yoked mind: An indication of viral hepatitis. (Yoke, here, is the alternate spelling for yolk.) "The disease was especially common among the military and was called 'campaign jaundice.'" (Hollinger & Melnick,1985)
blood-gland: Begun in late 1939 on 2,000 acres adjacent to what is now Albuquerque International Airport, Kirtland AFB "has become an installation so vast that spokesmen groan when asked to explain the air base's 'mission.' There are, they explain, 152 units, organizations and agencies at Kirtland (including the home of the largest field office of the Department of Energy, which from here monitors and controls) every factory involved in the production of America's nuclear weapons." (Morrissey,1986). "Blood-gland" refers to the liver, "the deep-seated organ...regarded as the inmost spring of the deeper emotions...not only does it secrete bile, but it is a huge blood-gland." (Onians,1951)
Bullpups: Self-powered missiles with radio guidance. A bullpup is also a customized rifle whose barrel is set well back on the stock. The Air Force calls this missile, "the pooch with a punch," so perhaps they had something else in mind when naming it.
Sidewinders: One of the most successful missile designs; a Sidewinder is also a rattlesnake found in the Southwest--while birds are "nothing more than 'glorified feathered reptiles.'" (Ratkevich,1976)
sparrow, while shaving,/Cuts off his head,/Which is precisely what
Phoenix: A mythical bird of great beauty that lives in the desert, slowly consuming itself by fire; only to rise from its ashes to begin another round trip. Denied permission to take a picture of Kirtland's Base Operations Building, photographer Patrick Nagatani took a commercial flight from Albuquerque International Airport to Phoenix, Arizona, shooting his picture from the plane as it taxied past the building. Arriving in Phoenix, he took the next flight back home.
familiar odor: "Priests, examining the entrails of birds,/Found the heart misplaced, and seeds/As black as death, emitting a strange odor." (L. Simpson, from "The Inner Part."). "Detailed examination of the liver of sacrificed animals (hepatoscopy) was used by Mesopotamian doctors for forecasting illnesses or for planning military campaigns." (Hollinger & Melnick,1985)
Enchilada Air Force: The 150th Tactical Fighter Group, New Mexico Air National Guard. Based at Kirtland AFB, in 1979 it was one of the two Air National Guard units to be chosen for the U.S.'s anti-terrorist Rapid Deployment Force.
Captain: On June 7, 1912, Capt. Charles Chandler fired the first machine gun mounted on an airplane. The plane was piloted by Col. (then Lt.) Roy C. Kirtland, for whom, on Jan. 13, 1948, Kirtland AFB was named.