on the ground at Bandar Abbas appears plausible.

c. (U) Although the initial identification of the incoming aircraft as an F-14 is in question, it was clearly identified by the IDS operator,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , as “Mode II-1100, breaks as F-14.” From that moment on the Anti-Air Warfare Coordinator’s (AAWC) organization, most especially the Tactical Information Coordinator (TIC),  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , and the Golf Whiskey (Force Anti-Air Warfare Coordinator, who was  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {Lieutenant Commander Scott Lustig}, were convinced the incoming aircraft was an F-14, despite the fact that the Mode II IFF signal did not reappear and the ship’s SPY-1 Radar System only held Mode III 6760.

d. (U) The matter of ascending and descending altitude of Flight 655 deserves special attention as there is a direct contradiction between the data tapes obtained from USS Vincennes and the situation report submitted by USS Vincennes to the Commander, Joint Task Force Middle East (JTFME) following the engagement.

(1) (U) The primary source for the reports that the aircraft of interest was rapidly decreasing in altitude, at 1,000 feet per mile, and increasing speed on a course directly toward USS Vincennes was the TIC,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) . He apparently interjected these reports on the ship’s Command Communication Circuit 15 every time he had the opportunity “to make sure they were {p.3-1988.crist} staying informed and ... [not] getting too sidetracked by the surface {p.3-1993.crist} engagement where they were forgetting about the guy coming in.” ¶

This assessment by  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , cannot be logically explained in that his battle station’s character read out (CRO) would have been showing an exact opposite profile of steadily increasing altitude. Clearly,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , could not have been reporting from the data displayed on the CRO. ¶

The most reasonable explanation is contained in the report by  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , MC, USN and  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , MSC, USN that his behavior was induced by a combination of physiological fatigue, combat operations, stress and tension which can adversely affect performance and mission execution. As  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , states, “The concept of ‘scenario fulfillment’ could seem as applying in this case.” Since  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {the TIC} has no doubt that the aircraft is an Iranian F-14, heading toward the ship, and is not acknowledging repeated warnings, “the mind may reject incongruent data and facilitate misperception which promote internal consistency.” ¶

 (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {His} mental agitation is reflected in his testimony that he took it upon himself to take “every open spot” he was getting on Circuit 15 to ensure “everyone up in the command decision area was informed, kept aware of what was going on in case they got sidetracked by other events.” Toward the end it is reported he was yelling out loud.

(2) (U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {Lustig, FAAWC}, acting as the principal Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) advisor to the Commanding Officer, apparently accepted  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {the TIC’s} reports of descending altitude and increasing speed at face value without further evaluation on his part from the CRO at his position and, passed the assessment on to the Captain, which in-turn had a direct bearing on the decision to fire.  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {the AAW} {Lustig, FAAWC} states he ¶

“came to the realization that data to me doesn’t mean anything, because I reacted to people that I thought that ... I knew that I had operated with that were reliable ... and when they reported at short range they had a decreasing altitude, increasing speed, I had no reason to doubt them.”

e. (U) As to the Commanding Officer’s conduct, I support the investigation officer’s opinion that Captain Rogers made the correct decision to fire given the facts which he had available to him and the short time to make the decision.

(1) (U) Captain Rogers had temporarily changed his ship’s battle doctrine for the Persian Gulf by directing his best officer in AAW {Lustig, FAAWC} to sit in the “Golf Whiskey” (or Forces Anti-Air Warfare) position to the left of him in the Command and Decision area. ¶

He relied on this officer,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {Lustig, FAAWC}, to maintain and direct the anti-air warfare picture, provide him with funneled information from the AAWC and, make recommendations upon which the Captain could make a decision as to employment of the ship’s weapon systems. ¶

Captain Rogers had the highest confidence in the ability of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {the AAWC} {Lustig, FAAWC} backed up by the facts that  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {the AAWC} {Lustig, FAAWC} had served aboard USS Vincennes for five years, was a fully qualified AAWC, and had participated in training and execution exercises under the “Golf Whiskey” {p.4-1993.crist} organization. {p.4-1988.crist} ¶

Captain Rogers exercise of “command by negation” placed an even greater reliance on the information and recommendations received from  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {the AAWC} {Lustig, FAAWC}, as he did not as a practice deal with his CRO relying rather on the information from operators who, as he states, were trained better than he to read a CRO.

(2) (U) The first information given to Captain Rogers by  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {the AAW} {Lustig, FAAWC} was that there was an inbound F-14 on a closing course which was not responding to challenges. He apparently was also told that the aircraft had veered from its route and appeared to be moving to an attack position. Such a scenario would not have seemed unreasonable to the Captain as he was well aware of the F-14 activity from Bandar Abbas, warning of possible Iranian attack over the holiday weekend, threat of suicide aircraft and the other background which is well described in the report. Based on the information he had received from  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {the AAW} {Lustig, FAAWC}, Captain Rogers came to the initial conclusion that the aircraft was displaying hostile intent and requested and received permission to engage at 20 miles if the air threat did not respond to warnings. Despite the request from  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {his AAW} {Lustig, FAAWC} to engage at 20 miles, Captain Rogers elected to hold off based on a lack of Electronic Warfare (EW) correlation.

