032 – Air-to-Air Missions

032 – Air-to-Air Missions

Featured Guest
USMC Lieutenant Colonel Mark "SNOTY" Bortnem

Sweep, point defense, close escort, 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 squadron 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.