The cold war was raging when the USAF began to field a unique and rare ground mission. From 1981-1991, the USAF took from the drawing board to operation and final mission accomplishment / stand down the Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) weapon system.
GLCM units were a USAF ground deployment mission. Stationed in western Europe, the GLCM weapon system were organized as Wings with Flights of GLCMs. The largest wing, the 487 Tactical Missile Wing (TMW) in Comiso, Italy had 7 flights of GLCMs, while the 501 TMW in RAF Greenham Common, England, which was the first to reach Operational Readiness, had 6. It is the 501 TMW which serves as the setting of this painting (circa 1990-1992) shown amongst woodland in Salisbury Plain, England.
Flights would disperse to hide in the countryside and would consist of two Launch Control Centers (LCCs), four Transport Erector Launchers (TELS) along with numerous support and security vehicles. Each TEL carried four GLCMs. The men and women who went to the field with these flights called themselves GLCM Rangers and were a tight knit group who had to rely on each other, across multiple specialties, in harsh conditions preparing to fight their most likely enemy: Spetsnaz teams.
This painting is dedicated to the spirit of the GLCM Rangers as well as the unique spectrum of operations they accomplished while in the field. From left to right, you can see NBC operations/movement in MOPP 4 gear, then GLCM Rangers near a camouflaged vehicle, always improving their fighting position as well as checking weapons. Coming further right you can see teamwork in action as a spotter and security move in the hmmv. Further right you can see a LCC configured for command and control for launch operations. Finally you can see a fire team sweeping for security and the elevated TEL. This also gives the full spectrum of uniforms GLCM Rangers wore NBC, BDUs and covers from kevlar helmets to garrison and commando covers. Every Critical Vehicle is represented and all tasks depicted by personnel are common tasks that EVERY GLCM Ranger did. The actions and vehicles depicted were inspired by actions from every wing and the school house. To a GLCM Ranger, this painting is filled with hidden symbology. While this occurred in a UK setting, it is a salute for all GLCM Rangers.
Title: The Gryphon Mission - Hide, Shoot, Move
Print method: Giclee
Number of prints in the edition: 250 (all sizes and options combined make up a total of 250 prints)
Paper size: 20.25" x 16.5"
Image size: 18.25" x 11.75"
Paper size: 23" x 18.75"
Image size: 20.5" x 13.375"
Paper size: 25.75" x 21"
Image size: 23" x 14.875"
Paper size: 28.5" x 23.25"
Image size: 25.5" x 16.5"
Individually artist signed: Yes
Certificate of authenticity: Yes
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WHAT IS A LIMITED EDITION GICLEE PRINT?
* High quality reproduction of an original painting, capturing accurately all aspects of the painted scene
* Produced on heavy weight archival grade 100% acid free media
* No more than the stated number of prints in an edition can be produced
* Your print number is unique (no duplicates) and form part of the edition
* The artist has numbered, signed, dated and examined each print in the edition
* An accompanying certificate is your guarantee of the prints authenticity
* All of the above add value to your print; the next best thing to owning an original painting
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Eugene Conlin –
A great picture, with "Easter eggs" planted within, that bring back memories of my days as a GLCM Ranger as a member of the RAF Regiment Element of 501st TMW USAF(E), the camaraderie and the difference between British and US English! 😀 Many thanks Matthew.
Russ Hoyt –