With the escalation of conflict in southeast Asia Richard Putnam, tired of working within the constraints of commanders more preoccupied with casualties and costs than results, was putting together a mercenary flight of his own and remembered a fellow mercenary he had met some time back, named Caleb Erian Falk, whom Richard had spilled drinks with in the past. When Richard contacted him Caleb agreed to fly with him almost immediately and the two met in Germany to set up logistics and scout out employers before making their way to Asia.
On their way the two met Mariya Vasilia Zakharov in Prague when they helped her beat up some less than scrupulous men outside of an airfield bar, later finding out that she too was a mercenary pilot. Convinced of serendipity the two convinced her to travel with them to Vietnam where there was plenty of work to be had and killing to be done.
Once they arrived they still needed to find one more pilot before any PMC would accept them. Kjell Magnusson was just one of the many fresh faced pilots arriving in Vietnam trying to make their fortune. When word of a flight looking for more pilots reached him Kjell immediatly applied to join the group. Despite his relative lack of experience he was hired on to complete the flight.
Anders Norder was already in theater when the rest were celebrating their freshly formed flight, albeit in jail at the for some offense or another. He was brought to Richard's attention through a mutual acquaintance in the mercenary world. Impressed with the Norwegian's past experience Richard used his last bit of cash to pay the bribes and fines to get Anders out of jail - on the condition that he fly under Richard's command.
Richard "Chuckles" Putnam - Flight Lead - Air to AirEdit
Richard was born into a family of fighter pilots. The tradition began when a Putnam volunteered and fought in World War I with the Lafayette Escadrilles. Since then a Putnam has been in every American engagement from World War II to Operation Enduring Freedom. Each family member has served with distinction; sadly this was not the case for Richard. Since his childhood Richard has shown to be ruthless. He would do anything to achieve his goals, even putting the blame on others. On numerous occasions teachers would accuse of him cheating, but there was no real proof. However his parents knew the truth and were bothered by his behavior.
As Richard turned into a teenager, he quickly followed into his family’s footsteps. He desperately wanted to carry on the tradition and started to fly small Cessna planes. His ruthlessness truly came out in high school with fencing, becoming a regional champion. Many would describe his style to be unrelenting and ferocious, scaring many of his opponents. At his last national tournament, he was defeated in the semi-finals. A week later his opponent had his arm broken by an unknown assailant. Graduating high school, Richard entered the Air Force Academy and seemed to be on the path to becoming a pilot.
Years later he finally earned his wings and was flying a F-16 for the Air Force at Spangdahlem Air Force Base. The only thing Richard remarked about the experience was the boredom. He remembered how his Uncle would tell stories of flying in Vietnam against MiG-21s. The thrill of the chase in a dogfight or dropping bombs on a bridge. That is what Richard wanted, the excitement of real combat, not just sitting, twiddling his thumbs. A chance for combat came in the form of Operation Odyssey Dawn.
Richard flew into Libya to destroy Colonel Gaddafi’s forces. On one particular mission he blew up a hospital, which happened to be near a supposed enemy headquarters. The only problem was that it appeared the hospital had been directly targeted, not the HQ, which was also taken out. Did Richard intentionally blow up the hospital? An inquiry was set up to see how such an incident could happen. Reports seem to be muddle and for the most part classified, but Richard received a dishonorable discharge. Seemed as though the government wanted to close the incident as soon as possible, but perhaps his family had enough pull to prevent Richard from being sent to Leavenworth. Either way Richard’s pilot career was effectively over, that is until the Argentineans started a new military plan.
The following year saw the rise of the PMC due to the economic crisis. Richard saw this as a chance to get back into the game, plus the dream of flying in actual combat due to the spike in conflicts around the world. Promptly he hitched a ride down to Argentina and became one of the first modern mercenary pilots. Richard seemed to jump at any opportunity to fly, having days without a break. His ruthlessness became clear when many of his flight mates would be “sacrificed” so he could gain the upper hand in a dog fight. Travelling throughout the world, Richard’s flights never lasted too long, mostly due to death. However most of his ruthless attitude was directed toward the enemy. One clear example of this is killing downed pilots. On numerous occasions flight mates would see him shooting at ejected pilots. Also Richard made it clear that he did not care about the politics of the region. As long as the money flowed he would fight even for the devil. Sometimes Richard would fight for one side on one day, then the enemy on the next, a true mercenary.
