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Old 02-08-2018, 10:43 AM
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Without giving away plots what the rough outline for war start and end dates?

is there a major event flow chart?
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:40 PM
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Yes, there is. I have to dig though both boards where the TL is posted and transfer it here.

4 Sep 1985 is the day it all started.

7 May 1987 is the Battle of Wichita, where the Soviets played the role of Model and Manstein. Schwartzkopf was Zhukov. Soviet defeat there began the long road south to the Rio Grande and Brownsville, ending in early Oct 1989 with the surrender of the Brownsville Pocket.

14 Oct 1989 is when the Soviets in the Northern Theater surrendered, and the Armistice went into effect a week later.

4 Sep every year is known as Resistance Day, and is a National Holiday in both the U.S. and Canada.

14 Oct 1989 is Victory Day, and is also a holiday in both countries.
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt Wiser View Post
Schwartzkopf was Zhukov
I wonder how his and Powell career went in this time frame
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:50 PM
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Both retired as Five-Star Generals. Powell ran Third Army in Louisiana and Mississippi, later on, in Texas-he ran the final campaign at Brownsville. Both became Chairman of the JCS, but Schwartzkopf dismissed several offers from both parties to run for office (Senator from FL, Governor of FL, and the Presidency). Powell, though did run for President in 2004 and was elected. Re-elected in 2008 and succeeded by Hillary Clinton in 2012 (who won reelection in 2016).
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:20 PM
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I have a few questions Matt.

Firstly how quickly did the USAF change its low level attack tactics?

The reason I am asking is that in the 1980's (and 1990's) the USAF (and Navy and Marines) were not well trained or equipped in low level attack missions against hostile forces with intact air defences. This was mainly due to the fact that they mostly used precision guided munitions including anti-radar weapons fired/dropped from high altitudes to degrade enemy infrastructure and air defences. We saw this in the First Gulf War were US strike aircraft such as the F-15E, F-111F and F-117A flew at altitudes of 15,000 to 20,000 feet using LANTIRN and Pave Track targeting pods, as opposed to British Tornado's with TIALD who went in as low as 100 feet to hit Iraqi airfields with JP-233 cluster munitions. The British were also doing this at night and this tactic pretty much explains why British Tornado casualties were fairly high in the early part of the Gulf War. Dedicated US ground attack aircraft such as the A-10 and Marine Harrier's were only used after the Iraqi Air Force and air defences were effectively wiped out or degraded. The US tactic was highly effective in the First Gulf War, but in the Red Dawn scenario the US does not enjoy the luxury of total air domination against an inferior foe and the plentiful availability of precision guided munitions.

Secondly to what degree did the USAF alter the fundamentals of its tactics? US aerial attack tactics generally have pilots going into combat zones in large groups, covered by protective fire that busts holes in enemy air defenses. In your Red Dawn scenario the USAF is using tactics similar to the RAF designed for combat against Soviet Bloc forces in Europe, by flying in small groups of two or three aircraft low and fast over the terrain, hitting the target and then streaking out again. Your not coming in at tree top level but still much lower than the USAF generally is trained for. In NATO the British were widely regarded as the best tactical strike air force in Europe. Did the USAF copy this from the British or where they using British advisors?

Thirdly why do US strike aircraft have such relatively low casualty rates?

If we go by the First Gulf War which is the first time that US forces went up against a powerful Soviet designed air defence system on a massive scale, the US achieved total air domination very quickly. Baring in mind the Iraqi Air Force was inferior in training and equipment to the USAF in every level, their air defence radars, both Soviet and French, were not top of the line by 1991 and their performance was known to Allies, and their SAM's were older or "export" versions of Soviet SAM's this was no surprise. But as we seen from British experiences in the Gulf War they lost quite a few aircraft when they had to go low at them while Iraq still had an intact air defence network. In Red Dawn the US does not enjoy air domination over a lesser enemy (the Soviets at least), and does not numerically outnumber the Soviets, and is also facing a more effective air defence network than anything the Iraqi's ever had. In Red Dawn I could see the USAF (and Navy and Marines) quickly achieving air superiority over the Soviets and the others in large parts of occupied America for a whole load of reasons, but I think the casualty rate of all strike aircraft would be a lot higher.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:14 PM
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OK: here's a few answers:

1) The F-111 (and A-6) squadrons mainly fly at night. It's what they're trained for, and they also exploit gaps in enemy lines-or go in along unit boundaries where one unit may not be talking to their neighbors-especially if it's, say, East Germans and Nicaraguans, to give one example. The deep-strike people go in at low level always.

2) Strikes in daytime go in this way because the mission calls for it: it's BAI for the most part, and also CAS. Not to mention that Weasels are in short supply, and not every strike can have F-4Gs (or Navy A-7s or Marine Hornets) with antiradar missiles. If it's a CAS run, the Army or Marines do the AF a favor and dump artillery or MLRS rockets onto enemy air defense assets, and tank crews get told to take out any air defense vehicles (ZSU-23s and SA-9 or -13 launchers) they see. A 105 or 120 HEAT round does a wonder on those.....

3) This squadron's loss rate is lower than expected, mainly due to good leadership in the air (though the early days were rough: two COs and an XO were KIA, and there are exactly ten pilots or GIBs left who were flying on Day One), good tactics, and having support assets (Weasels, A-7s doing IRON HAND, or Marine Hornets for flak suppression) around. It's been two weeks since the squadron took losses (two birds down with one pilot KIA and the other three crew rescued), but that won't last. if more SA-11s or ZSU-30-2s show (Tunguskas), that makes things...ugly.
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:41 AM
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Matt what variant of the F-4 Phantom are you supposed to be flying?

Even in Red Dawn the establishment of American air superiority is going to happen due to the fact that American 4th generation fighters are better than what the Soviets have. Even a 3-1 superiority in fighters won't help the Soviets and I don't think the Soviets will have such a superiority in numbers over North America. Any American commander with even half a brain is also going to go after Soviet radars and shut down their SAM batteries. To be honest I don't think this would take so long either.

The F-16 powered by General Electric engines (especially F-16 Block 30 from 1987, Block 40 from 1988) are superior in agility to any Soviet fighter including the Mig-29 at Within Visual Range (WVR) air combat, and in the right hands will slaughter most Soviet Bloc fighters. The less agile but faster and more powerful F-15C (and F-15E) is also better at WVR than most Soviet fighters, and is aerodynamically at least a match for a Su-27 at Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air combat and better than a Mig-25/31, and also with better sensors and better trained pilots. Add the navy and Marine F-14's and F-18's into the mix and America is not a good place to be for a Soviet fighter pilot. The presence of F-15's with AWAC direction would also be a major deterrent to the use of Soviet strategic bombers over America.

Knocking out Soviet radars would be a priority for the American's, leaving Soviet ground forces exposed to the type of air degradation that you are talking about. The F-111, F-4G Wild Weasel and F-16's (with HTS pods) carrying AGM-88 HARM would effectively shut down Soviet air defence radars very quickly. In the early invasion period the US anti-radiation missiles would be the AGM-45 Shrike, but from 1985 the AGM-88 HARM is put into production, and with a range of up to 150km as opposed to no more than 45km for AGM-45B, it would be a game changer. At this time the F-117A is also in service, and the F-15E from 1988, and might be brought into service even earlier in the Red Dawn scenario. As we know that most of America's military power and industry is still existent, then the Americans will be hitting the Soviet's hard and in strength, even in the earlier part of the war. I would say that in less than one year the Soviet's would have withdrawn most of their most effective air defence capabilities to rear areas out of effective reach of US air strikes, leaving frontline forces highly exposed to US air strikes. Here is where you are going to see F-4's, A-7's, A-10's and Harriers bombing and strafing Soviet Bloc ground forces as you describe.
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:28 PM
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Flying the E with TIESO for AGM-65, the leading edge slats, ARN-101 DMAS, improved cockpit controls for easier use of AIM-9 and AIM-7 (the 556 cockpit) , and, of course, the gun.

Another reason we go in low? Ordnance loads require it. Mark-82 Snakeyes and M-117Rs, the occasional Mark-84 AIR, and CBUs or, on occasion, Napalm.

AGM-78 is still in service with a larger warhead than either HARM or Shrike. Shrike will damage a radar. HARM or Standard-ARM will kill it. Most HARMs in service TTL are the AGM-88A, with a few Bs. Some Shrikes have been fitted with HARM electronics to make them more effective against "Teenage" SAMs like SA-11.
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Old 02-16-2018, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt Wiser View Post
Flying the E with TIESO for AGM-65, the leading edge slats, ARN-101 DMAS, improved cockpit controls for easier use of AIM-9 and AIM-7 (the 556 cockpit) , and, of course, the gun.
That would be the best option, and the F-4E is also still a capable fighter if it needs to be.

Originally Posted by Matt Wiser View Post
Another reason we go in low? Ordnance loads require it. Mark-82 Snakeyes and M-117Rs, the occasional Mark-84 AIR, and CBUs or, on occasion, Napalm.

AGM-78 is still in service with a larger warhead than either HARM or Shrike. Shrike will damage a radar. HARM or Standard-ARM will kill it. Most HARMs in service TTL are the AGM-88A, with a few Bs.
Without trying to sound to "smarty pants", for low-level bombing you would have to use the M117R and the Mark-84 AIR or your aircraft might not escape the bombs blast pattern.

Originally Posted by Matt Wiser View Post
Some Shrikes have been fitted with HARM electronics to make them more effective against "Teenage" SAMs like SA-11.
The SA-11 Gadfly (Buk) would be a threat against incoming low-altitude fighter-bombers like the F-4E, but the threat it poses would be dependent upon if the radar is actually turned on or not. The SA-11's radar (9S35 Fire Dome) can track up to 4 different targets at ranges of 95km, and the SA-11 (Buk & Buk-M1) can engage aircraft at 35 km and at altitudes between 150 and 22,000 metres (less with Buk). However firing up an SA-11 launcher from start with no warning will take 5 minutes, reaction time if the radar is turned on is 15-18 seconds and reload time is 12 minutes, and this is with a well drilled crew. But Fire Dome's maximum range is also well short of the maximum range the AGM-88 HARM missile, and American Wild Wiesel's will be patrolling well beyond Fire Dome's range, while the SA-11 is considered to have a low probability in defeating a HARM missile. So basically it's a lose-lose situation for Soviet SA-11 crews as if they turn on the radar they will get a HARM up their rears, and if the radar is switched off they won't be able to react in time to an incoming air raid.
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:06 AM
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What happened to US stocks of Pershing II and GLCM that were deployed in Europe in the Red Dawn scenario?

With Europe remaining neutral except for Britain, most of them must have been sent back to America. 234 Pershing II were based in West Germany, and 448 BGM-109G GLCM in Belgium, Britain, Italy, Netherlands and West Germany in the 1980's. I believe there were 276 Pershing II and about 500 GLCM built in total. Maybe the UK based GLCM's and a few dozen Pershing II were kept in the UK to reinforce the British nuclear deterrent, but the rest must have been shipped back to the US.

Although nuclear armed they could be fitted with conventional warheads. The GLCM's were relatively slow but long ranged (2,500km), and with their guidance system and low radar cross section were notoriously difficult to track with the technology available at this time. The Pershing II could hit a target 1,800km a way in 10 minutes. They would be an alternative option to bombing and a nasty surprise for the Soviets anywhere in North America.
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:26 PM
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Here's a fact file on U.S. INF during the war, which should answer your question:

One aspect of the prewar and wartime periods was the redeployment of U.S. Nuclear Forces from Europe. The one deployed GLCM Wing in the U.K, the 501st Tactical Missile Wing, remained at RAF Greenham Common, while the 487th TMW redeployed to the U.K., from Sicily. One additional wing, the 485th TMW, instead of deploying to Belgium, was deployed to the Republic of Korea, to provide INF coverage for U.S. forces in the Far East, and deter any aggression from North Korea. The two remaining GLCM Wings, the 38th and 486th, remained in the U.S. during the war. The 38th was deployed in the Southwest, with its missiles directed at potential targets in Mexico, while the 486th was home-based at Eglin AFB, FL, with its missiles aimed at targets in Cuba and Central America. Not only were nuclear GLCMs assigned to the CONUS based wings, but a wartime program to convert nuclear-armed GLCMs to conventional warheads bore fruit. Three versions were developed by General Dynamics and deployed: the GLCM-C base variant with the same 1,000 pound warhead developed for the TLAM-C, the C1 variant with the 500-pound warhead used on the Harpoon anti-ship missile, and the C3 with the submunition warhead originally developed for the TLAM-D. Only the three conventional warhead variants were used in combat. However, the nuclear armed versions acted as a reliable theater nuclear deterrent in both North America and the Far East.

