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b52gator

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b52gator last won the day on May 23 2018

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About b52gator

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  1. Yeah that was pretty cool, well done
  2. Navs be like... This will be an interesting discussion...good luck to all those young bomber WSOs out there https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/10/20/air-force-plans-retrain-weapons-system-officers-be-b-21-bomber-pilots.html?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EBB 10.21.20&utm_term=Editorial - Early Bird Brief As the U.S. Air Force prepares to bring the next-generation stealth bomber into its inventory over the next two decades, it plans to slash the number of weapons system officers by as much as half to make room for more pilots, according to a top general. Though the service has not announced exactly how many B-21 Raiders it expects to purchase, it will no longer need as many WSOs -- commonly referred to as "wizzos" -- the aircrew who manage the delivery of bombs as well as intelligence-gathering sensors. It plans to retrain them to become pilots in the years ahead, according to Maj. Gen. Mark E. Weatherington, 8th Air Force commander. "I see us in the very early stages of the biggest transformation that we're going to have over the next 15 to 20 years," Weatherington, also head of the Joint Global Strike Operations Center at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, said in a recent interview. "That transformation is going from our current force of 96 combat-coded bombers, 157 total bombers, across three different weapons systems into ... a dramatically different force," he said, referencing the B-52 Stratofortress, B-1B Lancer and B-2 Spirit bombers. The service has roughly 260 WSOs in its operational units today, Weatherington said. "I'd say we're looking at a reduction [of] one-third to a half," he added. "Particularly as the B 21 stands up, we know we want a mix of folks from the B-1, B-2 and B 52 communities that are involved. That's so we get a range of perspectives and ... actually get a better perspective on how to operate that airframe more effectively." The service's future bomber inventory is expected to consist of the new B-21, also known as the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRSB), and the B-52. Despite its age, the venerable, Cold War-era Stratofortress is expected to fly into the 2050s. The B-1B and B-2 long-range bombers will be retired in the mid-2030s. Like its B-2 cousin, the B-21 is expected to be crewed by two pilots, Weatherington said. By comparison, the B-1 heavy-payload bomber has four crew: two pilots up front and two WSOs -- one operating offense, the other defense -- in the back. It's anticipated the service will poach WSOs from the B-1 community, and a few from the B-52 pool, to punch up its B-21 pilot end strength, Weatherington said. Together with Air Education and Training Command (AETC), Air Force Global Strike Command is studying how it will take "some of these highly trained, capable, combat-experienced weapon systems officers ... that have skill sets that will be readily transferable to the B-21 in terms of employing that weapon system in a combat scenario," he said. "How do we give them the skills they would need for takeoff, landing, air refueling, some maneuvering types of skills, and piloting skills to help close that gap?" Retraining WSOs will also help with the Air Force's overall pilot shortage, he added. However, the B-21 is still years away. Once WSOs are seasoned in their existing craft, the intention is to leverage "that existing talent [to fill] that pilot need that we're going to see ... without putting an additional huge demand or big requirement on AETC [to produce more bomber pilots]," Weatherington explained. "We'll look at the capacity and what is the appropriate trade-off in terms of experience versus retainability, and certainly we'll have to make some of those decisions," he said. But small steps are already underway. Last year, two B-1 WSOs took part in AETC's Pilot Training Next Initiative, which the service began in 2018 to test students' abilities within an augmented space mimicking in-flight experience. "We'll look at any lessons that Pilot Training Next comes up with, and we'll partner closely with AETC," said Weatherington, who will visit Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, in November to observe some of this training. "We're just in the initial phases of talking about it." The Air Force has said deliveries of the B-21, manufactured by Northrop Grumman, should begin in the mid-2020s, but have been careful not to broadcast details in order to protect its technology. The service has said it plans to procure at least 100 Raiders, rounding out its bomber inventory to 175, including its B-52 fleet. Yet Gen. Tim Ray, head of Air Force Global Strike Command, has often proposed a bomber force of more than 200 aircraft. "We've said publicly that we think we need 220 bombers overall -- 75 B-52s and the rest B-21s, long term," Ray told Air Force Magazine earlier this year. Other independent studies "also suggest a range of between 225 and about 270 on the high end," Weatherington said. A bigger bomber fleet would affect the maintenance and logistics communities as well. "I think we'll continue to look at [these needs] as they become a reality," Weatherington said. "But this transition is really purely about pilots and WSOs and the right balance and the ability to sustain that force."
  3. Go for it...if you don't you might regret it later. Do your commitment and if you don't like it you're still young enough to go to med school.
  4. I’d call that more than swapping paint lol...but damn nice job by that Herc crew and glad all are safe, that could have been real ugly. I can’t even picture how the hell that might have happened.
  5. Another win for ACES II. Glad to hear the pilot is safe, always awesome when that happens. Went down an ejection seat rabbit hole, didn't know there was a new system out there (ACES 5), pretty fascinating tech. Conversely to the tech of today, the seats in the BUFF are OG so not only does a lot have to happen just to get those things out, specifically for the RN/N the jet itself needs at least 250' to get one good swing in the chute.
  6. John Prine for the past few days...dude was amazing
  7. This dude won’t make it through the day. Calling the commander of the TR “naieve and stupid” to his former crew...what an assclown. https://www.foxnews.com/us/acting-navy-secretary-ousted-uss-theodore-roosevelt-captain-stupid-naive-coronavirus and here’s the audio he broadcasted to the ship’s crew https://youtu.be/G7mwlwO0mdM
