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Everything posted by papajuice77

  1. Boeing is just killing it these days!
  2. So on Memorial Day weekend, CBS decides to honor American war dead by focusing on a tragic accident, and using it as a soapbox to turn military personnel, veterans, and the public against one another. Couldn't find any MOH or Silver Star types to hold up as examples of sacrifice and patriotism? Couldn't talk about the kids who made the valiant choice to take the fight to the enemy in OIF/OEF instead of crying in a closet on campus? Couldn't talk about the brass balls it took to fly into downtown Schweinfurt, Route Pack 6, Belgrade, or Baghdad? Couldn't just honor the sacrifices made on behalf of the American public? I guess that would have been too hard. You stay classy CBS.
  3. After witnessing the AF's continued spiral into total Maoist political insanity, I can't fathom why any aviator would ever want to be a commander. This latest case is proof positive that there is literally no hope. Even when you try to do the right thing as the boss, the Blue machine will find a way to purge you and destroy what reputation you've built. Sometimes I have a hard time believing that this is reality and not some Truman-show satirical comedy we're living. Looking forward to the political officer billets opening up in combat squadrons soon. Maybe someone should realize that the real insensitivity is loading people onto a geriatric jet and flying it into combat. Real dick move if you ask me.
  4. You get one chance to fly a fighter (maybe two if you remain as a FAIP). If that's really what is important to you, then put every single fighter airframe at the top of your list. If putting bombs on target is a secondary consideration, rank them appropriately. Follow up with FAIP, B-1s, and AC-130s. If your primary concern is getting into the fight now, and flying a jet that puts metal on meat, then strike eagle, hawg, viper, bone, spooky is how I would suggest rolling your top 5. All have and will continue to make big contributions to the current fight; 4/5 have a direct role in the mixed force strike package during a wider conflict. ^ This if racking up confirmed kills is your vector.
  5. You're right... I have been cherry picking, and it was probably unnecessary. Getting back to the real meat of the article, I also agree that "high-threat" CAS is a figment of the imagination. The underlying argument he makes about its irrelevance is solid. It begs the question - are senior leaders who want to ditch CAS assets to pay for systems and capabilities that support core airpower competencies really wrong? I don't want to start another running feud in this thread, but I think Mr. Pietrucha's argument would definitely support that action given our fiscally-constrained environment.
  6. Checks. That's the kind of detailed knowledge that the GFC wants from air players. I always strove for that knowledge as well. In every instance, a crew with high SA drastically reduced the time necessary to complete the kill chain. The fact is that OEF/OFS has been ad hoc as the result of the emphasis on stability operations for the last 10 years. If on-going offensives were the norm in A-stan now, the author might be more familiar with the kind of dedicated integration and knowledge base CAF squadrons actually develop and implement.
  7. I realize he's been out of the game for a while, but the author should look into ops in Northern Syria over the past 2 years. That might quell his misgivings about a lack of aircrew having in-depth understanding of the battlefield situation. Reference Kobane, Hasakah, Tal Abyad, etc. Entire squadrons were dedicated to those fights and had a very detailed collective familiarity with the ground order of battle and the operations therein.
  8. This is a real shame. It confirms long-held suspicions about the disingenous nature of the "salute the troops" initiatives. I personally don't blame the DOD for spending the equivalent of pennies on the dollar in the budget to gain some publicity for GI Joe and garner a recruiting opportunity simultaneously. The more disappointing part is that it reveals how the NFL, held in such high-esteem by so many Americans, not only doesn't provide these thank-you opportunities gratis, but actually takes money from the taxpayer to do them. It seems like the ultimate expression of greed to me. However, I don't think it impugns the patriotism of and respect paid by average Americans.
