Mr. Caution (mr_caution) wrote in arclig,
Mr. Caution
mr_caution
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1991 Rebroadcast/Reconfigure with notes: Agents Muldowney & Blackjack :::PART A

Highlights and considerations, apologies and observations regarding:
Desert Storm Trading Cards
©1991 The Topps Company, Inc., Duryea, PA. 18642
Made and printed in U.S.A.
Universal Product Code: 0 41116 02459 7
Each package containing: Eight (8) trading cards, one (1) sticker

SCUD MISSILE (A)
Card 50 from 1st Series
Black & White portrait visual. In some non-descript clearing of a forest of pine trees, a clunky and ancient looking flat-bed military vehicle, sits with tires, shape and design that evoke an idea that mixes the stripped down, altered vehicles of The Road Warrior and the old Hess® Trucks I would receive on Christmas morning. There's a subset in the world of collectors that follows and strives for a complete set of the Hess company's toy trucks. But regardless, on the top of this B&W military flatbed is an odd missile. It looks too thin and even weak to necessitate such a large vehicle for transport and launch.
Back Card text:
SCUD (A)
The SS-1 missile, known as the Scud, originally had a range of 186 miles but was modified by the Iraquis to reach up to 400 miles. The longer reach decreases the firepower and accuracy of the Scud.
©1991 The Topps Company, Inc.

STINGER MISSILE
Card 89 from 2nd Series (also known on the wrapper as the "Victory Series")
Color landscape visual. Silhouetted against a majestic and nearly cloudless desert sky (just around sunset or sunrise, it's difficult to tell), two (presumably American) soldiers are firing a stinger missile. One holds what appears to be a portable missile launcher while the other looks skyward, following the missile, which has just left the launcher. There is a faint trace of the flare or flash that one supposes must occur when a missile is fired from a handheld launcher and the missile is already in flight, but only a few yards away from the soldiers.
Back Card text:
STINGER MISSILE
Used by the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force, the Stinger missile is a highly effective short-range anti-aircraft weapon. A single Operation Desert Storm soldier can set up and fire the missile at low-flying aircraft approaching from any direction, including head-on. This lightweight device uses an infra-red tracking system with amazing accuracy, and it is used by many of the Allied forces.
©1991 The Topps Company, Inc.

CARPET BOMBING
Card 90 from 2nd Series
Color landscape visiual. On the horizon of a barren, almost moonish area of land, six or seven miniature mushroom clouds are expanding into the clearest of blue, perfect skies. The clouds are black and look like they could be harmless building implosions in a flailing attempt at structural renewal in a rural setting. Like they wanted to take down old man Jensen's farm out on Route 301 to make way for a strip mall and gas station, instead of wanting to take down aging, clearly unsafe tenements in East Baltimore as a way to inject some commerce and pride in a poverty-stricken urban zone.
Back Card text:
"CARPET" BOMBING
"Carpet" bombing is a tactic used to damage large geographic areas in very short periods of time. B-52Gs, with their high payload capacity, are ideal for this type of bombing. A group of three B-52Gs can saturate targets such as airfields and ground fortifications by dropping up to 60 tons of conventional bombs on a 1,000 by 3,000-yard strip.
©1991 The Topps Company, Inc.

LAYING AN M-21 MINE
Card 84 from 2nd Series
Color landscape visual. Two American soldiers, obviously experts at their craft, are placing a mine in the sandy dirt that serves as the ground in the desert. Behind them is a grey-blue body of calm water. One is flat on his belly and concentrating on the delicate task at hand. The other, crouched on his haunches and just as focused, holds his hands out, either giving direction or reinforcing and proclaiming his brotherly confidence in the man with his hands on the mine. Their sandy beige fatigues almost seem to glisten in the desert light, their shadows cast lightly and longly on the alien, lifeless soil. This is the type of lighting Speilberg must have been speaking aboput when he referred to the "Golden Hours."
Back Card text:
LAYING AN M-21 MINE
The M-21 is an anti-tank mine that, when triggered by pressure, shoots heavy steel plates upward at high velocity. Other types of mines fire shrapnel that will kill anyone within 90 feet, and in some cases shoot liquid metal that can penetrate a vehicles armor. Some mines can actually discriminate between friendly and enemy tanks by recognizing infra-red and magnetic "signatures."
©1991 The Topps Company, Inc.

