Honor To Bandit 116

Message posted by willy nammer on May 10, 2002 at 9:53:34 PST:

Hi All:

I don't think there would be danger in posting the following about the late Lt. Gen. Robert Bond (USAF).

Lt. General Bond was flying a MiG-23SM Flogger-E (obtained from Egypt in 1978) in April 1984. He crashed near Little Skull Mountain, on the NTS. The unit that the MiG-23 belonged to was the 4477th TES, operating out of TTR (not Groom). His call sign was Bandit 116. This unit operated more like the Aggressors at Nellis. The 413th (previously 6513th, and 1128th SAS) operates out of Groom - evaluation and testing. These are the Red Hats.

Take note that "Bandit" number were given out to the MiGs and then given to certain stealth prototypes
For example:

1. Bandit 0-1 - Bill Park (and Ken Dyson), Have Blue
#1 (1001).
2. Bandit 1-1 - Ken Dyson, Have Blue #2 (1002)
3. Bandit 0-1 (again) to Hal Farley, Senior Trend #780
The "780" signified July 1980 - intended 1st flight
Senior Trend #780/Hal Farley Bandit number changed
to "117" The same as given out MiG-drivers - at the
North end at Groom, and the South end at TTR.
Take special note of the missing "Bandit 116" from the roster of test pilots - AF/& contractor. This signifies the "missing man" formation. With both stealth and MiGs being "black" programs, there are not too many ways that one or a group can display their feelings about the loss of one of their own. This is extremely true of Lt. General Robert Bond - aka Bandit 116. The first AF test pilot to fly Senior Trend; Skip Anderson, recieved the specail number "Bandit 84." A person once asked me what was the significance
of the number "84" on the MiG-23ML Flogger-G at Tyndal,
or the same number "84" on the MiG-21F-13 Fishbed-C at the Threat Training Facility at Nellis (547th Intelligence Squadron). The answer: the number "84" signifies the year that Robert Bond died, 1984 (or simply 84). Even NASA pays tribute (or did) with the tail number 844 on the SR-71. Even though there are black programs out there, doesn't mean that we can't display our respect from those that have been lost.

The "F-117" designation came from the use of the Bandit number. But where did the special number "117" come from anyway? The first MiG-21s the US DIA acquired (from Indonesia and Finland) were of the MiG-21F13 Fishbed variety. Note the suffix on the MiG designation - "F13." Black program - there are two types of Top Secret status 1. Top Secret, and Top Secret, Special Access Required. The latter, not even the existence of items can be acknowledged. The second type of MiG-21 was the MiG-21MF Fishbed-J, Tip 96). The folks at Norton AFB, simply added the numerical values 21 + 96 of the designation and found the sum of 117. The MiG-23 was retro-designated and was given the number 116. Too much number-magic? Not really. This system has nothing to do with the old century-series designation (AF or USN); they are not requested to be reserved, not athorized to be an official designation, nor will they appear on the official roster of designation. When the MiGs or Sukhois are put on display at museums, etc, they will always be identified as MiG-21/23 or Su-7/20, etc. The F-117 did become an official designation until after the aircraft was acknowledged to exist by the AF.



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