  9. Continued tangent alert - the biggest problem the B-1 has wrt maintenance is the complexity of the aircraft versus the limited experience of the maintainers working on them. I have seen many pro-supers become extremely frustrated with guys who take 2 or 3 times longer to fix things because they order the wrong parts, have to repeat the process several times, or simply take longer to swap pieces or complete checks because they are relatively inexperienced. That isn't meant to impugn MX; the new dudes take time to learn and get better - just like you wouldn't expect MQT guys to execute at a high level of skill. Nothing about the B-1, or any national bomber asset, was designed with extreme simplicy in mind. It's a complicated airplane, and as such, it takes a lot of learning and hands-on-training with MX. However, it is amazing how quickly the guys who have been in the B-1 for years can get jets turned. Back to GSC - this seems like a logical move to be honest. A large part of GSC leadership is comprised of B-1 guys, and it might therefore be an easier place for the B-1 to be appreciated. Time will tell, but perhaps the jet and community will be better served as the only asset used extensively in current combat operations in GSC as opposed to being the red-headed bomber stepchild of ACC. Perhaps the command will be able to highlight that the B-1 has many mission sets and that it is not just a CAS wagon. Additionally, although it has been mentioned that the Bone might be a sacrificial lamb for LRS-B in the future, that's a far cry better than being rolled into the mass barn-burning ACC has to do for the sake of F-35. (Disclaimer: all of this is my opinion, and of course, in no way represents the official position of AFGSC, ACC, or the USAF writ large; there is far too much logic herein).
  10. Perhaps a relatively minor victory in the grand scheme, but a major win in terms of tactical application/integration of airpower in a challenging urban environment. http://www.wsj.com/articles/kurdish-forces-declare-complete-victory-in-kobani-1422362163 In case you haven't been following the news, the U.S. has been striking ISIS positions in the city on a daily basis since October. I'm not sure why the brass, especially in the USAF, aren't trumpeting this one... Too preoccupied with SAPR down days and providing dissertations on the fast track to promotion?
  11. Agree with your assessment of the JSF program... I'd just be cautious waiting for the "Fighter Mafia" to save us all from this disaster. The entrenched and dogmatic vestiges of the Fighter Mafia club and its legacy are what have led us to this point. The club let in people who couldn't see the bigger picture, became obsessed with the preeminence of tactical fighters versus any other form of airpower, and shackled the AF to prohibitively expensive programs that now have little in common with the archetype upon which they were based (F-15/F-16). The same points were true of the "Bomber Barons" who ran the AF prior to and during Vietnam. Their tried and true model failed as well... the difference is that Vietnam was a more compelling catalyst for reanalysis of the AF and it's platform/capabilities composition than OIF or OEF has been or ever will be. It's going to be hard for out-of-the-container thinkers like a Boyd to find any friends in high places to support their experiments since nothing has forced a changeover in leadership. I think that the AF's answer to the strategic problems at hand will, unfortunately, continue to remain a tactical solution. The fight over getting rid of the A-10 is just that - a discussion of tactical relevance versus the one we should be having about strategic necessity. The sad part is, selling the A-10 down the river to pay for the F-35 is the manifestation of trying to solve the strategic problems at hand with the same old solution. In the end, it is just substitution of one tactic for another (and I might add, one of questionable credibility).
  12. In addition to matmacwc's info, you can also donate to the fund online through Del Rio Bible Church's Website. Use the link below, and select "Koontz Family" in the budget drop down on the right. https://www.mysimplegive.com/SG/sfDonate.jspx?uq=1366913620271&id=delrio
  13. Lt Col Koontz was a great IP, sim instructor, and all-around good guy. He taught me a lot over the years I worked with him. He and his family will be sorely missed. Him him.
  14. From the Bloomberg article - Really? Couldn't tell that just by looking at the darn thing? I guess that was supposed to be remedied by the newest magical helmet. Taking cues from 70's Soviet designs with 0 aft visibility probably wasn't wise for a *cough* fighter - even with a new wizard's hat that's supposed to let you look through the floor to see around you. McNamara's Folly take 2.
  15. From what I've seen, it's causing no small amount of grumbling in the backseat world. I'm guessing the union bosses caved under pressure, ha.
