It would be practically impossible for an E-3 AWACs to detect the Aurora as described, especially travelling at Mach 6.
The subplot involving the US Marine platoon is very similar to what happened almost two years to a a USN SEAL team in Kunar province, Afghanistan during Operation Red Wings. During that operation, the team was seen by Afghan "civilians" and later released them, only for the "civilians" to run to their village and tell the Taliban. As a result, eleven SEALs and eight Night Stalkers lost their lives and the mission is the single greatest loss of life in Naval Special Warfare history.
The Marine mission is based on Bravo Two Zero an SAS team whose mission was to destroy SCUD missiles in Iraq. They were compromised when a young boy found their position.
Allen Blaisdell: And make it fast before that DMZ becomes an EMZ!
Harm: EMZ, sir?
Allen Blaisdell: Extremely Militarized Zone!
Watson: (to Allen Blaisdell) You can't re-designate us midflight and send us to North Korea!
Harm: He just did.
Mac: Is that your view of Marines? Rigid?
Sturgis: Only in the most positive sense of the word.
Mac: Spoken like a true Navy man.
Harm: I was just getting used to flying with O'Neill.
Allen Blaisdell: Get used to not getting used to anything around here.
Bud: (about Harm) It's weird, it's like he just disappeared.
Mac: That's what they do in the CIA.
Alan Blaisdell: (about the Aurora) This aircraft can practically take you to the moon and back.
Sturgis: Harm and the phrase, 'Everything's all right,' don't usually go together.
At the beginning of this episode, the meeting in the Admiral's offices occurs on October 17, 2003 (which was the same as the original airdate on CBS). This was specifically done to help the viewers realize the passage of time that has occurred between the episodes that started this season.
Harm is defending the Naval Academy in a good-natured argument with Watson, who says something about Neil Armstrong being sent to Purdue University (the Navy paid for his education). Harm replies, "You wanna talk Apollo? Jim Lovell, Naval Academy." Jim Lovell was a test pilot before his career with NASA. He went on two Gemini flights and was on Apollo 8, the first flight to orbit the moon. He is probably best known for being the commander of Apollo 13 and managing to get himself and his crew home safely after an explosion that caused serious mechanical problems. Lovell and his crew received the Presidential Medal of Freedom after the mission and so did the Mission Operations Team.
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