THE HISTORY OF THE 327TH STEEL TALONS
The origin of the 327TH STEEL TALONS actually began in January of 1997 when KOOL decided to spread his wings into the Internet world of human interactive combat flight simulation. Early in 1997 KOOL connected with the Internet and joined American Online. A few short weeks later KOOL tried an on-line flight simulator called Air Warrior. From then on KOOL was hooked and not a day could go by without the urge for him to jump into his big leather chair and fire up the computer to do head to head battle with another human being. Gone were the days of combating artificial intelligence, KOOL had experienced Air Warrior and there was no way he was going back to fly off-line again.
In the early part of February 1997 KOOL had tried flying in several of Air Warrior's arenas and eventually linked up with a few good pilots (Ziggy and Pappy) in Relaxed Realism Pac 2. Ziggy and Pappy had been flying long range B17 missions and were about to depart on another strike when KOOL happened upon the two of them in the ready room. KOOL, having never gunned for another pilot before, was at first a little reluctant to join Ziggy's crew but after a few requests from Ziggy, KOOL jumped into the upper gunners position. The mission lasted for about a hour and by the end of the flight Ziggy and Pappy had talked KOOL into joining their squadron. The very next day Ziggy introduced KOOL to AVNG the Commanding Officer (CO) of Ziggy's squad and in a matter of minutes KOOL became a Lieutenant Junior Grade Officer of the VF-202 "Superheats".
For the next several months KOOL flew with the "Superheats" and eventually he was promoted to the rank of Commander. As time passed on, however, KOOL became anxious to lead his own squad. Then in May 1997, with AVNG's support, KOOL moved to Relaxed Realism Europe 2 arena and became the CO of the newly established 202nd FG "Superheats". The squad started out small but with the help from XO Ziggy it had a solid command core foundation from which to expand on. Additionally, with an already successful establishment in the Pacific theater, the 202nd FG "Superheats" where mostly comprised of original VF-202 members.
In the beginning the purpose of the 202nd Fighter Group "Superheats" was to serve as an extension of AVNG's VF-202 Pacific squad in the Europe theater. This allowed AVNG's pilots to fly with friendly faces in the Europe theater when the chance permitted for them to break away from the Pacific theater. Gradually KOOL's squad grew. Then at the end of the summer of 1997 Ziggy resigned as XO and Odds stepped in to become the next XO.
The 202nd FG squadron at this point had grown to approximately 30 members in size. Then in September 1997 the 202nd FG split into two distinct groups and a Bomber group was formed. Thus the 202nd Bomber Group was created and lead by CO JEB1 and XO Sikes. Both of these squadrons worked in conjunction with each other and established themselves in the virtual skies by accomplishing many mission goals and successful sorties against our virtual enemies, the evil B'z and C'z pilots!!!!
With our success many new members were recruited, however a roster setback struck in early October 1997. There had been a decline in the VF-202's roster in the Pacific theater and a general recall of all original VF-202 members was issued by AVNG. The European Theater roster was reduced by many key members and a major rebuilding process began. It was during this bleak period in our history that we found help right around the corner. In November a European squad known as the 26th AD*SF* was deactivated and many of its illustrious members where recruited into the 202nd Fighter Group. With the major rebuilding and recruiting shortly thereafter we were able to bring our membership back up to 100 percent.
Over next few months, our association with the VF-202 "Superheats" in the Pacific theater dwindled and it was determined that our squad needed to create its own identity. In early December we began the process of choosing a new squadron name. Through voting sessions and numerous conferences we chose the 327th Fighter Group "STEEL TALONS" as our new name. In view of our close relationship with the 202nd Bomber Group, CO JEB1's squadron went through the same process of changing its name. Through numerous meetings and voting on their own the 202nd Bomber Group decided to continue its association with the newly formed 327th "STEEL TALONS" by naming their squadron as the 327th Bomber Group "INTIMIDATORS". It was during this time that both squadrons had their most success. Nearly all of the missions and objectives that were flown by these two squadrons were a success. This was our "Happy Time".
Then in February of 1998 tragedy struck entire AOL Air Warrior pilot community with the announcement of AOL's decision to begin charging a two dollar an hour rate for using Air Warrior. From then on things were never the same. As a result of AOL's decision many of our members looked elsewhere and found the promised lands of GameStorm's Air Warrior with a fixed monthly rate for unlimited flying time. This was our best alternative AOL's new rates and it actually kept the squadron alive. So in March of 1998 the 327TH STEEL TALONS and INTIMIDATORS packed their footlockers and moved to GameStorm. Unfortunately, XO Odds, CO JEB1, and XO Sikes didn't make the transfer. Instead, YES took over as XO for the 327TH STEEL TALONS and Jamx became CO of the 327TH INTIMIDATORS. Furthermore, the two squads virtually got smaller as each of the two squads ended up in two different locations, Air Warrior I and Air Warrior II. With the move of March 1998 we were also given the opportunity to use a new program called Air Warrior II and eventually Air Warrior III. The INTIMIDATORS moved to Air Warrior I (Classic) for the squad members with lower performance computers while members with higher performance computers followed KOOL to Air Warrior II. In the few weeks to follow the INTIMIDATORS changed their name back to 327TH BG "SUPERHEATS", and KOOL's 327TH STEEL TALONS moved to Air Warrior III finally settling in Relaxed Realism Europe II.
Around April 1998 KOOL had stepped down as Commanding Officer of the 327TH STEEL TALONS for personal reasons and XO YES resigned as well. It was at this time that SPAZ became the CO of the squadron and Gun16 stepped up as XO. Shortly after this change of command many of the 327TH's most loyal members left the squad, for one reason or another, and the squad was reduced to just a few members. Things again were looking very bleak when the squad's situation went from bad to worst as tragedy struck again. CO SPAZ had to give up his command to place more his time and energy into his personal business, and after SPAZ had a long conversation with KOOL, SPAZ was able to talk KOOL out of retirement and return to duty as CO of the 327TH STEEL TALONS.
Today you can find the 327TH STEEL TALONS flying for A-Land at GameStorm's Air Warrior III Full Realism Arena. If you see one of us flying about give us a salute and a shout and we'll be glad to clear your "six".
CO KOOL of the 327TH STEEL TALONS