A Lock On: Modern Air Combat Mission Report
Early morning in the U.S. compound at Adler airfield. Located in hardened aircraft shelters on the east side of the base, American A-10A ground attack aircraft rested fitfully in their cradles of earth and concrete.
In the ramshackle shed that served as the squad Maintenance office, a tough-looking master-sergeant hung up an ancient field telephone, and leaned back in a rickety office chair, booted feet on a battered Soviet-issue metal desk, coolly leafing through a set of configuration orders that had only moments ago been dropped off by a breathless courier.
The Dice-man (the production Super for these A-10s) knew better than to get too worked up over a short notice frag order this late in his long and distinguished career. But what he read made his eyebrows climb right into the crushed squadron baseball cap (itself in desperate need of an oil change) perched precariously on his crewcut. He dropped the chair onto all fours, stood up, and shouted in a thundering bass…
The immediate reaction was a crash from the ready-room next door, and then the double swinging doors burst open to admit a red-faced, panting staff sergeant.