Reginald "Reg" Cummins is a RAF Squadron Leader who fought in the War of 1996.
Cummins lived in Kew in London. After joining the Royal Air Force, Reginald traveled in Israel and visited Jerusalem during his three-month leave. He participated in the Gulf War serving from Dhahran. Cummins and his group were too confident and cocky during the first two days of their service. His cockiness would eventfully cost him. Cummins participated in a bombing run over Baghdad and carelessly bombed a college gymnasium housing Iraqi civilians who were left homeless from the bombings, killing around one-hundred and eighty people. Cummins was left guilt ridden by what he had done.
A few years after the war, Reg became an instructor with the Queen's Flight and Training Group, Mideast section, to teach air combat to the Royal Saudi Air Force's pilots to prevent similar carelessness. He was affectionately given the nickname "Teacher" by his Saudi trainees. He even befriended one of his trainees, Khalid Yamani.
War of 1996
In July 1996, Cummins was stationed at Khamis Moushalt Airfield in Saudi Arabia during the arrival of the City Destroyers. Reg tried to lighten the mood with his fellow officers dealing with the impending invasion by playing billiard. Their game ended when their commander, Group Captain Whitley, informed them that he need a volunteer in escorting a flight of in-training Tornadoes pilots to Khamis Moushalt after every nation in the region closed down their airspace and denied them the right to land in the wake of the invasion and due to acts of open hostility between the nations. Cummins immediately volunteered despite Whitley's reluctance due to his past history.
After being shortly chased by Syrian fighters, Cummins managed to reach the Tornadoes and informed them that they had to make a detour due to hostile airspace. As they made their pass near Jerusalem, they witnessed the City Destroyer deploying its weapon that completely destroyed the holy city. After being shocked by what just happened, Cummins briefly joined with other Middle Eastern pilots in a futile attack on the City Destroyer whose energy shield protects itself against their missiles. Cummins was then forced to regroup with the little surviving remnants of the British Tornadoes as alien fighters began to annihilate human air forces. With little fuel left, Cummins tried to escort the British pilots along with other surviving Middle Eastern pilots to Khamis Moushalt.
After entering Saudi Arabia, the group received communication from Whitley, who informed them that alien fighters are approaching Khamis Moushalt. Realizing that the airfield is doomed, Reg led the survivors away from Khamis Moushalt and into the Rub' al Khali much to the chagrin of the pilots. When one Egyptian pilot disobeyed his order and attempted to land at Khamis Moushalt, Reg was forced to shoot the pilot down from leading the aliens to the air base. Their situation worsened as fighters began to run out of fuel and drop from the sky until they finally managed to land at an oil-drilling station manned by the Saudi military. But Cummins' jet abruptly consumed its fuel, causing him to safely bail out before his jet crashed.
Cummins' stay at the makeshift encampment was uneasy and tense as it was shared by many international pilots and military personnel, who shared ethnic grievances and traditional rivalries against each other. This forced the pilots to balkanized themselves into national groupings and kept to themselves to avoid any violence while being monitored by the Saudis who were uncooperative with them, even from those who came from countries allied with Saudi Arabia. Cummins was happily to be reunited with Khalid Yamani, who was there with his family and several important Saudi officials. He was also introduced to Khalid's sister Fadeela, whom he grown to smitten with her.
That night, Cummins and some members of his British contingent were summoned to a meeting with Saudi Commander Ghalil Faisal to discuss the aliens and plan for a counterattack. Cummins voiced his disapproval of a direct assault against the alien forces and considered it to be suicide due to the aliens' shield technology, and advised the coalition to hold back and wait for the right moment to strike. Cummins' words won out, but Faisal points out that if the aliens were to send a City Destroyer to Mecca, then he is obligated to have Saudi forces and their allies to defend the Holy City no matter the cost. Cummins, however, saw that Faisal's decision to defend Mecca was for his own personal glory. Cummins also brought up that Faisal will be obligated to shoot down any deserters. Faisal freely admits his intentions, but also revealing that it is no different from Cummins' choice to shoot down the Egyptian fighter from earlier and recalling his past actions in the Gulf War, therefore discrediting Cummins and firmly preventing anyone from withdrawing from Faisal's proposed counterattack.
The next day, Cummins finds out that his fellow pilots were considering deserting with some of the coalition members. He was against this until the Saudi's radiomen received the news of the Americans' plan for a global counteroffensive on July 4th. This was met with skepticism from Commander Faisal. But Cummins trusted in the Americans' plan and made a successful, stirring speech to the coalition to follow U.S. President Thomas Whitmore's plan.
The next day, Cummins and the coalition pilots engaged against a City Destroyer approaching Mecca. But prior to the engagement, Faisal ordered his forces to engage the City Destroyer minutes before the proposed time for the counterattack. Reg tried and failed to convince the Saudis to break off their attack, but he noticed that Faisal refused to join in the engagement. Realizing he is sacrificing his own men, Reg warns Khalid and some of the other Saudis to fall back. After the Saudis initially failed to penetrate the ship, confirmations from the Americans revealed the aliens' shields are disabled, allowing the coalition to finally fight back. Cummins led the coalition pilots to destroy the ship's main weapon and cause it to crash in the desert outskirts.
Following the battle, Cummins was invited to the post-battle celebration hosted by King Ibrahim al-Saud in At-Ta'if. There, he personally met King Ibrahim, who thanked Cummins for his role in saving Mecca and promised to reward him. However, Cummins was disappointed to learn that Faisal had avoided any responsibility for sending his men to their death in the counterattack and framing Khalid for cowardice and desertion in which King Ibrahim believed Faisal's claims.
Cummins was unable to exonerate Khalid from his trial without providing a recording showing Faisal's orders. Furthermore, he was more despondent that Fadeela had offered herself to be Faisal's wife in exchange for preventing Khalid's execution.
The day after the war, Cummins and several of his fellow coalition pilots visited the City Destroyer's crash site. He and the others toured the ruined ship until they discovered there were a sizable number of surviving aliens posed to attack. Cummins retreated from the ship and warned King Ibrahim of the invaders. A battle between the aliens and Saudi military forces ensues in which the former overwhelmed the latter, forcing Cummins and his friends to flee from the scene.
Cummins and allies later stumbled upon finding the aliens having attacked a Saudi military base and stole a cache of experimental bio-weapons with the intention of releasing it.
- "We're from different countries. We speak different languages. Two days ago some of our countries were openly hostile to one another. Do you remember? Do you remember two days ago? It seems like ten years, doesn't it? Those old conflicts, those hostilities, they're meaningless now. What's important is what we have in common. What we have in common is the greatest enemy mankind has ever known. And now we have hope! We have hope that we can knock the invaders from the skies! We have hope that we can take back what is ours! We have hope, a real hope, of fighting a battle we can win!"
- ―Reg's rousing speech to the coalition.
Behind the Scenes
- Reginald was based on a minor character named Alec Kingsley in Independence Day who was portrayed by Jim Piddock.