BGI Instructor and Author Presents at National Air and Space Museum
9/25/13 2:24 PM
Colonel (Ret.) Gaillard “Evil” Peck, employed by BGI as a contract instructor for the Air Force Weapons Instructor Course at Nellis AFB, addressed a sold out crowd in the Lockheed Martin Imax Theater at the National Air and Space Museum on Monday night. He was there to promote his book, “America's Secret MIG Squadron: The Red Eagles of Project CONSTANT PEG,” which was published last year. Speaking with the confidence of over 5000 flight hours and 40 years of fighter aircraft expertise, and showing off his trademark handlebar mustache, Evil shared his story of a secret Soviet MIG squadron hidden in the remote Nevada desert.
This was more than a story about enemy aircraft. Col Peck was the first commander of operation CONSTANT PEG, and he shared the intimate details which started with the secret Tonopah airfield itself. Runways and hangars were built, ground equipment was cobbled together from left over inventory and military pilots were qualified to fly commercial aircraft to get to and from work each day. Secret Air Force “aggressor” pilots flew MIG-17, MIG-21 and MIG-23 aircraft against US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps airmen for more than a decade providing measurable improvements to air to air combat training and proficiency. Col Peck described with emotion how the success of this operation sat squarely on the shoulders of the dedicated maintenance professionals that worked tirelessly in the desert heat to transform dilapidated Soviet aircraft into well maintained machines that could handle repeated sorties against U.S. fighters.
At the conclusion of the speech Evil took questions from the crowd and also asked if anyone in the audience had been associated with the project. There were several CONSTANT PEG pilots present and nearly two dozen pilots who had flown against the MIGs and benefited from this classified program that until a few years ago didn’t officially exist. “America's Secret MIG Squadron: The Red Eagles of Project CONSTANT PEG,” was released by Osprey Publishing and is available through Amazon and other popular vendors.