Colonel (Ret.) Gaillard “Evil” Peck – Bio
Colonel Gail Peck was born at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the 1st son of Air Corps Lt Gaillard and Lois Peck. He was raised in the military attending school in occupied Japan and the Territory of Alaska, two among many of his father’s Air Force assignments. Following graduation from Francis Hammond High School in Alexandria, Virginia in 1958, he immediately entered the Air Force Academy graduating in 1962 as a member of the fourth graduating class, known as the original Red Tags.
Pilot training followed at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. Graduating first in his class in September 1963, Colonel Peck was assigned to the 3646th Flying Training Wing at Laughlin AFB as a T-33 Instructor Pilot. Within a year he upgraded into the T-38 and following Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama in December 1965, he was assigned to the 3510th Flying Training Squadron, Randolph Air Force Base as a T-38 Pilot Instructor Training.
In December 1967 Colonel Peck was assigned to the 45th Tactical Fighter Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. MacDill was a F-4 gunnery school in the Replacement Training Unit pipeline to Southeast Asia. Upon completion of gunnery school Colonel Peck was retained at MacDill AFB for a short course on the employment of the Walleye electro-optically guided weapon. In August 1968, Colonel Peck reported to the 433rd TFS “Satins Angels” at Ubon Royal Thai Airbase, Thailand. While at Ubon, Colonel Peck flew 163 combat missions in the F-4D in North Vietnam and Laos, including 100 night combat mission. In August 1969 at the completion of his combat tour he was initially assigned to Bentwaters Air Base, England. That assignment was canceled and he was sent back to MacDill AFB, FL for duty as an operational fighter pilot in the 46th Tactical Fighter Squadron. After completing Fighter Weapons School in 1970 Colonel Peck returned to MacDill Air Force Base and helped re-establish the Replacement Training Unit in the 27th Tactical Fighter Squadron at MacDill.
In July 1972, Colonel Peck was assigned to the 414th Fighter Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base as an air-to-air instructor. For a short time after his promotion to major he served as the Terminally Guided Weapons flight commander. In 1974, he was selected to be the Air-to-Air flight commander in the F-4 Fighter Weapons School.
Colonel Peck attended Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia in early 1975 prior to reporting for duty in the Air Staff’s “fighter shop” in Operations at the Pentagon. Initially Colonel Peck managed the operational aspects of fighter air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons and weapons systems including bullets, bombs and missiles and the Pave Spike, Pave Tack and Pave Penny systems. He was then moved into the position in the “fighter shop” known as the AF Tactics Officer. In the unclassified world he managed Red Flag and other overt programs. He also operated in the “black” world or top secret programs. It was in this capacity that he initiated a program he named Constant Peg (CP), a combination of words reflecting the AF/XOO’s “call sign” Constant and the name of his wife Peggy. Constant Peg resulted in the enhancement of an airfield at the Tonopah Test Range and the initiation of jet fighter operations from that airfield with the 4477th TEF flying both MiG-17s and MiG-21s. The purpose of CP was to train Air Force and Navy fighter pilots to a degree of proficiency never before achieved.
In 1977 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. And in 1978 Colonel Peck was selected to return to Nellis as an Air Force Aggressor pilot and 4477th TEF (Constant Peg) commander. He was the 2nd commander of the 4477th TEF at Nellis and the first commander at Tonopah.
After a short assignment as a planner at the Tactical Fighter Weapons Center at Nellis, Colonel Peck received a checkout in the F-15 and an air-to-ground checkout in the F-5 prior to his assignment to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as the US Military Training Mission tactics officer. During this period the Iran-Iraq war started and Colonel Peck was a key planner and operations expert engaged in the movement of AWACS and KC-135 aircraft to the Kingdom. This introduction was followed by the enhancement of the Royal Saudi Air Force’s command and control system resulting in the establishment of the ELF 1 detachment at King Abdul Aziz Air Base in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Colonel Peck flew the Saudi F-5 as an instructor pilot during this assignment. In February 1981, he was reassigned within the Kingdom to KAAAB as the Dhahran Advisory Detachment commander, a duty that included the introduction of the F-15 into the Royal Saudi Air Force. In May 1982, Colonel Peck participated for two months as a planner in the development of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s military arm.
Next was promotion to colonel and the National War College in Washington, DC. After graduation in 1983, Colonel Peck went to Luke Air Force Base for F-15 re-qualification prior to assignment to Kadena Air Base, Japan as the Deputy Commander for Operations of the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing. The 18th Wing was equipped with 3 F-15 squadrons (12th, 44th and 67th TFS) and one RF-4 Squadron (15th TRS). Two of the F-15 squadrons won the Hughes Trophy while Colonel Peck served at Kadena. After nearly a year as DCO he was advanced to Vice Commander of the 18th. During this period he was combat ready in the F-15 and also flew as a RF-4C aircraft commander with the 15th TRS.
In June 1985, Colonel Peck was selected as the Wing Commander of the 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Zweibruecken AB, Federal Republic of Germany.
In June 1987, Colonel Peck was assigned to the AF Inspection and Safety Center at Norton AFB, CA as the Deputy for AF Safety. On 31 July 1988, Colonel Peck retired from active duty with over 26 years of continuous commissioned service.
Colonel Peck has over 5000 hrs flying time in the T-33, T-38, F-4, RF-4, F-5, F-15, MiG-17 and MiG-21 and a variety of general aviation aircraft.
Decorations include: Silver Star, 2 Awards of the Legion of Merit, 3 awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, multiple awards of the Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Medal.
Education includes: BS Engineering — Air Force Academy, MA Management — Central Michigan University and MBA Marketing and Finance — University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Colonel Peck currently lives in Las Vegas and for over 14 years has served as a defense contractor at the USAF Weapons School at Nellis AFB, NV where he is an academic instructor and is the F-15, F-22 and MC-130 subject matter expert. He is certified to teach the MiG-21 for the USAF Aggressors. Following his wife Peggy’s death in 2002 he later married the former Carol Smith.
Colonel Peck wrote about his experiences in the Constant Peg Program after it was declassified in 2006. The book “America’s Secret Mig Squadron” will be released in hardback version on August 7, 2012. It is already available in ibook or Kindle formats.