And IT Was Just That!
This Front Cover image is another picture taken during the Vietnam War by intrepid photographers from the USAF Aerospace Audiovisual Service (AAVS), Headquartered at Norton AFB from 1966-1990. The USAF SEA Tail Code “SK” indicates that the jet belonged to the 188th TFS (ANG) activated from their home base at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico.
Famous “Taco” Call Sign.
We chose this front cover picture for this edition of our journal because the “TACOs” are featured in the ANG Call-up article Part 2 on page 24 of Issue 40, and we had not discovered the color version of the picture until Issue 40 was out the door. So, here’s to the recently found “Enchilada Air Force” color picture of one of their Huns … a bit late, but never forgotten!
Our first featured article for Issue 41 is on page 9. It is by SSSer and Aviation Writer John Lowery. Titled “The One-Way Nuclear Mission,” It was first published in the October 2017 “Air Force Magazine.” John’s intro sets the stage as to why the missions were worth the human costs of One-Way missions: “President Dwight D. Eisenhower, upon taking office in 1953, officially recognized the tremendous threat to America’s European allies by the Soviet Union’s massive conventional military forces. NATO faced a possible invasion by 175 active Soviet divisions, with another 125 reserve divisions deployable within a month. Neither the U.S. nor the war-weary NATO countries could afford to rebuild armies that could match the Soviet numbers. Eisenhower decided that the only reasonable counter was to equip Air Force jet fighters based in Europe with “tactical” nuclear weapons. These could be targeted on the massed Soviet forces and infrastructure, offering either a deterrent or, failing that, a way to effectively fight a third world war.
John Lowery talks one-way TAC Nuke Alert.
The advantage of this approach was that the U.S. already had a significant inventory of atomic weapons, while the Soviet Union, which had detonated its first atomic bomb in 1949, did not [yet].”
After this intro, John delves deep into the steep learning curves that allowed this “easy to say — hard to do” concept to become another potent element of the nuclear feathers in the U.S. and NATO’s Cold War Quivers.” All in all, it’s a professional peek into the early years comprising “nuclear deterrence.” For various reasons, it was sometimes a scary time!