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On board its team of intelligence analysts and weapons experts sat glued to computer screens searching for signs of enemy activity in the air, at sea and on land.
In the sky below dozens of Nato jets began filling the "battle space", ready to strike at any enemy forces entering the "kill chain" - the process by which targets are identified, evaluated and destroyed.
The aircraft requested permission to engage the tanks and the Sentry's mission team immediately swung into action.
All three jets needed to refuel from one of the air-to-air tankers also being coordinated by the Sentry before the attack could take place.
The Libyan soldiers must have watched in terror as one tank after the other exploded in a ball of flame and burning metal as the bombs struck.
From its Forward Operating Base at Trapani in Sicily, Magic 52 flew to a position 80 miles off the Libyan coastline where it remained for the next seven hours, flying in a orbit close to Sirte, Colonel Gaddafi's home town.
During the mission's busiest period, the crew were simultaneously controlling the operations of 30 combat aircraft, while coordinating a complex refuelling programme and searching the Libyan desert for hostile radar activity.
"The enforcement of the no-fly zone is all about protecting life," said Flight Lieutenant Vaughan Arnall, the aircraft's tactical director and the officer responsible for controlling the combat phase of the mission.
Not everything over there is fully functional yet, and the internal links still point to this blog, and will for the indefinite future.
So all the old material will be left here for archival purposes, with comments turned off.
The mission teams are responsible for controlling the air battle and enforcing the no fly zone.