Let's Go, RIO


-=[ Another Risky Mission ]=-

   "634th Tactical Fighter Wing, please report to the mission briefing room...", comes over the ships intercom.  I tell Todd, my
RIO, to hurry up.  We soon arrive in the briefing room and get seated.  CAG comes in, and starts telling us the details of our
next assignment.  "Our intel. reports that we have a trapped agent.  He needs you to provide cover support for his rescue."
Then CAG pulls down a map with markings on it.  He takes a pointer and points to where the agent is, then to where we
will need to be.  He says for us to stick tight together.  There are SAM's there.  Lot's of them.  He tells us to be alert.  We'll
have a full complement of ordinance, and fuel.  And CAG says he expects us all to come back or else...

    Up on deck.  It's a nice day out today.  Good for flying.  Windy, with small cloud cover.  We're turning.  Time to launch.
Todd and I make a quick survey of the jet.  Looks good.  We mark the checklist as we go.  Time to get aboard.  Man, I
feel it now.  The pump just before....  "Pacific 3, taxi, and hold.", comes over the radio.  We begin to move, and line up.
Star 7 has just left.  We're up next.  "Pacific 3, prepare for launch...", comes over the radio.  The plate is high, and I'm
powering up the engines to full power.  Flaps at T/O position.  AB's on.  Todd says he's ready.  We're given the green.

    We've just been launched.  We're flying now...  Flaps to the UP position.  Gear to the up position.  Ok, now shut off
the AB's.  Throttle back to about 65% power ...  And join up with our squadron.  I need to relax a little now, it's a long
flight.  Heading to our mission target now.  Reducing altitude.  Have to stay below their radar.  We'll see the coast soon...
Todd says he's  transferring our fuel now, from the drop tanks.  He says he's done.  I tell him to release the empty tanks.  He
says releasing  tanks now...  I see the coast line now.  I tell Todd to keep a sharp eye out.  He says "count on it."  We're
picking up SAM  radar signals now.  I tell Todd to start jamming them..  He says "SAM radar signals jammed.".

    Our squad leader says to tighten up, and follow his lead.  We're heading to the mission goal now.  I feel tense.  I always do
when we get this close.  I'm trying to relax and stay focused.  Todd says he has detected a SAM launch.  No lock, but a
blind launch.  I ask him "is the jamming working?"  He says affirmative.  Watch for it!  I tell him.  Todd speaks up, I see it,
at 3 o'clock.  I call over the radio: "Star 2, watch your six, and get ready to fire flares."  Star 2, calls back "roger."  The
enemy knows we are here now.  The squad leader tells Star 1 and Star 4, to wax the site.  They are on it.  "1 minute to
target...", squad leader calls over the radio.

    As we clear the mountains, I can see a city.  Squad leader calls "here we go", over the radio.  We follow his lead.  There
are incoming enemy planes.  The squad leader calls "Pacific squad, down those planes!"  Here we go....

Local Mesa, AZ USA weather

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