Anders "Skog"Norder was born in a small town outside of Bergen, Norway in the last quarter of the 20th century. His parents moved to Ørland Main Air Station when Anders was entering grade school after his father got a job on base as an electrical contractor.
This setting immersed Anders in the military life, and that of the airman, at an early age and flight captivated him for most of his childhood and adult life. With this in mind his joining of the Royal Norwegian Air Force at the age of 18 came as no surprise to his family.
After training Anders was assigned to the 137 Air Wing, 336 squadron where he flew F-5B(G) in a missile evaluation role. After a year with 336 squadron Anders was transferred to 132 Air Wing 331 Squadron to fly an F-16A MLU in a primarily close air support role. After a two year deployment to Afghanistan with 331 Squadron in support of NATO operations Anders left the RNAF after poor intelligence and communication errors caused him to strafe a friendly transport convoy. Soon afterward he was recruited by "Black Sun LTD," a paramilitary corporation operating out of Argentina.
With Black Sun Anders performed limited reconnaissance and ground attack operations in Iraq and the Democratic Republic of the Congo while flying a former USAF F-111F, up until Black Sun's dissolution (see CIA document 13-A#759104), and is currently a free agent.
Anders has a fairly cynical outlook and personality, but tempers it with a good, if rather bleak, sense of humor. He has no current familial relations, his mother Ilse died of lung cancer in 2003, his father is estranged whereabouts unknown. But maintains a good relationship with his former RIO Lt. Thomas Rogers (RAAF retired, current employer unknown). Before leaving the RNAF Anders was in a relationship with a local girl, but their status is unknown since his joining Black Sun.
With the RNAF Anders' record was good, with some small demerits for showboating as most young fighter pilots are wont to do as well as a single incidence of starting a forest fire (from whence Anders gets his call sign).
Though his records with Black Sun are officially destroyed, unofficial channels refer to him as slightly unstable when confronted with civilian casualties, but otherwise dependable and professional, as would be expected with first world military training. After leaving Broad Arrow Anders flew and fought all over the world, and grew a beard.
He flew as a freelance pilot for almost a dozen mercenary flights Anders has done everything from fly air superiority in an SU-27 supporting a UN no fly zone to transport weapons to Somali militias in a C-47. He never seemed to stay with one flight for too long though.
Born in Karlskrona on the April Fool's day of 1987, Kjell was always a bit of a troublemaker at school. Managing to finish primary school with good enough grades, it was time for his military service. Serving first as a mechanic in Såtenäs air force base, he soon discovers that why not apply to fly those things instead of fixing them.
Passing the entrance exam, he spent 4 years studying only to find out that once he graduated, Sweden was already downgrading its air arm, giving him just a few short years of service until the PMC business started to bloom. Looking for fresher waters and more excitement, Kjell left the service and went to look for work in the private sector. After a couple of months flying cargo planes he was starting to fed up and is now looking to see if anyone is interested in forming a flight.
Rosa hails from Andalusia, the southern region of Spain. The granddaughter of a pilot in Patrulla Águila, the Spanish Air Force´s aerobatic team, saw her developing a fascination for aircraft since she was just a child. She quickly studied everything about aviation with prodigious speed: specifications, history, handling. Rosa hoped to be part of the same squadron as her grandfather, maybe even meet him in the air and fly at his side. The obvious age difference aside, this was made impossible by the profound economic crisis in which Spain fell before The Big One hit. Spain was not able to recover from the first one due to its Third World-worthy economic model of construction, a few select agricultural products and tourism. Its heavy dependence on such sectors led to terrible conditions that simply could not allow for aerobatic teams to subsist due to popular pressure.
By that time, Rosa had graduated as a combat pilot for the Matador, the Spanish variant of the AV-8B Harrier II. However, the massive lay-offs that had to take place in a short time due to the inability of Spanish politicians to grab the bull by the horns caught quite a few of them by surprise. Now, dozens of rotary and fixed wing pilots from Spain wander the world, resenting their government and being owners of a set of skills that only pay well in a very specific job....
Daughter of a Vietnamese-American self-made billionaire, Victoria "Vicky" Nguyen (1991-present) was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth - more like a 14-carat gold one. Privately educated in the best private schools in her native California (she got expelled from two of them), Vicky gained an interest in flying from a former F-5 pilot friend, who hoped that it would calm her down. She demonstrated a natural talent and soloed on ultralights at 13, getting her regular licence three months after her sixteenth birthday.