IRAQ'S SCUD MISSILE
Card 101 from 2nd Series
Black and White landscape visual. In high-contratsed B&W photography that leaves little room for shades of gray, a strange and alien figure is hard at work on (or inspecting or getting ready to launch) what is presumably a Scud Missile. The figure is wearing an old gas mask (circa 1940s or 1950s) and the large machinery and coils of steel that make up what is probably the scud missile itself takes up the remainder of the image. When one inspects the photo more closely, two other figures are discernable in the top right portion, also in gas masks and working more intently on some inner guts of wiring and machinery. The photo has the grainy and overexposed look of true espionage/surveillance photography. But the details and what is actually going on there are indecipherable. It reminds me of that image in the first Alien movie. When they first see the Alien thing sitting on what looks like a huge chair and a telescope or gun or something. To this day I can't figure out what the hell that Alien is holding on to or even if it was real...was it a statue or a totem pole created by the other aliens to worship? Or was it a mummified alien who died sending a message, watching the stars or shooting things out of the sky? It's the same kind of thing with this photo. It scares me a little bit because I can't really tell what's exactly going on.
Back Card text:
IRAQ'S SCUD MISSILE
The SS-I Scud has a range of up to 400 miles. It weighs 6,414 lbs, and carries a 2,000 lb. conventional warhead which can be modified with a nuclear warhead as well. Most of the Scuds used by the Iraqis against the Allies have been intercepted by Operation Desert Storm Patriot missiles before targets were hit. The most dangerous Scud is the mobile version, which has a fully amphibious transporter/erector/launcher.
©1991 The Topps Company, Inc.

A-7 AVENGER
Card 112 from 2nd Series
Color landscape visual. On an expanse of the open sea that stretches as far as oblivion, a jet plane soars through the air and above the water, on which sails an aircraft carrier which looks small from the altitude from which this photo was taken. The horizon seems so far away that there appears a slight curve, as if it's so limitless that from here one can actually discren the curvature of the earth's surface. And who knows? Maybe one can.
Back Card text:
A-7 AVENGER
Capable of high sub-sonic speeds, the A-7 is regarded by its pilots as extremely maneuvarable, even with a heavy bomb load. The mobility is critical to Operation Desert Storm pilots who must evade surface-to-air missiles. The A-7 is used by the Air Force (D & K models) and the Navy (E model). While steadily being replaced by the F/A-18 in the Navy, the A-7 continues to be a mainstay of the many Air National Guard units serving in the War in the Gulf.
©1991 The Topps Company, Inc.

WILD WEASEL
Card 113 from 2nd Series
Color portrait visual. Four superfast-looking jet fighters in a triangular flight formation soar through the white streaks of striated clouds while at the top portion of the photo, clear blue heavans and the abyss remain. These planes are flying above the clouds. And you can tell they're really fast, even for jets. They look like the kind of playful, taunting supersonic jets that can evade any enemy radar, jet or heat-seeking missile and have some slightly wreckless (if not supremely skilled and reliable) pilot that yells something like "Whoo-hooo!" when he pulls off a particularly risky and intense yet effective maneuver. Yes. These are the kinds of planes and pilots I want kicking ass for me and my loved ones above the clouds. The Wild Weasel obviously rocks very hard.
Back Card text:
WILD WEASEL
The F-4G is designed for the dangerous mission of seeking out and destroying surface-to-air missile (SAM) sites and radar positions. It is equipped with sophisticated electronic sensors and jammers. The two-man crew is exposed to enemy radar long enough to lock onto it and fire High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM). HARMs have proven so acurate during Operation Desert Storm that enemy radar locations have often shut down, to avoid the risk of being destroyed.
©1991 The Topps Company, Inc.

STEALTH-F117A
Card 119 from 2nd Series
Color landscape visual. Below this black, strange-looking plane (which we view from above in what looks like an in-flight refueling exercise), a bed of clouds appear to be more solid than misty. The plane itself looks more like some rudimentary spacecraft, useful for attacking enemies in the crab nebula or on the surface of Altair-4. It's black and arrowhead-shaped. It looks dangerous. Don't mess with it. It'll rough you up and throw you into a black hole. I don't remember exactly, so I'm not sure, but wasn't the Stealth bomber the ultra top-secret aircraft that the public found out about when the Tamiya® model company (who makes plastic model kits of military things for young boys to put together with Testers® clear, stinky glue on spread out newspapers in basements, bedrooms and playrooms all across suburbia) released a model kit of one? Kind of funny that a model company did that, huh? Still, though, this plane looks like it means business.
Back Card text:
STEALTH F-117A
The Lockheed F-117A Stealth Fighter/Bomber's unique bat-winged shape and composite skin panels reflect incoming radar signals in multiple directions. Signals that aren't reflected are absorbed by special coatings on the airplane's surface. This renders teh Stealth nearly invisible to enemy radar; the Stealth has a radar imprint equal to that of a bird. So that no stray radar signals are projected, the Stealth fighter carries no defensive radar or electronic counter measures of its own. The F-117A delivers primarily low-level attacks using laser-guided "smart" bombs and air-to-surface missiles.
©1991 The Topps Company, Inc.