The Pershing IIs were also redeployed from Europe: two battalions were redeployed to Fort Sill, OK, initially. The 1-81 FA was then deployed to Yuma Proving Ground, AZ, while the 1-41 FA went to Fort Stewart, GA. However, 3-84 FA was deployed to the ROK, while 3-9 FA remained at Fort Sill as the Pershing II training unit and as a standby operational battalion. The mobile Pershings provided a theater ballistic nuclear deterrent, aimed at targets in Mexico, Cuba, and other locations in Central America, and fulfilled their mission without having to fire a single missile in anger. The 3-84 FA remained in Korea for the duration of the war, as a continued commitment to the defense of South Korea, and to reassure the ROK government of the U.S. nuclear umbrella. While Pershing units were high-priority targets for Spetsnatz and Cuban SOF, and a number of missiles were attacked, the majority of Pershings survived the war, having maintained a viable nuclear deterrent in a theater that the system's designers, not to mention its users, never expected.
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Old 02-18-2018, 12:44 AM
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SA-11 is the most advanced SAM in theater. Some divisions have it, but it's mostly being used at Army level as an SA-4 replacement. Most commonly encountered SAMs at division level are SA-6 and SA-8. SA-9 or -13 at Regiment, along with ZSU-23-4s and MANPADS.
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt Wiser View Post
SA-11 is the most advanced SAM in theater. Some divisions have it, but it's mostly being used at Army level as an SA-4 replacement. Most commonly encountered SAMs at division level are SA-6 and SA-8. SA-9 or -13 at Regiment, along with ZSU-23-4s and MANPADS.
What about the SA-10 (S-300P) and SA-12 (S-300V)?

The Soviets designed the S-300P (SA-10) from 1967 as an air defence only missile. It entered limited service in 1978 but was operational by 1982, and about 80 SA-10 sites were believed to be operational in Russia by 1987. The S-300V (SA-12) is derived from the S-300P but also has an anti-ballistic missile capability. It entered service later and in phases, but some elements were integrated into existing air defense systems by 1983 and it entered production in 1986. The SA-12 is similar in some respects to the U.S. Patriot (PAC-2).

The SA-10 and SA-12 were designed from the outset for high mobility and effectiveness against targets at all altitudes. Early versions of the SA-10 could engage targets at ranges of 47km at altitudes of up to 82,000 feet moving at 4,300 kph. Later versions have ranges of over 100km and can hit targets moving at 10,000 kph. The S-300V can target ballistic missiles across ranges of 40 km, and can target aircraft at 75 km to 100 km.

As well as air defence both missiles were developed to destroy Western ISR assets such as the E-3 AWACS, E-8 JSTARS and U-2, and also tactical jamming aircraft like the EF-111A Raven and EA-6B Prowler. The S-300V could also be used against US tactical ballistic missiles, specifically the Lance and Pershing I/II, and also the FB-111A's supersonic AGM-69A SRAM standoff missile, and the BGM-109 GLCM.

I think it would be highly likely that the Soviets would deploy at least a few of these missile systems near their higher command and control centres in North America.
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:21 PM
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SA-10s were in Mexico during the war-and near the end, the Monterey area was a no-go for many tac air for that reason. SA-10s were also in Occupied Canada and Alaska, and were captured there after the Soviet surrender in the Northern Theater on 14 Oct 89.

SA-12 never made it over. One battalion was due to come over for a combat trial in Texas, but....the ship carrying the missiles arrived in Cuba, but the ship with the TELs and radar was sunk.
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:47 PM
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Second strike of the day:

Over Central Texas, 1030 Hours Central War Time:

Rambler Flight was headed south, following their pre-strike refueling. The tanker track was a busy one, with KC-135s, KC-10s, and Marine KC-130s busy passing fuel to aircraft that needed it, and as the crews topped off their tanks, they also noticed the F-14s and F-15s orbiting on CAP. Not only were they protecting the tankers, but there were other high value assets-like AWACS and RC-135s-around, and those needed protection. Ivan had come north after the AWACS in the past, and they would likely try again.

As the strike flight headed south along the Brazos, Guru had his head on a swivel. He was checking his instruments, then he was keeping an eye out for threats, then checking his EW display. So far, so good. All clear, and even the Red AWACS to the south wasn't showing up. Had somebody done something about it? Guru hoped so. “Granbury coming up?”

“Thirty seconds,” Goalie said. She was paying attention to the navigation, and not just with the DMAS and the INS, but also the old-fashioned way: compass, stopwatch, and a map. But she, too, like the other GIBs, also scanned visually for threats, and checked her own EW display. “Sky's clear.”

“For now,” Guru said. Then the U.S. 377 bridge appeared, and the East German flak gunners opened up, as usual, from the west side. The Nicaraguans to the east, though, rarely shot at them, unless they had been attacked earlier, and this time, their guns stayed silent.

“No traffic on the bridge,” Goalie observed as Rambler Flight blew past.

“Maybe next time,” Guru said. “Granbury Dam next up.”

“Copy that,” Goalie replied. “Forty-five seconds. One minute thirty to the Glen Rose Bridge.” That was U.S. 67.

The flight continued south, hugging the east shore of Lake Granbury, and as the Dam became visible, the AAA from the west side came up.

“East Germans are active today,” Guru observed as the flak puffs appeared. None were close, but still, some East German might get lucky....fortunately, Rambler Flight was too fast to track visually.

“We're not the only ones who have to earn our pay,” Goalie quipped. “Forty-five seconds to Glen Rose.”

“Roger that,” Guru replied. He checked his EW display and a strobe appeared, followed by the SEARCH warning light. “Got a strobe at One,” he called.

“Got it,” Goalie said. “Want to bet it's that Mainstay again?” She was referring to the Soviets' Il-76 Mainstay AWACS, of which there were several in theater.

“No bet,” Guru replied. Hopefully, they were far enough away, and too low, to be picked up. He called their own AWACS. “Warlock, Rambler Lead. Say threats?”

“Rambler Lead, Warlock,” an AWACS controller replied. “Threat bearing One-six-five for fifty. Medium, going away. Second threat bearing One-eight-five for sixty-five. Medium, closing. Third threat bearing Two-one-five for eighty. Medium, going away.”

“Roger, Warlock,” Guru replied. Almost immediately, the Glen Rose Bridge appeared. And so did the AAA from the west side of the Brazos.

“Glen Rose,” Goalie called. “East Germans are right on time,” she said as the flak-both 23-mm and 57-mm-came up. “Thirty seconds to the Brazospoint Bridge, and two minutes to the North Lake Whitney Bridge,” she said. The latter was State Route 174. But the former, though, signaled Libyan-occupied territory, and the Libyans would shoot. And keep shooting even after the strike birds had left.

“Got it,” Guru said. A quick look at the EW showed that strobe still there. “Flight, Lead. Music on,” he ordered. That meant to turn on their ECM pods.

Kara replied, “Roger, Lead,” and the others followed.

Goalie checked her map, then the INS, then called, “Brazospoint coming up.”

“Got it,” Guru said. And this time, there was flak coming from both sides as both East Germans and Libyans were shooting. One could tell the difference, though. The Libyans hardly aimed and simply sprayed fire into the air. The East Germans at least tried to hit what they were aiming at, but the F-4s were too low and too fast to properly track.

“One minute thirty to the 174 Bridge.”

“Copy,” Guru replied. Then he got on the line to the AWACS. “Warlock, Rambler Lead. Say threats.”

The controller replied at once. “Rambler, Warlock. Threat bearing One-seven-five for fifty-five. Medium, closing. Second threat bearing One-nine-zero for sixty-five. Medium, going away. Third threat bearing Two-one-zero for seventy-five Medium, closing.”

“Roger that, Warlock,” said Guru.

“One minute to North Lake Whitney,” Goalie said.

“Lead, Sweaty. Those Libyans are still shooting,” Sweaty called.

Beneath his oxygen mask, Guru smiled. Qaddafi's boys were living up to their reputation. “Let'em,” he replied.

Goalie then called, “Thirty seconds.”

The flight thundered along the Brazos, and then the Route 174 Bridge appeared. Guru made the call. “Bridge dead ahead,” he said. “Flak at Eleven, and at One.” The Libyan and East German gunners were quick to shoot as soon as the American aircraft appeared. “Follow me.” He dropped even lower than their initial ingress altitude of 450 feet, down to 300, as they blew past the bridge and Lake Whitney opened up.

“One minute thirty to turn point,” Goalie said after they went past the bridge.

“Got it,” Guru said. He checked the EW display. The strobe was still there, but not as bright. Good. Maybe dropping lower over the lake meant that the Mainstay had lost them-if it had acquired them in the first place.

As Rambler Flight headed south, the usual mix of locals, Soviet, East German, and Libyan soldiers, all looking to supplement their rations with a fresh catch from the lake, were fishing. Some had rowboats, but most were fishing from the lakeshore. The locals waved at the F-4s as they flew by, not knowing if the pilots could see them, while the soldiers more often as not, looked at each other. If the Yankees were flying into liberated territory with impunity, even if the Socialist Bloc Air Forces controlled the skies, then that boast made by many a political officer was clearly untrue. And if that was the case, how much else of the bullshit they had been fed was also a lie?

The locals, for their part, smiled and shook hands. Seeing the Air Force going after those Red bastards meant the front lines were getting closer. Wouldn't be long now, then the Army gets here, they thought.

“How long to the turn point?” Guru asked his GIB.

“Thirty seconds,” Goalie said. She started mentally counting down. “Turn in five, four, three, two, one...NOW!”

Guru put 512 into a hard right turn, and lined up on a course of Two-seven-zero. Twenty-four miles to Meridian, and that meant another ninety seconds. But... “EW still has the search radar.” Guru said. They had climbed from 300 to 400 feet AGL.

“He might have us,” Goalie noted. “One minute thirty to Meridian.”

“Maybe,” replied Guru. So far, no additional radars coming up, though they were now in what Intel said was the 4th Guards Tank Army's area.

“One minute,” Goalie said as they drew closer.


“Thirty seconds,” said Goalie. “No other radars.”

“Flight, Lead. Maintain visual scanning,” Guru reminded the others. “No radars doesn't mean they're not there.”

“Meridian coming up. And....turn,” Goalie told Guru as the flight flew over the center of town.

“Turning to Two-five-zero,” Guru said. “No flak.”

“Good to see.”

In Meridian, the Soviets from the 144th GMRD's 254th GMRR were wondering what was coming next. They had been through a buzz saw earlier in the week, and now, the Americans were bombing their assembly areas. The mostly Estonian reservists who made up the division's rank and file had had a rude awakening to combat, and their officers, mostly Russians, also had a similar wakeup to what combat was really like. Those who had survived, that is, as the regimental commander in Meridian remarked to his Chief of Staff.

Now, the new divisional commander had arrived, and he was having a look for himself. The new commander had been appointed by General Suraykin to take over the division, when 4th Guards Tank Army had found out the lieutenant colonel acting commander had run a battalion before, and with all four maneuver regimental commanders either dead or in the hospital, and the divisional staff in tatters after American air and artillery strikes, an experienced hand was needed.

Major General Nikolai Malyshev had seen it before: in Missouri the previous year, when he took over the 6th Guards Motor-rifle Division at General Suraykin's request, and led it out of the Ozarks, though a shadow of its former self. He had supervised the rebuilding of the 6th Guards, before Moscow wanted him back to lecture on the Missouri Offensive at the Freunze Academy. As a result, he'd missed Wichita, and Suraykin had asked for his old classmate to come back. Though Suraykin had a Chief of Staff, he wanted Malyshev to help rebuild units that had been shattered, and if necessary, take command and get them back into shape. From what he'd seen of the 144th, which had expected to only run into American paratroopers, only to be shot up by what General Suraykin's intelligence officer said was the First Cavalry Division and the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment. As a result, the division was now combat ineffective, even by Soviet standards, and General Suraykin wanted an expereienced commander to get the division ready to return to combat.

Malyshev had just gotten out of an APC-a BTR-60PB was not likely to attract attention from American aircraft, and the American Resistance was not very active here, but still, an APC was safer than a staff car. He was looking for the acting Regimental Commander when shouts of “AIR ALARM!” sounded. Malyshev looked up, and four F-4 Phantoms flew over the town, turning to the southwest as they did so. Despite the presence of the Soviets, Malyshev heard cheers from the local population, and shook his head. At least they're not hitting this regiment today, he thought as he went to find the acting regimental commander.

“Steady on two-four-zero,” Guru said after the turn.

“Roger that,” replied Goalie. “One minute thirty to Fairy,” she added.

“Copy,” Guru replied. A quick glance at the EW display still showed that SEARCH radar. “Damned Mainstay.”

In the back seat, Goalie saw it as well. “He's had us since when?”

“Granbury,” Guru spat. “Somebody needs to do something about him.” He scanned the sky around and it was clear. And Kara was right with him, while Sweaty and Hoser were on the left.

“Thirty seconds,” Goalie called. The town soon appeared, and the term “town” was an understatement. Just a few houses and a church. “Turn....NOW!”

“Roger that,” Guru said, turning roughly north, picking up and following F.M. 1602.

“Thirty seconds to pull,” Goalie said. “Switches?

“Set 'em up,” acknowledged Guru. “Everything in one pass.” Then he called the flight. “Flight, Lead. Switches on and stand by to pull.”

She worked the armament panel, then replied, “All set.”