(3) (U) During the three minutes remaining before the decision was made to fire, Captain Rogers was preoccupied with the ongoing small boat engagement and a foul bore in Mount 51. He believed the most immediate threat to the ship was the difficulty of USS Vincennes to deal with dense, aggressive, high speed small craft attempting to press home an attack. His primary focus, Large Screen Display (LSD) and hook were on and remained on the small craft engagement. Thus, he continued to rely upon the verbal assessments from  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {the AAW} {Lustig, FAAWC} as to the extent and nature of the air threat.

(4) (U) As the aircraft entered the 10 mile range from USS Vincennes, the Captain was forced to make a decision. He had been told that: The aircraft is not responding to warnings; not acting like a commercial aircraft; the IFF mode and code were indicative of an Iranian military aircraft; and, most importantly, that the aircraft was decreasing in altitude, increasing in speed and on a closing flight profile with USS Vincennes. As Captain Rogers says in his testimony, “... my confidence in  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {Lustig, FAAWC} confirmed to me that the aircraft was, in fact, a threat.” With these assessments and the aircraft now at nine miles from USS Vincennes, the Captain believed he could no longer delay in defending his ship and made the decision to engage — a decision which had to be made in a minute or less.

(5) (U) One might criticize the Captain for not devoting more attention to the air picture, but this is judgmental. Captain Rogers believed the most immediate threat to his ship was {p.4-1993.crist} {p.5-1988.crist} the small boats and he could count on the advice of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {Lustig, FAAWC} to keep him informed, and should the circumstance arise the AAW capabilities of USS Vincennes were such that he could execute a timely and successful engagement.

(6) (U) In hindsight it appears that the replacement of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {Lustig, FAAWC} as the AAWC with  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {Lieutenant Clay Zocher}, an inexperienced officer, qualified only through on the job training, contributed to a degradation of the AAWC organization under combat stress. This in effect denied a double check on the information being provided from the ship’s “Air Alley.” Based on previous training and drills, however, Captain Rogers could not have reasonably foreseen this as a consequence of a sound tactical decision to modify his ship’s battle doctrine for operations in the Persian Gulf.

f. (U) The performance of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {the AAW} {Lustig, FAAWC} leaves room for question. He was the one officer upon whom Captain Rogers had placed his trust and confidence to evaluate the AAWC situation and provide accurate assessments and recommendations upon which to base an engagement decision.

(1) (U) Early on  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {the AAW} {Lustig, FAAWC} appears to have arrived at the conclusion that TN 4131 was an F-14 and posed a hostile threat to his ship. He accepted without question the combined reports of the TIC,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , and the IDS,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , as confirming an F-14. He admits his judgement was influenced by the July 4th intelligence warning, recent F-14 deployment to Bandar Abbas, previous observations of an Iranian F-14 squawking Mode II-1100, the Iranian P-3 to the northwest as a possible targeting platform, and the ongoing surface engagement.

(2) (U) In the final minute and forty seconds,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {the AAW} {Lustig, FAAWC} tells his Captain, as a fact, that the aircraft has veered from the flight path into an attack profile, and is rapidly descending at increasing speed directly toward USS Vincennes. Even though the tone of these reports must have seemed increasingly hysterical (yelling and shouting),  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {the AAW} {Lustig, FAAWC} made no attempt to confirm the reports on his own. Quick reference to the CRO on the console directly in front of him would have immediately shown increasing not decreasing altitude. Rather, this experienced and highly qualified officer, despite all of his training, relied on the judgement of one or two second class petty officers, buttressed by his own preconceived perception of the threat, to make an erroneous assessment to his Commanding Officer. As he said, ¶

“I had no reason to doubt them. I had to make a split second recommendation to the Commanding Officer, and I did.” ¶

While many factors played in Captain Rogers’ final decision to engage, the last report by  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {the AAW} {Lustig, FAAWC} that the aircraft was rapidly descending directly toward the ship may have been pivotal. {p.6-1993.crist} {p.6-1988.crist}

4. (U) The following actions by USCINCCENT apply to this investigation:

{1993 text redacted from the 1988 public release}

a. (   ) Action will be directed to correct the guidance in Joint Task Force Middle East/Middle East Force internal directives that “all” tracks originating in Iran will be identified as “unknown assumed enemy.” Further, the criteria which specifies an aircraft be identified as commercial if it is at an “altitude of  (b)(1)  of an airport” will also be corrected.

b. (U) { (b)(5), (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)}.

{1988 text redacted from the 1993 CD-Rom}

b. I am issuing a non-punitive letter of censure to the AAW {Lustig, FAAWC} for his failure to take timely and effective action to ensure that the information he was communicating to his Commanding Officer was accurate.


George B. Crist
General, USMC
Commander in Chief

Classified by: USCINCCENT
Declassify on: OADR




Seal: U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff

Office of the Chairman
The Joint Chiefs of Staff
Washington, D.C. 20301-5000

18 August 1988

Second Endorsement on Rear Admiral Fogarty's ltr of 28 July 1988

From: Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
To: Secretary of Defense
SubjFormal Investigation into the Circumstances Surrounding the Downing of Iran Air Flight 655 on 3 July 1988 (U)

1. (U) The downing of civilian Iran Air Flight 655 on 3 July was a tragic and regrettable accident and, as is so often the case in a combat environment, there were a number of contributing factors. It is first important to put the events of that day in the local context.

