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The History of Big Safari

by Bill Grimes

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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.… (more)
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The story of an Air Force program, called "BIG SAFARI", which performed rapid modifications, mostly on airplanes conducting reconnaissance and surveillance. It begins after WWII and into the present, 2014 publication date. The purpose of the program was to shorten acquisition times so that the USA could react to changes in opposition (largely Soviet) systems. Thus, the story is about those systems and accurately describes the ones that I have flown or have been associated. Further, the story is mostly about collection systems and doesn't talk much about the airplanes. The 1 inch thick book contains a lot of research, many pictures and not just a few facts; it must have involved a massive public affairs and declassification effort by the PA folks at Wright Patterson. Thanks to Bill Grimes for the book. RIP. ( )
  buffalogr | Jun 17, 2020 |
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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.

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