“Copy that,” Guru said. “Ready to pull.”

“Pull in five, four, three, two, one, PULL!”

Guru pulled up, and sure enough, the ranch ponds appeared. And so did the U.S. 281 bridge to the north, along with the town of Hico. No radars on the EW other than the Mainstay....and there was the fuel dump, as advertised. “Ready?”

“Born ready,” Goalie replied. “All set back here.”

“Roger that!” Guru said. “Flight, Lead. Target in sight.” Then he went down on his bomb run.

In Hico, the East German Major who commanded the garrison was still not in a good mood. The Soviet Rear-Area Protection troops had flatly refused to mount any sort of patrols outside town, other than a ten-kilometer radius along U.S. 281 and State Highway 6, and, given the average age of the reservists who had manned the division was forty, he was not surprised in the slightest. Though the Stasi officer assigned to him still insisted there were “Counterrevolutionary bandits and Fascist elements in the area,” the lack of any serious guerrilla activity would have told him otherwise. But the occasional slashed tire, anti-Soviet art on the walls, snipped telephone lines, and the occasional sniper fire told the Major that the underground in the area was laying low, biding its time until the U.S. Army moved further south. At least that PSD swine is out of my hair, the Major thought. A newly arrived T-54 tank had run over the man as it was being unloaded from a tank transporter, and no one shed a tear-even the Stasi man had his own disagreements, and the townspeople felt they were better off with him out of the way.

The Major was still concerned about the lack of serious AA defenses, though. Apart from some machine guns, a few ZU-23s around the fuel dump at the 281 bridge, and a few others at the truck park, the only real AA guns were a battery of 61-K (M-1939) 37-mm guns belonging to the Soviet Rear-Area Protection Troops, and they were next to useless against modern aircraft, being visually aimed. As for missiles? The only SAMs he had were Strela-3 (SA-14) shoulder-fired missiles used by both his men and the Russians. At least there were missile gunners on the roofs of several buildings, the Major thought.

So far, they hadn't been bombed yet, but the Major knew it was only a matter of time. He returned to his desk, when he heard shouting outside his office window. The Major opened the window, and heard two words that chilled his heart. “AIR RAID!” Instead of going to the basement, the Major ran to the roof, followed by several other officers.

“Lead's in hot!” Guru called as he rolled 512 in on his bomb run. He picked out the fuel dump, and as he came in, the gunners down below began shooting. The softball-sized tracers coming up meant ZU-23s, and whoever down there was shooting, they weren't accurate. Someone even shot an SA-7 type missile at him-from head on, and that missile was simply a fireworks display as the weapon flew past 512 without guiding. Ignoring the flak, Guru lined up the fuel dump in his pipper. Good morning, Franz....this is your wake-up call, he thought. “Steady....Steady.....And....HACK!” Guru hit the pickle button, releasing his twelve Mark-82 Snakeyes down onto the fuel dump, then he pulled up and away, As he did both he and Goalie noticed some small puffs of smoke just below the aircraft. Looked like 37-mm. No matter, for 512 pulled away from the area, jinking to avoid flak. “Lead off target.”

“Of all the...” the Major muttered as Guru's F-4 went down on the fuel dump. He watched the bombs being released, then the F-4 pulled up as the bombs landed in the dump and exploded, sending up orange and black fireballs as fuel drums and tanks exploded. A soldier on a nearby building fired an Strela-3, but the weapon failed to track. Cursing, the Major scanned the sky, wondering when the next one was coming. He didn't have long, for another Imperialist F-4 was coming in.

“SHACK!” Goalie yelled from 512's back seat. “We got the fuel dump!”

“Secondaries?” Guru asked, though he knew that any kind of bomb inside a fuel dump would produce that result. He continued jinking to avoid any flak or MANPADS,

“Big ones!”

“Their lucky day,” Guru said as he headed west towards Proctor Lake.

“Two in hot!” Kara called out as she brought 520 in on the bomb run. She saw the CO make his run, and the results were very satisfying, for several fireballs erupted in 512's wake. Kara then came down on the truck park, and there was some flak coming up from there, as well as outside the fuel dump. Those gunners have guts, shooting when there's a big fire behind them, she thought. Ignoring the 23-mm tracers and the 37-mm, Kara picked out several trucks in her pipper. Your turn, she said to herself. “And.....And...Steady.....NOW!” She hit the pickle button, releasing her Mark-82s onto the truck park. Then she pulled wings level and applied power as she egressed the area, jinking as she did. “Two's off safe.”

The East German Major groaned, then he heard his Political Officer mutter, “This can't be happening.” Ignoring the Party man for the present, he watched as Kara's F-4 came in, and laid down its bombs onto the truck park south of town. A dozen bomb blasts followed in the Phantom's wake, augmented by a couple of fireballs ignited by the bombs. Fuel trucks going, the Major knew. He saw the gunners on the rooftops firing, but their fire was either short, or wide, of the target, for they weren't using the proper lead. Shaking his head, he turned to the east, and saw another speck approaching, then one behind it. Two more coming in.

“GOOD HITS!” Brainiac yelled in 520's back seat. “We got secondaries!”

“How many?” Kara asked as she kept jinking, and saw an SA-7 fly harmlessly above the aircraft.


“I'll take those,” Kara said as she set course westwards, and picked up the CO's bird as she did. Now, she thought, hope we get a MiG scramble out of Brownwood...

Sweaty rolled in on her run. “Three's in hot!” She called as she came down on the fuel dump. As she did, there were more secondaries going off as more fuel drums or tanks exploded from the fires. More where that came from, she said to herself as she noticed some undamaged stacks of fuel drums-and were those fuel trucks as well? No matter. You're all going up today. Sweaty noticed the flak coming up, and ignored it, concentrating on the bomb run. She lined the fuel drums in her pipper and got ready. “Steady....And...Steady...And....NOW!” Sweaty hit her pickle button and released her Snakeyes, and a dozen more five-hundred pound bombs fell into the fuel dump. She then pulled up and away, and began jinking to throw off the aim of the flak gunners. “Three's off target.”

“Schisse...” the Major said. He'd hoped that maybe, the American pilot would have seen the fireballs going up and aborted the run. But Sweaty's F-4 came in and released, and its bombs fell within the blazing fuel dump, and more fireballs erupted as fuel drums and tanks went up. The Major glanced at the Political Officer, who was, for once, now speechless as the sight of American aircraft-and the now audible cheering from the local population, put paid to the Party line of the “Socialist Air Forces controlling the skies of Texas.” Careful not to show his slight grin, he watched as another Phantom came in.

“SHACK!” Preacher yelled in Sweaty's back seat. “We have secondaries!”

“What kind?” Sweaty wanted to know as she kept jinking. “Righteous ones?”

“Good enough for the man upstairs,” the ex-Seminary student turned weapon-systems officer replied. Wonder what Reverend Fisher back at the Seminary would think of that, Preacher thought.

“Good enough for him, good enough for me,” said Sweaty as she stopped jinking and turned west for Proctor Lake.

“Four's in!” Hoser called as he came down on the truck park. He noticed that the flak from the fuel dump had stopped, but the gunners at the truck park-and some from the town, were still shooting. Ignoring the tracers, as well as an SA-7 that flew above his aircraft, Hoser concentrated on his bomb run. He picked out several trucks in the park, and lined them up in his pipper. They grew larger as he came in on the run. “And....Steady....Steady.....NOW!” Hoser hit his pickle button, sending his dozen Snakeyes down onto the trucks below. He pulled up and away, and as he did, he was jinking to avoid flak. “Four is off safe,” Hoser called.

“Damnt!” The East German Major yelled as Hoser's F-4 made its run. He watched as the bombs came off the aircraft, and landed in the truck park. As the bombs went off, he saw several trucks tossed aside like leaves, or take direct hits and become rubbish blowing in the wind. Two or three fireballs of exploding fuel trucks added to the carnage, he noticed. After the last F-4 flew away, the anti-aircraft gunners kept shooting, much to the Major's disgust. He ordered his deputy to send runners to the guns with orders to stop. And he-and the others on the roof-heard the cheers and applause of the locals. Shaking his head, and knowing that this might not be the last, he began issuing orders. Time to get this place back in order.

“GOOD HITS!” KT hollered from the back seat. “Got some secondaries!”

“Good ones?” Hoser asked as an SA-7 flew past on the left side.

“Good ones, and a couple of good fireballs,” she replied. “That good enough?”

Hoser said, “They'll be good.” He then headed west for Proctor Lake, and picked up his element lead, Sweaty, as he did so.

In 512, Guru heard the calls. “Four in and four out.”

“And we still have a game on,” Goalie said. “One minute to Proctor Lake.”

“Copy,” replied Guru. He took a look at the EW, and saw the strobe from that Red AWACS still there. He then called, “Two, you out there?”

“Right with you,” Kara replied.

Guru took a look to the right, and 520 was right with him in Combat Spread. “Got a visual. Sweaty, how about you?”

“Coming up, and Hoser's with me,” his second element lead called.

“Gotcha,” Guru said. “Warlock, Rambler Lead. Say threats?”

“Rambler Lead, Warlock. Threat bearing Two-four-zero for forty. Medium, going away. Second threat bearing One-eight-five for fifty-five. Medium, closing. Third threat bearing One-six-five for seventy. Medium, closing.”

“Roger, Warlock.” Guru said. He had leveled out at 500 feet AGL, and was doing 540 Knots. The Central Texas landscape of ranching country and rolling hills turned into prairie as the strike flight approached Proctor Lake. Then Guru looked at his EW display. Not only did the Mainstay radar still show, but another radar appeared at their Eleven O'Clock. “Got a radar at eleven.”

“That'll be Brownwood Regional,” Goalie said. That meant Brownwood Regional Airport, and the two MiG regiments based there.

“Hope they're not paying attention,” Guru said as the lake appeared dead ahead. And so did the flak as the 23-mm and 57-mm guns defending the dam opened up. “Lake at twelve, and flak.”

“Got it, Lead,” replied Kara. “No bandits.”

“Not now,” Guru said as he turned north, roughly parallel to State Route 16, and blowing past the town of DeLeon, and the Soviets from the 32nd Army who were there. The appearance of the F-4s had been a surprise, for none of the air-defense assets reacted to their presence.

Goalie did some quick calculations. “One minute thirty to the fence,” she called. That meant the FLOT, and in this part of Texas, that also meant I-20.

“Roger that.”

“Rambler, Warlock. Threat bearing One-eight-five for forty. Medium, closing,” the AWACS controller warned. “Bandits are Fishbeds.”

“Copy, Warlock.” Guru then asked, “Red or black?” Red bandits were Soviets. Black, East Germans. Blue meant Cubans, while Green meant Libyans.

“Rambler, Warlock. Fishbeds are black,” the controller said. That meant East German MiG-21s.

Guru thought for a moment. So far, the EW still showed the Search radars-the Mainstay and the ground radar at Brownwood. No air-to-air radars yet, and the Jay Bird radar in the MiG-21 had no look-down/shoot-down mode.
“Roger, Warlock,” said Guru.

“Forty-five seconds to the fence,” Goalie advised.

“Lead, we going to give these guys a fight?” Kara asked. Ever aggressive, she was looking for a brawl.

“Only if they jump us,” Guru said.

“Rambler, Warlock. Bandits have turned. Now One-eight-zero for forty. Medium, going away.”

In 520, Kara muttered a few curses. Nine kills to her credit, and she wanted to be the first female double ace in the 335th, if not Tenth Air Force. But the day wasn't over just yet.

“Roger, Warlock,” Guru replied.

“Fence ahead,” Goalie said. The twin ribbons of I-20 appeared up ahead.

“Got it.” Just as the flight crossed the interstate, both the ground radar at Brownwood and the Mainstay radar went off the EW display, and the SEARCH warning light went off. “And we're clear of the fence,” Guru said, breathing a sigh of relief.

“Time to take a drink, then go home,” said Goalie. That meant the post-strike refueling, then back to Sheppard.

“It is that.”

Rambler Flight then headed for the tanker track, and they drank some fuel from KC-10s this time. Then the flight headed back to Sheppard.

When they got there, the flight was second in the landing pattern, with a Marine Hornet flight ahead of them, and behind was the westbound C-141. After landing, they taxied towards their squadron dispersal, and this time, as was now usual, the news crew was filming. “They're back,” Guru noted.

“They'll be busy when General Yeager and those young pups leave,” Goalie reminded him.

“No doubt. Hell of a way to initiate a new PAO,” Guru thought out loud. “Well, she needs to get her feet wet.”

“That she does,” Goalie agreed.

The flight taxied to the dispersal area, and taxied into their revetments. Guru taxied 512 into its revetment, and followed his Crew Chief's signals. After parking, and popping the canopies, the ground crew brought out the chocks, then the CC gave the “Shut down” signal.

After shutting down, both pilot and GIB went through the post-flight check, while the ground crew brought the crew ladder. Once down from the aircraft, Guru and Goalie took off their helmets, then they did a quick post-flight walk-around. Then Sergeant Crowley, the Crew Chief, came over with a bottle of water for each. “Sir, Ma'am, how'd it go?”

