This Presentation On America’s Secret MiG Squadron By The Man Who Built It Is Incredible
How the top-secret unit came to be is so outlandish that it sounds like fiction, but as this first-hand account details, it was anything but.
We have reported in the past on the incredible story of America's secret Red Eagles MiG aggressor squadron from the Cold War period and even on the shadowy descendants of that program, but the presentation below, given by the man who founded and commanded the top-secret unit, Colonel Gail Peck, is an absolute must-watch.
The talk happened on June 23rd, 2019, at the Museum Of Flight in Seattle. Peck, who wrote the definitive account of the Constant Peg program saga, titled America's Secret MiG Squadron, describes in great detail how the program was launched, the way it went about its business once it was up and running, and the manner in which its efforts impacted the ability of the U.S. and its allies to slay their enemies in the sky. There is so much detail in this hour and 48-minute video, and Peck does such a great job adding color to an already very colorful story, that it really works as a great primer for anyone who hasn't read his book and as perfect companion material for anyone who has.
The story of the 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron that came out of Constant Peg is as much one about the birth of a clandestine air base as it is about the squadron itself. In fact, the secret MiG aggressor squadron was directly intertwined with the genesis of the F-117 Nighthawk stealth attack jet program. Tonopah Test Range Airport and the F-117 are two of our favorite topics around here. To understand one, you have to understand the other. Peck allows us to better do that. Ironically, the F-117s are still flying from Tonopah, sometimes in an aggressor role, all these years after the MiGs and the 'Black Jets' cohabitated at the remote base.
Also, make sure to stick around for the Q&A at the end, especially for his comments on flying different variants of the F-4 Phantom.
Here is the presentation in full:
What was your favorite fact or anecdote? Let us know in the comments below!
Author's note: A special thanks to 'CorsairKing' for shooting this over.
Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com