2. (U) The U.S. Government committed naval forces to the convoying of American flag tankers in the spring of 1987. From the outset, the Administration emphasized that while our forces could achieve this mission, it would involve risks and uncertainties. This prediction was borne out by several incidents, e.g., the indiscriminate laying of Iranian mines, the Bridgeton explosion, the Stark tragedy, the Samuel B. Roberts striking a mine, the capture of the Iran Ajar, Iranian firing on U.S. helos, and the incidents of April 18 when Iranian ships and aircraft attempted to damage U.S. units. Throughout this period and especially in the wake of the above events, the Government of Iran issued inflammatory statements threatening retaliation against American personnel and interests. Reinforcing the high level of tension, both Baghdad and Teheran have continued to attack unarmed merchant ships, the former with aircraft and the latter with small boats, ships and aircraft. Iranian assaults have been largely concentrated in the southern gulf and on occasion have taken place in the presence of foreign warships.

(U) As a result of the Stark incident, our commanders were given a revised set of ROE which clarified their authority to take positive protective measures when hostile intent was manifested. It was emphasized that they do not have to be shot at before responding and that they have an unambiguous responsibility to protect their units and people. To facilitate these measures a Notice to Airmen was reviewed and reissued in September 1987. It advised all nations who operate aircraft in the Persian Gulf region that U.S. Navy ships were taking additional precautions. In particular the need for aircraft operating in those waters to be prepared to identify themselves on specific circuits and to state their intentions was emphasized. Additionally, they were advised that failure to respond to requests for identification, as well as operating in a threatening manner, could place aircraft at risk by U.S. defensive measures. These practices, despite some grumbling, have been generally accepted in the Gulf. Unfortunately, few commercial airlines saw fit to reroute their aircraft or to make any other significant allowances for the hostile environment. Still, it is clear that all concerned were aware that U.S. ships were deployed in the area and that those units fully intended to defend themselves when necessary. {p.2-1993.crowe} {p.2-1988.crowe}

(   ) For several months preceding the Air Bus shootdown, the U.S. had received reports of Iranian efforts to improve their ability to attack U.S. men-of-war. These have included attempts to outfit both aircraft and small boats for  (b)(1)  suicide assaults, to reconfigure F-4s, F-14s, and other types of aircraft to carry a variety of air-to-surface missiles, and to develop small boat “swarm” tactics which could break through a warship’s defensive gunfire. Special occasions, such as Moslem or American holidays, inevitably precipitated intelligence reports that the Iranians were preparing a particular operation directed at Americans. In fact, we had been warned of the possibility of some type of unusual assault on the 4th of July weekend.

(U) of especial interest was the recent shift of Iranian F-14’s from Bushehr to Bandar Abbas. In the few days preceding this incident several F-14 flights, operating from Bandar Abbas, took place in the southern Gulf. On 2 July, Halsey had to warn away a potentially threatening Iranian F-14.

(U) Upon arrival in the region every unit, including Vincennes, was briefed on our past experience, the current ROE, and most recent intelligence. It is fair to say that incoming ships approach Gulf operations aware of the uncertain environment and with an appreciation of the need for vigilance. Similarly, they have been impressed with their responsibility to defend themselves in a forehanded manner. Those thoughts are constantly on the minds of every commander and crew serving in the Gulf.

3. (U) The events that led up to the tragedy on 3 July were typical of the everyday patterns in the Gulf. On 2 July, Iranian gunboats in the Gulf had positioned themselves in the western approaches to the Straits of Hormuz and were challenging transiting merchantmen. Montgomery was located sufficiently close to a ship attack in progress to respond to a request for distress assistance and to fire warning shots to ward off IRGC units attacking a merchant vessel.

(U) On the morning of 3 July, Montgomery observed seven IRGC small boats approaching a Pakistani vessel. The number shortly thereafter grew to 13 and they began to challenge nearby merchantmen. Vincennes was ordered to the area to support Montgomery and launched a helicopter to reconnoiter the scene. In the process the helicopter was fired upon. Vincennes and Montgomery closed the general areas of the small boats. Two of the boats turned toward Vincennes and Montgomery while the others began to maneuver erratically. These actions were interpreted as manifesting hostile intent and both ships, after being given permission, engaged. This action, involving high speed course changes and gunfire at close range, was still in progress when Air Bus 655 took off from the joint military/civilian airfield at Bandar Abbas and headed toward Dubai. It is hard to overemphasize the fact that Bandar Abbas is also a military airfield. The Air Bus was probably not informed of the surface action taking place in the Strait. Informed or not, Flight 655 logically appeared to have a direct relationship to the ongoing surface engagement. {p.3-1993.crowe} {p.3-1988.crowe}

(U) Even this brief and simplistic description, leads to the opinion, which the investigation drew, that Iran must share the responsibility for the tragedy. Given the fact that the surface engagement was initiated by the Iranians, I believe that the actions of Iran were the proximate cause of this accident and would argue that Iran must bear the principal responsibility for the tragedy. By any measure it was unconscionable to ignore the repeated warnings of U.S. forces concerning potential hazards of flight in the Gulf. It was especially reprehensible to allow an airliner to take off from a joint “military/civilian” airfield and fly directly into the midst of a gunfight. As for the aircraft itself, its failure not to monitor the international air distress net and not to respond to challenges was significantly negligent.

