Image of the Air Force wings with the museum name underneath

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From Butterflies to Ravens

Stringent rules of engagement over Laos necessitated the use of Forward Air Controllers (FACs) to ensure no mistakes occurred that could have resulted in the death of friendly ground forces.

In 1964 a handful of US Air Force Air Commandos entered Laos to serve as FACs. As airstrikes increased, more skilled combat controllers replaced the earlier Air Commandos under the call sign Butterfly in 1966 to direct air strikes from the ground and as FACs in civilian aircraft.

When Seventh Air Force commander Lieutenant General William Momyer discovered that the FACs in Laos were not pilots, and in most cases were enlisted, he created the Steve Canyon Program. This effort was to recruit officer pilots to serve as FACs under the call sign Raven.

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