The History of Big Safari
For more than half a century, Big Safari-modified aircraft have performed dangerous and essential missions to collect intelligence, conduct surveillance and reconnaissance, and engage in special operations missions around the globe in the interest of national security. These state-of-the-art aircraft have been flown, operated, and maintained by men and women whose dedication and commitment have made the world a safer place. In The History of Big Safari, author Colonel Bill Grimes, a retired US Air Force officer, presents a history of this program, which has been in existence for more than sixty years. Born as a special acquisition program in 1952, Big Safari has been in a unique position to save lives by rapidly fielding essential systems with a quick-reaction capability to ensure decision makers on the battlefield and at the Pentagon have timely intelligence to plan and execute operations. Grimes shows how, without a special acquisition program such as Big Safari, the nation's ability to react to evolving dangers and threats would be mired in bureaucracy when timely responses are critical. With detailed cutaway illustrations revealing aircraft modifications and mission equipment, The History of Big Safari also includes photographs, sidebars, and anecdotes. It goes behind the scenes with the men and women who participated in the challenging projects and daring missions. It shares the development of cutting-edge technology and special mission aircraft, as well as the global events that necessitated these once-classified programs. Finally, it provides insight into long-veiled projects, operations, and missions that comprise the world under the purview of Big Safari.
aboard Air Force airborne aircraft altitude antenna Big Safari Oral BIG SAFARI program Bill Grimes camera capability Capt Center CHIP COBRA BALL COBRA EYE COMBAT SENT COMBAT TALON COMFY COMINT Command configuration crew deployed Detachment drones Dynamics E-Systems effort Electronic ELINT engines facility flew flight FLIR flown Fort Worth fuselage Greenville Hurlburt Field Ibid included initial installed intelligence Knotts located Lockheed Logistics ment missile mission equipment modified National Security Agency navigator Neal Cooper North Vietnam O’Malley O’Rear Office ofthe Ontario operations Oral History Archive PACER COIN PATRICIA LYNN PEE WEE personnel PIE FACE pilot PREDATOR radar radome received reconnaissance RIVET RIVET BRASS RIVET CARD RIVET JOINT Safari Oral History SENIOR SCOUT SENIOR TROUPE Shemya SIGINT sion Son Tay Soviet SPEED LIGHT SSgt station SUN VALLEY Tactical tail number target Texas tion USAF USAFSS Vietnam Wing Wright-Patterson AFB