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The Fighter Pilot Podcast explores the fascinating world of air combat: the aircraft, the weapons systems, and most importantly--the people. Each episode features a guest who helps explain the topic at hand such as how ejection seats work or what it's like to fly on and off nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. Strap in and hang on for this incredible show! If you love the roar of a high-speed flyby or are enamored by the poise and confidence of the brave men and women who pilot these aircraft, ...
 
Real combat stories from the military's elite. This podcast highlights the courageous, outrageous, crazy, and surreal experiences veterans recall from their toughest days in the foxhole, cockpit, and front lines. We interview JTACs, Special Operators (Delta), Special Forces, Jet Pilots, Combat Aviators, Infrantrymen, Marines, and vets from over 50 years of combat experience. Interviews touch on the toughest missions these vets faced, how they handled them, their first combat experiences, how ...
 
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Today we hear the inspirational combat story of Eric Hollen, a former Ranger in 2/75 Ranger Regiment and Green Beret with 2nd Bn, 10th Special Forces Group. This is a unique episode where we filmed in person for a change while Eric and I were in Graham, Texas, courtesy of Greg Coker, who many will recognize from the podcast, for an aviation hog hun…
 
Here on the FPP, most aircraft series episodes featuring U.S.-designed warplanes have two-part titles comprised of the aircraft's designation and name, like the recent F-106 Delta Dart or forthcoming P-51 Mustang. So what's up with episode 111? On this episode, we explore why the General Dynamics F-111 never received an official name in addition to…
 
Today we hear the combat story of Patrick Moltrup, a former Marine, Soldier, CIA, and Special Operator who served as a Navy Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen (or SWCC). Patrick served 25 years in the military, much of it in the Special Operations community. Patrick is one of the very few who has been a part of the Marines, the Army National G…
 
Fighter Pilot Podcast founder and host Vincent "Jell-O" Aiello was recently a guest on the Memories of a Moonbird podcast, hosted by Daniel Scherl. For those who remark that we learn plenty about FPP guests but don't know very much about Jell-O, here's your chance! Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations …
 
What do you do when it's not Bomber Month but you have an amazing, single-piloted, four-engine World War II bomber to discuss? You call on your Warbird expert, 'Boat'! On this episode, Mr. Leon Evans joins cohost Trevor Boswell to explain the oft overshadowed Avro Lancaster. Designed in England and produced in both England and Canada, this unique W…
 
Today we hear the combat story of Sergeant Major (ret) John “Shrek” McPhee AKA “The Sheriff of Baghdad,” who spent 20 years in the Army’s Special Operations community, from Ranger Battalion to Group to Delta Force. He is one of the handful of operators to have served in multiple theaters from Bosnia and South America to Iraq and Afghanistan. John’s…
 
The Soviet Union's 1957 launch of Sputnik was a shock to the West. As a result, U.S. leaders vowed that, from that time forward, the U.S. would be the initiator and not the victim of strategic technological surprises. From that decree came the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or what is simply known as 'DARPA.' On this episode, U.S. Air F…
 
Today, we hear the combat story of Terry Buckler, the youngest of 56 Green Berets on one of the most dangerous and daring missions in U.S. military history, when they went 300 miles behind enemy lines into North Vietnam to rescue American POWs at the Son Tay POW camp. Terry is part of a rare group known today as the Son Tay Raiders. The mission doe…
 
Robin Horsfall is a former British Special Air Service (SAS) Tier 1 operator, paratrooper in 2Paras, mercenary, entrepreneur, and author. During his time in service, he deployed five times to Northern Ireland in brutal “Peace Keeping” operations, was part of one of the most storied and successful hostage rescue operations in the heart of London, an…
 
Today we hear a heartbreaking yet inspiring set of combat stories of three brothers, told by the only one to survive the post-9/11 battlefield: former Marine Beau Wise. While serving in Afghanistan, SEAL veteran and CIA contractor Jeremy Wise was killed in an al Qaeda suicide bombing that devastated the US intelligence community (as you’ll hear in …
 
