Former Air Force public affairs officer Robert Wilcox was given a unique opportunity to write about the combat experiences of a frontline naval squadron flying the rapidly retiring F-14 Tomcat. VF-41's time in the Tomcat was usually personified with their shootdown of two Libyan MiGs in the early '80s, but their resurgence in the later '90s earned them strong praise after their conversion to the strike fighter role.
Lots of attention is given to the turnaround that the skipper effected with his squadron after a few years of decline. The turnaround led to the squadron's tasking in the skies over Kosovo against the Serbs in 1999. The development of a new way to fight, and the need to train the newer, junior pilots into lethal warriors while dodging enemy fire takes up the majority of the book, and readers will come to know the members of the squadron well after Wilcox' treatment.
While not as crisply written as Angles of Attack (by a former A-6 attack pilot from Desert Storm, since he was the author), the book is an uncommon opportunity to get a feel for they way that the Navy operates its squadrons, and the challenges that come with added responsibility and rank. Overall, the book makes a strong case for the Navy's ability to train and mold its leaders with a new generation of challenges, while making tis subjects all too human