As a present, her daddy brought her an F-5 warbird as a present and she was soon flying around all over the country, engaging in mock dogfights. It is perhaps not surprising that she failed her SATs and even her daddy's influence was not sufficient to get her into a decent college.
Instead, she became a fly hard and party hard girl, engaging in one low-level maneouvre that nearly got her FAA licence revoked. Her academics weren't sufficient to get her into the USAF, but when the crash came, her skill was something that attracted the attention of a couple of PMCs.
One of these put her through a crash military course and assigned her to Borgen Flight, a mostly Scandinavian unit commanded by Jovanka Larsen. that provided anti-piracy services in the Caribbean. She spent ten months here, destroying a number of pirate vessels and one prop plane that thought it would be a good idea to tangle with an F-5. While she was highly professional in the air, on the ground she acted like the spoilt rich girl she was.
Eventually her highly strung personality rubbed up against the entire squadron, especially attractive Vikki Schmidt. One day, Jovanka Larsen had enough of the two ladies' catty attitude to each other - so she told the two ladies to mud wrestle over the issue - the loser would leave. Victoria point-blank refused to take part in this and walked from the flight. Vikki Schmidt ended up being abducted and nearly killed during an attack on Borgen Flight at base six weeks later. She gradually made her way to South-East Asia, thinking on her actions and starting to finally calm down. A bit.
Caleb Erian Falk was born into a farming family in Iowa. When he was 13 he completed his first solo flight in his families crop dusting bi plane, that flight consisted of just a takeoff and a 30 second flight. Caleb continued to fly crop dusters all throughout high school. At the age of 21 wanting to fly something bigger and faster, he trained as a civilian pilot and was hired by American Airlines. After 3 years of flying Caleb was fed up with the continuous pay cuts and monotony of civilian flight. He quit his job and joined the United States Air Force at the age of 24. There he learned how to fly combat jets and learned fighter tactics. He stayed in the USAF for 4 years and after the big market crash decided to become a mercenary pilot, flying for the highest bidder.
A mixed-race child, Mariya grew up in Novosibirsk as the only child of a Russian military engineer and an Algerian immigrant businesswoman. Though the disdain for mixed marriages and "chernye" was at a height during her childhood, she nevertheless had a steady upbringing with a stable and loving family, owing much to her entrepreneuring and dedicated parents. Lively and athletic, she struggled with academic pursuits early in life, but later took to them with dedication, once she got her priorities straight.
Mariya loved aviation from the first time she flew, that time with her father at the rudder of a Sikorsky cargo helicopter, and growing up around her father's friends and families, she also felt an affection and affinity for the military, knowing it was her father's career that enabled much of the comforts she had in life. It seemed natural to her that she should enlist and serve her country, and if possible become a pilot as soon as she could. Of course, there were difficulties; not only was she the product of a mixed race marriage in a society where prejudice had taken a spin for the worse but she also had terrible study discipline and attended an unremarkable school. Some three of her teenage years were spent simply compensating for this, during which she was basically a shut-in and didn't do much else but study, and some gymnastics on the side.
Mariya eventually ended up at the Armavir training facility, where she scored high on both theoretical and practical exams, and after graduating with honors moving on to the forward combat training units at Lipetsk air base. She had barely managed to familiarize herself with the Sukhoi Flanker she was hoping to pilot for the foreseeable time though, before the recession hit full force. The Russian Federation, acting to assure the jobs of veteran pilots and more "secure" assets, swiftly discharged or moved a multitude of personnel. Mariya was left with an unattractive posting which, while it would move her closer to home, was nothing but a second rate position, something she felt she could not accept. After coming so close to being the first black female fighter pilot in Russia, she was infuriated, feeling snubbed at something she felt she spent the most important time in her life on.
It was either the best or worst decision of her life to sign on with the infamous Czernobog's Talons. Mariya has not made up her mind. She certainly did learn quite a bit during her stint with that group, among others that she has some talent for terror tactics and picking out and destroying ground targets. But there were quite a few uncomfortable lessons as well, and it was only by a hair that she managed to buy herself out of that PMC. Now, strapped for cash and bored out of her skull, she searches for a better flight that might need her skill.