Jason B. Ladd

Ask the Questions. Embrace the Answers. Make the Leap.

Splashing Myths (Excerpt from One of the Few)

missile shoot splashing myths

An excerpt from One of the Few

I was running out of missiles and we already lost one fighter. We managed to hold back the first wave of enemy aircraft, but air intercept control (AIC) was already calling out more groups. There was no time to mourn for Dash-4; he made a tactical error and paid the price. Marine aviation is not unsafe, but it is unforgiving. We’d have to finish out the vul as a three-ship.

Our mission was to defend the carrier strike group (CSG), and I was in charge of the division. We found another group on our radar and received positive confirmation it was hostile—mostly likely a pair of MiGs. Each pilot pulled the trigger, igniting the launch-motors of our AMRAAMs (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile) and sending them off the rails toward the enemy fighters. I followed the smoke trail of my missile until it disappeared from view. In a few moments, we would potentially be engaged with multiple fighters in the visual arena where the struggle for an advantage becomes less a numbers game and more the reward of mastering the art and skill of aerial combat.

I looked out to where I expected to see a small dot gradually expanding—the visual signature of an aircraft at long range. In that vicinity, an orange flash birthed a black smoke-cloud which hung in mid air.

“Splash-one!” I called over the radio. Several more fireballs followed, accompanied by splash calls from my wingmen indicating our air-to-air targets had been destroyed. The enemy was dead, and the blood was on our hands. But the CSG was protected. We completed our mission.

We received no air medals for our action that day. It was all part of routine simulator training aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

Science: A Friend of God

The idea that Darwin has called “splash-one!” at a merge with God (i.e. God is dead) was popularized by Nietzsche in his work Thus Spake Zarathustra. Those who have taken the theory of evolution as the ultimate meta-narrative believe scientific theories will eventually fill our gaps in understanding—gaps that the masses fill with God. This has resulted in a sentiment that science and religion are strange bedfellows.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Christians understand God as the creator of everything including the natural world, the laws of physics that govern it, and the field of science which studies it. If this is true, Christians have nothing to fear from scientific discovery, for it will inevitably confirm what he has already revealed to us.

(SUPPORT THE TROOPS and pre-order a copy of One of the Few to donate to a service member!)

*UPDATE: My initial pre-order campaign was a success with over 400 copies ordered! Thanks to everyone who helped support the campaign. Don’t worry, you’ll have another chance to order One of the Few as the publication date gets closer, currently set for November 2015.

About Jason B. Ladd

Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.