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TopGun Days author Dave Bio Baranek
Today I will be talking with Dave "Bio" Baranek, author of the book "Topgun Days". Mr. Baranek was a RIO (Radar Intercept Operator) on the US Navy's F14 fighter. I just finished reading his book and really enjoyed it.
DAVE "BIO" BARANEK, author of Topgun Days: Dogfighting, Cheating Death, and Hollywood Glory as One of America's Best Fighter Jocks (Skyhorse Publishing, June 2010)
Dave Baranek was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, He attended Georgia Tech and participated in ROTC to qualify for officer training, then entered the Navy in 1979. His eyesight deteriorated so instead of becoming a pilot, he became a radar intercept officer (RIO), operating the weapons system in the F-14 Tomcat fighter. He received the call sign "Bio," which many of his former squadron mates still call him.
While serving as a Topgun air-to-air combat instructor in 1985, he flew aerial sequences used in the film "Top Gun," starring Tom Cruise and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. He also served as a dialogue advisor on the project, and took some of the few available photographs of the movie's black F-5 fighters in flight.
He enjoyed a successful and satisfying 20-year career in the Navy, starting with assignments to F-14 Tomcat squadrons and the elite Topgun squadron, and later assignment to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the US 7th Fleet. He ultimately commanded an F-14 Tomcat fighter squadron, responsible for nearly 300 people and 14 aircraft worth about $700 million.
He retired from the Navy in 1999, and now works as a defense contractor in the Washington DC area. He is married and lives in Burke, Virginia.
His website is www.TopgunBio.com.
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