American NCO served as avionics technician with 48th Tactical Fighter Wing US Air Force at RAF Lakenheath, GB and Taif, Saudi Arabia, 1988-1991
REEL 1: Background in Florida, US, 1966-1988: reason for enlisting with US Air Force and description of basic training. Recollections of operations as avionics technician with 48th Tactical Fighter Wing US Air Force in GB and Saudi Arabia, 1988-1991: first impressions of RAF Lakenheath and relations with civilian population; story of being recalled from US to RAF Lakenheath prior to deployment with 48th Tactical Fighter Wing; reaction to news of deployment; description of deployment procedure to the Gulf and briefings by Saudis; description of chemical warfare training; attitude to fear; opinion of US foreign policy; problem of using cruise missiles in desert terrain; history of 48th Tactical Fighter Wing and role in Gulf; description of maintenance complex and duties with communications, navigation and radar jamming; description of preparations for possible war in Gulf.
REEL 2 Continues: tuition in Arabic; relations with Saudis; story of veiled lady; attitude of Saudis to female personnel in US Air Force; opinion of women in unit; problem of replacing equipment; description of logistical organisation; opinion of CNN news coverage and accuracy of reports on political and military situation; opinion of Iraqi Air Force; attitude to possible role of Israel in Gulf; description of atmosphere and morale of pilots prior to outbreak of war; story of launching jet; opinion of ground crew; loss of jet on training exercise; assessment of success of 48th Tactical Fighter Wing.
REEL 3 Continues: daily routine and living conditions; shifts; question of adapting to environment; recreational activities; attitude to discipline in Wing; opinion of senior officers; description of preparations for war and increases vigilance; further comments on senior officers; comparison of status, recognition, hours and pay between pilots and ground crew.
REEL 4 Continues: attitude to role as avionics technician; question of recognition for pilots and ground crew; further comments on daily routine and question of leisure time; comparison of RAF Tornado and US Air Force F-111 pilots; opinion of tactical and strategic intelligence; reaction to media coverage of captured RAF pilots; attitude to activities of peace movement in US: reaction to receiving messages of support from US public.
REEL 5 Continues: story of visiting correspondents in GB; attitude to end of war and comparison of celebrations in US and GB; opinion of success of precision bombing; reaction to bombing of US barracks in Saudi Arabia and effect on morale; opinion of General Schwarzkopf; description of aerial preparations for start of ground war; opinion of tactics used in the Gulf; reaction to end of war and ceasefire.
REEL 6 Continues: opinion of Saddam Hussein and strategy; question of readiness for deployment; opinion of Saudi and Kuwaiti Air Forces; attitude to co-operation with coalition air and ground forces; opinion of US role in coalition; reflections on period of service in Saudi Arabia.