Monthly Archives: July 2018

Slice of life

By lex, on January 24th, 2007

You’ve had ‘em. I’ve had ‘em. We’ll have ‘em in the future: A slice of life kind of day.

Meetings of course, the bane of civilization. Might be a good idea that no one gets to sit down during a meeting. Keeps the pontification factor to a minimum.

Then there was homework in the Operations Management class. Not hard so much as merely painful. Manual data entry, foregone conclusions that had to be analytically demonstrated. And so on.

Then there was the other class: Major Group Project telcon, and there’s always that one guy who can’t be bothered to do the actual prerequisite reading that would make the telcon a useful expenditure of everyone else’s effort and time. This particular guy has been drafting off the crowd since we came together 18 months or so ago, and the patience, she is wearing thin. Grad ed degrees are all about group projects, and if someone isn’t holding up their end, the eyes of the world, they fall upon him.

Me? I’m not thinking so much about eyes falling upon him. I’m thinking baseball bats.

Slice of life.

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Greater love hath no man than this…

By lex, on January 6th, 2007

Jason L. Dunham, Corporal of Marines, Medal of Honor winner **– the first of the “Long War,” and the first Marine so honored since 1970.

On April 14, 2004, in Iraq near the Syrian border, the corporal used his helmet and his body to smother an exploding Mills Bomb let loose by a raging insurgent whom Dunham and two other Marines tried to subdue.

The explosion dazed and wounded Lance Cpl. William Hampton and Pfc. Kelly Miller. The insurgent stood up after the blast and was immediately killed by Marine small-arms fire.

** 07-19-2018 Original link gone; replacement found – Ed.

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Commanding CENTCOM

By lex, on January 5th, 2007

I have to admit that I didn’t know quite what to think about the news that Admiral “Fox” Fallon was leaving his command at PACOM to take the reins at CENTCOM. The Pacific Command is the pinnacle of achievement for a Navy four star – as a combatant commander the position is in some ways more to be envied even than that of our premier, the Chief of Naval Operations, who mostly focuses on policy and dealing with Congress.

Which I’m sure is a joy.

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By lex, on January 5th, 2007

Yeah, that’s a terrible pun. But it’s what came to mind when I read this email singing paeans to the F-22 Raptor, passed along through the service pipe:

OK – my first chance to let the F-22 loose on takeoff. I was the last IOT&E pilot at Edwards and it was only a few months before I was to move to Langley. The test folks were nice enough to still let me fly there occasionally, and they had a perfect mission for me. It was a single ship, no test support (control room) required, and I had my own tanker. All I had to do was takeoff and fly around for 2 hours collecting data from the MLD’s (missile launch detectors). In other words it was a free sortie with a lot of gas available and I had the airspace to myself since it didn’t matter what I did during the sortie, in fact more maneuvering was better to get data.

Having never had a chance to really see what the jet would be like on takeoff, and since I had a tanker to keep me full of gas, I decided to do a max performance takeoff and let it go straight up to see what it would do.

Edwards has that 15,000 foot runway, and an unlimited ceiling since it sits in a restricted airspace. So on taxi I asked for a max climb out to 25,000 feet, the controller said, 29,000? I said, sure that’ll work. I really had no idea what I’d end up with and with my Eagle time I figured I’d be lucky to get to 29,000. So I let it go to about 570 or so which was prior to the end of the runway and started a pull, not too much g, maybe 4 or 5, and went to 90 degrees nose high. I wasn’t really paying attention to the airspeed or altitude because I was really enjoying the view and the ride, it was amazing. I started to feel a little buffet and looked inside to see what the deal was, expecting that I was starting to slow down to the point where I was getting the same kind of buffet you feel as the jet slows down and a little alpha starts to build on the wings, that’s how it goes in a Eagle too. Well, there’s also a little buffet in the Raptor when your about to go supersonic, and to my surprise, and I started laughing, the jet was at .99 mach and trying it’s best to punch through to supersonic flight, straight up, passing about 18 or 19 thousand feet or so, it began a slow deceleration as I stared in awe at the HUD mach indication and at 94 mach I realized I was at 25,000 and was going to blast way through my altitude, so I rolled and started a 4 to 5 g pull to level out, which of course didn’t work and I leveled at about 31,500 feet at about 330knots (don’t know why those numbers stick in my head but they do). Now for you pilots out there, you know when you pull g, especially at higher altitudes and heavy weight, it’s a fairly energy depleting event.

So go figure, I’m FULLY loaded with fuel at takeoff, ALL of the weapons bays were loaded, so I am in my combat configuration, in a regular line jet, no tweaks, no special modifications, no weight taken out (as in the Streak Eagle or Mig 25 flights, etc.), nothing, just a line jet any old pilot could step to and fly. So I talked to the engineers and with some quick math they guessed I could have topped out in the low 60 thousand numbers. That wasn’t flying a special profile like other jets have either (Rutowski profile – misspelled?), it was just a pull to the nose straight up. This…jet…is…a…monster!!”

Transonic in a vertical departure? At 18,000 feet?


Sometimes I feel like I was born twenty years too early.



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Get some

By lex, on January 4th, 2007

It’s tempting for us to view the conflict in Somalia between the Islamist Courts Union and the Transitional National Government backed by Ethiopia through our recently acquired understanding of the 21st century Islamist movement, but the conflict in that part of the world between the forces of Northeast African Islam and Ethiopian Christianity has been going on for at least 500 years.

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Thu – April 8, 2004

Just a week, and a little distance and salt air to clear the head.

The strike group we were training did very well, in a new and complex scenario. Having fought and won our part in Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Navy is focused on the next campaign that might require naval fires.

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New best friend?

By lex, on January 3rd, 2007

I don’t own any handguns, being more of a hunter than a shooter – although these, days, eh: Not so much. Limited access and noli me tangere quia Caesaris sum, etc.

I do enjoy poppin’ me some caps though, so when SNO encouraged me to go with him down to the local, it was with no great reluctance that I accepted. We had intended to get even with some clay pigeons, but the Miramar range * didn’t have the good grace to be open on the Second of January in the Year of Our Lord, 2007 so we defaulted to the indoor range and pistols at 10, 15 and 20 paces.

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