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Psychological weapons added to NATO arsenal

The EC-130 is the Air Force's mobile radio and television studio


Captured soldiers send first messages home

Reservists volunteer for active duty

NATO renews heavy bombardment of Montenegro

House withholds support for NATO airstrikes, restricts use of ground troops


Crisis in Kosovo


April 28, 1999
Web posted at: 11:26 p.m. EDT (0326 GMT)

In this story:

War of words on leaflets

Pentagon: Signs of changing opinions


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Air Force is flying a special new weapon over Yugoslavia that doesn't drop bombs, but instead beams radio waves directly to the Yugoslav public.

The aircraft known as "Commando Solo" broadcasts news and propaganda directly to the Serbian people. The propaganda programs are produced by the Army Psychological Operations Groups. The aircraft also relays or re-broadcasts programming from Radio Free Europe and Voice of America.

It's an effort to get around Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's tight control over his country's media.

The EC-130E aircraft is a heavily modified version of a C-130 Hercules transport plane. It has the ability to broadcast television signals as well, but currently is sending only radio signals, military sources said.

"Commando Solo" is operated by the 193rd Special Operations Wing of the Air National Guard, based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and is flying out of an unidentified base in Italy.

War of words on leaflets

NATO is dropping flyers like this, in Serbo-Croat, throughout Kosovo  

The U.S. Army's "PsyOps" units are also letting Serb troops know about the arrival of new NATO military weapons.

Allied aircraft are dropping leaflets in a sort of war of words. The latest leaflets show an A-10 Thunderbolt ground attack plane with the caption, "Don't wait for me!"

The leaflets also state in Serbo-Croat: "Over 13,000 Yugoslavian service members have already left the armed forces because they can no longer follow the illegal orders in Milosevic's war against civilians in Kosovo."

There is also this threat: "NATO will relentlessly attack you from every direction."

Other leaflets bear a photograph of an Apache attack helicopter and declares in bold print, "Don't wait for me!"

Pentagon: Signs of changing opinions

 bomb aftermath
Pentagon officials are not sure why the laser-guided bomb did not hit the correct target  

Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon said there were signs that the tide of public opinion may be changing against Milosevic.

Bacon cited the firing of Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister Vuk Draskovic for suggesting the government stop lying about the NATO campaign. And Bacon said retired Serb Army Gen. Vuk Obradovic predicted on radio in Hungary that Milosevic would soon be gone.

"A week ago we weren't hearing comments like this out of Yugoslavia, out of Belgrade, out of leaders, either political leaders or former military leaders," Bacon pointed out. "Now we are hearing them."

The Pentagon also voiced regret for the bomb that veered away from its military target and hit civilians in a village in southern Serbia.

"For over 4,000 weapons dropped, we've had three incidents, and very unfortunate, but three incidents where the bombs have caused some damage that we really didn't want to cause," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles Wald. "I think three out of 4,000 is admirable."

An American F-15 dropped the 2,000 pound GBU-10 laser-guided bomb.

"It could have a bad fin. It could have some disruption of the laser. But generally speaking, it's usually some weather kind of cause that would make that happen," Wald said.

And despite the number of sorties NATO has flown, Wald said he didn't know of any shortages among the allied forces.

"As a matter of fact, just the contrary. I mean, we're moving more equipment in, we have the weapons we need, we have the fuel we need, we have the crews we need, and now Milosevic is going just the opposite direction," Wald said. "So he needs to start paying attention."

CNN's Chris Plante and Correspondent Gene Randall contributed to this report.

New refugees describe forced evacuation, possible massacre
April 28, 1999
Children reported killed when NATO bomb missed target
April 28, 1999
Refugees under pressure to move on from Albanian border camp
April 28, 1999
Britain apologizes for civilian deaths in NATO attack
April 28, 1999
Some incidents involving civilian deaths in Yugoslavia
April 28, 1999

Related to this story:
  • The National Guard
  • Air National Guard
  • US Air Force Bases
Air National Guard Bases:
  • 171st ARW Website
  • 117th Air Refueling Wing
Air Force Reserve Bases:
  • Grissom Air Force Base
     • 434th ARW
  • McConnell Air Force Base
      • 931 Air Refueling Group Home Page
  • 940th Air Refueling Wing
  • 171st ARW Website
Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites:
  • Kosovo

  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kesovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News

  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosova Liberation Peace Movement
  • Kosovo - from

  • Welcome to the U.S. Army Homepage
  • F-117s arrive at Aviano to support possible NATO operations
  • NATO official site
  • BosniaLINK - U.S. Dept. of Defense
  • U.S. Navy images from Operation Allied Force
  • U.K. Ministry of Defence - Kosovo news
  • U.K. Royal Air Force - Kosovo news
  • Jane's Defence - Kosovo Crisis

  • U.S. Agency for International Development (Kosovo aid)
  • Doctors of the World
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Kosovo Humanitarian Disaster Forces Hundreds of Thousands from their Homes
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page
  • The Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Mercy International

  • Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

  • Expanded list of related sites on Kosovo
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
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