Challenge Coin Update

Ladies and Gentlemen please, turn your attention to me:

A Challenge Coin Update

Final Update: Then there were none. All gone now. Thanks everyone. That didn’t take as long as expected.

Updated July 19, 2016

Only about 8 left after setting aside those requested but not yet delivered.

Updated June 10, 2016:

We have about 15 left. Get’em while you can. Daryle will be traveling to Vegas from the 16th – 21st. So hurry or wait!

I haven’t been keeping careful track of the number of outgoing coins, but if my monkey math counting skills are working there appear to be about 130 or so left. (See above)

A number of you who responded to the thread we used to get a count for the order haven’t actually ordered yet. I don’t want you to miss out before they are gone.

As a reminder:

Dorothy Olson has kindly agreed to collect names and addresses and to compile mailing labels. I’ve been to the USPS to confirm that the envelopes I have will work and to figure out the postage. Dorothy’s coin is in the mail to test it out.

Costs: $6.00 per coin. Shipping is $2.55 for one coin and $.50 for each additional coin. This will work for packages up to 13 oz. which is 6 coins or so. Being a recovering accountant, I brushed off my rusty skill and worked out this handy table:

Number Price Postage Total
1 6.00 2.55 $ 8.55
2 12.00 3.05 $15.05
3 18.00 3.55 $21.55
4 24.00 4.05 $28.05
5 30.00 4.55 $34.55
6 36.00 5.05 $41.05

If you wanted more than 6 we will have to either send two packages or I will have to work out the postage separately. It shouldn’t be a big deal.

Hopefully, you have a Pay Pal account. If so, send the appropriate amount to and please remember use “Send Money to Family or Friends” and don’t mention that it’s for a purchase or product. That way they won’t bang me for their fee.

Also, and this is important, send an email with your name and address to Dorothy Olson at

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In Memory of CAPT Carroll “Lex” LeFon, and the Wonderful Community He Fostered

Welcome. The idea was floated that a ‘talk amongst yourselves’ blog would be a good addition to for the Non-Facebook Crowd. Here it is.


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The Enemy Within

To the reader: Over the last year I have been posting what I consider some of Lex’s best posts over the 9 years that he blogged under the name Neptunus Lex. Many of his posts were educational about the Naval aviation that he loved. Some were funny – no – hilarious. Some made you think about the world. Some were his view of the world situation; that is, political. 

Disagreement with him was fine and even encouraged as a commentor. All that he asked is that people be respectful of one another and have reasoned arguments. So for the few of his political essays that he wrote that will be posted, I can’t think of a better way to honor his memory than to have reasoned and polite discussion for those who wish to comment. 

While I was in the Army I did not serve in Vietnam, but for many of those who did they can probably relate to the following post of Lex’s. 

Bill Brandt

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The Mask Slips

By lex, on November 10th, 2009

The political calculus of the president’s health care agenda is revealed:

ObamaCare serves the twin goals of “making the United States a more equitable country” and furthering the Democrats’ “political calculus.” In other words, the purpose is to further redistribute income by putting health care further under government control, and in the process making the middle class more dependent on government. As the party of government, Democrats will benefit over the long run.

This explains why Nancy Pelosi is willing to risk the seats of so many Blue Dog Democrats by forcing such an unpopular bill through Congress on a narrow, partisan vote: You have to break a few eggs to make a permanent welfare state. As Mr. Cassidy concludes, “Putting on my amateur historian’s cap, I might even claim that some subterfuge is historically necessary to get great reforms enacted.”

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Not That Handle

By lex, on November 3rd, 2009

The first time flyer in a Navy tactical aircraft will receive a stern admonition from the qualified pilot he goes up with: Don’t touch anything, especially anything painted yellow and black. Cockpit controls that yellow typically jettison something – drop tanks, emergency weapons  release, hydraulic flight controls (in favor of manual back-ups). Controls painted yellow with black stripes jettison critical items such as the canopy or even, in the case of the ejection seat handle, the aircraft itself.

A few years ago, back when dinosaurs the F-14 Tomcat darkened graced the skies, a squadron CO thought it would be a good and proper thing to take the commander of his strike group’s air defense cruiser on a flight at Fallon. Show “Whiskey” what it looked like from the air, rather than across the pixellated screen of his Aegis weapons system. A short flight for the blackshoe captain, as it turned out: Once airborne and on their way to the air combat range, the nose gunner rolled the beast inverted for to do a negative g check. Now, the negative g check prior to actual air combat maneuvering is a good thing to do, for if anything is adrift in the cockpit – Skilcraft government pens, wrenches, yesterday’s lunch – has been left in the darker recesses of the contraption, it will float up in a controlled fashion for to be secured rather than at an awkward moment such as pushing over to a guns finish in a flat scissors with the adversary 1000 feet in front of you.

As useful as the negative g pushover can be, it definitionally results in, well: Negative g. A phenomenon almost entirely alien to the cruiser commanding officer fraternity. If your man isn’t buckled in nice and tight – and in some aircraft, even if he is – then he’ll float loose in his straps in what could be a disconcerting way to the uninitiated. So much so that a disconcerted captain might temporarily forget his preflight admonishment, reach down between his legs and pull on something to get him back in his chair.