USS EISENHOWER
Card 120 from 2nd Series
Color landscape visual. Across the sea and under the sky roams another one of those aircraft carriers. In the photo, you can see dozens of airplanes (probably jets) sitting idle on the deck while men (and women) too small to see from this angle and distance scurry like ants on (and in) their hill to complete whatever task is theirs to do (probably). The amazing thing about aircraft carriers is that when you look at them from the front, the part of the boat that goes into the water (the hull?) looks so damn skinny, it's like the boat goes to a point and there's like this super thin expanse under the water that keeps the whole thing from capsizing or tipping over or whatever they call it. But I guess when you've gotr a boat as big as an aircraft carrier all bets are off.
Back Card text:
USS EISENHOWER
The Eisenhower, a nuclear powered, multi-role aircraft carrier, was commissioned in 1977. Measuring 1,092 feet, this 'Nimitz' class carrier is home to over 3,000 sailors and an airgroup of 2,800 during Operation Desert Storm. It carries missile launchers for Sea Sparrow SAMs (surface-to-air-missiles) as well as Phalanx gun mountings, and a total of 91 aircraft, including six Sea King helicopters. There are only seven ships of this class in existence, and they are without doubt the world's most powerful war ships.
©1991 The Topps Company, Inc.




TRIED & TRUE B-52
Card 134 from 2nd Series
Color Landscape visual. On an even sky of perfectly even blue, this gray and black albatross freom skirmishes past and present glides like an awkward but dangerous bird of prey from some forgotten jurassic era. Its wing span is such that even in the landscape shoto, the outer edges of each wing are cut off. It's fuselage or body or whatever is so hulking and huge that it requires four sets of tires. On each wing is 4 jets (2 sets of two) and it appears strange that such small propulsion gizmos could keep this thing in the air. But for all its awkward dimenions and appearances, the B-52 looks strangely familiar. It's part of our collective national vision of what a weapon of war looks like — but it retains a certain innocence in its appearance. A gentle giant of the air that only by accident is capable of mass destruction and death. Ask pretty much anyone to identify just a silhouette of this things and they'll get it on the first try. It's like the '57 Chevy of war birds. Outdated but a classic — a fond little piece of history and machinery that's as familiar as the street and town where you grew up. With familiar lines that one never forgets.
Back Card text:
TRIED & TRUE B-52
The legendary B-52 still serves today as a mainstay of the U.S. bomber force some 28 years after its first flight. First conceived as a strategic nuclear bomber that would operate at high altitudes over a range of 4,000 miles, the B-52's mission has changed considerably over the years. The B-52 has adapted as a low-altitude penetration bomber, and can carry both nuclear and conventional bombs. Modifications have included terrain-following radar, electronic counter-measures and navigation systems.

MILITARY TERMS — A
Card 143 from 2nd Series
Color portrait visual. The desert sun either rises or sets in the distance, keeping light in the background unfocused hillsides and desert scenes. In the foreground, unlight and silhouetted black, an iron or steel pole, part of some makeshift border fence or some such thing, leans to the side, wrapped and wound with string after string of barbed wire and razor wire, perfectly black silhouetted against the sun yellow red oranged sky.
Back Card text:
MILITARY TERMS — A
ARM: Anti-Radiation Missile. Equipped to seek out and home in on radar emissions, used primarily by aircraft.
AWACS: Airborne Warning and Control System. An aircraft-mounted radar used to detect and intercept enemy aircraft radar.
FLIR: Forward-Looking Infrared. A night vision device used on Allied aircraft that provides detailed images based on the heat radiated by an object.
SLAR: Sideways-Looking Airborne Radar.
©1991 The Topps Company, Inc.