4. (U) The investigation paints in vivid terms the pressure-filled environment in the Vincennes CIC. In assessing what was reasonable performance under the circumstances it is imperative to have an emotional and intellectual feel for that picture.

(U) During the critical seven minutes that Flight 655 was airborne, Captain Rogers and his CIC watch team were integrating a multitude of ongoing events. Specifically, Vincennes was engaged in a high-speed surface battle with at least two groups of Iranian small boats — all of which had the capability to inflict serious personnel and equipment damage on Vincennes and Montgomery. Any one of these could have been a terrorist platform prepared to make a suicide run against either ship. At the same time, she was monitoring one of her helos which was airborne and had already come under attack from the Iranian small boats. CIC was also tracking an Iranian P-3 military aircraft airborne approximately 60 nautical miles to the northwest which was presenting a classic targeting profile. (i.e., furnishing information to an attack aircraft.) Captain Rogers was given and assumed tactical command of the Montgomery and Sides. He was also prepared to assume tactical command of U.S. combat aircraft ordered in and approaching the scene from outside the Persian Gulf. Additionally, Vincennes was dealing with a fouled gun mount and maneuvering extensively to keep her remaining gun unmasked to engage the multiple target threat. At one point she was forced to make a full rudder turn at 30 knots which caused the ship to heel sharply and added to the drama.

(U) In the midst of this highly charged environment, an unknown aircraft took off from a joint military/civilian airport on a flight path headed directly toward Vincennes and Montgomery. This was the same airfield from which Iran had launched F-4’s in support of an attack on U.S. naval forces on 18 April and from which Iran had repeatedly launched F-14 fighter aircraft during the prior week. This unknown aircraft was 27 minutes behind any scheduled commercial airline departure from Bandar Abbas airport. Although it was flying within a known commercial air corridor, it was off the centerline some 3 or 4 miles, which was not the usual centerline profile for commercial air traffic previously monitored by Vincennes. Moreover, its mid-range altitude was consistent with either a hostile or commercial aircraft.

(U) Vincennes could detect no radar emanations from the contact which might identify it, but was reading a Mode III IFF squawk. This situation {p.4-1993.crowe} {p.4-1988.crowe} was confused somewhat when a Mode II IFF squawk was detected and the aircraft was identified as an F-14. Complicating the picture was an Iranian P-3 to the west which was in excellent position to furnish targeting information to an attacking aircraft. More importantly, the unknown contact continued at a gradually increasing speed on a course headed toward Vincennes and Montgomery. It failed to respond to repeated challenges from Vincennes over both the military and international emergency distress frequencies. The Captain was in a genuine dilemma. On one hand the threatening contact was closing about 5-6 miles a minute. On the other, he had to act quickly to defend his ship and crew before the contact got much closer than 10 miles (in order to give himself fire depth and to stay outside of Maverick range). By the time he learned of the potential threat, his decision time was less than 5 minutes.

(U) It is under these circumstances, coupled with the significant background of recent history in the Gulf, as well as the influence of current intelligence reports, that the decision of Captain Rogers to fire must be judged. Given what was in his mind at the time, there was no other prudent or responsible course.

5. (U) That is not to say that everything went right. There are no “flawless” operations in combat — even when there is a successful outcome. But to say that there were mistakes made, says very little by itself.

(U) Some of the information given to Captain Rogers during the engagement proved not to be accurate. Unfortunately the investigation was not able in every case to reconcile the inaccuracies. However, the more serious question to be posed here is whether these errors were significant or critical to the result.

a. (U) Shortly after liftoff Flight 655 was identified within Vincennes as an F-14. The Identification Designation Supervisor,  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) , had detected a Mode II squawk on his RCI and announced the contact was an F-14, The initial “unidentified assumed hostile” designation was changed to F-14. Although one officer suggested the possibility of COMAIR (commercial aircraft), no one else in the CIC took issue with the F-14 classification. The fact is the sensors gave no clear piece of information that it was not an F-14. However, if the F-14 identification had never been made, the contact would have remained designated “unidentified assumed hostile.” In that event, it is unlikely that the CIC Team would have proceeded any differently or elicited additional information in the extraordinarily short time available. As long as it remained a possible “hostile,” the Commanding Officer would be obligated to treat it in the same manner as he would an F-14.

b. (U) At least one (possibly two) interrogation from the Remote Control Indicator registered a Mode II 1100 IFF squawk. This probably inspired the F-14 classification since the ship had intelligence that Iranian F-14’s were employing Mode II code 1100. The Air Bus, however, was not squawking Mode II. When initially interrogating the target on the RCI, the IDS laid the IFF range gate on the Bandar Abbas area. Given the ducting that day, there is a possibility that the system detected the Mode II squawk of another aircraft. Because the range gate does not move with {p.5-1993.crowe} {p.5-1988.crowe} the hooked target automatically, in order to continue interrogating Flight 655 the range gate had to be changed manually to track with the contact.

