During Operation Desert Storm, Captain Keith Rosenkranz piloted his F-16 "Viper" in 30 combat missions. Here he recounts these experiences in searing, "you-are-there" detail, giving readers one of the most riveting depictions ever written of man and machine at war.
Air operations in the Gulf War of 1990-1991 have most frequently been either the subject of theoretical analysis or presented from a cockpit perspective. This first-rate memoir bridges the gap, telling the story of life in a front-line squadron while integrating a first-person account into the wider contexts of modern air warfare. Rosenkranz was a captain flying Vipers, F-16 fighters, out of Al Minhad, Saudi Arabia. He takes his readers through the autumn buildup; his own questions about what it meant to kill people; the importance of mail from home; the constant waiting for a call that finally came on the night of January 18, 1991. He conveys the irony of men trained for years in air-to-air combat being committed to ground strikes--the most dangerous kind of mission for an F-16. Rosenkranz flew against Baghdad, against Iraqi troops and tanks before the ground war started, and against the fugitives fleeing from Kuwait City along "Hell's Highway." He emphasizes the synergy of modern electronics and human skills required when seeking out small targets while running a gauntlet of anti-aircraft fire. He also establishes beyond question that, talk of "smart weapons" to the contrary, his was not a "technowar" of smoothly pushed buttons. Bombs failed to explode. Target information was incomplete. The sky remained unforgiving of mistakes. Rosenkranz accepted the legitimacy of America's commitment in the Gulf, but neither he nor his squadron mates were happy warriors. They were professionals who wanted to do their jobs and go home alive--in that order.
Must read for an F-16 fanatic!
This book was an oustanding read on the history of the F-16 Viper and the expirences of the author flying one in combat during Desert Storm. I highly reccomend it!
All Facets Revealed
Five stars. This book expounds upon virtually every facet of what it's like to be a fighter pilot. It encompasses the thrills of pulling nine g's and going 600 knots, as well as the dread of taking others' lives. Just as important, the Gulf War is expounded upon including the history of the conflict, the execution of the coalition that stopped Hussein, and the aftermath. The war in Iraq, of 1991, as this book highlights, was just. The fighting men and women made such justice possible.
Awesome book on one man's, one fighter pilot's experience in combat.