Taken out of context, Stephen Hawking’s comment, “all we need to do is make sure we keep talking,” does not apply to aerial engagements. In complex and dynamic scenarios with multiple fighter elements on both sides—some closing on each other at well over 1,000 knots—more is not better. Clear, concise, standardized (and minimal) communications are essential to ensure situational awareness and, thus, success.
Join US Navy Commander Alan “Niles” Schiaffino on this episode as we discuss air-to-air fighter engagement communications. As an E-2 Hawkeye NFO and former aircraft carrier operations officer, Niles has a unique perspective on battlegroup communications from the tactical to the strategic. He also answers listener questions on the West’s octal IFF system and foreign intrusion flights.
During the listener question segment, the hosts describe their favorite missions (see Sunshine’s Tomahawk chase flight here) and why some aircraft, such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon, have gold-tinted canopies.
Episode artwork by Janek Krause. Bumper music by Jaime Lopez.