The 'Warbird Series’ opens with a discussion on the iconic Lockheed P-38 Lightning. Designed by the legendary Kelly Johnson, the Lightning was the only two-engine, propeller-driven pursuit fighter of World War II, and former U.S. Air Force Captain, and WWII veteran, Marshall Hannah joins us to explore this distinctly unique aircraft. You won't beli…
 
Advanced systems such as the Chengdu J-20 and "double digit" SAMs like the S-400 (SA-21) are formidable foes. So how do Western forces train to oppose such threats? That is not an easy question to answer because many of our threat replicators are simply not advanced enough, and our training ranges not large enough, to "train like you fight." Enter …
 
Eddie Penney is an elite Tier 1 operator and entrepreneur. Eddie was a Marine, Navy SEAL (in SEAL Team 2), and member of the storied Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU). This is an incredible inside look at the mind, perseverance, experience, and journey of those who serve at the very tip of the spear, including the moments that seemin…
 
John Stryker Meyer was a pioneer in the special operations community who served two tours as a MACV-SOG operator and team leader in Vietnam. John led small covert Spike Teams “across the fence” on clandestine operations into Laos and Cambodia in what many now refer to as the secret war in the Vietnam conflict. John shares what it was like signing u…
 
It is said that warfare is simply diplomacy by other means. As such, nation-states agree to various customs and laws to govern warfare in an effort to minimize destruction, avoid targeting non-combatants, and maintain other humanitarian and worthwhile practices. On this episode, retired U.S. Navy Captain Shannon Kopplin, Judge Advocate General Corp…
 
Jeff Depatie is a retired Canadian Special Operations Forces JTF2 sniper and assaulter. For those who aren’t familiar, JTF2 is Canada’s Tier 1 military force. Jeff deployed multiple times, both as an infantryman in the regular Canadian forces and again as a member of the elite JTF2. After leaving the military, Jeff created a company called The Spec…
 
Author Brad Elward shares details of his latest book, TOPGUN, The Navy Fighter Weapons School: Fifty Years of Excellence, which offers a unique illustrated history of this iconic institution and is a precursor to Brad's 700-page authoritative history on the school, due out later this year. Enter to win a free, autographed copy of this book here. Su…
 
What does a world-renowned, award-winning aviation photographer do when COVID decimates his aviation photography travel company? He reimagines his business and turns to the web to help other photographers be their best. UK-based Rich Cooper first picked up a camera at age 7 and had one of his photographs featured in a magazine four short years late…
 
John "Tilt" Stryker Meyer was a pioneer in the special operations community who served two tours as a MACV-SOG operator (what many might call the original Tier 1 unit) and team leader in Vietnam. John led small covert Spike Teams “across the fence” on clandestine operations into Laos and Cambodia in what many now refer to as the secret war in the V…
 
The 'Century Series' concludes with a look at the Convair F-106 Delta Dart. Retired U.S. Air Force Major Bruce Gordon joins us—not as cohost this time but as the star of the discussion on the big brother to the F-102 Delta Dagger that served well into the late 80's. Single engine, mach 2-capable, ground-based data link, and nuclear air-to-air missi…
 
The 'Century Series' nears the end but not before an in-depth look at the Republic F-105 Thunderchief. Cohost Trevor 'Boat' Boswell takes the lead on this episode, joined by retired U.S. Air Force Colonel John Morrissey for a discussion on the Vietnam-era fighter-bomber that earned the nickname "Thud" for its high mishap and shoot down rate. Listen…
 
Dale Comstock is a former Delta Force Operator, Green Beret, Paramilitary Operative, entrepreneur, mercenary, and author who has also appeared on prime time television. Dale has fought in almost all major US combat operations since Grenada through to Afghanistan, to include being one of the youngest members of 1st Special Forces Operational Detachm…
 
The 'Century Series' speeds by with a discussion on the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, a mach 2-capable interceptor designed by the legendary Kelly Johnson. Former Canadian Armed Forces Captain Rob "Flecko" Fleck joins us to explore this distinctly shaped Cold War fighter with guest cohost Bruce Gordon adding his usual color to the discussion. Listene…
 
