The 50th anniversary of the F-14 Tomcat


Dave ‘Bio’ Baranek was a Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) on the Tomcat. He served as a Topgun instructor and then returned to the front line F-14 force which is where his new book Tomcat RIO picks up. This article covers the period in his career when he was the commanding officer of a Tomcat squadron...

Main photo: A ‘Checkmates’ Tomcat on a training sortie near Fallon, Nevada. The blue shapes under the fuselage are inert bombs
Dave Baranek

I was excited, proud and happy to be selected as commanding officer of Fighter Squadron 211 (VF-211), the ‘Checkmates’, in 1995. The squadron  had a stellar history and was consistently a strong performer among the ten or so Tomcat squadrons at the fabled Naval Air Station Miramar – ‘Fightertown USA’ near San Diego, California. 

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