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The "what if" story below comes from Phil Peterson at the What If Modelers forum. The profile is a tribute to his father, who served with the 17th DSES.
Capt. Weber of the MTANG is sitting in the recliner in the Alert shed sucking on a Coke and trying to find anything on besides the Soaps when the calm is broken by the Alert siren.
He and his wing-man race to their F-106s. The sleek, grey delta winged aircraft look fast even sitting still in the cool Montana morning.
As he straps in he gets the info. An enemy bomber has pierced the northern defenses and is heading for SAC Headquarters at Malmstrom AFB. His mission is simple, find the bomber and splash him before he gets near enough to drop his payload.
In just a few minutes "Astro" and his wing-man have leveled off at 30,000 and are zooming at Mach 2 towards the spot the ground controllers have indicated the bogey's last position. As they close in he starts getting some return from his radar. The enemy plane is low and using some active jamming. Astro noses down in an attempt to acquire a lock on for his AIM-4 Falcon missiles when suddenly the radar signature blossoms into a huge target. Chaff, a weapon first deployed back during WWII, has hidden the bomber from his view and combined with other jamming, it has lost the Delta Dart.
Looks like the bad guys are going to get through. Luckily, in this case, the bad guy is an EB-51 Panther of the 17th DSES (Defense Systems Evaluation Squadron), the last Active Duty squadron flying the ECM version of the Panther.
Their role is to probe our defenses looking for weaknesses so that they can be upgraded making a successful attack that much harder should a real shooting war break out.
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Thanks! I'm glad you like it. The Bicentennial markings were tough, but fun and I really like the way they came out. Did you notice the "antlers" on the nose and tail and the chaff dispenser under the fuselage as well as the new blade antennas poking out from the bomb bay?