MILITARY TERMS — B
Card 144 from 2nd Series
Color landscape visual. This sky has to be sunset. Reminiscient of one of those colorized Mars photographs from the original VIKING lander. Orange fades through the spectrum near what would normally be the horizon up into a deep purple that will eventually become a pitch blue night sky. One would imagine there are many stars in the desert sky. I've never been in a desert, so I wouldn't know. But I would imagine you can see all the stars in addition to any satellites disguised as stars. But instead of a normal blacked out horizon landscape line, there are four soldiers silhouetted out, presumably American. You can't make out any facial features or expressions or any other details about their equipment, garb or anything else. But they are the horizon and they look like they may be walking together somewhere together, maybe the mess hall, talking and laughing and unwinding after another day of duties complete in the blistering desert sun. You can make out the silhouette of the military rifles slung over a few of their backs, and upon closer inspection you notice a fifth soldier silhouetted between the first and second. But this fifth soldier is further away, his entire head maybe the size of one of the foreground soldiers' fists. That's when you realize this isn't just a small group of friends within a unit on their way to dinner. This is a more official movement — en masse there are maybe hundreds of soldiers all going in the same direction. Their slouches and casual silhouettes make you sure that it isn't as official as a march or tactical advancement of troops. But there are more than these four (five), and they're all going in the same direction, casually and just before nightfall.
Back Card text:
MILITARY TERMS — B
Heavy Forces: Units containing tanks or combined arms teams of tanks, mechanized infantry and self-propelled vehicles.
Direct Fire: Fire aimed at targets that can be seen.
Indirect Fire: Fire aimed at targets that cannot be seen.
Special Forces: Commando-style Elite light troops trained for clandestine and unconventional missions.
©1991 The Topps Company, Inc.

DESERT STORM SLANG
Card 145 from 2nd Series
Color landscape visual. The faceless, cold reflective flight mask of a fighter pilot takes up the majority of this image. You can make out a little of the blue sky in the peripherary, outside this man or woman's mask and helmet. On the right side of the helmet, you can make out the edge of some painted-on insignia or logo. Probably the flight units emblem or some such thing. There are a few joints and high etxh clasps on the edge of the black, shadowed face piece that would probably go over this pilots nose, mouth and jawline. But the reflective visor, now that's the show. No emotion or reaction is betrayed. Inside, the pilot's eyes may be awestruck, or frightened — or truly alive with the thrill that can only come from guiding through the air a technological marvel a system of machinery worth millions of dollars at speeds approaching or reaching beyond that of sound. The thrilll that a man or woman can truly tame, if only for a little while, gravity itself and conquer the heavens as Apollo once did as his chariot raced unfettered throguh the clouds. Reflected in the visor is the top edge of the control panels in front of the pilot and the sky in front of his or her craft. Just ahead is another jet, slightly above this pilot's plane. Is the pilot following in a closely knit, well-practiced and understood flight formation — or is the pilot pursuing this other plane, either to win some military simulation game or in real combat?
Back Card text:
DESERT STORM SLANG
Big Red: The desert sun
Bird: Helicoptor (from which paratroopers jump).
Chocolate Chip: U.S. desert uniform camouflage.
MOPPED Up: Clad in chemical weapons protective gear (from Mission Oriented Protective Posture).
Quick Turn Burn: Five minute procedure to reload F-15 fighter.
Smoke 'em: To reach a destination quickly.
©1991 The Topps Company, Inc.

WORKING TOGETHER
Card 147 from 2nd Series
Color landscape visual. As the desert sun sets or rises in the distance, painting the entire sky in easy, even textures and mixtures of yellow, orange, red and blue/purple/black, the silhoutted black image of a jet fighter comingin for a landing streaks across the forground. Exhaust fumes and disrupted air currents tail from the wings of the jet, altering just slightly the suns rays intop that liquidy atmosphere appearance of extreme heat and motion.
Back Card text:
WORKING TOGETHER
Operation Desert Storm is the most complex military action since Worl War II. It marks the largest air war in history, with more than 1,000 missions per day having been flown by aircraft from eight Allied nations. The airstrikes have hit Iraqi command and control centers, air bases and missile launch sites with remarkable accuracy. Breaking with tradition, air forces of different nations have been operating in unison, rather than being given separate targets.
©1991 The Topps Company, Inc.

DESERT DRINK
Card 154 from 2nd Series
Color portrait visual. A man stands in the desert in the by now-familiar tan and beige rocky camouflage fatigues. All we see are his legs from the knee up, the lower part of his torso and his forearm and hand. On his back is a miltary knapsack slung low enough to enter the frame of the shot. In hi shand he carries what looks to be a burlap purse-like bag with yellow twine in place of hand straps. There is a cork-like nozzle peice in the upper left portion of the bag. On the side, in a lettering style that evokes rustic, old-west general store symmetry and block type, it reads "DESERT BRAND CAMPING WATER BAG". There is also some Patent language and underneath it all, "Made by Canvas Specialty" after which the type is too small to decipher.
Back Card text:
DESERT DRINK
In the desert, drinking water is extremely important to the U.S. troops as they adjust to the extremely dry climate. on first arriving in the Saudi desert, American soldiers were instructed to drink one litre of water per hour, but as they acclimated to the desert conditions, they reduced their intake to 7 to 8 litres per day.
©1991 The Topps Company, Inc.

