"If it had been British it would have been Tippexed out long ago". Andrew Brookes of the International Institute of Strategic Studies briefed IQPC's UCAV conference in London today on UK operations with the General Atomics Predator and Raptor UAVs, and reported on a recent trip to the home base at Creech AFB in Nevada.
The item in question: The names of the USAF's first four Reapers. They are named Conquest, War, Famine and Death, after the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. "For the Americans, the Book of Revelations wins out every time", Brookes said.
Brookes, by the way, is a fomer Canberra and V-bomber pilot. Personally, I think his best line, from his 1980s book V-force, is a quote from an RAF officer advising a younger colleague on the best course of action after dropping his thermonuclear weapon on his Russian target: "Your best bet, old boy, is to keep flying east and settle down with a nice warm Mongolian woman".
I've always envisaged that advice being delivered by Group Captain Lionel Mandrake.