03 December, 2014

Profile 97: JUST STARTED— the "Pave Knife" pod of the 433rd TFS

From what I know, there are three things taxpayers don't want from their military:  too much power, too many losses and waste.

And there are three things the military doesn't want from the people it serves:  weak leadership, weak support and weak kit.

Have a look at the sketch above.  It's a partial drawing of an F-4 Phantom with a pod hanging from one of the hardpoint rails. It's called "Pave Knife."  And it's also a warm-fuzzy moment between taxpayer and military—one of those weapons that really did everything it was supposed to do at little cost, high efficiency and amazing effectiveness.  In fact, Pave Knife paved much of the way for today's 'smart weapons.'

Over the next post or two, I'm going to explain Pave Knife's operation and success via Air Force personnel who used the thing in SEA*, one of whom is Weapons Systems Officer (WSO) Dean Failor, 433rd TFS to give first-hand account.

"You're acquired and locked, Dean.  Pickle away!"

This is Dean in front of an F-4 from the 334th during a later TDY in 1972.

*SEA = South East Asia.