  8. This dude won’t make it through the day. Calling the commander of the TR “naieve and stupid” to his former crew...what an assclown. https://www.foxnews.com/us/acting-navy-secretary-ousted-uss-theodore-roosevelt-captain-stupid-naive-coronavirus and here’s the audio he broadcasted to the ship’s crew https://youtu.be/G7mwlwO0mdM
  9. 47 years ago today. B-52 Linebacker II raid on Hanoi. Good stuff. If anybody is interested (especially bomber guys), I highly recommend the book "The 11 Days of Christmas" about the LB2 operation.
  10. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/vintage-b-17-plane-crashes-erupts-flames-bradley-international-airport-n1061161
  11. zYikes https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2019/09/11/air-force-restricts-kc-46-from-carrying-cargo-and-personnel/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Breaking News 09.11.19&utm_term=Editorial - Breaking News WASHINGTON — In a move that could have major impacts on the already-delayed tanker program, the Air Force has indefinitely barred the KC-46 from carrying cargo and passengers, Defense News has learned. The decision was made after an incident occurred where the cargo locks on the bottom of the floor of the aircraft became unlocked during a recent flight, creating concerns that airmen could potentially be hurt or even killed by heavy equipment that suddenly bursts free during a flight. “As a result of this discovery, the Air Force has submitted a Category 1 deficiency report and is working with Boeing to identify a solution,” Air Force Mobility Command spokesman Col. Damien Pickart said in a statement. The service uses the term Category 1 describe serious technical issues that could endanger the aircrew and aircraft or have other major effects. “Until we find a viable solution with Boeing to remedy this problem, we can’t jeopardize the safety of our aircrew and this aircraft,” he said. The problem was discovered during a recent overseas operational test and evaluation flight, when KC-46 aircrew noticed that numerous cargo restraint devices had come unlocked over the course of the multiple legs of the trip. “Prior to departing for each of these missions, aircrew fully installed, locked and thoroughly inspected each restraint, and performed routine inspections of the restraints in flight,” Pickart said. “Despite these safety measures, the unlocking of cargo floor restraints occurred during flight, although no cargo or equipment moved and there was no specific risk to the aircraft or crew.” A source with knowledge of the issue told Defense News that if all restraints on a particular pallet had become unlocked, it would be able to roll freely throughout the cabin. If all cargo became unlatched, it could pose a safety risk to aircrew or even unbalance the aircraft — making the plane “difficult, if not impossible” to control. While this problem has only been observed on one KC-46, the Air Force does not have enough information to rule out other aircraft having a similar defect. The problem also poses a danger to the tanker’s operational test schedule, Pickart said. The program was set to start initial operational test and evaluation this fall, with pre-IOT&E activites already initiated. “This is a multi-mission aircraft, it’s for carrying cargo and passengers, it’s for refueling and also the aeromedical evacuation mission,” he said. “If you can’t carry cargo pallets and patient litters, a significant amount of your core missions cannot be properly tested.” In a statement, KC-46 manufacturer Boeing acknowledged that it had been notified of the new issue. “The company and the Air Force are cooperatively analyzing the locks to determine a root cause,” Boeing stated. “The safety of KC-46 aircraft and crew is our top priority. Once a cause has been identified, the tanker team will implement any required actions as quickly as possible.” The latest Cat-1 deficiency brings the total up to four: The tanker’s remote vision system or RVS — the camera system that allows KC-46 boom operators to steer the boom into a receiver aircraft without having to look out a window and use visual cues — provides imagery in certain lighting conditions that appears warped or misleading. Boeing has agreed to pay for potentially extensive hardware and software fixes, but the Air Force believes it will be three or four years until the system is fully functional. The Air Force has recorded instances of the boom scraping against the airframe of receiver aircraft. Boeing and the Air Force believe this problem is a symptom of the RVS’s acuity problems and will be eliminated once the camera system is fixed. Boeing must redesign the boom to accommodate the A-10, which currently does not generate the thrust necessary to push into the boom for refueling. This problem is a requirements change by the Air Force, which approved Boeing’s design in 2016. Last month, Boeing received a $55.5 million contract to begin work on the new boom actuator. While the KC-46 program has clocked several key milestones this year, it has also hit some publicly embarrassing stumbles. After several years of delays, the Air Force finally signed off on the acceptance of the first tanker. However, due to the list of technical problems, Boeing was forced to accept an agreement where the service could withhold up to $28 million per aircraft upon delivery. About $360 million has been withheld so far, Defense One reported in July. The Air Force plans to buy 179 KC-46s over the life of the program, and 52 are currently on contract. So far, Boeing has delivered 18 tankers to McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., and Altus Air Force Base, Okla. But deliveries were interrupted earlier this year by the discovery of foreign object debris in multiple planes. The Air Force suspended KC-46 flights at Boeing’s production line in Everett, Wash., this February after finding debris. Then it paused all tanker deliveries in March as the service investigated the extent of the problem. The service began accepting tankers again later that month, only for deliveries to stop — and restart — in April due to similar problems. Will Roper, the service’s acquisition executive, told reporters at the Paris Air Show this July that the service expects to find foreign object debris in KC-46s moving through the line, and it may be months before planes are reliably clean. “As those airplanes flow forward down the line, we think it’s going to take some time for the new quality assurance inspection processes to start early enough so that airplanes will flow that are FOD-free,” he said, according to Defense One. “It’s not the way we want to get airplanes into the Air Force, but it’s what we’re going to have to do in the meantime.”
  12. Yep. I did this a few years ago but it seemed to lose interest. Glad you're starting one. "in"
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