  16. IBS - the Integrated Battle Station, is functional on a jet at test. Right now, plans call for all of the jets to be upgraded by 2018, I believe. That being said, there is no telling what the sequester might do to the program. It does make the jet more "pilot" friendly, meaning that it's going to replace the steam gauges and tv tube displays with big fat MFDs. Much of the instrumentation will look very similar to what you have in the T-38. On top of that, the upgrade will give pilots the ability to monitor and interact with the WSO's screens, which is a huge improvement. There is whole lot more to it that shouldn't be talked about here...suffice to say it makes the Bone a lot more pilot centric. Of course, that has made it somewhat unpopular with the backseat union in the community. The A/C problem is no more. The flood of FAIPs to the community has done a nice job of clogging the pipeline. The co-pilot program continues to be almost the same as it always was - dudes struggle to make RAP. The problem is that co-pilots are the first dudes to get bumped whenever there is an upgrade happening. And often times, the upgrade process will kill a lot more flights than it should - FLUG, for example, sometimes takes twice as many rides just because they can't manage to get two jets into the air at the same time. What you can honestly expect as a co-pilot is to make RAP, and not much more. Anything extra is gravy. If you have more specific questions, PM me.
  17. I don't know if it has changed recently (I'd guess not), but as of just 2 years ago, AETC regs required all female and minority CR (washout) packages to be reviewed at 19th AF level before a decision could be made on whether or not they would continue with UPT. Worse than just overlooking or fudging numbers/results, the double standard was actually codified in the system. Of course, it was all supposed to ensure that no one was being discriminated against. Right. Try explaining that to the run of the mill, dime-a-dozen Lt who watches all his dreams die with 3 busted rides in a row while the chick that sits next to him in morning brief never passes a checkride but continues to be reinstated. Call me cynical, but I see a very similar experience coming to a combat arms training program near you!
  18. And so it's begun... went to a Friday afternoon OG/CC call yesterday billed as "awards and combat mission review," standard lameness, but bearable thanks to the availbility of brew... 10 minutes deep and BAM! Here comes the SARC woman, like f'in Batman dropping out of the sky. Definitely kept that one under tight wraps until there was no getting out of it. At this stage I'm so sick of leadership trying to make us all wear the sexual assault diaper that I might just roundhouse the next dude I see flirting with the friggin SARM chicks.
  19. As with everything Air Force related, the answer is "it depends". Most dudes will hang out at the base for a couple of weeks before heading out for SERE/water, etc. But a good deal of that time is going to be taken trying to get the FSS to generate your orders properly, square away your TDY (especially if you have to do it through DTS), and get out-processed. You will literally be at the mercy of the support agencies in most cases. There are extremes I've seen too... some dudes were leaving for PIT a week after graduating. Others sat around for more than a month waiting for their travel dates. Some heavy guys were even leaving for RTU early, then coming straight back to their UPT base for an extended period of time before PCSing to their Ops Squadron. Any way you look at it, you are taking a chance. My wife and I planned our wedding for a few weeks after UPT graduation... it seemed like it was going to work out nicely until we had a 4 week flying stand-down at the last minute and everyone's dates got rolexed to the right. Still made it work, but sometimes the best plans can still be shot to pieces by Air Force realities. In any case, I wouldn't sweat the wedding, you should be able to get it done. But don't spend a bunch of money reserving a 10 day honeymoon until you have the ability to no kidding block yourself out for some leave. Good luck dude!
  20. The Bone community took almost an entire FTU year's worth of FAIPs to correct AC/IP manning issues. The CAF wouldn't give them enough 38 guys so AFPC threw dudes with T-1 backgrounds their way. The expectation is for them to finish MQT as ACs and upgrade to IP within a very shortened timeframe. It goes without saying that it some will hack it and some won't. Whatever the case, I'd expect things to go back to normal in the very near future, i.e. maybe 1 Bone per drop to 38s. FWIW, I'd throw my hat in the Ellsworth ring as well. Rapid City > Abilene any day of the week.
  21. Checks. Don't get distracted talking about the 95% of the population or whatever that doesn't serve in the military. The "class warfare" that's erupting isn't between the rich and poor, or Wall Street and main street. It is about a consistently more disconnected ruling class in this country inciting envy and dependency amongst the rest of us in order to keep themselves in power. The military and its benefits might be getting screwed, but make no mistake, so is the rest of the country. It's just a shame that folks don't recognize it. As has been said, the military is an easy place to start when it comes to social engineering and scapegoating. It's always a savvy political idea to deflect blame for financial crises on small, elite elements in society - just look how the Germans handled it in the 30s. Retirement benefits might the least of our worries.
  22. Copy... Vietnamization. Expect to be evacuating the Embassy in 2016.
  23. To 60 years of Uncle Sam's "Big Stick" (sts).
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