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Lessons From The Cockpit

Jan 18, 2022

Welcome to the eleventh episode of Lessons from the Cockpit! Thirty-one years ago early this morning my crew took off and flew our first combat mission on the opening night of Desert Storm. We refueled the first F-4G Wild Weasel and EF-111A Spark Vark package going to Baghdad to take down the integrated air defense system. This mission was intense! I kept a journal of every event and flight during my deployment 31 years ago. There are a lot of lessons learned not only from flying but being involved in the planning of tanker missions for the largest air refueling wing assembled in US Air Force history... 90 planes on the ramp!

All of us had to prepare our minds for where our bodies were going to take us that night and through the rest of the war. In a nanosecond, I can bring to my mind scenes from some of the missions I flew during months my crew was there: fighter jets on my wing, early warning planes telling us Iraqi MiGs are airborne, and calling out a SCUD ballistic missile launch.

Wall Pilot creates custom airplane prints printed in vinyl you can peel off the backing and stick on the walls of your home, office, or hanger. The Mission Commander's F-4G Advanced Wild Weasel my crew refueled the opening night of Desert Storm can be found at this link: 

EF-111A Spark Vark jamming airplane callsign DRILL 71 can be found here:

An F-15C Eagle from the 58th TFS like those we refueled in TANGERINE anchor can be found here:

And the F-111F Aardvark loaded with GBU-24 2000 pound laser-guided Bunker Buster bombs can be found at:

Previous episodes of Lesson from the Cockpit are found on my website under the Podcast pulldown at

This episode is sponsored by the book Tanker Pilot: Lessons from the Cockpit available on Amazon in all four formats at Tanker Pilot

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