I admit I’m a bibliophile as well as an Aviation Geek. Also I am a Combat Vet who owes his life to Naval Aviators....twice. My favorite genre is a young man joining the Navy / Marine Corps and learning of their early indoctrination into commissioning and finally the nitty gritty of their flight training. The creme’ de la creme is when they become Fleet Aviators and go to War putting warheads on for heads.
When I first viewed Top Gun ( first of dozens ) I was finishing up my mandated one year in a Naval Hospital, training up for the fleet. I already had orders for a Man of War and felt 12 feet tall after watching the movie.
Yet in all of the books I never read squat about NFO’s nor the Enlisted ASW guys in fixed or rotary wing. I knew these men were good but never read about them do to the dearth of writing.
I admit to skepticism reading this....Air Force jocks call the Weapons Guy in back as the GIB. Guy in Back. We all know the huge ego’s of Naval Fighter and Attack Pilots. Now I understand that truly , the A6’s , F4’s , F14’s had a definite advantage to having another Warrior Brain to utilize the computers , radar etc to effectively splash or pink mist the enemy.
The author takes you on the highs and lows of initial training. How down chits truly SUCK. I had no idea the reams of info a RIO had to memorize and with proper CRM both Aviators made their respective weapon system far more lethal. I can’t imagine pulling six g’s, maintaining SA and doing mental trigonometry and algebra.
The only reason I did not rate five star is I wanted more. But I’m lucky , I get to read his next book. SFMF