SweepAn OCA mission where fighters act autonomously without being tied to any other fighter elements or strike package., point defenseA DCA mission where fighters defend a very small asset, such as a downed aircrew., close escortAn OCA mission where fighters operate as part of a strike package in close proximity to the A/S strike aircraft., high-value airborne asset protection…
These are just a few of the many air-to-air missions modern U.S. fighter pilots may be required to perform in the course of their duties. Each requires significant pre-mission planning to analyze how various constraints and limitations might affect execution.
On this episode, former enlisted U.S. Marine, then naval flight officer, now F/A-18 pilot and fighter attack squadronAn aviation organization composed of aircrew, support personnel, aircraft, and equipment. commander—Lieutenant Colonel Mark “SNOTY” Bortnem, U.S. Marine Corps describes these missions and associated planning factors. Snoty offers not only a fascinating explanation of each mission and planning factor, but a sobering overview of the mindset he imbues in each of his pilots.
During the listener question segment we address the importance of simulators, the presence (or not) of aircraft manufacturer representatives on deployment, and how to avoid shooting down the wrong aircraft during a heated, multi-aircraft dog fight.
Episode artwork by Janek Krause. Holiday-themed bumper music by Jaime Lopez. Announcements by Dawson Aiello.