Hornet's Nest follows an aircraft carrier's tour of duty during 1985, offering shoot-'em-up action and a mindset that equates Middle Eastern with terrorist. Central to this unsavory tale are fighter pilots 'Sweetwater' Sullivan and 'Sundance' Karnes and Sweetwater's squadron, the Fighting Aardvarks, who seem like free-wheeling, hard-partying frat brothers armed with technical training, powerful weapons and minds uncluttered by any understanding of the complex political events that dominate their lives.
Just tell these men to "kick some terrorist ass" and they'll be rarin' to go. And go they do - primarily in the Persian Gulf - as they track down an Iranian mine-laying ship to help protect a tanker owned by a U.S.-based company (and registered in Kuwait to avoid U.S. taxes); destroy an Iranian frigate; raid Iranian oil platforms; and, after Col. Khadafy declares a "Line of Death" across the Gulf, demolish a Libyan chemical plant. When it comes to shore leave, the good old days of double standards are perfectly preserved here: bad girls (who do) are fun, but good girls (who don't) are potential wives.