How a fighter-bomber-recon-attack superstar ended up as fodder for target practice. This January 2009 Smithsonian Air & Space magazine article includes quotes by Richard Keyt.
The F-4 Phantom II lives. But the life it leads today is an odd one.
It still flies in other countries; in northern Iraq, for example, the Turks use it in combat with the Kurds. But in the United States, it leads a twilight existence. It’s a warplane, but it no longer fights. Its mission is weapons testing, but no pilot flies it. Mostly, you’ll find these F-4s either sitting in the desert or lying at the bottom of the sea. . . .
Since 1991, 254 Phantoms have served as unpiloted flying targets for missile and gun tests conducted near Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida and Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. The use of F-4 drones (designated QF-4s) is expected to continue until 2014.