By lex, on December 5th, 2005
I don’t know if you ever saw the movie, but one of its closing lines still holds a place in naval aviation culture: “Where do we get such men?”
Of course, it’s quite often used ironically these days, and followed up by, “and where shall we put them,” but never mind – occasional correspondent B2 sends along the excellent read on the real story behind this Korean War-era strike you’ll find appended below:
By lex, on Sat – June 18, 2005
It’s what I do. Well, that and fix the TV remote control.
I think it’s why they keep me around.
We’ve got a wireless home network, courtesy of an Apple Airport base station hooked up to my machine. No wires, no muss, no fuss and everyone gets to share the DSL. Except that every once in a while, for no apparent reason, the base station itself petulantly ships the bed. It crabs out, in other words. Goes tips up.
You get the picture.
By lex, on June 1st, 2005
I was thinking the other day about how much of the interest in militaria tends to accrue to the gear, rather than the gear-er. For my part, I’ve always thought that it was the people who made the Navy great (and other people, although only occasionally, who can make it miserable). We spend long months far from home in enforced proximity with people whom we might not otherwise choose to associate – surface warfare officers and submariners, for example. But as aviators, especially in the somewhat rarefied air of single-seat strike fighter squadrons, we generally tend to get on pretty famously. You just meet a lot of really great people.
Wacko was one of them.
By lex, on Mon – April 25, 2005
A sea story. Are you relieved?
When I was an adversary pilot in Key West, Florida, eventually the day came that my buddy and I, who arrived at the squadron about the same time, got to begin F-16N training. That was a moment long looked for, eagerly awaited. We’d been flying the A-4 Skyhawk for just over six months, and while it had been fun, say thankya, it had been something of a step down from the FA-18’s we’d flown in the fleet. We were looking forward to a little “strange,” in the form of F-16 training. Looking forward to flying the “Viper.”
But before we could start flying the “Viper,” we had to go to Warminster, Pennsylvania.
And get a few rides in the centrifuge .
By lex, on Wed – March 30, 2005
During the fall of last year I had the opportunity (that’s what we call going to sea: an opportunity) to plan and execute three major exercises for three different carrier strike groups. We essentially put all three groups through the same wringer, with only minor modifications from exercise to exercise.
And in retrospect, the fascinating thing was how three nearly identically configured carrier strike groups, facing three nearly identical scenarios, came up with markedly different processes which often led to completely different results.
Which is kind of funny, but not in the “ha-ha” kind of a way: the Navy had invested the same amount in materiel, manpower and training on each group. And yet the same input signal often yielded different outcomes. And while all strike groups were successful, some of them, or their component warfare commanders were much better than others: More lethal, more survivable, and more nimble.
Which begs the question: Why?