This non-fiction historical book is based on a North American Air Defence Command (NORAD) exercise that took part in the early morning hours of the 10th May 1973. Through interviews with the participants the reader gets an understanding of the various roles played by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in the scheduled event. The military personnel involved range from the administrative staff at remote Canadian radar sites, to the air weapons controllers and the fighter interceptor aircrew.
NORAD is responsible for the safety of the North American continent from hostile forces and is on alert every minute of the day or night. Two allies, Canada and the USA, maintain this vigilance to protect their homelands. The NORAD motto is to Deter, Detect and Destroy. Exercises are held frequently to ensure the capability of the system, such as the 1973 Amalgam Mute exercise featured in the book.
The reader will be progressively introduced to the components that make up this vast defence network; the reason that NORAD was conceived, the Cold War, and what exactly the organisation is. An introduction to radar and electronic warfare will be followed by a description of the Canadian radar defence network. The reader will be informed of the history of the CAF Voodoo fighter interceptor and its squadrons. Inside knowledge of the Canuck electronic warfare aircraft and its role of Soviet aggressor will be explained.
With these details the reader will be able to fully understand what is happening as the exercise is described in the final chapter entitled "Sparks in the Night Sky". The reader will enter the world of the target aircraft's cockpit full of electronic jamming gear simulating a Soviet bomber, sit at the air weapons controller's radar screen directing the intercept, work the hangar line as the aircraft are prepared for battle and fly the night skies with the fighter interceptor crew. Will Mute One Zero Four get to bomb its target, Ottawa, the Canadian capital, or will Kilo November Zero Four shoot it down, albeit electronically, and prove that NORAD can Deter, Detect and Destroy?