(U) Was it a critical error? No. Even if the Commanding Officer had been informed that there was no Mode II indication, that information alone has little significance. An attacker could easily be either squawking Mode III or no mode if believes it will camouflage his identity. On 18 April, Iranian F-4s that were threatening U.S. units did not squawk any mode throughout that day. Combined with other pieces of information, a Mode II indication may help a Commanding Officer confirm or disaffirm a conclusion, but when under threat it is not definitive but only one piece in the puzzle.

c. (U) The Commanding Officer did not put emphasis on the air corridor being 20 miles wide. In fact, his experience in the Gulf suggested that commercial aircraft normally tried hard to stay directly on the center line. He believed that 3 to 4 miles off the center axis was unusual and should be considered. In actual fact, however, it is again a peripheral point. An attacker would probably prefer to be in an air corridor if it confused his target. The Persian Gulf is blanketed by air corridors; they cover over 50% of the Gulf. Being in an air corridor is secondary information at best and must be combined with altitude, voice transmissions, etc., to be conclusive.

d. (U) By far the most puzzling mistake to me was the ultimate misreading of altitude. The investigation established that the range and altitude information passed to the Commanding Officer was correct until the contact reached approximately 15NM. The time was 0653:45Z. Shortly thereafter, at a range between 15 and 12 miles, the Tactical Information Coordinator (TIC) reported that the altitude (which he estimated had previously reached 11,000 feet) was decreasing. At that moment, the Commanding Officer was rapidly reaching a point of no return with his Standard missiles and was inside the potential Iranian air-to-surface missile threat envelope. The TIC testified that he reported declining altitude at 11 miles, possibly 10 miles, and at nine miles. The last report was given as the missiles went off the rail and played no part in the process — the firing order had been given a few seconds earlier at 0654:05Z. Actually, the investigation concluded that the time from the first report of decreasing altitude to the decision to fire was in the neighborhood of 20 to 30 seconds.

(U) The Investigation was unsuccessful in satisfactorily reconciling the conclusion that the contact was descending with subsequent data analysis. The TIC’s belief, however, was supported by three other watchstanders, although it is not clear that they had arrived at that conclusion independently.

(U) It is impossible to say with assurance how the decreasing altitude information bore on the Commanding Officer’s final decision. Obviously, whether the aircraft was ascending or descending could, when taken in the overall context, be a “significant indicator.” It should be borne in mind, however, that an aircraft even at a range of 9 miles and altitude of 13,000+ feet (actual altitude at time of firing) was at sufficiently low {p.6-1993.crowe} {p.6-1988.crowe} altitude that it could attack Vincennes within the next 9 miles. On the other hand, the report that the altitude was decreasing could possibly have further confirmed a developing decision to fire. The Commanding Officer testified that it was only one piece of information among many. In this reviewing officer’s opinion, it is unlikely that this one piece of information would have settled the issue one way or another given the uncertainties that remained and the extremely short time left.

(U) The above errors aside, one is driven back to fundamentals. The villains of the piece were 6 significant problems which plagued the Commanding Officer and he could not control or discount:

Vincennes was engaged on the surface against Iranian boats.

– The “unidentified assumed” hostile contact had taken off from a military airfield.

– The contact was heading directly at Vincennes and its range was relentlessly closing.

– The unknown aircraft radiated no definitive electronic emissions.

Vincennes warnings went unanswered.

– The compression of time gave him an extremely short decision window.

– Captain Rogers had every right to suspect that the contact was related to his engagement with the IRGC boats — until proved otherwise. The proof never came.

(U) Given the time available, the Commanding Officer could hardly meet his obligation to protect his ship and crew and also clear up all of the possible ambiguities. It is not unusual in combat to have to deal with uncertainties and conflicting information. Although it might not seem fair, commanding officers do not have the luxury of reconciling all such questions before committing themselves. They have to go with the weight of evidence. These are the realities of combat and the commanding officer, if he is to function effectively, must be given some latitude to deal with them.

6. (U) The investigation also examined the training and watch organization of Vincennes. Given the conditions existing on 3 July, Captain Rogers and his senior CIC watch personnel acted reasonably. That these officers relied on Information from their combat team is not only reasonable — but is an absolute necessity in a pressure-packed environment. Watch teams train as a unit and function as a unit, not as separate individuals. It is impossible in the heat of battle to double check ever piece of data being reported. The Commanding Officer and his senior watchstanders must rely on their subordinates. This is not to suggest that Vincennes personnel performed perfectly 1n this incident; they did not. As the investigation makes clear, to say there were errors made and lessons learned is not {p.7-1993.crowe} {p.7-1988.crowe} necessarily to suggest culpability.

(U) There were, of course, a number of areas of Vincennes CIC performance that deserve some attention. The investigation examined the ship’s training and battle organization. It went on to recommend that the AAWC position in the CIC organization be strengthened and that the “GW” not be given responsibility as a radio telephone talker. In my view, when operating in an environment that includes commercial airlines the process of “target designation” should be formalized. Also circuit discipline becomes extremely important and Vincennes should work to improve in this area. Clearly, the GW or AAWC should confirm or disaffirm important reports (such as descending altitude) — particularly ones that change conditions just as the Captain is approaching the firing point. The Commanding Officer and the administrative chain of command should review the investigation with these points in mind with the intention of translating this tragic incident into meaningful corrective actions.

7. (U) It is my view that, understanding the entire context, reasonable minds will conclude that the Commanding Officer did what his nation expected of him in the defense of his ship and crew. This regrettable accident, a by-product of the Iran-Iraq war, was not the result of culpable conduct onboard Vincennes.

