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Behind the Wings ®
The Podcast – S4, Episode 38

From aggressor training to the F-15, the United States military addressed several shortcomings after the Vietnam War.

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Today, we are excited to speak with a retired F-4 and F-15 fighter pilot, Colonel Dick Anderegg. In this episode, Dick tells us about his time in Vietnam, the mistakes the US air military made during the war, the lessons learned along the way, and the changes that sprung from them. There is a lot to learn in this episode!

F-15s and F-16s Flying in formation
Key Takeaways:
  • Dick joined the Air Force to train to be a commercial airline pilot. He quickly caught the fighter bug and chose to fly the F-4 Phantom instead.
  • Dick’s book Sierra Hotel: Flying Air Force Fighters in the Decade After Vietnam talks about the major changes the United States military made after the Vietnam War.
  • During the Vietnam War, the United States changed the F-4 training program in an effort to acquire more pilots.
  • Dick tells about his first interaction with laser-guided bombs and how it changed air warfare.
  • The Vietnam era is often attributed with inadequate pilot training. Trainings would leave out several exercises due to aircraft loss concerns. Veterans from the Vietnam War later changed some of the training shortfalls by creating exercises like the Red Flag program.
  • The F-15 was a vast improvement from the F-4. Dick wrote in his book that “As soon as an F-4 pilot sat in the cockpit, he noticed its efficient design.”
  • Regardless of artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles, Dick thinks there is a future for human fighter pilots.
Resources:
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