I had a buttload of books I wanted to read this summer and with the new reading glasses perched on my nose, I dug into the pile last night.
to read "Skivvy Nine!" first, seeing as how I'd actually met many of the characters! Chief "T. Wyman Beal" had so lightly fictionalized his tell-all journal that you can divine the cast of real names based on the initials of the names in the dramatis personae
. So Chief "Timothy Wyman Beal" was really CMSgt T. Wayne Babb, the incoming Operations Superintendent of the 6903d Electronic Security Group (SKIVVY NINE) the spring I left my second tour there in 1987.
"Skivvy Nine" doesn't read like a novel, but a journal written by a Senior Non-commissioned Officer who wanted to keep track of things, a diary peppered with many colorful turns of phrase. Intelligence professionals of his background tend to be very literate people, so I can understand his frustration with the petty chicken-sh*t he got from his Command Section admin people. Without getting too deep into what Skivvy Nine is or does (we could tell you, but then we'd have to kill you), "Beal" recounts his eventful and oh-so stressful tour at the USAF's premier intelligence unit in the Pacific, now designated the 303d Intelligence Squadron, but always SKIVVY NINE.
Not a war story, though the unit plays war games throughout the year (and the story), "Skivvy Nine" gives the reader a front seat to the distasteful spectacle of political back-biting and random acts of incompetence that occur at the upper levels of an intelligence unit. If you're in the biz, this story is timeless; if you're in the military, you're sure to find parallels around you. Quail not, dear Reader, for despite the knuckleheads in the top offices, Skivvy Nine never fails to "Keep the Morning Calm" through the professionalism and dedication of its Operations troops, especially the USAF Korean
linguists and those
ops folks and maintenance
worked side-by-side us. Yeah, the Chief writes about that, too.Get a copy here
Labels: memories, Silent Warriors