8. (U)  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) .

{1988 text, omitted from the 1993 CD-Rom}

8. A special word should be said about the administrative censure awarded  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {Lustig, FAAWC} by CINCENT. ¶

My own review of his performance is that, for the foregoing reasons, it did not constitute culpability. ¶

Moreover, the rationale behind a non-punitive letter is to point out lessons to be learned and ways to improve an officer’s future performance. It is intended to be a private letter, not part of the officer’s record, and not to influence an officer’s career prospects. ¶

Due to the unusual public attention directed to this event, I believe that a non-punitive letter can hardly be issued and meet the spirit in which such a censure is intended. ¶

Therefore, I recommend that the administrative censure  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {Lustig, FAAWC} reported in paragraph 4b of the first endorsement be disapproved.

9. (U) As to the AEGIS system itself, it performed as designed and subsequent analysis indicated that the sensor data collected was accurate. This was one of our first experiences with the AEGIS under battle conditions and the Investigating Officer made a few suggestions as to refinements to be explored.

(U) It should be appreciated that AEGIS was never advertised as being capable of identifying the type of aircraft being tracked. That decision is still a matter for human judgment; despite AEGIS’ considerable capabilities. AEGIS’ major advantages are the extended range of its sensors, its fast reaction time, the capacity to track many targets at once, its ability to send this information automatically to other units, and its data displays which combine sensor information with other inputs and better convey it to the users. Because of its long range radar it gives operators additional time to react, to gather data, and to make considered judgments. Operating close-in to a land-based airfield, however, these advantages can be severely eroded. That problem is not the {p.8-1993.crowe} {p.8-1988.crowe} fault of the system but geography. While the machine (in this event, AEGIS could not lengthen the Captain’s decision time) cannot alter distance, there are perhaps some refinements that can make the SPY1 more effective in the close-in environment. Admiral Fogarty has recommended some improvements which I would support. I would add that a means for displaying altitude information on a contact such as “ascending” or “descending” on the LSD should likewise be examined.

(U) But beyond these specific fixes, I recommend that some additional human engineering be done on the display systems of AEGIS. The objective would be to better equip it for assisting with rapid decisions in a situation such as Vincennes confronted. Secretary Carlucci and I visited the AEGIS mock-up at Wallop’s Island for a briefing on AEGIS and a partial reconstruction of the Flight 655 shootdown. It seemed to our inexperienced eyes that the Commanding Officer should have some way of separating crucial information from other data. Moreover, the vital data should be displayed in some fashion on the LSD so the Commanding Officer and his main assistants do not have to shift their attention back and forth between displays.

10. (U) Although the policy decision to utilize an AEGIS cruiser in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf was not a focus of the investigation, I believe that a few comments on that policy are in order. Probably the most serious and destructive potential threat to both military and civilian shipping in the area is the Silkworm missile. There are other serious threats, of course, but they all require overt actions on the part of a belligerent’s forces in international airspace or waters and are more subject to countermeasures. A Silkworm missile, once it has been properly sited and equipped, can be launched on a few minutes notice from the belligerent’s landmass. Its flight time is a matter of seconds and 1t possesses an imposing destructive charge. It is an awesome weapon. The most capable platform in the U.S. inventory for handling this threat is the AEGIS cruiser. It makes the greatest sense to me to utilize the best available platform against the gravest threat. Accordingly, I strongly endorse the deployment of an AEGIS cruiser to the region as long as the Iranian Silkworm missile is considered a likely threat.

11. (U) I recommend the Secretary of Defense refer this investigation to the Chief of Naval Operations for follow-on actions consistent with the Investigating Officer’s recommendations as modified.

12. (U) Subject to the foregoing, the proceedings, findings of fact, opinions and recommendations of the Investigating Officer, as modified by the previous endorsement, are approved.


William J. Crowe, Jr.
Joint Chiefs of Staff

Classified by: CJCS
Declassify on: OADR



Seal: U.S. Department of Defense

The Secretary of Defense Washington, The District of Columbia
19 August 1988


Memorandum for Secretary of the Navy

Subject: Investigation into the Circumstances Surrounding the Downing of Iran Air Flight 655 on July 3, 1988

The proceedings, findings of fact, opinions and recommendations, as modified by the subsequent endorsers, are approved. The report and endorsements are provided for action consistent with the recommendations contained therein.



cc: CJCS



{1988 letter, omitted from the 1993 CD-Rom}

Seal: U.S. Department of Defense

The Secretary of Defense Washington, The District of Columbia
19 August 1988

Memorandum for Commander in Chief, United States Central Command

Subject: Investigation into the Circumstances Surrounding the Downing of Iran Air Flight 655 on July 3, 1988

The proceedings, findings of fact, opinions and recommendations, as modified by the subsequent endorsers, are approved. ¶

The administrative censure of  (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)  {Lustig, FAAWC} reported in paragraph 4b of your endorsement should be withdrawn.

