Posted by lex, on Febuary 13, 2006
I know that some of my readers are young officers and midshipmen, and because nothing ever really changes in the service but the faces and the names, you are by now, or very shortly will be, very likely tired to death of senior officers telling you how envious they are of what you have in front of you. I know that I was, back in the way-back. It was always some grizzled and graying captain – maybe at a winging ceremony, maybe at a “tie cutting” after the first solo, who’d look out into all the fresh faces and say, “I’d give it all up and trade with you in a minute.”
Posted by lex, on November 22, 2006
Here’s an interesting story – with a personal hook – about the USS Wahoo, the famed World War II submarine whose final patrol lasted 63 years:
Posted by asm826 on October 8, 2006
“Are you going out in town?” Bill asked as he rummaged through his seabag.
Tom stood in the doorway, “I don’t know, I’m almost broke, I’ve got about seven dollars left. I’m going to the NCO club for supper. C’mon, let’s go eat, you can catch a later bus and maybe it’ll quit raining.”
Posted by asm826 on September 17, 2006
Tom wandered slowly up MagSaySay. The carrier and her escorts had been gone for two days. The squadron was gone. The rain and cold had driven everyone off the street. It felt like walking up the midway after the carnival had closed. He moved slowly, taking some of the pictures he had been meaning to catch for weeks.
Posted by lex, on March 21, 2004
A new series, for Sunday evenings. “Times I Almost Died.”
There are no lessons here. No larger truths. This will not change your world view.
But I have a rather large store of aviation tales, stories wherein things could have gone very wrong, that will take the pressure off Sunday evenings for a while. A month of Sundays, at least.
Posted by lex, on February 1, 2004
In fighter aviation:
- Never do anything for the first time, that you have to do absolutely perfectly to survive.
- Unless you have to.
- Train like your life depends on it – it does.
- It is not true that everyone is trying their best to kill you, but it’s useful to act as though they were.
- The three most useless things in naval aviation are: Runway behind you, altitude above you, fuel you’ve dumped, and girls you used to know.
- Wait, that’s four.
- Murphy was an optimist.
- If you can keep your head while everyone else about you is losing theirs, you’re not seeing the full picture.
- Speed is life – more is better.
- AAA is bad and SAMs are bad, but the ground has a Pk (probability of kill) approaching 1.0.
- You can only tie the low altitude record, you can’t beat it.
- Push forward on the stick and the houses get bigger. Pull back on the stick and the houses get smaller. Keep pulling back and the houses start to get bigger again.
- If you fly long enough, you will eventually have to cope with a major emergency. You don’t get to pick which one, so you have to be ready for all of them.
- Priorities (in descending order of importance): aviate – navigate – communicate
- If in doubt, wind the clock. It might not help much, but can’t do any actual harm either, and it keeps your hands busy while you figure out what you should be doing.
- You are expected to bring the jet back when you’re done with it. If you can’t do that, the least you can do is stay alive and explain to the rest of us what happened.
- One way to tell if the landing gear are not down is that it takes full power to taxi after landing. A better way is to use the landing checklist.
- When you’re out of altitude, airspeed and ideas, the most important thing is: Never give up – ever.
- You don’t want to fly with someone who has a habit of saying, “watch this!” or “it’s probably just the gauge,” or “just throw it in the back there.”
- Fight to fly, fly to fight, fight to win. Finishing second means you lost.
Other people’s rules.
Remembering the Cole
Posted by lex, on October 12, 2005
Five years ago today al Qaeda-linked terrorists brought a small boat alongside the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Cole, and blew a hole in her side. Seventeen Sailors died, and the rest struggled like heroes in horrible conditions to keep her afloat.
The dedication of her crew, as well as the US Navy’s hard-won experience in ship construction and damage control, ensured that the ship would survive this test, and return to the fight.
Posted by Lex, on September 7, 2005
Your Navy has moved thousands upon thousands of Katrina refugees across the country (with press accounts attributing their efforts to the Air Force, so it goes) and this is how we get press: *