In February 1999, only a few weeks before the U.S. Air Force spearheaded NATO's Allied Force air campaign against Serbia, Col. C. R. Anderegg, USAF (Ret.), visited the commander of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe. Colonel Anderegg had known Gen. John Jumper since they served together as jet forward air controllers in Southeast Asia nearly thirty years earlier. From the vantage point of 1999, they looked back to the day in February 1970, when they first controlled a laser-guided bomb strike. In this book Anderegg takes us from "glimmers of hope" like that one through other major improvements in the Air Force that came between the Vietnam War and the Gulf War.
Always central in Anderegg's account of those changes are the people who made them. This is a very personal book by an officer who participated in the transformation he describes so vividly. Much of his story revolves around the Fighter Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base (AFB), Nevada, where he served two tours as an instructor pilot specializing in guided munitions, but he also takes a look at other "Fighter Mafia" outposts in the Pentagon and elsewhere.
Part I: The Vietnam School of Hard Knocks * Chapter 1 - Fallen Comrades * Chapter 2 - The Schoolhouse * Chapter 3 - Glimmers of Hope * Part II: Changing of the Guard * Chapter 4 - The New Officer Corps * Chapter 5 - Changes in Attitude * Chapter 6 - Making It Happen * Chapter 7 - Let's Get Serious about Dive Toss * Part III: The Training Revolution * Chapter 8 - The Aggressors * Chapter 9 - Red Flag * Chapter 10 - Measuring Combat Capability * Chapter 11 - The Nellis Ranges * Part IV: Killing the Target * Chapter 12 - Mud Beaters * Chapter 13 - Maverick: Love It or Hate It * Chapter 14 - Shooting Missiles * Part V: Reticles to HUDs—The New Fighters * Chapter 15 - The Eagle * Chapter 16 - Down 'n' Dirty: The A-10 * Chapter 17 - The F-16: The Fighter Pilot's Fighter * Conclusion * Appendix I - The True Story of Jeremiah Weed * Appendix II - The Dear Boss Letter