The gulf war ended and things were getting back to normal.
I got my security clearance back and in April I flew in support of Exercise Red Flag over Northern Nevada. As part of my job I had to build real-world nuclear and training routes for the B-52 bomber crews and score radar film from those missions. Frequently someone from our office would fly with the aircrews to get a perspective on our job and to find ways to improve our route packages.
The B-52 Stratofortress was very tiny inside...and very uncomfortable. The Instructor Pilot seat (I had to sit there) was basically a lump of metal with a thin pad, absolutely no back-pad and I had to spread my legs in an awkward position around the pilot's seat directly in front of me. With a parachute attached to my back, I had to lean forward in a hunchback position. That, coupled with the lack of windows made the flight very nauseating. I nearly hurled...
As we were checking communications before launch, one of the crewmembers notice a microphone was open and said,"Hot Mike!", through the headset, to which I replied,"Huh?" Thereafter, whenever they'd come to my office for their mission packages, they'd say,"Hey, Hot Mike! What's up?"
We started the mission with an aerial refueling. Unfortunately, on this particular mission, the low-level portion had to be cancelled due to poor weather. On the flight back, I was given control of the B-52 (my training is in Intelligence...I thought they knew that) and piloted it for about ten minutes. The bomber kept wanting to climb and I had to keep pushing it down to keep the lead bomber in sight.
Months later I was able to fly on a low-level mission over South Dakota...I carried the training folder with me and followed the mission by looking through the window and matching the ground atributes with the maps. We were so low the pilot waved at a man riding a horse below.