“Made a fuel dump go away,” Guru said after he took a long drink.

“Away as in sky-high,” Goalie added. She, too, took a long swig of water.

Crowley smiled. “Major, Lieutenant? Good for them,” he said. “How's the bird?”

“Five-twelve's working like a champ, Sergeant,” Guru said. “Get some chow, then get her ready for the next one.”

“Yes, sir,!” Crowley said. “All right people!” He said to the ground crew. “Finish up the post-flight, chow down, then we get the CO's bird ready for another one.”

Nodding, Guru and Goalie headed for the revetment's entrance. “I'll see about cutting those orders for his R&R today,” Guru said.

“When's the last time he went?” Goalie asked. “Don't think he's missed a day in a while.”

“I'll check when I'm taking care of his R&R orders.”

When they got to the entrance, Guru and Goalie found Kara and Brainiac waiting. “How'd it go with you two?” Kara asked. “That truck park's now a junkyard.”

“Torched a lot of gas,” Guru replied.

“We saw your run,” Brainiac said. “Lots of fireballs there.”

Sweaty and Preacher, along with Hoser and KT, came up. “And there were some you guys had,” she said. “Fuel dump? More like inferno now.”

“That it is,” Hoser added. “What about those MiGs?”

“Mainstay and the ground radar didn't pick us up,” Guru said. “No contact, so they didn't try and give us a fight.”

“Too bad,” Kara grumbled.

Sweaty shook her head. “So what happened?”

“My guess, they couldn't get us on the Mainstay or ground radar, and they couldn't get a visual, either. So no joy on their part,” Hoser said. He'd been near the top of his class at the RTU, and Guru, along with some others in the squadron, felt he had the makings of a potential Aggressor pilot-if he lived through the war.

“We can take a MiG-21 down low,” Goalie said. “But up high, it's their game.”

“It is that,” Kara agreed. “So, now what, Boss?”

Guru nodded. “We debrief, then you all need to check your desks. Then we can give Yeager's people a proper sendoff. After that? Eat, and get ready to do this all over again.”

“Too bad those F-20 clowns are leaving today,” Hoser growled. “Got some unfinished business with those guys.”

“Same here,” Sweaty added. She and Preacher had been “Killed” in the DACT, and by General Yeager, no less.

Kara nodded, as did Brainiac. “Glad to know I'm not the only one thinking that.”

“Save it until after the war, people,” Guru said firmly. “I know, we've all got unfinished business with those guys. We'll take care of it after the war.”

“If we all live that long,” KT reminded everyone.

Heads nodded at that little detail. “Something to keep in mind,” the CO said. “Come on: the sooner we debrief, the sooner we can see those clowns out of here.”
Treat everyone you meet with kindness and respect, but always have a plan to kill them.

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Old 02-19-2018, 09:54 PM
Matt Wiser Matt Wiser is offline
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Yeager's people leave:

335th TFS, Sheppard AFB, TX; 1115 Hours Central War Time:

Major Matt Wiser sat at his desk, clearing some paperwork that had come in while he was out on the previous mission. At least none of this crap's really important, he thought, but the activities of the species known as bureaucrats meant that, to them, everything was important. Once he was finished with the bureaucratic nonsense, he went to his filing cabinet and took out a form. As he filled it out, there was a knock at his office door. “Yeah? Show yourself and come on in!”

His backseater and girlfriend, 1st Lieutenant Lisa “Goalie” Eichhorn, came in, two plastic bags in one hand, and a carrier for drinks in the other. “The CO ready for lunch?” She grinned.

“Let me finish this first,” the CO nodded. “Setting up Sergeant Crowley's R&R.” Staff Sergeant Mike Crowley was their Crew Chief, and the Major wanted to reward Crowley by bumping him up in the R&R rotation if possible. Guru-the CO's call sign-had found out that Crowley was due in a few weeks anyway, so....”He goes over Christmas.”

“Christmas with family...” Goalie said wistfully. “He'll be one lucky stiff.”

Guru agreed with that. “That he will. Two weeks at home with family, enjoy yourself, and oh, Sergeant, that's an order.”

His girlfriend nodded. “Ordering someone to have fun? First time for that.”

“It is,” the CO said. “What's for lunch?”

“Real burgers, not bison or turkey, but real beef,” Goalie said. “Probably from Australia.”

“That's essential wartime aid,” Guru joked. “Not Foster's. Before we eat, any word on the F-20 guys?”

Goalie nodded. “They're eating now. Then they'll be on their way. And before you ask, I did see Pruitt taking a couple of those suggestion of tri-tip sandwiches.”

The CO shook his head in disbelief. “Said it before, but is he crazy? He must have a cast-iron stomach.”

“He must want to satisfy the Cruel and Unusual Nourishment people,” Goalie joked.

“Guess so. Let's eat.”

After they ate, both pilot and GIB headed outside. There, IDF Major Dave Golen and his flight were sitting on the lawn, having their own lunches. “Dave,” Guru said. “How's it going so far?”

“Paid some Libyans a visit,” Golen replied. “There was a brigade assembly area. We disassembled some of their armor.”

“Via Mark-82 and Rockeye,” Goalie commented.

The IDF pilot nodded. “That it was.”

“How are your temps shaking out?” Guru asked. He was referring to the third crew, who were Major Frank Carson's wing crew, but since Carson was grounded for a couple of days, they were flying with Golen and his wingmate, 1st Lt. Sandi “Flossy” Jenkins.

“So far, so good,” Golen said, and Flossy nodded agreement, as did their GIBs. “If anything happens to Frank, they can come back and fly with us.”

“Be glad to, Major,” Capt. Sean Hennings, who was the pilot, said. “Beats flying with Frank,”

“Same here,” 1st Lt. Melissa Brewster, the GIB, said.

“All right,” Guru said. “You all be careful. Don't need any letter-writing today.”

“Will do, Guru,” Golen said.

Then the CO's wingmate came over. Capt. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace was the Assistant Ops Officer, and had the job when the Ops Officer, Capt. Don Van Loan, was out on a mission. Like now. “Boss, Goalie? Yeager's people are getting ready to leave.”

“Now?” Guru asked.

“They're getting set to do their preflights.”

“Then we'd best get over there. General Olds know?”

Kara nodded. “Told him first thing.”

“Well,” the CO grinned. “If you want to see off the F-20s, best get over there. Unless you have grudges, of course.”

“Who, me?” Kara asked with mock innocence. “Just wish I was seeing those punks off with a good kick in the ass.” Everybody knew she was still angry about how the DACT had gone, and being “killed” by General Yeager in that little fracas.

“You're not the only one feeling that way,” Guru said.

“Somebody still needs to teach those young punks a lesson,” Goalie spat. She had been in Kara's back seat when “Killed” by Yeager. “And if we can't, then I know folks who can.”

“Aggressors?” Kara asked.

“You got it.”

When Guru, Goalie, and Kara got there, most of the 335th people who weren't on strikes were there, along with a number of MAG-11's Marines and a few Navy from VA-135. Guru found General Yeager talking with General Olds, Colonel Brady, and two of the Marines' squadron commanders. “Major,” General Olds said. “Here to see Yeager's people off?”

“General,” Guru said, sketching a salute. “You could say that, sir.” He turned to General Yeager. “Sir, it's been an honor and a pleasure to meet you, and to fly with you. Though nothing was really settled on that hop.”

“No, Major, I don't think so,” Yeager agreed. He shot a glance at Clancy's aircraft, where Clancy and Kara were already arguing. “Those two, especially. They've got some unfinished business.”

“They'll meet again,” Olds predicted. “Somebody's going to be an Aggressor, and the other will be visiting Nellis. Sparks will fly-and maybe fists as well.”

Colonel Brady nodded. “I'll have to agree with that, sir. And I'm just glad no fists flew here. Somebody made a remark about the F-20 being the greatest since the P-51, and at some F-15 or F-16 base, those might be fighting words.”

“I'll take that under serious advisement,” Yeager said. “Major? Thanks again for the DACT. You guys gave us a good run.”

“Likewise, sir,” Guru replied. “Those of us still alive after the war? We'll be up for a rematch.”

“Take you up on that,” Yeager grinned. “It was good to have Robin up on that one.”

General Olds had a grin on his face himself. “Wouldn't have missed it for the world, Chuck.” He turned to Guru. “Major? Any word back from the Chief of Staff on either the Yak kill or the DACT?”

“No, sir,” replied Guru. “Not yet, and I'm wondering if that shoe will drop.”

“It will,” Olds said. “I know Sundown, and he'll probably be advising General Dugan on a course of action. Though when he comes around, hopefully he'll be kicking someone else off base.”

“That snotty Major?” Yeager asked.

Guru nodded. “The same.”

“Couldn't happen to a nicer asshole.”

Over by his F-20, Clancy was talking with Kara and a couple of others. “You're good,” she said. “But way too overconfident.”

“Thanks,” Clancy grinned. “Even though you did 'kill' me. And you guys were just as cocky.”

“We'll settle this,” Kara declared. “Nellis. Sometime after the war.”

“If you two live that long,” Hoser said. He'd listened to the exchange. Though he, too, had a score to settle with these punks.

Both antagonists shrugged. “Well, we'll have to see,” Clancy said.

“That we will,” Kara nodded. A chance to show this punk-again-who was superior, though it was likely she'd be the one in the F-15E trying to nail this guy in his F-5 or F-20. If the AF decided to use them as Aggressors, she thought.

“Leave it, Matt,” Pruitt said as he went to his bird. “Last thing we need is a grudge with these guys. Still got the Russians to worry about.”

“We said, 'after the war'.” Clancy shot back.

“That we did,” Kara added. For once, she agreed with Clancy-and that was probably the only thing they ever would agree on.

“Major?” Prada said as she came to shake Guru's hand. “Thanks. For letting me know about Daria.” Her sister had been confirmed as a POW in Cuba, and Guru had been the one to tell her-along with General Yeager.

“You're welcome, and be glad you're taking that IP job,” Guru said. “One less thing for your parents to worry about.”

“Don't worry about missing out,” General Olds added. He reminded her, “You're not missing a damned thing. And when you do come back? We'll be on the Rio Grande, and still have plenty of work to do.”

“That we will,” General Yeager agreed.

“I know, sir,” Prada nodded. “Doesn't change the way I feel, though.”

“Understood,” Yeager replied. “Take my advice: it's for the best.”

Prada smiled. “It is, sir.”

A captain from the Air Base Group came over and said a few words to Colonel Brady. Brady nodded, then said, “General, both C-130s are loaded up and ready to go.”

“Thanks, Colonel. It's been fun, but time to move on. Time to drop in on the ROKs,” Yeager said. “Robin,” he said to General Olds. “I'll check back at Nellis before we go back to Edwards.”

“I'll brief General Tanner on how this little fracas went,” Olds said, shaking Yeager's hand.

“Colonel?” Yeager said to Colonel Brady. “It's been a pleasure being here.”

“And an honor to have you here, sir,” Brady replied, shaking Yeager's hand.

The General nodded, said a few words to the Marines, then came to Guru. “Major? Glad to have flown with you and your people.”

“Thank you, sir,” Guru replied. “And sir? It's been an honor and a privilege to have met you, and flown with you. Even if it didn't work out the way both parties wanted.”

Yeager laughed, and nodded in reply. “Well, Major. You're doing a good job, and good luck. Not just with the bad guys, but the RAF when they get here.”

“Thank you, sir.”

Then Yeager rounded up his people, as the two C-130s taxied for takeoff. People backed well away as the three F-20Cs and one D started engines. And it was strange to see one with eleven and a half German Crosses and one Red Star on the side lead the F-20s to the runway. Then all four taxied for takeoff, and it wasn't long before they rumbled down the runway and into the air.

“Well, folks, show's over,” General Olds noted. “If you don't have a mission yet, you'll have one shortly.”

“You heard him,” Colonel Brady said. “Back to work, people!”

As the crowd broke up, Guru found his Ops Officer. “Don, glad to see those people go?”

“Be glad to be back to normal,” Van Loan said. “For twenty-four hours, then the RAF gets here.”

Guru sighed. What was it about this base that got this kind of attention? Oh, well. “Got a mission for us?”

“Birds should be ready. Mission briefing packet's ready for you, and several others.”

The CO nodded. “Okay.” He looked around for someone from his flight, then saw one. “KT!”

“You asked, Boss?” She replied.

“Round up the rest of the flight. Briefing room in fifteen.”

“On my way, boss,” Hoser's GIB said.

Goalie then came up to Guru. “We've got a mission?”

“That we do. Once more unto the breach,” Guru said.

“Henry V”, Van Loan said.

“Yep. Just as long as we don't do that 'close the walls up with our dead', crap,” Guru said. “Time to get back in the game, people.” The day was still only half over, and there were missions to fly.
Treat everyone you meet with kindness and respect, but always have a plan to kill them.

Old USMC Adage
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:49 PM
Matt Wiser Matt Wiser is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
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And this particular story arc is finished....and note the honor give to the squadron's mascot...

