So on a recent visit to my parents, I discovered that the patches and pictures that I thought long since gone were in fact safely stored away at their
So in honor of getting to do the Happy Dance over getting them back, I thought I'd share some of them, and their related aircraft with you.
Project Speckled Trout was a C-135 used to transport the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. In addition to being a beautiful airplane, the Air Force
allowed multiple companies to test different systems on it. They tested an auto landing, auto takeoff, and auto throttle system, a tracking system,
and many more. Just about all the advanced systems we take for granted on aircraft today were tested on Speckled Trout.
At the time that I got this patch, the Triple Nickel was flying the F-15. We had two of their jets get stuck for several weeks. One day they had to do
an engine run, and they let me sit in the back seat (it was a D model).
They currently fly F-16s out of Aviano Air Base in Italy.
Argus was an NC-135. It was used to monitor missile tests, and just about everything else that was up there. As the patch says, if you did it they
Gunsmoke was a fighter competition held by the Air Force. Units came from all over the world, and were scored on everything from proper loading of
munitions, to number of sorties launched, to live fire exercises and how many target drones they shot down.
At the end of the competition scores were tallied and one unit was declared the winner, and got to call themselves the best fighter unit in the Air
Force until the next competition.
AST was the Airborne Surveillance Testbed. It was operated by the Army in conjunction with the Missile Defense Agency. It used the first 767 built as
its platform. It had a large fairing on top of the forward fuselage that had two large infrared cameras in it. To offset the aerodynamics of the
fairing it had two F-1-16 style fins under the tail for stability.
When the MDA was running a test of the GBI system AST would fly to the missile range, and orbit. They would film the launch of the interceptors, and
the interaction with the incoming test missile.
Those are the ones that I currently have loaded on my phone. I'll add some more as I have time, hopefully this weekend.