By lex, on October 10th, 2011
Yesterday’s good clean fun – when I wasn’t beating up the approach pattern – was an air defense training exercise for one of our SoCal carriers and her strike group. My profile required me to go in low and hot at 500′ and 0.95 Mach. Contacted the Air Boss at 15 miles and he cleared me in, stern to bow. Got a “Nice” from someone – probably the Boss – as I zorched past. And I’m getting paid for this.
Straight out to 7 miles to clear the marshall stack and then pitched back up into my block. My controller told me that there was a two-ship of Hornets on my six o’clock, closing fast. Maybe a little bit embarrassed that they hadn’t been aboard prior to me flying by their oceanic home.
So I eased the throttle back as I leveled off, and slowed to 250 kts. The escort FA-18 came alongside with maybe a little too much smack on the jet. I’m led to that reluctant conclusion by the fact that he “joined” on my right wing with his speedbrake fully deployed just before he shot out in front of me, breaking hard first left and then back to the right below me to get into position. Nice.
Credit where it’s due, his wingman in the shooter position did a good job of hanging on my six for a mile, his Sidewinder missile no doubt singing her urgent desires in his headset.
Two hops today, the first another PAR sortie, the next another ADEX. And then I’m off to Sandy Eggo for two nights. On Wednesday morning, I’m back on the highway early for to ferry a Jet to Mountain Home for a week. From there to Pensacola to watch Son Number One pin on his Wings of Gold. And then give him mine.
Which will be, truly, nice.