Editorial Note: Led by Editor Dr Mike Hankins, From Balloons to Drones produces a monthly podcast that provides an outlet for the presentation and evaluation of air power scholarship, the exploration of historical topics and ideas, and provides a way to reach out to both new scholars and the general public. You can find our Soundcloud channel here. You can also find our podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.
Amidst the news of classified intelligence leaks, it’s a great time to look back at the US Air Force (USAF) Security Service – the USAF’s own intelligence agency that gathered critical intelligence throughout the Cold War. From using surveillance aircraft to spy on potential threats to helping fighter pilots shoot down MiGs over the skies of Vietnam, Philip Shackelford takes us through the story of this mysterious organization, as he details in his new book: Rise of the Mavericks from Naval Institute Press.
Philip C. Shackelford is the library director at South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado, Arkansas. He has served as President of the Arkansas Library Association and was named an Emerging Leader by the American Library Association in 2019. Shackelford’s academic focus is on communications intelligence in the U.S. Air Force. He is also interested in national security, strategy, intelligence, and organizational culture.
Header image: A Boeing RB-29 of the 31st Reconnaissance Squadron, somewhere over Korea, c. 1952. (Source: Wikimedia).