The secret’s out on Tango Alpha Lima

Vietnam War pilot Dean Echenberg visits The American Legion Tango Alpha Lima podcast this week to detail the “Misty Experiment,” which involved about 160 Air Force pilots on a secret mission to identify and cut off enemy weapons-supply routes. The story is being revealed now, thanks to a new documentary.

The project began several years ago when Danny McGuire collected interviews with 30 of the surviving pilots with the intention to make a movie. After a stroke, McGuire provided the interviews, rough cuts of the first seven chapters and more to Echenberg. That’s when Echenberg and his grandson, Ian Adelson, decided to finish the movie to honor the “Misty” pilots.

Once the film was put together, it was sent to some PBS stations. “The reaction was extraordinary,” Echenberg said. “They said you have to do something with this.”

After securing the funding, the documentary was finalized. On Memorial Day Weekend, it appeared on 85-90% of PBS stations and had 800 showings across the nation. “We ended up with a hit,” he said.

Previously the film was shown at a handful of film festivals. “We had people come in from all over,” Adelson said. “Some people had ties to the ‘Misty’ men themselves, others who were film fans and others who just wound up at the festival. It was really an interesting eclectic mix of viewers. The reaction was extraordinary.”

Also of note, co-host Ashley Gorbulja-Maldonado kicks off the show talking about the recent Air Force victory in the first Armed Forces gaming competition among all six branches. The contest was held on “Halo Infinite” on May 28-29 in San Antonio, Texas. In a previous podcast episode, guest Sgt. Erin Rich discusses how the Air Force’s eSports gaming program unites Airmen and Guardians of all ages, ranks and backgrounds.

Coming up next week: Special transitioning series

To coincide with the anniversary of the signing of the original GI Bill, the Tango Alpha Lima podcast will publish a special, four-part series on transitioning, career tips and more.

June 20, Part 1: Two veterans who are Disney executives talk about how transitioning servicemembers can get into that type of industry. 

June 21, Part 2: Our guest encourages servicemembers to focus on transformation, rather than transition.

June 23, Part 3: Get some practical advice from an expert who has coached thousands of veterans, military spouses and veterans in career transition. 

June 23, Part 4: Meet a Black veteran who pursued and realized his dream of getting into the entertainment field.

The new episode is among nearly 130 Tango Alpha Lima podcasts for veterans, servicemembers and others. All episodes are available in both audio and video formats here. You can also download episodes on iTunes, Stitcher or other major podcast-hosting sites. The video version is available for viewing at the Legion’s YouTube channel.