Category Archives: Navy

Herndon

By lex, on May 25th, 2010

My plebe class spent two and a half hours trying to scale Herndon, the vaguely phallic monument strangely situated before the chapel at the US Naval Academy. Our senior class of 1979 had spent loving hours slathering the damned thing with grease an inch thick before rototilling the turf surrounding the monument and turning fine Maryland earth to a foot of mud.

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In the Supe’s Words

By lex, on February 24th, 2010

VADM Fowler addressed the diversity issue at the US Naval Academy to a receptive audience at Diversity.inc recently. His comments helps  illuminate the mindset, and represent as well something of a potential row-back from previous comments that “diversity was the number one goal” at USNA:

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Wrapping it Up

By lex, on February 7th, 2010

Last month, after much experimentation with hand-crafted Excel workbooks and casting about for freeware options, I somewhat resentfully purchased an electronic log book, in an admittedly Quixotic attempt to make some sense of my past life and combine its DNA with that of my recent endeavors. There are inconsistencies between the way that the Navy tracks flight experience and that of the general aviation world that require some creative thinking: Navy doesn’t track “Dual Received” or “Dual Given,” cross-country flights receive no special column of their own flying fast jets, instrument approaches are divided into precision and non-precision categories, further subdivided in to actual or simulated, and daylight hours are inferred from an absence of night time rather than explicitly called out.

On the other hand, civilian log books are wholly innocent of NVG hours and combat time, mission types (air-to-air or air-to-ground?) catapult launches and arrested landings, day or night.

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Turning and Turning in the Widening Gyre

By lex, on August 29th, 2009

Found myself regularly checking the oil temps on the moto, on account of the furnace-like blasts coming up. It’s a good bike, but it is air cooled. Temps were in limits though. Just a hot day for two wheels. A hot day down at the aerodrome too. We’ve four wee circular vents in our greenhouse canopies and when the sun is beating down they’re nothing like enough.

TurninkgAndTurninkgInTheWideningGyre

We had an empty back seat for the first go ’round, and there’s a retired USAF type that works with me looking to get back into the flying gig for pay. Flew F-16s, lots of previous civil time, a commercial rating and a recent Biennial Flight Review. He went along for the ride and demonstrated that some things – formation flying, to name just one – stick with you.

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Thrice frightened

By lex, on June 5th, 2008

I was deeply engrossed in work this afternoon when Son Number One surreptitiously penetrated my vital area unobserved. I started when he spoke, and he smiled, asking if he’d frightened me.

I don’t frighten, I replied, with serene equanimity. Although occasionally I might startle.

But that’s not entirely true.

I’d label it perhaps more apprehension than fear, but my very first fifteen minutes in command of an FA-18 squadron was a very uncomfortable time. The outgoing CO had arranged for an air demo after the ceremony, flown by a legacy squadron pilot whom I didn’t know. Guy that was now instructing at the replacement squadron across the street. In one of my airplanes. The plan had been set in ink when he was in charge, but it would be executed under my command and if the whole thing went south it would have been me wearing it around my neck for the next 15 months.

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Brothers in Arms

By lex, Sat – March 6, 2004

As promised in the previous post, I went golfing today.

I spend my working week planning, thinking, organizing, managing. When the weekend comes around, I put away planning things.

I don’t plan my golf, it just happens to me.

There are some advantages to this. I meet different people every time that I play. A twosome or a threesome is already formed, and I get to join them, and observe their dynamic. It is a fascinating insight into the human condition, especially in that one will always be tested in a game of golf. It brings out the best in people, and the worst. It is a kind of war: a war against the course, against one’s playing partners, against oneself.

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But you heard it here first

By lex, on December 19th, 2007

The helicopter rescue of young Laura Montero breaks the signal-to-noise threshold of the LA Times:

Fourteen-year-old Laura Montero was aboard a cruise ship off Baja California late last week when her appendix ruptured, causing her agonizing pain. The Dawn Princess was out at sea. The ship doctor lacked the anesthesia for an appendectomy.

The teenager from rural Illinois had been enjoying a vacation with 15 members of her family. Now Laura’s mother, Trudy Lafield, began to worry that their long-awaited holiday idyll on the Mexican Riviera would prove fatal.

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