Rec’d from a friend:
Every day after I initially Retired from the USAF/ANG ,
I woke up missing the Missions, the Flights and the Aircrews I was associated with.
To have been associated with the professional Aircrew in each of my assigned Squadrons was a Pleasure.
The only Squadron that I was a member of and I did not really think they had their act together was the
147th Fighter Group, 111th Fighter Squadron, Ellington AFB, Houston, Texas in 1974 thru 1976.
In my opinion, the Unit should have flown C-119’s and/or C-141s.
They did not possess a Fighter Squadron Mentality.
None of their pilots ever wanted to turn the F-101 Aircraft Inverted
or Chase a T-33 Target aircraft below 2,000 feet at night.
That is one of the reasons, why I sought and was accepted as the Hawaii ANG,
154th TFW, F-4 Aircraft, Alert Force Commander.
I have been very lucky to be Associated with some great Front Seaters in all the Units I flew with.
You know, in your Mind, that if you have to go to War, who you want as your Front Seater,
and who in Your Squadron are going to end up being Cannon Fodder during the 1st month or so of Wartime engagements.
I was lucky, it never came to that, but you know who the Guys are in your Unit who you want to go to war with
& will always successfully Complete the Mission and bring you home alive.
The Best ANG Squadron that I had the privilege to fly with was the 159th TFG, LA ANG, “the Coonass Militia”.
Their Air Force Advisor said, “In the Air – they are a Highly Disciplined Fighter Unit,
but on the Ground you would think you were a member of a Hells Angels Motorcycle Gang”.
And he was correct. The 159th TFG used to fight the 33rd TFW, Eglin AFB, F-15’s weekly with their F-4s
and beat them Consistently. But they were also Restricted from Some Air Force Bases
due to their Conduct on the Ground… was not always Gentile.
Denny H and Billy S, were Key members of this Unit and they were instrumental in developing the 159th Units’
Air to Air Tactics and its Employment. The 159th was a Dual DOC unit –
they were assigned to Train both as an ‘Air to Air Unit’ and a ‘Air to Ground’ Unit.
In the USAF and/or ANG and/or AFRES there probably were less then 5 Aircraft Fighter Wings
with Dual DOC Training Requirements. The 159th TFR was one of them.
The Unit was Legendary.
General Chuck Horner, at that time Commander of USAF 23rd Air Division, Tyndall AFB, FL,
thought they were the Best ANG Unit that he ever flew against or With.
And the saying is true – ‘there are Old Pilots, and Bold Pilots, but there are no Old, Bold Pilots’.
And the another statement that is applicable to the Air to Ground Mission is “One Pass and Haul Ass”.
Also another Truism is “Entering a Fight – the Speed of Light is Life”
It used to be a known Fact that it takes about 3 years and 1,000 hours in a Specific Fighter Aircraft —
prior to your really being able to engage & fight that Aircraft in Air to Air Missions and Win.
The F-4 Phantom was not fought in the Horizotal but in the Vertical.
The only Aircraft the F-4 could turn with in a Horizontal fight was another F-4 or the Russian Built Mig-23.
I can not tell you the Flight Hours we all Spent Learning 1v1 tactics, 2v1 tactics, 2v2 Tactics, etc.
You learn by Heart the Flight Envelope of Your Aircraft & the Employment of its Weapons
and the Flight Envelopes, Weapons & ECM capabilities of the Aggressor Aircraft that you are engaging.
After about 4 Years in Your Specific Aircraft, the Learning Curve of
how to fight your Aircraft equates to a Doctorate Degree in Aviation Science.
You have to know what Air to Air weapons to employ and at what the Various Ranges are
to employ them and the most successful Tactics for their Employment.
When I was either Double Banging or Triple Banging (flying two to three times a day)
and at least 4 Times a week, I really was up to the Task of engaging any and all Comers.
It used to be –To be proficient and feel Comfortable to engage any other Aircraft,
You should fly at least 40 Hours a Month in Air to Air Engagement Missions against dissimilar aircraft.
F-4……”Been There done That”