335th TFS Offices, Sheppard AFB, TX: 1650 Hours Central War Time:

Major Matt Wiser was at his desk, clearing out some paperwork before going to the Officer's Club. It had been a busy day, with four missions, and seeing off General Yeager and his F-20 demo flight, and to top matters, a 335th bird had come back with some significant battle damage. The CO was glad that he wouldn't have to write any letters, but still....the squadron had been lucky, as it had been over two weeks since they had lost anyone. Though, as the Major knew, that kind of luck wouldn't last forever, and they would lose more people and airplanes.

Guru put the last of the papers into his OUT bin, opened one of his desk drawers, and pulled out the J.C. Penny's Christmas Catalog. Since it was highly unlikely that he'd be able to hit the local shopping malls....then he heard a knock on the door. “It's open! Show yourself and come on in!”

His Exec, Capt. Mark Ellis, came in, clipboard in hand. “Boss,” he nodded. “Got a few things for you before knocking off.” The XO saw the catalog on the CO's desk. “Doing your Christmas shopping?”

“Yeah, since we don't exactly have an intact shopping mall. Get something for Mom, my grandparents...”

“And Goalie.”

The CO nodded.“Okay, Mark. What have you got?”

“First, aircraft status report for MAG-11. We'll have twenty definite for the morning, and maybe twenty-one, assuming Kerry and Pat's bird is cleared after the check flight,” the XO reported.

“Good. They're flying one of the new ones from Japan, right?”

“They are,” Ellis said.

Guru nodded. “Okay, they get their bird back, and that new one goes to Dave Golen. He and Terry brought their bird back and their crew chief wasn't too happy about it.”

There was a grimace from the XO. Their IDF “Observer” had brought a damaged aircraft back-with a neat 57-mm hole in the right stabilizer, and a dud SA-7 missile in one of the right engine's afterburner feathers. “They do like their birds returned in the same shape it left in,” Ellis reminded his CO.

“Doesn't always happen, and they know it,” Guru said. “All day job for the repair?”

“Kev O'Donnell says it will be,” replied Ellis. “The engine change takes an hour or so. The elevator replacement is the big one.”

“And that leaves us with exactly one spare,” Guru noted. “Tell Ross to find a couple of sets.”

“Will do, but he's not in the habit of making promises he can't keep,” The Exec said. “Which he's told you before.”

“He has,” Guru recalled. “Okay, just tell him to do his best. What else?”

“One other thing about that bird,” said Ellis. “If Terry had to eject?” First Lieutenant Terry McAuliffe was the GIB for Golen in that crew. “The seat wouldn't have fired. They'll pull the seat and check it out.”

Guru winced at that. If the crew in question had to bail out, only Golen's seat would have fired, and McAuliffe would've gone in with the plane. “Not good....” the CO observed.

“No,” Ellis agreed. “Supply requesitions,” he went on as the CO went through the rest of the forms. “And Chief Ross found some more laser bomb kits.”

“How many?”

“Three dozen.”

Guru thought for a minute. “Okay. We're likely to do some more of those UNODIR strikes, and I'd like to know who in the Tenth Air Force ATO shop is sending us after point targets with the wrong ordnance. That 'Liberation Radio' we hit yesterday got the ordnance it deserved, not what the ATO called for.”

Ellis nodded. “General Olds going to do some digging at Nellis when he gets back?”

“That, and maybe kick some asses into gear,” Guru smiled. “What else?”

“We're making Buddy an honorary O-3 tonight. Got some kind of doggie coat for him to wear with squadron and wing patch, rank insignia, and so on,” the XO said, referring to the squadron's mascot.

Guru nodded. “That's going to perk up morale around here, though things are pretty good at the moment.”

“And he'll be upholding Roscoe's tradition,” said Ellis. He was referring to the legendary Roscoe, the mascot of the 388th TFW at Korat, Thailand, during the long war in Southeast Asia.

“That he will,” Guru said. “That it?”

“It is for now,” Ellis said.

The CO stood up and grabbed his bush hat. “Good. Now we can hit the Club.”

Guru and the XO went over to the Officer's Club tent, and found it already busy. The two found Dave Golen and Terry McAuliffe-Golen's GIB, already at the bar, working on bottles of beer. “Smitty?” Guru asked the barkeep. How many have they had so far?”

“Working on their first,” the barkeep replied. He'd seen it before in the short time he'd been working on the base. Though he'd been a longtime barkeep in Wichita Falls prewar, and had had military personnel from Sheppard among his customers, this was still new: some of his customers might not come back, and others would have close shaves with death. And he had a grudge with the Soviets and their Cuban lackeys-for one of the blocks they'd used as a strongpoint prior to the city's liberation had included his old bar, and that block was now a heap of rubble. If he'd been twenty years younger....he'd be going down to one of the improvised recruiting offices and signing his name on an enlistment form. Now, though, if he couldn't put on a uniform, helping those who did was the next best thing. “They just got here.”

“Dave,” Guru said. “How's it going?”

“Closest call I've had in three wars,” Golen said. “Yom Kippur War, had an SA-3 go off a hundred meters behind me-about three hundred and fifty feet-and had a lot of shrapnel in the tail. Got the plane back, but today...”

“You were down in the Libyan sector, right?”

Golen nodded. “Right behind the Nicaraguans.”

“And if they'd been shooting fuzed for contact or proximity, instead of timer...” Ellis said, his voice dropping off.

“You would've gone skydiving, and Terry would've gone in with the airplane,” Guru finished. “Not a happy thought.”

“No,” Golen said.

Terry McAuliffe looked up from his beer. “Major, they find out what happened with the seat?”

“No, but Kev O'Donnell's guys will find out. It'll be an all-nighter, and probably most of the day tomorrow. So you two get the bird from Japan that Kerry and Pat flew. They get their regular mount back, and you two get that one.”

“That's good,” Golen said. “And finding that SA-7 in the afterburner feathers was a bonus. Thank God for shoddy workmanship somewhere.”

“Been there, done that,” Guru replied. “Had that happen back in March,” the CO said, recalling a close call he'd had himself. “All right, you two. Get as drunk as you can before twelve-hour. I want you two up and ready, 0600 tomorrow morning.”

Golen and McAuliffe looked at each other and nodded. “Guru, that's an order we'll be glad to obey,” Golen said.

“Gladly, Major,” McAuliffe added.

“Good,” the CO said. “Smitty? A Bud for me and the Exec.”

The barkeep produced two cold bottles. “Here you go, Major,” Smitty said. “And I should be getting some Sam Adams tomorrow.”

“Thanks, Smitty,” Guru said. “Mark, our special guest?”

“Be here after dinner,” Ellis said.

“All right,” Guru nodded as General Olds and Colonel Brady came in. “General, Colonel,”

“Major,” Olds said, taking a glance at the bar. “I see Major Golen's busy trying to forget he almost got himself killed today.”

“General, been there, done that,” Guru said, and Ellis nodded.

“Same here, General,” Colonel Brady said. “Took small-arms fire doing CAS at Con Thien a couple of times. Before taking that one big hit, then five years in Hanoi.”

General Olds nodded, then noticed both all-female crews in the 335th coming in-Flossy and Jang, and Cosmo and Revlon. With Jana Wendt and her news crew right behind them, and both Kodak Griffith and the new PAO for the 335th, Lieutenant Patti Brown tailing the news crew. “Looks like the media guests are focusing on the, well, 'unmanned' crews, for want of a better term.”

“First two in the squadron, General,” Guru replied. “For all I know, they're the first two in the whole Air Force.”

“And thus the newsies are going after them,” Olds said. He'd had his own run-ins with the news media during his tour in SEA, and at least, those had been all right, before the media, in his opinion, soured on the military.

“That they are, sir,” said Guru.

“I see...well, Major, I believe there's some kind of ceremony for this evening?”

“About fifteen minutes before twelve-hour, sir,” Guru replied.

“More call signs?” Colonel Brady asked. Those never got old, from his viewpoint.

“No, not that, sir,” Ellis said. “But we think you'll like it, regardless.”

General Olds knew what they were talking about, but kept it to himself. “Colonel, consider it an Air Force surprise.”

“In that case, I'm curious,” Brady said. “As for us Marines? We'll be waiting.”

Just then, both all-female crews came in, followed by Jana Wendt and her news crew. Right behind them were both Kodak Griffith and Lieutenant Patti Brown. Kodak would be going back to the Marines, and hopefully, back to the cockpit, while Brown was the new PAO for the 335th, and was learning the ropes from Kodak, who was in a tempoary PAO billet while he healed up from an ejection-related leg injury. “Looks like the newsies are getting along with our all-female crews,” Guru noted.

“She doing a piece on the crews who flew on Day One?” Ellis asked.

“She is, and that includes you, me, Don, and seven others,” the CO reminded his Exec.

The Exec nodded, and before he went to the table where his flight was already gathering, said, “ We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.”

“That we are.”

Guru went to the table where his flight usually took, and found his people there for the most part. But two were missing. “Where's Goalie and Kara?”

“They went for their cameras,” Brainiac said. “Given what's on the agenda tonight.”

Right then, both Goalie and Kara came in with their respective cameras. “Wouldn't miss this for the world,” Kara said.

“Not every day you give out something like this,” Goalie added. They set down their cameras, then went to the bar and got their drinks. When they got back, she said, “Dave's trying to forget about nearly getting killed today.”

“You're not the first to make that comment,” Guru replied. “You two ready?”

“All set, Boss,” Kara nodded.


“Got some newspapers,” KT said as she came in with Hoser. “LA Times for the CO, Orange County Register for Goalie, and who wants the SF Chronicle, USA Today, Stars and Stripes, and our old friends from the Arizona Republic?”

People got what they wanted, and read while waiting on the mess people to bring dinner. Guru was reading the L.A. Times when their RAF liaison officer came in. “Jack, any word on when your people get here?”

“Sometime between noon and thirteen hundred,” Flight Lt. Steve “Jack” Lord said. “And you might be interested in what I heard on the BBC. Seems the President of Costa Rica-some chap named Arias-offered to mediate an end to the war.”

“Any response?” General Olds asked.

“No, sir, other than what your Secretary of State said. 'What's to mediate?'” Lord replied.

“That's pretty much it,” Kara noted. “We're not stopping until the Rio Grande at least, if not Mexico City.”

“No arguing that,” Goalie said. “OCR says Willy Brandt-he's the former West German Chancellor-urged, and I quote, 'the current government to dissolve and to call for new elections, before certain forces in the country take action themselves.'” She looked up from the paper. “He's telling them, 'quit, or there'll be a coup.'”

“Holy...” Guru said. “Where'd he say this?”

“On ZDF TV, the article says. He did an interview for 'em.”

Colonel Brady heard that, and turned to his own intelligence officer, a light colonel. “Colonel? When's the coup coming there?”

The Marine light colonel thought for a couple of moments. “Two weeks, maybe three,” he said.

“Can't come soon enough,” several people said.

“Teach those commie-lovers a lesson,” Sweaty added.

Guru nodded, then his jaw dropped. “Page three, L.A. Times. A brief press release from the Air Force.” He handed the paper to Goalie. “General Yeager's Yak kill.”

“It made the papers?” Jana Wendt said. “I thought there was a blackout!”

“If the Air Force issues the release,” Patti Brown said, “That might be their way of saying it's lifted. Haven't heard anything yet.”

“And you'd be the first to know,” said Ms. Wendt.

“We would,” Kodak Griffith nodded.

General Olds spoke up. “I'll call General Tanner first thing in the morning. See if they've heard anything on his end.”

“Thank you, General,” Ms. Wendt replied.

Then the restauanteurs came in with dinner. Everyone was glad they were running the Mess operation instead of the usual Marines, and the quality of the food showed that. “Folks, we've got barbequed pork, with chili and cornbread, or grilled chicken breasts, with all the fixin's. Come and get it.”

After people got their dinners, they ate, and then the CBS Evening News came on AFN. “Good evening from Los Angeles,” Walter Cronkite began. “Today, an offer from the President of Costa Rica, leading a delegation from several Non-Aligned nations to mediate an end to the war, was dismissed by not only President Bush, but Prime Minster Mulroney of Canada and Britain's Prime Minister Thatcher, but also by the Soviets. Our White House Correspondent, Leslie Stahl, has a report.”

“The offer is a serious one, White House sources say, and though it did not go into much detail, the Allies found the offer unacceptable. Secretary of State James Baker, coming out of a meeting with the President and his National Security team, had this to say:” Secretary Baker's image came on the camera, and he was responding to several reporters' shouted questions as he left the hotel that was serving as the temporary White House. 'What's to mediate? Pull out of occupied territories, release of all prisoners, and pay reparations. That should be simple enough for Mr. Arias to relay.' Administration sources say that President Bush has spoken by phone with Mr. Arias, as have the other Allied leaders, and reiterated those conditions. So far, Mr. Arias has not responded, other than he hopes to visit the Allied-as well as what he referred to as the 'Soviet-bloc' capitals in the near future. While the White House says Mr. Arias will be warmly received, his proposals will not. Leslie Stahl, CBS News, at the temporary White House.”