Greg “Gravy” Coker is a legend from the elite 160th Night Stalkers, the Army’s Special Operations Aviation Regiment (aka SOAR). He’s a long-time Tier 1 Gun Pilot who flew AH-6 Little Birds, AH-64 Apaches, and AH-1 Cobras in multiple combat theaters, providing direct support for 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta aka Delta Force, 75th R…
 
Since there was no F-103 to speak of and we spent episode 100 congratulating ourselves, the 'Century Series' continues this week with a discussion on the North American F-100 Super Sabre. Retired U.S. Air Force Major General Richard Goddard joins cohost Trevor Boswell at the Museum of Aviation in Robbins, GA to discuss this respected and fearsome a…
 
TACTS, TCTS, ACMI, P5,... whatever you call them, instrumentation pods are vital components in air combat training. Normally mounted externally, these pods allow real time range control and threat simulation, followed by mission replay for a high-fidelity debrief. On this bonus episode, retired U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Ty "O.D." Bachman…
 
The 'Century Series' continues with a discussion on the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger. Retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Ray Janes joins guest cohost Bruce Gordon to discuss this humble early 50's-designed interceptor that was the foundation of the more widely-known F-106 Delta Dart. Listener questions addressed on this episode include the fut…
 
Thom Shea is a retired Navy SEAL, sniper, and Senior Chief who served with and led SEALs in multiple combat tours from Kosovo to Iraq to Afghanistan, including brutal fighting in Helmand Province for which he was awarded the Silver Star. During this fighting, not only was he leading other SEALs through some of the most challenging combat engagement…
 
The 'Century Series' kicks off this week with a discussion on the McDonnell F-101 Voodoo. Retired Royal Canadian Air Force Major John "Stace" Stacey joins guest cohost Bruce Gordon to discuss this late 1940's-designed interceptor that was once equipped with nuclear-tipped air-to-air missiles and a tactical nuke for a planned one-way mission should …
 
LTC (Ret.) Dan “Two Dogs” Hampton was a career fighter pilot who flew F-16s in multiple wars from the first Gulf War to Kosovo to Operation Iraqi Freedom over a 20 year career. He’s a fighter pilot to the core who earned four DFCs and eight Air Medals with Valor across 151 combat missions and is a graduate of the USAF Fighter Weapons School and Nav…
 
It was a busy holiday season and we want to introduce everyone to former USAF fighter pilot Bruce Gordon since he'll be back to help with the coming Century Series episodes. So enjoy this audio replay of our late-November Happy Hour discussion and we'll be back on the 14th for episode 101 on the F-101 Voodoo! This episode was produced by our friend…
 
Most of us, most of the time, focus our energies on where we're going and rarely, if ever, pause to consider where we've been. Not so on this episode of the Fighter Pilot Podcast—it's our 100th! And so we're taking a look back at some of our greatest moments during our three years in show biz. That's right, on this episode we discuss listener favor…
 
Todd Opalski is a retired Marine (NCO and Officer), Scout Sniper, Force Recon Operator, Delta Operator, Special Operations Commander, and entrepreneur. After 26 years in the military, he lived the startup experience in Silicon Valley before standing up Camp Zen Commando, a Costa Rican retreat to help people optimize their lives and be prepared for …
 
The Canadian and American forces of NORAD, or the North American Aerospace Defense Command, spend 24/7/365 monitoring the airspace of our two countries--and indeed most of the world--to ensure threats to our two nations are identified and managed. But not everything that enters our airspace is a "threat." Every year, NORAD ensures the safe and unhi…
 
Jack Murphy is an Army Special Operations veteran who served as a Sniper and Team Leader in 3rd Ranger Battalion and as a Senior Weapons Sergeant in 5th Special Forces Group, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since leaving the military, he’s broken stories on defense and special operations topics around the world as an investigative journalist, co-…
 
