Mick Britton recalls the Flexible Response ‘Coronet’ deployments from America during the height of the Cold War

North American F-100F Super Sabre 63795 of the Indiana ANG at Lakenheath during Coronet Prize in 1976. VIA MICK BRITTOn

When NATO abandoned its Mutually Assured Destruction military strategy at the Athens summit of 1963 and adopted one called Flexible Response, it marked an important turning point. The MAD policy had relied on the concept of deterrence: if two opposing countries or factions used the full might of their nuclear arsenal, then annihilation of both parties would be the result. Both were therefore disincentivised to use them. This new tactic called for responses to aggression from the USSR to be limited initially to the use of conventional weapons and only escalating to nuclear arms as a last resort.

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