“Good luck,” Don Van Loan muttered. “Nobody's in any kind of mood to mediate.”

“I'll go along with that,” Mark Ellis added. “This guy trying to earn a Nobel Prize or something?”

“Look at it from his point of view,” Colonel Brady said. “He's got the bad guys to the north of him in Nicaragua, and we've got a pretty sizable garrison still in Panama to protect the Canal.”

“So he thinks he's caught between both sides, and wants to stay neutral no matter what,” General Olds observed.

Brady nodded. “Something like that, sir,”

Then came a report on several towns in West Texas that were slowly getting back to normal, towns like Snyder Post, Lamesa. Schools reopening, stores open, damage being repaired, and to Texans, high-school football getting going again-something that had been banned by the occupiers, and so on. The locals were very grateful to their liberators, and though U.S. Army Military Police and Engineers were busy, the patrols through the towns were being run either by the ROK Expeditionary Force or the Taiwanese 1st Mechanized Division. The report wrapped outside a small cemetery near Snyder, where a dozen Taiwanese soldiers killed in the liberation of the town had been laid to rest. An ROC flag flew overhead, and local citizens came to pay their respects.

“Tells you who your friends are,” Guru said.

“It does, Major,” General Olds said. “Keep in mind that there were West Germans, Dutch, Belgians, and others serving exchange tours here when the balloon went up. They were ordered home, and all of them disobeyed.”

“Doesn't change the way a lot of folks feel,” Kara added.

“No, it doesn't, Captain,” said the General. “When this is all over, sorting things out is going to take a while.”

Then came reports from a carrier in the Sixth Fleet, flying strikes into Libya to remind Qaddafi he'd picked the wrong side, and from London, where a Labour politcian was raising a stink about both the American strikes on two Soviet command bunkers and the British firing a Polaris missile at Argentina's main naval base to prevent a second Falklands invasion. “This Corbyn fella better shut up,” Sweaty commented. “Or they'll haul his ass into the slammer.”

“Reminds me of what they said about Ramsey Clark,” Guru said. “Going to North Vietnam in '72, Iran in '80, hell, he even defended a Nazi Concentration Camp guard, saying that after forty years, it was time to move on.”

“You're kidding,” Goalie said. She then saw her pilot's expression. “You're not.”

“Nope,” Guru said. “He and Jane Fonda should've been in the dock for going to North Vietnam in '72,” the CO spat.

Dave Golen asked, “That bad?”

Colonel Brady, who'd been in Hanoi at the time, said, “They weren't torturing then, they stopped in September '69. But ther were a few who were collaborating to save their own skins-and they met with those, and several others who were coerced-say, a guy who needs a new cast for his broken arm, and the NVA tell him, 'See Mr. Clark or Ms. Fonda, and we'll change your cast.' You'd be surprised how effective that can be.”

After several more reports, including another Charles Kuralt feature, this time from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, where the war at sea was just over the horizon, but was ever-present. For wreckage and bodies often washed ashore, and those who had died at sea were given a respectful burial by either the Coast Guardsmen who manned the station, or by the Outer Banks citizenry. Several British sailors who had been killed when their armed trawler had been sunk by a U-Boat were buried there, and recently, several more whose frigate had been sunk by a Soviet sub off the Cape, had joined them, their graves tended by the local residents.

“And that's the way it is, from all of us at CBS News, Good Night,” Cronkite signed off.

AFN then went to a rerun of a Chicago Bears-Green Bay Packers game from 1981, as Kara got up to go to the Pool Table. “Time to hold court.”

“Still angry Yeager beat you?” Sweaty laughed.

“You're damned right I am!” Kara shot back. “One more score to settle with those guys when this is all over.”

“Kara, he's been doing it since before you were born, hell, your parents were in high school when he started,” Guru reminded her.

“Doesn't change the way I feel, Boss,” she said, then went to the bar, got a beer, then headed to the Pool Table.

General Olds grinned, then said, “My last night here, so it's only fair she gets another crack at me.” He went to the pool table, and both combatants laid down their money. This time, it was Kara's skills that proved superior, and General Olds paid the $50.00. Unlike many who'd lost to Kara, he didn't come back in a fit of the sulks. “She's good.”

“As good as the guys at Udorn back in the day, sir?” Guru asked.

“A couple guys were better than that,” General Olds noted as he got himself a glass of club soda. “Sundown Cunningham for one.”

Heads turned and jaws dropped at that. “You mean, sir, General Cunningham ruled the Pool Table at Udorn?”

“He did,” Olds said matter of factly. “Wouldn't mind finding out who's better, him, or Captain Thrace.”

Around the 335th's tables, there was silence for a moment. “Uh, if he comes,” Ellis said. “What happens if she wins?”

“Good question, Mark,” Guru said. A feeling of dread came over him all of a sudden. “It's Frank we want packing for colder climes...”

“He's not that type,” Olds reassured him. “If he loses, he smiles, nods, pays what's owed, then beats the next three who play him to show it wasn't a fluke.”

Guru and Kara looked at each other, and then Kara said, “General, we'll have to find out, won't we?” She had an evil-looking grin on her face....

Guru shook his head. “I was afraid of that.”

The clock kept turning, and soon, it was 1840, twenty minutes to Twelve-hour. “Major, that ceremony you want to have?” General Olds said.

Guru nodded. “Yes, sir.” He turned to his Exec. “Mark?”

“I'll get him. Chief Ross should be outside.” He left, then came back and gave a thumbs-up.

Ms. Wendt came up to the 335th CO. “Major, what's this about?”

“You might be interested in this. If so, your crew has three minutes to get their equipment,” said Guru.

Ms. Wendt went to her crew, and both Scott, her cameraman, and her sound man, ran out to get their equipment. When they returned, that was a signal to Goalie and Kara to get their own cameras set. When all was ready, General Olds rang the bar bell. “People! Won't be long until twelve-hour, but we've got time for a litle ceremony.” He turned to Guur. “I'll let Major Wiser of the 335th take over things from here. Major?”

Guru got up to the bar. “Thank you, General,” he said. “Now, this story is common knowledge in the Air Force, but for the benefit of our Marine and Navy brethren, our newbies, and our guests from the media,” He glanced in the direction of Ms.Wendt and her crew. “Back in 1966, a dog named Roscoe made the trip from Yokota in Japan to Korat in Thailand, riding with his master in an F-105. Two months after arriving in-country, Roscoe's master was shot down over North Vietnam and was MIA. The guys in the squadron took care of the dog, who was waiting for his master to return. They made him the squadron's mascot, and Roscoe became the mascot for the whole 388th Tactical Fighter Wing. Roscoe was made an honorary Colonel and had a Colonel's privilieges. Airmen were called to attention whenever Roscoe entered a room, he attended the wing commander's 0730 staff meeting, had a Club Card for the Officer's Club-there was a lot of hell raised over him going in, and the guys made sure nobody got in the dog's way. The base vet took care of him, the security guys were told not to shoot him-and when Roscoe got a Thai dog as a girlfriend, they were warned not to shoot her, too. Roscoe attended pre-strike briefings, and when he slept through the brief, it was usually an easy one. If he paid attention, it was a bear, and they lost people. And he had the wing commander's chair in the briefing room.” There were a few laughs at that, then Guru went on. “A few weeks prior to the 388th leaving Korat in '75, Roscoe died of a heart attack outside his favorite place, the Officer's Club. They gave him a military funeral with full honors, and laid him to rest right next to the Club. Before the wing left Korat, they erected a small plaque in his honor.

“Fast forward to today. When we were at Cannon, several of the guys were chasing nurses at the nearby MASH, and a nurse told them they had a mama Golden Lab and two puppies. The MASH was going to keep the mama dog and one pup, but needed a home for the other. So Don, Kerry, Hoser, Firefly? You guys brought the dog to me, and said 'We need a mascot.' Well, I said we needed to clear it with the CO, and we took Buddy to see Colonel Rivers. One look was all he needed to give the OK, and we've had Buddy ever since. Now, we need to properly honor Buddy, and give him his reward. XO, will you bring him in?”

Ellis nodded, and went to the entrance. Chief Ross came in, in full dress uniform, and had Buddy on a leash, with a dog coat similar to an officer's undress blues. They came to the bar, and at command, Buddy sat down. He seemed to know this was all for him.

“As of today, Buddy is now an honorary Captain in the Air Force, with all the privilieges of that rank. Chief? You and the other NCOs are taking good care of him, and just keep on doing what you're doing. When the 335th moves, he moves with us, and for certain, when this war is over, and it's time for people to go home and pick up their lives, someone's going to take Buddy home and give him a proper civilian life.” There was applause, then Guru said. “But from now on, he's one of us. He's one of the Chiefs of the 335th, and no one's going to either deny that, or take him away from us. IS THAT CLEAR?” Guru glared at Major Frank Carson, as if to say, just you try, and you'll be sorry.

“YES, SIR!” the 335th's officers said.

“All right! General, if you'll be so kind?” Guru asked General Olds.

“It's a pleasure, Major.” Olds said. Then both the General and the CO of the 335th pinned Captain's bars on the doggie jacket. Then after people got their drinks, there was a toast to the dog.

“Ten minutes to twelve-hour!” Doc Waters then called.

“Major,” Ms. Wendt said. “We're going to our truck. Won't take long to put a story together, and we'll send this to CBS first, then Sydney.”

“Thanks,” said Guru. “Whenever you want to start talking to Day One vets for your story, just say the word.”

The reporter grinned. “I'll take you up on that, and speaking of taking up, when am I getting my ride?”

“Hopefully in a few days,” Guru replied. “Unless you want to have an Early-Bird breakfast, then fly with Kerry Collins on his check ride?”

“With nothing to see at five-thirty in the morning?” Ms. Wendt asked. “No, thank you. I'll wait for you and the Wild Thing.”

“Fair enough,” Guru said. He nodded at Chief Ross. “Excuse me.” Guru went over to Ross. “Chief, you and the other senior NCOs keep taking good care of him. And find a MOPP suit if you can.”

“Sir, some outfit's making those for working dogs. Shouldn't be too hard to find one for Buddy.” Ross said. “Don't worry about him and the vet, sir. We're on it.”

“Good. Because someone will be taking him home when this is over, and Buddy deserves a nice civilian life.”

“We all do, sir, once we're in Mexico City,” said Ross.

“And we will,” Guru said. “Send somebody to pick him up after aircrew curfew at 2100.”

“Will do, sir.”

“And Chief? You have a good rest of the evening.”

“Thanks, sir.”

Colonel Brady came up to Guru after Ross left. “Major, nice little ceremony.”

“Thank you, sir,” Guru replied, just as Doc Waters rang the bell.

“Twelve-Hour now in effect!”

“Major,” Brady said. “Having a mascot around is a good morale booster. You just planted a few ideas in people's heads.”

Hearing that, Guru grinned. “Glad to set that kind of example, sir.”

“Good to hear. Now, General Olds and I are going to sit down with your Major Golen.” Brady said. “He's on his third war, I spent most of Vietnam in Hanoi, and well, we know General Olds. You have a good evening.”

Guru nodded. “Yes, sir.” He then went to his flight's table, and took a seat as Sweaty brought a plate of nachos. “Well, that's that.”

“It is,” Goalie said. “Now, what's our favorite snob going to do about it?” She shot a glance towards Frank Carson's table, where he was sitting with two ground officers from the Air Base Group.

“Hopefully, nothing,” Kara nodded.

Guru agreed. “Anything he sends the IG's Office is considered friviolous. So, any complaints get junked.” He then noticed Kara getting ready to go back to the Pool Table. “Kara? When those RAF guys arrive tomorrow? Let them get settled in that first night. Then you can fleece them.”

Kara had a grin on her face from ear to ear. “My pleasure. And after General Olds leaves tomorrow? My debt collections can pick up.”

“Try not to get into that with the RAF,” Guru advised.

“Their problem, Boss, if they ignore any advice.” She then went to the bar, got a glass of Seven-up, and went back to the pool table.

Seeing Guru wince, Sweaty said, “Boss, trying to avoid any, uh, 'international incidents'?”

“That is on my mind,” the CO said. “Remind me to warn the RAF about her.”

“Got you,” Goalie said. “And one other thing about our Brit cousins.”

“Oh?” Guru asked. It had been a long day.

“Remember: they speak Phantom, not Jaguar or Tornado. Which makes their fitting in a whole lot easier,” she said. And that, she knew, was a good thing.
“To be grateful for,” the CO agreed.

The evening went on until 2100, when Doc rang the bell again. “Aircrew curfew now in effect!” With that, those who were flying in the morning headed off to their respective units' officer country. For another day of combat beckoned. And the chance of becoming a statistic on the KIA, MIA, or POW lists was always there, every time they went wheels-up. Sleep was on the agenda, for it wouldn't be long until 0430 and aircrew wakeup.
Treat everyone you meet with kindness and respect, but always have a plan to kill them.

