Wild Weasel - The Suicide Mission

#aerospace #lmag

During the early stages of the Vietnam war the North Vietnam army, with the assistance of their allies, became quite sophisticated with anti-aircraft missiles.

The missile shootdown of US fighter aircraft demanded urgent action to address this threat. The military solution was the creation of the “Wild Weasel” program. The objective of the Wild Weasel program was to train a group of experienced Air Force officers to fly specially equipped fighter aircraft. The extremely dangerous mission was to locate and destroy the North Vietnam anti-aircraft defenses. The probability of survival of the crews was about 30%. Many aircraft were shot down, crews were captured and became POWs. The surviving crews faced constant threats of being shot down on their next mission. This presentation will discuss the creation of the Wild Weasel program, crew selection, the threat environment, equipment installed, and tactics used. New technology was created, applications developed, tested and employed.

  Date and Time




  • Date: 20 Apr 2023
  • Time: 06:30 PM to 08:30 PM
  • All times are (UTC-07:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
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  • 31416 Agoura Road
  • Westlake Village, California
  • United States 91361
  • Building: Hub101 - Cal Lutheran Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Click here for Map

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  • Starts 31 March 2023 12:00 AM
  • Ends 20 April 2023 06:30 PM
  • All times are (UTC-07:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
  • No Admission Charge


Jerry Knotts Jerry Knotts


Jerry Knotts served 24 years in the USAF. During that period, he flew clandestine reconnaissance missions in covertly configured aircraft in and around Germany, the Baltic Sea, Black Sea and Mediterranean areas. Later he flew 112 missions in North Vietnam/Laos as an F-105F Wild Weasel / Ryan Raider “Surface to Air Missile (SAM) Killer”. Then he was a member of the USAF Big Safari Program team.

Since retirement from the USAF, he has been a serial entrepreneur, coach, angel investor and has worked with numerous entrepreneurs for over 30 years. Over this period of time, he started five companies and mentored over 300 start-ups.

His previous executive positions included Vice-President/General Manager, Government Electronics Division, California Microwave Inc. (CMI), Woodland Hills, CA and Vice-President, American Nucleonics Corporation (ANC), Westlake Village, CA.

Jerry holds a BSEE (Electrical Engineering) from The Pennsylvania State University; and an MBA from Auburn University. In addition, he is a graduate of the Defense Acquisition University, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College.

He is a Senior Life Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE); and Chairman, IEEE Buenaventura Life Member Affinity Group. Jerry is a pilot, licensed / registered Professional Engineer (PE) and life member of the Texas, California, and National Society of Professional Engineers. He is also a licensed Amateur Radio operator (K3ZZO).

Jerry has served as a Ventura County Airport Commissioner, and has served as a Lay Arbiter for the Ventura County Bar.


6:30 PM  Networking
7:00 PM  Talk