The report and endorsements have also been forwarded to the Secretary of the Navy for appropriate action.



cc: CJCS



{1988 news release, omitted from the 1993 cd-rom:}

Seal: U.S. Department of Defense

Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense
(Public Affairs)
Washington, DC 20301
Please Note Date

For Release at 
11:00 a.m. EDT 
No. 419-88
697-5131 (Info)
697-3189 (Copies)
697-5737 (Public/Industry)

August 19, 1988

Formal Investigation into the Circumstances Surrounding the Downing of Iran Air Flight 655 on July 3, 1988

The investigation of the downing of a commercial Iranian Airbus by the USS Vincennes on July 3, 1988 has been completed. The results of the investigation conducted by Rear Admiral William M. Fogarty, USN, have been reviewed by the Secretary of Defense following the review and endorsement by the Commander-in-Chief, United States Central Command and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Immediately after the incident occurred, the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Central Command, General George B. Crist, USMC, appointed RADM Fogarty to conduct a formal investigation into the incident. Seven other officers were appointed by General Crist to assist RADM Fogarty. Preliminary interviews began on July 6 and the investigation concluded on July 28. The investigation inquired into all relevant events which occurred prior to, during and immediately following the engagement of Iran Air flight 655 by the USS Vincennes.

The investigation report was delivered to General Crist on August 1. It was delivered to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense on August 8. The Chairman’s endorsement to the report was made available to the Secretary on August 18.

The report, to include the endorsements of General Crist, Admiral Crowe, and Secretary Carlucci, is attached.

– END –


“ The language used in the official report and the language used during the press conference {August 19} was filled with the doublespeak of omission, distortion, contradiction, and misdirection.

One reporter called the report an “enormous jigsaw puzzle with key pieces missing.”

In addition to censoring essential information, such as the names of almost all the participants ... the report also lacks any original source information such as statements by participants and any of the data recorded by the ship’s computers.”

William Lutz (Chairman, Committee on Public Doublespeak, NCTE: National Council of Teachers of English), annual NCTE Doublespeak Award, for the year 1988, to Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci, Admiral William Crowe, and Rear Admiral William Fogarty.



Source: U.S. Department of Defense, pdf file on CD-ROM {4.9kb.pdf/image, 5138011.bytes}, once listed on an earlier version of this (now deleted) DoD page, “Master OFOI Reading Room List,” ordered from a now deleted DoD request page, here’s a new request page.

The DoD since posted this identical file (aparently in 2006, but maybe later or earlier) {4.9mb.pdf/image, 5138011.bytes, source, source} (pdf document date April 11 2002, pdf file date April 24 2006). This, on a DoD FoI webpage (freedom of “information”).

The 1993 text, from the DoD pdf file, it’s that text on this webpage.

This DoD file is an image-only pdf (no embedded text, to copy or search). I extracted the text, from the image in the file, with an OCR program (optical character scanner), and carefully perfected the scanned text, page by page, with its spelling checker, proofreading the scanned text to the image, a tedious task.

I then compared the two versions, proofread them together, and marked the redactions, one by one, 26 pages of them, scattered throughout the 80-page 1993 text, which the DoD redacted, when it issued its report to the public on August 19 1988. The DoD retyped the 54-page 1988 version, and thereby concealed the extent of these redactions, and some of them were silent (no indication of redacted text).

By CJHjr: Converted to text (OCR: FineReader 6.0), formatted (xhtml/css), links, bold-face, bold-italics, highlighting, text {in braces}, text beside a green bar |, text in yellow boxes, redacted text marker, added paragraphing (for ease of reading) marked with this trailing paragraph symbol: ¶ .

The 1988 press briefing transcript (August 19 1988), on a separate page, which I got in 1988, I have since corrected, to conform to the video, which C-Span has now made available on line, from late 2007.

The DoD pdf file also includes the two endorsement letters (with their 1993 redactions), but omits their 1988 version (without some of these redactions). The paper copy of these 1988 versions were attached to the 1988 DoD news release (which I got in 1988), and it’s these 1988 paper copies which are the source of the “1988 text” which I have added back, to restore the 1993 redactions.

So too, the 1988 paper copy of the report (which I got in 1988) is the source of the List of Acronyms, and the DoD letter to CinCCent, both of which are omitted from the DoD pdf file.

The 1988 version of the report is included in the DoD pdf file (54 pages, cover plus 53 numbered pages), released August 19 1988, except for its attached list of acronyms.

This 1988 version contains some text which the DoD later redacted from its 1993 version (80 pages, cover plus 71 numbered pages plus a list of exhibits, 8 unnumbered pages).

I have added back this 1993 redacted 1988 text, and labeled it, “1988 text.”

The DoD officers complicit in creating this prima facie criminal lie, this deceitful report, they no doubt did so, on orders from their political masters, U.S. president Ronald Reagan, vice president George H.W. Bush (who lied to the United Nations Security Council), National Security Council officials, John Negroponte, Colin Powell, and others.

All of them together, with this report, they lit the fuse, to the bomb, on Pam Am 103 (December 21 1988, 270 victims), a prima facie lawful countermeasure, if the bombers were law enforcement officers acting for Iran.

In a just world, each member of this criminal U.S. government conspiracy, and others who advanced the criminal aims of the conspiracy (to lie, in the report, and in testimony to Congress), each of these individuals would be prosecuted for conspiracy to lie, and for involuntary manslaughter, for the killing of the Pan Am 103 victims.