Old USMC Adage
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Old 02-20-2018, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt Wiser View Post
SA-10s were in Mexico during the war-and near the end, the Monterey area was a no-go for many tac air for that reason. SA-10s were also in Occupied Canada and Alaska, and were captured there after the Soviet surrender in the Northern Theater on 14 Oct 89.

SA-12 never made it over. One battalion was due to come over for a combat trial in Texas, but....the ship carrying the missiles arrived in Cuba, but the ship with the TELs and radar was sunk.
That would explain that!!

I think you could probably take out an SA-10/12 launcher through bating it into switching on its radar and revealing its location by having an aircraft fly into its kill zone, and then hitting it with a saturating attack of HARM missiles or other ordinance from aircraft loitering outside its radar coverage. Still it would be hairy all the same, and you would expect some casualties if you attacked a battery of them.
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Old 02-21-2018, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt Wiser View Post
“but Prime Minster Mulroney of Canada and Britain's Prime Minister Thatcher, but also by the Soviets. Our White House Correspondent, Leslie Stahl, has a report.”
You make me wonder what would happen politically in Canada.

Leading up to this war you have Pierre Elliott Trudeau as Prime Minster until 1984. While he firmly kept Canada in NATO he was a personal friend of Fidel Castro (When Trudeau died Feidel actually left Cuba to attend) Trudeau was the first world leader to meet John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono on their "tour for world peace". Trudeau most famous remark was "Just watch me" This was in response to CBC reporter Tim Ralfe who asked how far he would go in the suspension of civil liberties to maintain order during the October Crisis, Trudeau replied "Well, just watch me." Three days later, he invoked the War Measures Act.

John Turner was appointed(Not elected) Prime Minster when Trudeau retired after polls showed the Liberals faced certain defeat in the next election if he remained in office. While only in office from June to Sep 1984 he did oversea
a flurry of appointment such as senators, judges, and executives on various governmental and crown corporation boards. All of course loyal liberals.

Brian Mulroney comes to power in 1984 while he opposed us intervention in Nicaragua under Reagan he was close to administration. In march of 85 the two leaders had the "Shamrock Summit" where they sang when the two leaders sang "When Irish Eyes are Smiling."

I will stop the Canada history lesson now
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Old 02-26-2018, 08:48 PM
Matt Wiser Matt Wiser is offline
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Fellows, here's a fact file on the Des Moines class Heavy Cruisers and their war service: RDF Sourcebook users will recognize USS Salem (CA-139).

The Des Moines Class Heavy Cruisers in World War III

The Des Moines class were the last heavy cruisers built by any navy, were the only heavy cruisers in existence in 1985, and were the largest non-missile cruisers afloat. The class was originally planned as a 12-unit class, and only three were completed. The three units built were too late for World War II service, but saw extensive postwar service. Two were decommissioned in 1959-61, while the third unit was decommissioned in 1975 after extensive service in the Vietnam War. Two units were in Mobilization Category B, which meant available for reactivation within 180 days. The third unit had suffered an explosion in its No. 2 main turret in 1972, and had been stricken in 1978, but was retained in storage as a potential parts source for the other two in the event of their reactivation. A plan had been considered in 1981-2 to reactivate the two survivors as part of the initial defense buildup begun by the Reagan Administration, but had been turned down by Congress. However, once war began, orders were quickly issued to the Philadelphia Navy Yard to reactivate the two available ships.

U.S.S. Des Moines (CA-134): Laid down in 1945 and commissioned in 1948, she often served as a Fleet Flagship before being decommissioned in 1961. Placed in reserve at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, she was maintained as a mobilization asset available for reactivation within 180 days. The order to reactivate her was issued only three days after the outbreak of war in September, 1985. Recommissioned in April, 1986, the ship initially saw service escorting convoys from the Mediterranean to the East Coast, and in one famous incident, was covering Convoy AHN-30 (Alexandria/Haifa-Norfolk) when a Soviet convoy en route to Cuba was encountered, and escorts from both convoys engaged each other. The Soviet escorts were distracted by the American and British destroyers and frigates long enough for Des Moines to get into the Soviet convoy and sink five ships. She saw action supporting the Liberation of Iceland in 1987, and also supported the Kola Raid in company with her sister ship Salem, often getting in close to shore to engage Soviet defenses and formations at nearly point-blank range.

After the Kola Raid, Des Moines put into the Philadelphia Navy Yard for a brief refit. The 3-inch 50 AA guns were removed and two quad Mark-141 Harpoon launchers and two Super RBOC Chaff launchers being installed in place of the amidships guns. Two new lattice masts were installed to house new radars and ECM equipment, along with NTDS. The Phalanx system was also installed with two mounts taken from damaged ships, and CEC was installed in the former Flag spaces to control the Harpoons and the ECM equipment. In addition, the “Fem mods” (crew spaces for female officers and crew) prepared. The ship was ready for sea in January, 1988, and Des Moines resumed convoy duty.

Her next combat was in support of Operation GULF HAMMER in 1988, providing Naval Gunfire Support to Marine landings along the Texas coast, and in support of Army and Marine forces operating within range of her guns. Des Moines then saw service interdicting shipping between Cuban ports, Brownsville, and Mexico, and also provided fire support during the final reduction of the Brownsville Pocket. She then participated in several bombardments of targets in Cuba that were intended as preparatory to the planned invasion of Cuba, and was tasked to provide fire support for Marines landing at Tarara Beach, east of Havana, but Castro's acceptance of the Armistice rendered the invasion plan moot.

Though considered for deactivation in 1991, events in the Middle East and Africa reared their head, and Des Moines was retained in service indefinitely. Deployments to Yemen and off the Somali coast followed, escorting shipping threatened by local pirates, and on occasion, bombarding pirate strongholds with her 8-inch guns. In one incident in 1996, a group of Somali pirates at night mistook the cruiser for a tanker, and tried to board her. The pirates were swiftly dealt with, and their mother ship (a captured fishing boat) was destroyed with 5-inch gunfire. Des Moines made her home port in San Diego, switching places with her sister, Salem, in 2000. Her most recent combat duty was in the Baja War in 2010. She is still in service, and when retired, it is planned to donate her to either Seattle or San Francisco as a war memorial.

U.S.S. Salem (CA-139): Laid down in 1945 and commissioned in 1949, Salem served not only as a Fleet Flagship at times during her active service, but also played the German Pocket Battleship Graf Spee in a 1956 movie about the Battle of the River Plate. She was decommissioned in 1959, and maintained at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in Mobilization Category B alongside her sister ship Des Moines. She, too, was considered for reactivation in the early 1980s, but remained in mothballs until the outbreak of war, when she was reactivated in September, 1985. Receiving the same minor upgrade as her sister, Salem was recommissioned in May, 1986, and after working up with her sister ship, began duty as a convoy escort. She escorted convoys from the Mediterranean to the East Coast, before taking part in the Naval Gunfire Support Force for both the Liberation of Iceland and the Kola Raid. Salem was so close to shore that at one point, her 3-inch 50 AA guns were used against Soviet ground troops and light armor. After Kola, the ship received a refit identical to her sister, Des Moines.

Salem did not participate in Operation GULF HAMMER, as she was needed in the Pacific, and transited the Panama Canal to join the Pacific Fleet in January, 1988. She took part in several bombardment runs along the Alaska coast, and provided Naval Gunfire Support to the raid on the Kamchatka Peninsula, along with raider hunts in the North Pacific. Salem also took part in a raid on Itirup Island in the Kuriles, bombarding a minor Soviet naval base and a PVO airfield, with SEALS calling in the naval gunfire. She then participated in several bombardment missions along the Mexican Pacific Coast, before once again transiting the Canal and rejoining the Atlantic Fleet for the planned invasion of Cuba. After the Castro Regime's acceptance of the Armistice, Salem was sent back to the Pacific, for anti-piracy operations along the China Coast and in Indonesian waters.

Salem made several deployments to WestPac, with her Home Port at Pearl Harbor, before returning to the East Coast in 2000. She was involved in a number of anti-piracy operations, bombarding a number of pirate strongholds in her WestPac cruises. When she returned to the East Coast, Salem returned to deployments with the Sixth Fleet, with occasional service off of Somalia and Yemen. Salem did not see combat in the Cuban Intervention, or in the Baja War, but was at sea during the Fall of the Rump USSR, though she saw no action. She is still in service, and when she is retired in 2020, she will be donated to the city of Quincy, Massachusetts, as a war memorial, and close to her namesake city.

U.S.S. Newport News (CA-148): Laid down in 1945 and commissioned in 1949, she was the last heavy cruiser in commission anywhere when she was decommissioned in 1975. Serving as a fleet flagship, she saw service in the Sixth Fleet and during both the Cuban Missile Crisis and the 1965 Dominican Republic Crisis, then had three deployments to Vietnam between 1967 and 1972. An accidental explosion in her Number Two turret, resulting in the center gun being blown out, and nineteen men were killed and ten wounded. The damage was not repaired, and the turret was sealed off for the remainder of her service. Decommissioned in 1975, she saw no further service, and was used as a parts source for her two sister ships when they were reactivated in 1985. Newport News is still retained as a parts hulk, and is expected to be scrapped when the cruisers are retired. A request from the Mariner's Museum in Norfolk to retain parts of the ship, such as her bridge, as a memorial to the ship and crew is likely to be granted by the Navy.

Ship statistics:

Displacement: 17,000 tons standard, 21,500 full load

Length: 716.5 feet

Beam: 76 feet

Draft: 26 feet

Propulsion: Four GE steam turbines producing 120,000 Shaft Horsepower; 4 shafts.

Boilers: 4 Babcock and Wilcox at 600 psi each

Range: 10,500 Nautical Miles at 15 Knots

Top speed: 32 Knots

Crew: 1,800 (115 Officers and 1,685 Enlisted)

Armament (World War III):

9x 8-inch 55 Mark 16 guns in three triple turrets

12x 5-inch 38 DP Mark 32 guns in six twin turrets

12x 3-inch 50 AA Mark 27 in six twin mounts (removed Fall 1987)

8x Harpoon SSM launchers Mark 141 in four quad mounts (installed Fall 1987)

2x 20-mm Phalanx CIWS mounts (installed Fall 1987)

Several mounts for .50 caliber machine guns or Mark 19 Automatic Grenade Launchers

Helicopters: Pad only with no hangar. UH-1N or SH-2F embarked on occasion.
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:49 PM
Matt Wiser Matt Wiser is offline
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Fellows, while the next story arc is in work, are there any requests? I have some non-335th stories-including POW ones, one about how Marshal Akhromayev became Defense Minister, Day one from the 335th's POV, a postwar conflict involving the U.S. and Mexico over Baja California (occupied by the U.S. after the war and becoming the 51st State-Mexico wanted it back, starting a war that they lost), plus fact files on aircraft, armor, ships, plus fact files on U.S. small arms and heavy weapons. Let me know what you'd like to see.
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Old 03-06-2018, 09:13 PM
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How about a B-52 strike from Carswell or Barksdale?
USAFR A-10s from Barksdale or New Orleans?
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:03 AM
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rcaf_777 rcaf_777 is offline
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Originally Posted by Matt Wiser View Post
Fellows, while the next story arc is in work, are there any requests? I have some non-335th stories-including POW ones, one about how Marshal Akhromayev became Defense Minister, Day one from the 335th's POV, a postwar conflict involving the U.S. and Mexico over Baja California (occupied by the U.S. after the war and becoming the 51st State-Mexico wanted it back, starting a war that they lost), plus fact files on aircraft, armor, ships, plus fact files on U.S. small arms and heavy weapons. Let me know what you'd like to see.
Whatever you post I will read Mr Wiser they are always a great read. I personally would love to see day one story form US Army Unit (Infantry or Armored) point of view, maybe something from the another resistance group starting at day one. I always love paratrooper opening from Red Dawn.

Many Thanks
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:10 PM
Matt Wiser Matt Wiser is offline
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Here's the M-1 Abrams tank family in World War III:

The M-1 Abrams family in World War III

First produced in 1979, after a lengthy gestation period dating from the failed MBT-70 program, the M-1 Abrams withstood journalistic and Congressional skepticism to emerge from the Third World War as one of the two top main battle tanks in the world (the Challenger being the other). Seeing service in all theaters, and with extensive postwar service, the M-1 family still serves the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, and also serves with several foreign customers. This work will cover the M-1 family that saw service in the war, and in postwar conflicts.

M-1: Initial production version produced 1979-83. Armed with a 105-mm L7 gun with 55 rounds, Thermal sight, laser rangefinder, Chobham Armor.

IPM1: Upgraded M1 with M-1A1 turret, thicker armor, turret bustle. Retained 105-mm gun.

M1A1: Produced beginning 1985, with Rheinmetall L44 120-mm gun produced under license at Waterlivet Arsenal, New York. Pressurized NBC system, improved armor. Combat debut limited in 1986 with its major debut at Wichita in 1987.

M1A1HA: Improved Chobham armor (including Depleted Uranium inserts),

M1A1HC: 2nd Generation Depleted Uranium inserts, digital engine controls. Primary USMC version.

