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BOOK REVIEW: "Skybreak: The 58th Fighter Squadron in Desert Storm" by Mike Guardia

Oct 12, 2021
Based on hours of interviews and archival research by author Mike Guardia, “Skybreak: The 58th Fighter Squadron in Desert Storm” (Magnum Books/softcover) reveals an intimate, no-holds-barred account of modern aerial combat…as told by the men who lived it.

It's August 1990, and the Iraqi forces under the command of Saddam Hussein have invaded the tiny emirate of Kuwait. Within hours, the Kuwaiti defenses collapsed under the onslaught of the Iraqi Army. In response, the US military led a coalition of thirty-four nations in what became known as Operation Desert Storm—a violent air and ground campaign to eject the Iraqis from Kuwait. At the tip of the spear were the men of the US Air Force’s 58th Fighter Squadron.

Mounted aboard their F-15C fighter jets, these young aviators took to the sky against the Iraqi Air Force. Although confident in their capabilities, these untested American pilots were flying into combat against the latest-and-greatest of Soviet-built aircraft – including the MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum.’

Despite the odds, however, the men of the 58th Fighter Squadron decimated the Iraqi Air Force in one engagement after another. On the first day of the air war (January 17, 1991), Captain Jon “JB” Kelk claimed the first aerial victory of Desert Storm, downing a MiG-29 in combat. In less than 30 days, the 58th Fighter Squadron flew more than 1,600 combat sorties and destroyed 16 Iraqi aircraft – more than any other coalition air unit.

Based on hours of interviews and archival research by author Mike Guardia, this book reveals an intimate, no-holds-barred account of modern aerial combat…as told by the men who lived it.

'Skybreak' is their story.

* * * * *

Mike Guardia is an internationally recognized author and military historian. A veteran of the United States Army, he served six years on active duty as an Armor Officer. He is the author of the widely-acclaimed "Hal Moore: A Soldier Once...and Always," the first-ever biography chronicling the life of LTG Harold G. Moore, whose battlefield leadership was popularized by the film "We Were Soldiers," starring Mel Gibson.

He has twice been nominated for the Army Historical Foundation's Distinguished Book Award and is an active member of the Military Writers Society of America.

As a speaker, he hosts the lecture series "Hal Moore: Lessons in Leadership," which is available for presentation at schools, businesses, and civic organizations worldwide. Mike Guardia has given presentations at the US Special Operations Command and the International Spy Museum. His work has been reviewed in the Washington Times, Armchair General, ARMY Magazine, DefenceWeb South Africa, and Miniature Wargames UK.


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