This criminal gang includes members of Congress, complicit in the decision to permit the DoD witnesses (acting for the conspiracy), to lie to Congress. This democratic institution, a congressional hearing, is the only institution, in the American government, usually capable of discovering U.S. government criminal enterprises.

The other institution, the Justice Department, its officials (some of them) are themselves normally members of U.S. government criminal conspiracies, or any way tolerate them, and thereby aid and abet them, acting either alone or with others in that Department, in a second conspiracy, to aid and abet the first conspiracy.

Like prosecutors who won’t prosecute, so too members of Congress, they do not have legal authority to license the crime of lying to Congress. And those who purport to do so, with their winks and their nods and their back room discussions, when they do so, they simply cross the line, and join the criminal gang, a member of the criminal conspiracy.

Obviously, none of these people wished for the bombing of Pan Am 103. But they could foresee that bombing, to be a possible result, of their decision to commit the felony crime of lying (felony manslaughter), their duty being to tell the truth and thereby enable proper apologies, damages, and assurances to Iran, and correction of the many wilful, reckless, and negligent wrongdoings, by the U.S. military, multiple proximate causes of the ambush.

This document: William M. Fogarty (Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy, Director of Policy and Plans, U.S. Central Command), Formal Investigation into the Circumstances Surrounding the Downing of Iran Air Flight 655 on 3 July 1988 {750kb} (July 28 1988), together with Endorsement (August 5 1988) by George B. Crist (General, U.S. Marine Corps, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command), Endorsement (August 18 1988) by William J. Crowe Jr. (Admiral, U.S. Navy, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff), Approvals (August 19 1988) by Frank C. Carlucci (Secretary of Defense) (U.S. Department of Defense, News Release No. 419-88, August 19 1988) {SuDoc: D 1.2/2:IR 1, OCLC: 18396562, 187357306, WorldCat, WorldCat}, and as partially declassified in 1993.

Related documents:

IR655: DoD Press Briefings: “Defense Department Briefing on Current Developments in the Persian Gulf” (Pentagon, Sunday, July 3 1988), speaker: William J. Crowe Jr. (Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff). “Defense Department Briefing Concerning the Report on the Shootdown of the Iranian Airbus by the USS Vincennes Aegis Cruiser” (Pentagon, Friday, August 19 1988, 11:00 a.m.), speakers: Frank C. Carlucci (Secretary of Defense), William J. Crowe Jr. (Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff), William M. Fogarty (Rear Admiral, Director of Policy and Plans, U.S. Central Command), C-Span video 4065-1 {44:55, 50mb.rm}, broadcast 1988 August 19 8:04-8:49pm, August 20 7:10-7:55am (144327685).

IR655: Other Public Statements. Ronald W. Reagan (U.S. President, Jan. 20 1981-1989 Jan. 20).

Investigation into the Downing of an Iranian Airliner by the U.S.S. “Vincennes” (U.S. Congress 100-2, Senate Armed Services Committee, Hearing, September 8 1988, S. Hrg. 100-1035, 3+56 pages) {SuDoc: Y 4.AR 5/3:S.HRG.100-1035, CIS: 89 S201-17, LCCN: 89601978, OCLC: 19707230, GPOcat, paper, microfiche, DL, WorldCat}. Witnesses: William M. Fogarty, George N. Gee, Richard D. DeBobes, Robert J. Kelly.

Iran v. United States (“Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988”) (U.N. I.C.J.: International Court of Justice, The Hague, filed, May 17 1989) {437kb.pdf, source}, announced, “Iran brings a case against the United States” {70kb.pdf, source} (I.C.J., Communiqu, No. 89/6, May 17 1989), discontinued on settlement, “Order of 22 February 1996” {248.7kb.pdf, source}, 1996 I.C.J. 9 (February 22 1996), announced, “Case concerning the Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988 (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America), Discontinuance{source, copy, source} (I.C.J., Communiquh, No. 1996/6, February 23 1996), “Settlement Agreement” {115.1kb.pdf, source}, signed February 9 1996 (U.N. I.C.J.).

Nejad v. United States, 724 F.Supp. 753 (C.D. Cal., No. 89-cv-3991, Nov. 7 1989) (refused to adjudicate complaint of IR655 victims, their relatives).

Ted Koppel (Editor and Anchor), “The USS Vincennes: Public War, Secret War” (ABC News, Nightline, July 1 1992, transcript).

The July 3, 1988 Attack by the Vincennes on an Iranian Aircraft (U.S. Congress 102-2, House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Investigations and Defense Policy Panel, Hearing, July 21 1992, Committee Serial H.A.S.C. No. 102-77, 3+37 pages) {SuDoc: Y 4.AR 5/2 A:991-92/77, CIS: 93 H201-21, LCCN: 93231140, OCLC: 28295879, GPOcat, paper, microfiche, DL, WorldCat}, C-Span video {2:11:00, July 22/25, 145315456, 27276-1}, witness: William J. Crowe Jr.

Koohi v. United States, 976 F.2d 1328 (9th Cir., No. 90-16107, Oct. 8 1992), cert. denied 508 U.S. 960 (June 7 1993) (refused to adjudicate complaint of IR655 victims, their relatives).

Commentary: An eye for an eye?

This document is not copyrighted and may be freely copied.


Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

Posted April 19 2004. Updated April 27 2009.

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