By Paul A. Jackson
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Additional resources for Belgian military aviation 1945-1977
We also held "battle week" exercises covering the use of our chemical-warfare equipment. Nobody liked to wear the cumbersome gear—especially in the heat of summer—but we knew Saddam Hussein had chemical weapons and was capable of using them. We updated our search-and-rescue cards, which include each pilot's name, rank, social security number, and fingerprints. The cards contain four statements and a fourdigit number—information used by SAR forces to identify pilots behind enemy lines. " To verify they are rescuing the correct person, underground operatives working with the SAR teams ask you questions pertaining to your statements.
Mike "Chins" Chinburg. The five of us worked together to make sure that each F-16 pilot received the best training possible. I put in long hours at the squadron, but when I was off, I spent all my time with Colette, Candice, and Kristen. Even though she didn't want to hear it, I told Colette what I expected of her if I were shot down and killed. I wanted her to know my feelings and what I wanted for her and the girls. I held her tightly and told her that I wanted her to live a happy life, even if I wouldn't be there to share it with her.
Colette and I walked the girls out to the parking lot to spend a few more private moments together. Colette planned on dropping the twins off at the base day-care center so she could join the rest of the wives at the departure end of the runway to watch us take off. When we arrived at the car, I played with the girls and made them laugh. We'd become very close in the past few weeks. I gave each a kiss and helped Colette place them in their car seats. After closing the door, I turned to Colette, kissed her, and wiped the tears from her face.