We're taking a break this week and instead replaying portions of our summer 2020 Happy Hour discussion with retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Cesar "Rico" Rodriguez, the real "only man to shoot down three enemy planes in the last 40 years" (come on, Ed Harris, pfft.) The full video discussion can be found on our found Patreon page and be sure to check…
 
Situational awareness is a precious commodity, especially in armed conflict where the 'fog of war' invariably confuses and distracts commanders. Dedicated aerial platforms are vital to collecting the information needed to ensure warfighters have as accurate a sense of the real world as possible. For Naval Aviation, the key enabler in this regard is…
 
Welcome to the Fighter Pilot Podcast! This trailer describes the show: who it's from, who it's for, and what it's all about. Be sure to check out our website and for exclusive content, check out our Patreon Page. Got a question for the show or want to advertise with us? Send us an email: questions@fighterpilotpodcast.com or leave a voice message: 8…
 
Cesar “Rico” Rodriguez is an Air Force Colonel (ret.) and former fighter pilot in an elite group among veterans: he is one of three pilots with three air-to-air shootdowns since Vietnam. His dog fights and experiences from the cockpit of an F-15C Eagle taking down MiGs in both Desert Storm and Kosovo provide a first-hand account of just how challen…
 
Bomber Month concludes with the North American B-25 Mitchell. This week, Larry Kelley discusses the World War II bomber that was the first to strike the Japanese homeland in the infamous Doolittle Raid of April 1942. Mr. Kelley describes all the usual 'aircraft series' topics and what it took to personally acquire the B-25J Panchito that is part of…
 
Former U.S. Navy Blue Angels flight leaders Captains Ryan "Guido" Bernacchi and Eric "Popeye" Doyle join Fighter Pilot Podcast host Vincent "Jell-O" Aiello for a discussion on the team's transition to the Boeing F/A-18E and F-model Super Hornets following 34 consecutive years flying the F/A-18A-D Hornet. Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.…
 
Bomber Month marches on with our first foreign bomber to be featured: the Avro Vulcan. This week, retired Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Martin Withers joins us to discuss this British Cold War-era strategic bomber that found notoriety for a long-range strike on an enemy airfield in the opening hours of the Falkland Islands War. Martin was part of…
 
Tom Satterly is a Command Sergeant Major (retired) who spent 20 years in the Army’s elite Delta Force (aka “The Unit”). His 25 year Army career took him from the storied Battle of Mogadishu (Operation Gothic Serpent aka “Black Hawk Down”) and the capture of Saddam Hussein in Operation Red Dawn. He rose up through the ranks in Delta to leading troop…
 
Here on the Fighter Pilot Podcast it’s once again Bomber Month! First up this year is the venerable Boeing B-29 Superfortress and joining us is Allen Benzing of the Commemorative Air Force B-29 / B-24 Squadron based in Dallas, Texas. Once an enlisted U.S. Air Force airman, Al worked his way up through civilian flying and is now a Superfortress airc…
 
This is the Combat Story of Elliot Ackerman, a former Marine who served five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as an infantry and special operations officer, for which he received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. As a Marine, he led a platoon in Fallujah II during some of the most brutal fighting in the post-9/11 era. H…
 
This is the Combat Story of JT Snow, a long time and quintessential AH-64 Apache gun pilot. JT is a Chief Warrant Officer 4 (Retired) who flew over 5,000 flight hours, including 2,000 hours in combat across four deployments: two to Iraq and two to Afghanistan. From the cockpit, he supported conventional and U.S. and coalition special operations for…
 
Chris Baity is a former Marine K-9 handler who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. During his career in the Marine Corps, he helped pioneer and shape dog handling tactics and training, not just for the Marines, but also joint efforts across the military. As a military working dog handler, he supported ground units throughout combat theaters, incl…
 
This is the Combat Story of Jordan Becker, US Army Lieutenant Colonel serving as a Foreign Area Officer (FAO) in Paris, France, as a liaison officer to the French Joint Staff. Jordan began his career in the 173rd Airborne Brigade where he led an infantry platoon in a parachute assault that opened the Northern Front in the Iraq war in March of 2003,…
 
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