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Authors: Richard Herman

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MPCD: Multi-Purpose Color Display. A color video screen in the cockpit of an F-15E. One in the front cockpit and two in the rear cockpit.

MPD: Multi-Purpose Display. A video screen in the cockpit of an F-15E that lacks color. Two in each cockpit.

MT-1X: A rectangular, nonrigid airfoil, parachute that has excellent glide and steering capability.

OB: Order of Battle.

OFFICE OF SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS: The criminal and counterintelligence investigative office of the Air Force.

ORDER OF BATTLE: A listing of hostile armed forces by type, strength, and location.

OSI: Office of Special Investigations.

PAVE TACK: A target designator sensor pod that swings down out of the weapons bay of an F-111F. The pod contains a tracking head, a forward looking infrared sensor, a laser, a wealth of electronics, and a digital computer.

PSI: Fictional. Abbreviation for the Peoples’ Soldiers of Islam. The military arm of the Iranian Communist Tudeh Party. Later integrated into the Iranian armed forces.

PUZZLE PALACE: A polite name for the Pentagon.

RADAR CONTROL POST: A Ground Control Intercept (GCI) site that controls and reports on aircraft.

RAMP: The concrete or asphalt apron used for parking aircraft. The sloping entrance way for loading an aircraft. On a C-130, located under the tail.

RECCY: Slang for reconnaissance.

RED FLAG: A recurring exercise at Nellis AFB, outside Las Vegas, Nevada, that tries to create a battlefield environment, simulating combat. Used for training aircrews in the disorientation and sensory overload of combat.

RHAW: Radar Homing and Warning. Equipment that warns aircrews about radar threats.

ROE: The rules of engagement.

RPG: The standard, shoulder-held, Soviet anti-armor weapon.

RTB: Return to Base.

RTO: U.S. Army term for a radio/telephone operator.

SA: Designation for a Soviet-built surface-to-air missile, i.e., SA-8.

SAM: Any surface-to-air missile.

SAW: Squad Automatic Weapon. A Belgian-designed 5.56mm light machine gun.

SCROUNGE: A highly unauthorized stash of spare parts by crew chiefs and maintenance technicians keep handy to rapidly repair aircraft. Without a scrounge, hours or days can be spent wafting for parts that Supply is slow in delivering or may not have due to budget limitations.

SNAKEYE: 500 pound high explosive bomb that can be selected in flight for either “slick” or “retarded” (high drag) delivery.

SRO: Senior Ranking Officer. In a prisoner of war camp, the SRO is the highest ranking prisoner and is in command of the POWs.

TAC: Tactical Air Command. The Air Force command that controls fighters.

TACAN: Tactical Air And Navigation. A radio beacon that transmits a bearing and distance to its location.

TALLYHO: The radio call for a visual sighting.

TDC: Target Designation Control. A switch on the throttle quadrant of an F-15 that controls the radar.

TEWS: Tactical Electronic Warfare System. An integrated countermeasures system that can detect and defeat an electronic threat.

TF/TFING: Terrain Following. Flying very low to the ground.

TFR: Terrain Following Radar. Allows an airplane to avoid obstacles and fly low and fast near the ground.

TSD: Tactical Situation Display. An electronic moving map that integrates navigation and tactical information.

TOT: Time Over Target.

TRIPLE A: Anti-Aircraft Artillery; same as AAA.

UFC: Up Front Controller. A computer keyboard that controls the systems in an F-15E. The UFC in the front cockpit is directly underneath the HUD.

UHF: Ultra High Frequency radio. Transmissions limited to line-of-sight (approximately 180 miles at altitude).

UTM: Universal Transverse Mercator grid. A system of map coordinates.

VEE: Air Force slang for “versus.”

VOQ: Visiting Officers’ Quarters.

VSD: Vertical Situation Display. The radar display in an F-15 that gives a pilot information on an airborne target such as speed, altitude, and range. The E model of the F-15 has a radar display, but not a VSD.

WEAPON SYSTEMS OFFICER: Flies in back seat of a fighter. Combination radar operator, bombardier, electronic countermeasures operator, radio operator, observer, and copilot. By nature a very trusting soul.

WIZZO: Slang for WSO.

ZSU-23: Soviet-built 23mm antiaircraft artillery. An excellent air defense weapon. The ZSU-23-4 is a mobile, radar laid, four barrel version called the “Shilka.” It is extremely dangerous and to be avoided.

ZULU: The International Civil Aeronautics Organization phonetic alphabet for the letter Z. Also refers to Greenwich Mean Time.

 

 

 

Acknowledgments

 

Many thanks are always due to those who help a writer and I am no exception. I am indebted to: Lt. Col. Dave “Bull” Baker who made me regret ever retiring and leaving the world of tactical flying and who makes me wish I was with him in F-15Es; Lt. Col. (Ret.) Mel Marvel for making AC-130 gunships come alive; Majors “Butch” Young and Keith Elliott for showing me what a wondrous old jet the F-111 is; S/Sgt. John Geerlings who was willing to spend hours talking to a complete stranger about parachutes and saved me from a tactical blunder; and S/Sgt. Al Altro, a Ranger in every sense of the word.

Among the many who gave of their time are: Maj. John Lerned, Maj. Myke Gable, and M/Sgt. Erich Zeisler of the 431TES; and Sgt. Greg Tolley and the men and women of the U.S. Army Sacramento East Recruiting Co. And thanks to Dennis LaClair for the never-ending use of his reference library.

Finally, I wish to give special thanks to my agent George Wieser and to Donald I. Fine, an editor and publisher of the old school.

 

Table of Contents

Prologue

Chapter 1: D minus 34

Chapter 2: D Minus 33

Chapter 3: D Minus 32

Chapter 4: D Minus 31

Chapter 5: D Minus 30

Chapter 6: D Minus 29

Chapter 7: D Minus 28

Chapter 8: D Minus 27

Chapter 9: D Minus 26

Chapter 10: D Minus 25

Chapter 11: D Minus 24

Chapter 12: D Minus 23

Chapter 13: D Minus 22

Chapter 14: D Minus 21

Chapter 15: D Minus 20

Chapter 16: D Minus 19

Chapter 17: D Minus 18

Chapter 18: D Minus 17

Chapter 19: D Minus 16

Chapter 20: D Minus 15

Chapter 21: D Minus 14

Chapter 22: D Minus 13

Chapter 23: D Minus 12

Chapter 24: D Minus 11

Chapter 25: D Minus 10

Chapter 26: D Minus 9

Chapter 27: D Minus 8

Chapter 28: D Minus 7

Chapter 29: D Minus 6

Chapter 30: D Minus 5

Chapter 31: D Minus 4

Chapter 32: D Minus 3

Chapter 33: D Minus 2

Chapter 34: D Minus 1

Chapter 35: D-Day

Chapter 36: H-Hour

Chapter 37: H Plus 1

Chapter 38: H Plus 2

Chapter 39: H Plus 3

Chapter 40: H Plus 4

Chapter 41: H Plus 5

Chapter 42: H Plus 6

Chapter 43: H Plus 7

Chapter 44: H Plus 8

Chapter 45: H Plus 9

Chapter 46: H Plus 10

Chapter 47: H Plus 11

Chapter 48: H Plus 12

Chapter 49: H Plus 13

Chapter 50: H Plus 14

Chapter 51: H Plus 15

Chapter 52: H Plus 16

Chapter 53: H Plus 17

Epilogue

Terms

Acknowledgments

BOOK: Force of Eagles
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