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Part XXXI Supported and supporting

(Note: The author would like to express his grateful appreciation to Sgt. B.**, who penned this entry practically in its entirety, apart from the probably unnecessary framing overlaid for continuity’s sake. Semper Fi, Sergeant.)

It was still too soon for Hammer 21, or any of the CAS package airborne that day to know it, but by the time they had safely recovered back aboard the ship, the Marines to whom they had provided support would already be back in their forward operating base. The platoon commander of the three vehicle patrol was still in with G-2 and Ops debriefing the afternoon’s work, but as he headed into the HQ hooch, he asked his one of his squad leaders to try and find out who had been in the air that day to help – and to send him a “thank you note.” In the best traditions of the Marine Corps, the NCO ran with the mission. After a short landline phone call to the DASC to track down the details of the air mission, he found an unoccupied computer terminal, put his rifle safely close to hand, removed his helmet and body armor and stared at the blank screen for several moments forming his thoughts before shrugging and starting to type:

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Part XXIV Single engine landing – an epiphany?

The ball starts falling towards the center but it’s moving too fast, he’s going to shoot through the glideslope, he can hear the LSO key the mike, and he knows that “Paddles” is going to scream for “POWER” so before that can even happen he plugs the throttle into blower (just a bit? a bit more? how’s that?) and when the LSO finally does call “POWER!” on the radio what seems like an eternity later the pilot mentally shrugs, thinks to himself, you bet, that’s all I’ve got and there’s nothing at all left over, and he feels strangely calm knowing that he’s done what he can do and there’s no card left to play. The ball sags below the datum lights and he hears the LSO key the mike again…

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Two Recent Road Trips

Dubbed Coronavirus Challenge I and II (CV I and CV II)

While I have never in these past 2 years made light of this pandemic, I have refused to change my whole life or be afraid paranoid of catching it. Last May, I took a 6,500 mile road trip through the Southwest and this month I completed a 5,200 mile trip through the northern west.

Ever since I could drive, I have liked to roam. When I went to school in Virginia, I would pick a new route each time when going across the country. Although with that kind of driving, having to “be there” in a week or so, one doesn’t have a lot of time for sightseeing. Although even 50 years later, I remember one route: US 50 through Utah, then old US 40 through Steamboat Springs and 11,000’ high Berthold Pass. Which if I remember correctly, is the highest year-round road in the country.

I did write some time ago about my “mini lap around America” in 2006.

One thing I did discover on my latest 2 “Mini Loops” around America.

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9/11: An Airline Pilot’s Memory of that Day

Posted on September 11, 2021

Some of us were reminiscing what we were doing that morning 20 years ago, and one Lexican had a particular poignant memory. With his permission to post this, here it is.

“On this date, 20 years ago I was a young captain on the MD-80. We got up early for a trip from Houston to Tampa. It was my leg and the second day of a four day trip. It was a beautiful bright morning and clear skies at both Houston and Tampa airports. A great day to fly and what I thought at the time would be an easy leg. Like the fateful United and American flights that would go down that day, and were departing at about the same time as I was, the last thought on my mind was a hijacking. There were no warnings. No memos to keep a “heads up”. Nothing.

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It is best that Lex did not see this

Because he would be angered at what has become of his beloved Navy…

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9783807/Navy-disarray-focusing-diversity-training-warfighting-report-says.html

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Rhythms

Now that it has been over 9 years since Lex was taken from us I have felt ready to read his multipart posting of “Rhythms”, a story of life on a carrier.

It is a very well written description of that life, and holds your attention. I could not put it down until I finished it. I wish that he had published it. You learn quite a bit about life aboard a carrier and the various ratings and their tasks. We are fortunate to have such people protecting this nation

I have come to firmly believe that parts of Rhythms are autobiographical. Lex never names the carrier in Rhythms, but he gives a strong hint at the end when he describes the carrier’s pennant. It is the Gadsden “don’t tread on me” snake against a background of red and white horizontal stripes. That pennant is the oldest of the US Navy and is allowed to be flown only on designated ships — those that have the longest record of duty. A limited number of carriers flew it, and one is the Kitty Hawk, a carrier that Lex had written posts about (using a nastier name, since the carrier was so old).

Lex also had been an XO and flown in the Iraq war. He had been a Top Gun instructor. There is a character that he describes (posting in Oct 2005) leading a two-ship that takes out a time-critical target with a JDAM. The target was identified by someone going by the code name “Assassin” who was in close proximity to the target. Later on he quotes a “Sgt B” letter of thanks to another two-ship that rescued his marine group from a serious ambush (that he had listened in on). The XO is Lex, body and soul.

I hope that those who log in are able to read Rhythms. It is well worth your time.

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Not to Worry

Posted By lex, on October 19th, 2011

That computer virus that got itself into the Predator ground control station?

Just dumb luck, according to the USAF:

A computer virus that affected the US military’s drone fleet last month was not “specifically” aimed at the unmanned aircraft’s network, the head of US Strategic Command said Tuesday.

“It was a virus that we believe at this point entered from the wild, if you will, not specifically targeted at the RPA (remotely piloted aircraft) activities but entered through some other process,” General Robert Kehler told reporters.

“We’re not quite sure how that happened yet,” he said.

Discovered in mid-September at Creech Air Force base in Nevada, the virus infected computers in the ground control system for the drones, which is separate from the drones’ flight control system…

One possible route for the virus could have come through hard drives in the ground control system, as the removable drives are used to transfer data and moved from “machine to machine,” Kehler said.

“So that opens the possibility to get something introduced in the system,” he said.

A sophisticated attack which targeted the GCS would presumably be harder to discover. Learning that this was a self-inflicted wound via shared media, even if not specifically targeted, is not exactly cause for celebration.

03-14-21 – Lex had an earlier post detailing the virus – Ed.

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An Amazing Small Shop

Shelby-American, 1042 Princeton Dr, Venice, California

Between 1962 at their founding and 1965 there couldn’t have been more than a few dozen employees, including the bookkeeper and publicist. And yet, in 1965 they won the World Manufacturer’s Championship for Sports Cars, beating the likes of Ferrari and Jaguar.

The key was the people. From the mechanics, to the fabricators, to the world-class drivers.

And the circumstances.

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Not Done Meddling

By lex, on May 17th, 2011

Not content with stirring up trouble in the Levant through sponsorship of terrorist organizations and police states, Iran is looking to further destabilize an already unsteady Arabian Gulf:

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Good Luck With That

By lex, on April 18th, 2011

The Air Force is pushing to procure its next generation bomber using the same kind of rapid deployment capability it used for the MC-12 Project Liberty aircraft:

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