War Bird


War never changes. It evolves.

AGL is proud to bring you a very special patch inspired from our own past. War Bird is a nod to the project once known as Big Crow.

First, a short history lesson: The term "Crow" and it's association with electronic warfare (EW) emerged from the first use of EW in World War II to disrupt Axis communications and radars. Allied equipment and operators were known by the code name "Raven". Common jargon changed the name to "Crows" and those engaged in the profession became known as "Old Crows".

Big Crow Program Office was the parent organization that utilized two NKC-135 test-bed aircraft, tail numbers 55-3132 (BIG CROW 1), and 63-8050 (BIG CROW II). These unique test bed aircraft were heavily modified from their original form for use in the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) Electronic Warfare Vulnerability Assessment (EWVA) program. Both aircraft also provided an airborne platform with the capability of creating electronic warfare environments for the susceptibility/vulnerability analysis of missile and support systems. They were also heavily involved in target acquisition testing and evaluation for the US Air Force YAL-1 Airborne Laser (ABL) project.

The aircraft were also used as downrange telemetry assets in conjunction with Western Launch and Test Range launches from Vandenberg AFB in California, and were instrumental in the testing and certifying of the US Navy Aegis Combat System (ACS). Basically, if you wanted to be certified ready for war, you had to pass our test. Prove that you can still fight and survive with no eyes and ears. These were some very badass airplanes. I can nearly guarantee that you have heard of more than one widely reported and publicized military operation that would not have been possible or successful without this project or these aircraft.

In 2008, the BCPO closed its doors for good. Both 55-3132 and 63-8050 were retired, and now rest at AMARG at Davis-Monthan AFB (the Boneyard). It was an absolute pleasure to be assigned to this unit many years ago, and personally have a hand in some truly amazing accomplishments.