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Stormjammers: The Extraordinary Story of Electronic Warfare Operations in the Gulf War Paperback – May 29, 2006
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EC-130s have participated in every significant combat operation US forces have been involved in for nearly two decades. Now, thanks to this book by former Compass Call "crew dog" Robert Stanek, readers can ride along with Stanek and his Grey Lady Compass Call crew during 32 combat missions from January to March 1991, during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.
Based on the author's daily dairy, Stormjammers: The Extraordinary Story of Electronic Warfare Operations in the Gulf War, published in 2006, allows the reader to experience the hours of boredom punctuated with moments of terror that are typical of combat flying. Although many of the stories are somewhat repetitive, this is what Compass Call life is like, and the book quickly becomes hard to put down. Even though the reader can anticipate what a mission will be like, the tedium gives over to an adrenalin rush of anticipation when things begin to happen. It is impossible not to share the relief and pride of the individual crew members when the attack missions they protect exit Iraq safely because the Iraqi air defense command and control nets were completely defeated by Compass Call's powerful, targeted jamming.
Stanek, whose Gulf experiences are given credit for launching his successful career as an international writer, bookends his story by relating a gut-wrenching experience many of us can relate to, telling one's wife that you are off to war. He shares arriving in Turkey to temporary quarters (old military classrooms) that "quickly began to smell like an old sweat sock," getting to the showers before the hot water runs out, as well as the joy of finding out that the commissary got a shipment of real steaks and trying to coordinate a mission to get there while they last.
Another side of the book lets the reader ride along when Stanek's EC-130H has two engines quit in the war zone, and just when bailing out seems a certainty milking the hobbled airplane back to base only to have to argue with the tower over who has the worse emergency, Grey Lady or the aircraft critically low on fuel just ahead of it. There are also the missions when AWACS, the key to Compass Calls' protection, had to bug out because of maintenance problems, and the entire crew gives a thumbs-up to stay on station and continue their protective mission even though the risk is much, much higher. -- The Journal of Electronic Defense, June 2007
From the Publisher
In 1991, the entire world watched as the first President Bush marshaled a global coalition to confront Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and gave him an ultimatum: leave Kuwait by Jan. 15, 1991, or we'll force you out. In this landmark book, Robert Stanek, veteran author of The Pieces of the Puzzle and many other bestselling books, provides an inspiring story of family, honor, and duty in the midst of the Persian Gulf War.
Extraordinary in its scope, beautifully written, Stormjammers combines a riveting first-person account of the secretive world of Electronic Warfare with the sensitivity and insights of an acclaimed writer steeped in history, tragedy, and inspiration, to deliver a masterful account of airpower's role in the Persian Gulf.
Never before has the secretive world of Electronic Warfare been made so bare, been so utterly rendered, and so utterly personal. Stormjammers is intensely fascinating and as detailed as a Clancy novel with vivid descriptions of the intense electronic warfare operations of the Persian Gulf war.
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