Which, in this particular case, worked quite well, since the captain pulled the ejection handle, causing the leg and thigh restraints to retract, the canopy to jettison, the rocket motor to fire and hisself to be catapulted into the air, chair and all. No great harm done, apart from the appalling repair costs and the ever-lasting embarrassment all the way around – the Tomcat driver wisely set up the ejection sequencer to ensure that a rear seat ejection would not automatically cause both seats to fire after the programmed delay. With the top down and the back seat gone, the pilot had the solitude (if not the silence) with which to get a search and rescue effort organized for the now aerially suspended cruiser CO and his story straight for the mishap board.

In aviation, as in sport, anything done once can be done again:

As the plane rolled into another stomach-churning maneuver, the passenger was probably wishing that he was somewhere else.

Then, just like that, he was.

The man, a civilian joyriding with his air force pilot friend, accidentally grabbed the eject lever while trying to brace himself.

He was instantly fired through the aircraft’s perspex canopy and blasted 320ft (100m) into the sky by the rocket-powered chair.

He then floated down to the ground with a parachute that opened automatically.

Experts said he was lucky to escape unharmed from the bizarre accident last week in South Africa.I gather that the pilot, a member of South Africa’s Silver Falcon flight demonstration team, may have some ‘splaining to do.

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The Perils of Our Digital Age

By lex, on October 19th, 2009

So it was Perth, West Australia, and the year was 1999. Just before entering port, I had casually reminisced in the hearing of one or two junior officers of my mess that there had been a loverly photo in my first ready room back in 1987. Two young ladies a-wearing US naval officer summer white uniform tops and not much else, guests of the admin, like. This was of course back before we had female officers at sea aboard aircraft carriers, either for the wearing of summer white uniform shirts, or to take offense at such proud and may I say artistic displays of feminine beauty being so prominently displayed, especially juxtaposed (or just posed) in martial accoutrement. If only for the horrible sexism that was in it.

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Acid Test

By lex, on October 10th, 2009

When I was a nobbut aviator, only freshly winged, I was assigned to the FA-18 training squadron in sunny Lemoore, California. The CO at the time was a bear of a man, had played football in college and was a Vietnam veteran. My student cohort held him in awe: We’d been told that he had received an Air Medal during the war for saving a squadron mate’s life, or his liberty anyway. The latter had come off target badly hit and managed to limp only as far as the harbor at Hai Phong before his machine came apart. The pilot had been forced to eject and was floating in his raft a mile or so off shore, when he saw an NVA patrol craft bounding out to seize him. The unlucky aviator was contemplating the austere amenities of the Hanoi Hilton when our CO roared overhead at 500 feet, firing a Shrike missile in boresight mode.

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Sometimes? You Get Lucky

By lex, on August 22nd, 2009

Two hops today down at the aerodrome, and a ret good time was had by all even if it was beastly hot and humid, like. We had an empty hole in my back seat, so Sam – who works part time for the company in admin – jumped in.

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Law and Order and Firearms – UK style

Quite a few years ago, back on The Mothership, I entered into one of the many debates prompted by Hizzoner. As I recall he attached a short press cutting that involved some sort of police deployment. The photograph showed officers from, I presume, a tactical team dressed in what was pretty much army drab cammo kit. The debate developed around the increasingly `para militarisation` of US police forces and sheriffs departments which many commenters on Neptunus Lex, including Hizzoner, felt was more than occasionally o.t.t. There were many comments, including my own slightly more lengthy description of  our close links with the SAS/SBS and other parts of the British Military. Civil police always have primacy in these circumstances.

I chipped in my £’s worth and explained that in the U.K. we work far more closely with our military (primarily Army and Royal Marines) than our American cousins under arrangements authorised by The Home Office and  referred to as MAC P (Military aide to the civil police), something that your guys are forbidden to do under The Constitution, hence your National Guard.

A guy I knew and met occasionally on joint forces firearms training and counter terrorist exercises has recently published his story. Ordinarily he would not have done so, but he became public property last year when he was indicted and tried for murder, ten years after an on-duty shooting that he and his team were involved with in arresting known drug dealers, including Colombians. The Intel reported that they had ready access to re-activated Mac 10’s as well as other semi automatic weapons and revolvers. Tony shot one of them dead during the hard stop his team conducted after the crime squad’s surveillance unit handed over to the Tactical Team to conduct the arrests. It always was a clean shoot, but his experiences at a Coroner’s Court inquest at the hands of the Coroner (a very important and historic legal position that used to report to and represent the Monarch ie The Crown, hence the name)  was not helpful. Our Coroners have very considerable powers and responsibilities and the position should not be confused with what you guys would know as a coroner. Tony appeared at The Old Bailey (Central Criminal Court) last year. After a trial lasting several weeks he was acquitted.

I’ve just finished the book, published earlier this year. It is the real deal, totally authentic and in no way sensationalised, for having met the guy and knowing several of his colleagues quite well, I can say that this was not his way. Tony followed my footsteps in South East London (he joined about 5 years after me) and reading some of the chapters was a real trip down my own memory lane. I commend the book to you if you have more than a passing interest in such things. Tony worked with his US equivalents. There are several honourable mentions`. The last time we met, he bought me a Chinese dinner. I owe him far more than that.



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