MAIL CALL
Card 156 from 2nd Series
Color landscape visual. American soldiers in their desert fatigues sit down with pens in hand to respond to letters from home. A simple, touching image that evokes the idea of a tried and true tradition of war. The boys abroad getting letters of support from their friends and loved ones, with news, both to celebrate and lament. Maybe the family dog had puppies. Maybe the younger sister got straight A's. Maybe dad's back is feeling better. Maybe the wife is leaving you for some draft-dodging pussy who hacked off his own toes with a steak knife so he wouldn't have to fight like a man. But there was no draft for desert storm so that last one might be a biy trumped up.
Back Card text:
MAIL CALL
The letters from friends, loved ones and citizens who support the men and women of Operation Desert Storm help keep the troops' morale high. Many celebrities and less famous Americans have donated books, music cassettes and video tapes to provide the Allied soldiers with a touch of home.
©1991 The Topps Company, Inc.

GEN. SCHWARZKOPF
Card 157 from 2nd Series
Color portrait visual. It's him, all right. Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf. Smiling (to be more precise, laughing) and looking on off camera at whatever (or whoever) has made him laugh. It's a good natured laugh, not mocking or sinister. It's the laugh a kindly old uncle who you don't see often enough lets out at dinner when your father or mother makes fun of him in a way that only a sibling could. And his laugh takes it all in stride. It's like "OK, sis/bro...you got me...good one!" Also, his four stars are apparent and truly the secondary focus of the shot. Because behind that smile, that good natured laugh, lurks the heart and soul of a warrior, a shining knight with the tactical genius and diplomatic know-how to wrangle together the hundreds of thousands of men and women who will fight, claw, kick and gnaw at the desert itself until victory is ours!
Back Card text:
GEN. SCHWARZKOPF
General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, a 56-year-old four-star Army general, is commander in chief of the U.S. Central Command. In Operation Desert Storm he commands more than 500,000 American troops, and co-commands an additional 200,000 Allied soldiers deployed on the Saudi-Kuwaiti border. Gen. Schwarzkopf and his staff assembled and coordinated this multi-national force, preparing for an eventual ground war with the Iraqis.
©1991 The Topps Company, Inc.

PARATROOPERS LAND
Card 162 from 2nd Series
Color Landscape visual. I count 89 paratroopers in this one small picture and that's pretty amazing when you stop to think about it. Because these men and women are trained and dropped in a relatively close proximity. It's amazing that they don't get all tangled up and die all the time. They're all floating down gently in this static moment caught with the familar sandy terrain of the desert and the clearest of desert blue skies, falling from the sky with their parachutes all ballooned out like little portabellos from the clouds.
Back Card text:
PARATROOPERS LAND
Paratroopers are trained for airborne (jumping from airplanes) or air assult (jumping from helicopters) missions. They are the most mobile ground troops of all service branches. Paratroopers, an Elite Force of the military, are utilized for ground combat behind enemy lines as well as in areas not accessible by land or sea transport.
©1991 The Topps Company, Inc.

MULTI-LAUNCH ROCKET SYSTEM
Card 163 from 2nd Series
Color landscape visual. Now here's a land vehicle that looks like it wants to plow through your neighborhood and not know your name until it rolls over a road of your bones. It's like a tank, but without the rotating turret thing with one big gun. It looks like it could shoot a whole mess of missiles in any direction it wanted. It looks stable and fast and maneuverable. With a long body amd room for a few guys to sit up front. If you see this thing coming down the street, Sadaam, baby...just run — but you won't get far.
Back Card text:
MULTI-LAUNCH ROCKET SYSTEM
The Multi-Launch Rocket System (MLRS) employed by the U.S. forces in Operation Desert Storm consists of a 12-round launcher mounted on a tracked vehicle. Each rocket is 13 feet long and 9 inches in diameter, and can accomodate explosive and anti-tank warheads. The main advantage of this unit is its mobility, and the MLRS can relocate immediately after it has fired on the enemy. A recent development resulted in a warhead that can shower thousands of powerful M42 submunitions over an area the size of six football fields.
©1991 The Topps Company, Inc.
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