M1A1AIM: Older units reconditioned to near zero-hour condition; digital engine controls, Blue Force Tracker, tank-infantry phone, improved thermal sight. Standard Abrams variant in National Guard and Reserve service.

M1A2: First “Digital battlefield” version with commander's independent thermal sight, Blue Force tracker added, 2nd generation DU armor inserts.

M1A2SEP: System Enhancement Package: Third Generation DU inserts added to armor, upgraded thermal sight and Blue Force Tracker. Standard U.S. Army version.

M1A3: Prototypes under development, initial trials FY 16. Lighter 120-mm gun, added road wheels, lighter track, current wiring replaced with fiber optics, improved armor.

M1AGDS: Air Defense Gun System with radar, Thermal Sights and laser rangefinder. Twin 35-mm cannon and 12 ADATS missiles for either anti-armor or antiaircraft use. Primary U.S. Army battlefield air defense system.

M1 Grizzly CEV: Combat Engineering Vehicle with multirole arm, dozer blade/mine plow, In U.S. Army service.

M104 Wolverine Heavy Assault Bridge: AVLB on M1 chassis.

M1 Assault Breacher Vehicle: Version with mine plow/blade, and MCLIC line charges for dealing with minefields. In U.S. Army and Marine service; exported to Australia

M1 ARV: Armored Recovery vehicle: planned replacement for M-88 ARV. In prototype status, with service trials set for FY 16.


U.S. Army: Combat in Texas and Arizona from the beginning of the war (M-1 and IPM1). M1A1 in wide use beginning Battle of Wichita 1987. M1A2 series primary U.S. Army MBT, M1A1 series still in ARNG and Reserve service, alongside remaining M-60A4-120 tanks.

U.S. Marine Corps: M1A1 saw limited use in USMC: first combat in the Kola raid. Replaced M-60 series after the war, though USMC M1A1s saw combat in liberation of Guam. M1A1HC primary USMC version.

Australia: Australian Army adopted the M1A1 in 1994.

Egypt: M1A1 supplied to Egyptian Army in 1990s. Production continues in Egypt today.

Kuwait: Kuwaiti Army supplied with M1A2 in 1997, after competition with Challenger and Leopard II.

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Army supplied with M1A2 in 1995, after competition between Leopard II and LeClerc.

Taiwan: ROC Army was the only wartime allied user: with M1 series tanks supplied to the ROC 1st Mechanized Division in the Southwest. ROC upgraded to M1A1 for duty on mainland in anti-warlord operations.
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:14 PM
Matt Wiser Matt Wiser is offline
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And the T-72:

The T-72 tank in World War III

The Soviet T-72 was one of the most widely used tanks in the Third World War, being built not only in the Soviet Union, but under license in both Poland and Czechoslovakia. Intended to replace the T-54/55 series as the workhorse of the Soviet armor force, as the “low” in the High-Low mix, with the T-64 and then the T-80 as the “High” end, the T-72 saw action in all theaters, and on both sides, with U.S., British, and Canadian forces making use of captured specimens. The tank naturally saw extensive service during the Second Russian Civil War, in conflicts in the Caucasus and Central Asia, and in the fall of the Rump USSR. This work will cover those versions of the T-72 that saw service during the war.

T-72 “Ural” Initial production version first seen in 1973. 125-mm D-81TM gun, coincidence rangefinder.

T-72K: Command version of T-72. Versions produced for company, battalion, and regimental commanders. Radio fit depended on specific commander's version.

T-72 Export: Export version sold to Iraq and Syria, also license-built in Poland.

T-72 Ural-M: Modernized version of T-72. New 2A46 125-mm gun, coincidence rangefinder removed and replaced with laser rangefinder, and smoke grenade launchers. .

T-72A: Further modernization of “Ural.” 2A46 gun, laser rangefinder, provision for reactive armor as available (though many in North America never had it installed), additional composite armor added to turret top and front-given the nickname of “Dolly Parton” by U.S. Army tankers.

T-72AK: Command versions of T-72A.

T-72M: Downgraded export version of T-72A. Produced under license in both Poland and Czechoslovakia. Main “monkey model” meant for wartime production in Soviet factories converted to manufacturing tanks.

T-72MK: Command version of T-72M.

T-72M1: Export version with thicker armor than T-72M.

T-72B: Most advanced T-72 version to see combat in North America. Much improved version over T-72A. 1A-40 fire control system, thicker armor with additional composite armor on turret front and top; codenamed “Super Dolly Parton” by U.S. Army; 2A46M main gun, AT-11 Sniper missile capability, and new engine.

BREM-1: Armored Recovery Vehicle based on T-72 chassis.

IMR-2: Combat Engineer Vehicle with telescoping crane, dozer blade, and mine-clearing system.

MTU-72: Bridgelayer based on T-72 Chassis.


Soviet Army: Standard tank used in Soviet Motor-Rifle Divisions and independent MR Brigades or Regiments. Also used in Cat 2 Tank Divisions.

Cuban Army: Main tank used by Cuban Motor-Rifle Divisions and by Independent Tank Brigades. Many of which had to revert to T-62s due to war losses.

East German Army: Standard MBT in first-line Panzer and Panzergrenadier divisions. Encountered both in North America and in the campaign in East Germany in 1989.

Czech Army: Standard MBT of Czech Tank divisions and in tank regiment of MR divisons. Encountered in both North America and Eastern Europe.

Polish Army: Used in first-line Tank and MR Divisions. Also seen in North America and in Europe.

Libyan Army: Libyan T-72s encountered in Colorado during reduction of Pueblo Pocket, 1987, and by ROK Expeditionary Force in Texas, 1988.

Captured Vehicles:

Several captured T-72s of varying types were captured by both U.S and British forces, and sent to various centers for evaluation in both the U.S and Britain. A number were captured by guerillas in Arkansas and Oklahoma in 1986-7 and saw combat during the liberation of both states during Operation PRAIRIE FIRE. The 83rd Mechanized Infantry Division (the “Rag-Tag Circus” of WW II fame) captured enough T-72s to form at least one battalion entirely equipped with the vehicle, and tried to ensure that enemy supply and parts depots in their line of advance were not attacked by artillery or air strikes. Many of the division's T-72s were manned by female soldiers due to their small stature and being able to fit more comfortably inside the tank than many male soldiers. Canadian and British forces using captured T-72s followed suit. Due to the unpredictability of acquiring 125-mm ammunition during the war, samples of captured 125-mm rounds were provided to Egypt, where a production line for 125-mm HE-FRAG and HEAT rounds was set up. Also, 125-mm SABOT rounds were obtained via Yugoslavia, where the M-84 license-built version was being built for the Yugoslav Army.
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:05 PM
Matt Wiser Matt Wiser is offline
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The A-4 Skyhawk in the Third World War:

A-4 Skyhawks in World War III

The McDonnell-Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, which had borne the brunt of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps' light attack war in Southeast Asia, had a distinguished career in the Third World War. Still in USMC active and reserve service at the outbreak of war, the Skyhawk saw extensive service with the USMC, and also the USAF, which acquired a number of Skyhawks to rebuild former ANG A-7 squadrons that had suffered extensive combat losses. The Skyhawk also saw war service with the RAN, RNZAF, Malaysia, and the Republic of Singapore AF (the latter two on anti-piracy operations). This work will only cover those Skyhawks that saw combat during the war.

A-4E: Major upgrade of C version, with uprated J-52 engine, strengthened airframe with two extra weapons pylons with a total of five, TACAN, Doppler navigation radar, LABS, radar altimeter, and toss-bombing computer.

A-4F: Upgraded E with avionics hump and more powerful J-52 engine. Some used by USN off of Essex-class carriers in lieu of A-7s.

A-4G: F version for RAN, without avionics hump.

A-4K: RNZAF version of F with avionics hump.

A-4L: Upgrade of C with avionics hump,though with J-65 engine and only three weapons pylons. Reactivated from desert storage and used by USMC.

A-4M: Definite USMC version, with ARBS with TV and laser spot tracker. Production restarted at former NAA (Rockwell International) Downey, CA plant during the war to fill attrition and for USAF.

A-4PTM: Modified A-4C and L with most of the features of the M. For Malaysian Air Force. (PTM stands for Peculiar to Malaysia)

A-4S: 50 Bs remanufactured for Republic of Singapore AF; later upgraded again to A-4SU standard.

A-4S-1: 50 Cs remanufactured for Singapore

TA-4G: Training version of A-4G for RAN

TA-4J: Two-seat training version used throughout the war by USN Training Command, and by Navy Composite Squadrons in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guantanamo for local defense.

TA-4K: Training version of A-4K for RNZAF

TA-4PTM: Training version of A-4PTM

TA-4S: Training version of A-4S.

OA-4M: Modified TA-4Fs used by USMC for Forward Air Control duties.
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:07 PM
Matt Wiser Matt Wiser is offline
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And "my" mount: the F-4 Phantom:

F-4 Phantom Variants of the Third World War:

The McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom, though largely superseded in USAF service by the F-15 Eagle in the air superiority role, proved to be an able and worthy fighter in the Third World War, in the fighter, reconnaissance, and “Wild Weasel” variants. Though out of production at the beginning of the war, Mitsubishi in Japan reopened the production line, and subcontractors in the U.S were able to produce spare parts for the aircraft, as were foreign suppliers such as IAI in Israel.

A list of Phantom variants and users follows:

F-4B: Out of USN/MC service at the beginning of the war. Survivors converted to F-4N versions. USMC Reserve squadrons still operated the aircraft at war's outbreak. Remained in USMC service throughout the war, until replacement by the F/A-18A Hornet.

F-4C: Original USAF version. Out of front-line USAF service, but in ANG service in the fighter and fighter-interceptor roles. Heavy wartime attrition resulted in losses replaced by either new-build E models from Japan, or by the Northrop F-20A Tigershark.

F-4D: Improved C version. Still in active USAF service, as well as ANG and AFRES. Wartime attrition replaced by E models from Japan, or by F-20, though some did convert to F-15C postwar. Also used by ROK AF (replaced by F-15K)

F-4E: Ultimate USAF fighter version, with internal M-61A1 Vulcan cannon. Regular AF and ANG service, with attrition replacement via the Japanese production line. USAF versions from Japan often delivered without bombing computer or air-to-ground weapons capability, to satisfy Japanese export law, but such features installed at USAF Depot at McClellan AFB prior to delivery to USAF squadrons.
A number of E models also saw RAF service in North America during the war. JMSDF operated F-4EJ for air defense of Japan. ROK AF operated Es for Air Defense during the war, and during the fall of North Korea in 2010. Turkish AF also operated Es for air defense during “armed neutrality” period, as did the Greek AF.

F-4F: Luftwaffe version of E, originally delivered without Sparrow missile capability. Saw combat during GDR campaign in 1989.

F-4G: “Wild Weasel” SEAD variant. Fitted for and carried Shrike, Standard-ARM, and HARM missiles. Active USAF only during the war, ANG service (Idaho ANG and Nevada ANG) postwar. Attrition replaced via Japan, with SEAD equipment installed at Hill Aerospace Depot at Hill AFB, UT, prior to delivery.

F-4J: USN version from 1968 onward. Upgraded to F-4S configuration. F-4J (UK) in RAF service during the war.

F-4N: Upgraded F-4B. In service with four USN squadrons (VF-21, VF-154, VF-151, VF-161) at war's outbreak; remainder in storage. Served throughout the war, from both carriers and land bases. Replaced by F-14 in all four squadrons postwar.

F-4S: Upgraded F-4J. In USN Reserve, USMC active, and USMC Reserve service at outbreak of war. Replaced during and after the war by F/A-18 in USN and USMC.

Phantom FGR.2: Main RAF variant, used in UK Air Defense, until replaced by Tornado F.3.

RF-4B: USMC Reconnaissance version, used in VMFP-3 throughout the war. Replaced in USMC service by RF-18D.

RF-4C: USAF Reconnaissance version; in USAF and ANG service at beginning of the war. Attrition replacement via Mitsubishi in Japan. Replaced postwar by RF-16C. Export version RF-4E.

WW III Operators:





Luftwaffe (1989 only)



Greek AF

Turkish AF .

Three major users of the F-4 did not officially take part in wartime combat operations: Both Israel and Egypt were “non-belligerents”, that is, neutrals favoring the U.S. Both IAF and EAF Phantoms flew air sovereignty missions to guard their airspace. Iranian Phantoms continued to fly combat missions against Iraq until the Iran-Iraq War petered out in 1986.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:02 AM
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rcaf_777 rcaf_777 is offline
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Just wondering the status of the West German Leopard Tanks. (I and II) many NATO countries had them in service during the cold war. I personally don't see them in service with Canada for long during the war if I remember right Canada had about 114 Leopard in service, about 88 with front line units.

I am thinking that most the Canadian Military would have either US or UK equipment come the end of war maybe some AVGP(LAV) too.

Just thinking out loud I guess
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:15 PM
Matt Wiser Matt Wiser is offline
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Canada went with the Challenger, since the British were there on the Northern Front.
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