Friday, May 30, 2008

Blame Congress For High Oil Prices Not Exxon

Like I’ve said for the last two years, Congress almost by itself is largely responsible for the current gas price crisis. It is also responsible for the U.S. having to import 57% of it oil needs. Like high prices, thank the Democrat party that is held hostage by the environmental whack jobs that seem to me nothing more than a front group for the old communists.
Check out the opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal, Click the link title to be redirected.

Which party blocked the development of new sources of petroleum?-- Democrat
Which party blocked drilling in ANWR?-- Democrat
Which party blocked drilling off the coast of Florida?-- Democrat
Which party blocked drilling off of the east coast?-- Democrat
Which party blocked drilling off of the west coast?-- Democrat
Which party blocked drilling off the Alaskan coast?-- Democrat
Which party blocked building oil refineries?-- Democrat
Which party blocked clean nuclear energy production?-- Democrat
Which party blocked clean coal production?-- Democrat

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Apache Fire

U.S. Army Apache guns an insurgent. It is amazing how quiet these helicopters really are.

Pic Of The Day

Air Force firefighters at a training fire for ARFF (Air Rescue Fire Fighting)
This is actually a lot of fun. Back in my day we wore full cover hoods with our proximity suits but other than that and the new high-pressure air packs this what it’s like at a pit fire.
Photo (USAF)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Phoenix On Mars

Phoenix made a successful landing on Mars over the weekend . here are some cool NASA shots. In the first
NASA's Mars Phoenix Lander can be seen parachuting down to Mars, in this image captured by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on May 25, 2008. This is the first time that a spacecraft has imaged the final descent of another spacecraft onto a planetary body. The second is one of the first shots from the Lander of the artic area of mars where it landed.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Memorial Day 2008

Unfortunately another Memorial Day has passed and many people still forget what Memorial Day really is for. They are to busy running to the beach or setting up the grill. All I can say is never forget.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ancient Tanker Delivered To the Boneyard

It boggles the mind that we have tankers almost this old still serving, another great job by the Air Staff taking care of replacing true global reach assets but instead buying gold plated fighters that will cost hundreds of millions more until they are at final configuration.
The 48-year-old aircraft was delivered for long term storage at the 2,600 acre facility after serving with the 151st Air Refueling Wing of the Utah Air National Guard for more than 20 years. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Burke Baker)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Number Of Chiefs Reduced

The Air Force decided that the number of Chief Master Sergeants will be reduced because of budgetary restraints over the next 3 years. MAJCOMS submitted 2806 request of which only 2483 will be authorized.
This of course is complete crap to put it mildly. When I entered the Air Force from the Marine Corps there were over six hundred thousands serving worldwide. The Air Force was truly second to none and we could blanket the skies with aircraft of all types.
During my twenty year career the Air force was in and still is today a continually downsizing. I can remember back in the early 90’s after the wall came down we suddenly had Wing commanders that were now a one star general when for the entire history of the AF back to the Army Air Corps days full Colonels got the job done. The Air Staff line was crap, the bottom line is that they were not willing to give up flag billets because god forbid we have less flag officers that the other services.
I have always thought it was laughable that there were always more O-5 and 6’s on active duty than E-8 and E-9’s, this was always because for what ever reason all airplane drivers and navigators had to be commissioned officers. There is no reason for this; if the Air Staff was honest with themselves they would realize that warrant officers pilots and navigators like the Army uses is the way to go. This goes for all the support non flying jobs. Hell I can count on one hand how many maintenance officers I knew that were with a damn. Decisions like this are why so may highly qualified SNCO’s bail and retire at twenty because we all know that the system is broke. In my own case I worked hard as a avionics technician for many years and served as a specialist flight chief all the while working on getting my B.S. After I got it I saw the writing on the wall and realized that my real life opportunities in the Air Force were very limited. It’s too bad even with my acknowledged expertise in my career field the Air Force had nothing left to offer me. After reading this release on Air Force link I can see a mass exodus of 20 year Master and Senior Master Sergeants retiring as soon as they can. I can guarantee this will end up hurting readiness because at least in flight line maintenance the officers assigned to us contribute almost nothing to actually generate sorties because they don’ know anything about the weapon system to help.

Oil Execs Finally Man Up

In the Senate on Wednesday the usual suspect grilled the oil execs from major firms again to day about their so-called excess profit. What make this a joke is either the Senators like Durbin and Leahy are totally stupid about the effects of supply and demand, you know basic Econ 101. Or are being totally dishonest in their presentation and questions as they are trying to demonize these companies. For My money it is a little of both. A few things to keep in mind are that 9% profit for a large international business is not unusual but should be expected. After all these are all publicly held companies and the stockholders want them to make money for dividends. Another thing to keep in mind is that oil companies make around 4% profit per gallon were taxes to the people who don’t do a thing to get gas into your tank the Fed and State governments averages 15%. The truth is want to drop the price of crude bring more supply to the market. These asshat’s in congress, mostly Democrats over the last 30 years have restricted drilling everywhere in U.S territory. Shoot if they actually want a free market let the government get out of the way and let these companies get to it instead of over regulating like they have for the last 100 plus years.
If you like 4 dollars a gallon thank a Democrat or a liberal from either side of the aisle. Below are some of the comments made in the hearing.

John Hofmeister, president of Shell. "The fundamental laws of supply and demand are at work," said Hofmeister. The market is squeezed by exporting nations managing demand for their own interest and other nations subsidizing prices to encourage economic growth, he said.
In addition, Hofmeister said access to resources in the United States has been limited for the past 30 years. "I agree, it's not a free market," he said.
The executives pushed the idea that large parts of the U.S. that are currently closed to drilling - like sections of Alaska, the Rocky Mountains and the continental shelf - should be opened.
"The place to start the free market is in our own country," said one executive. [The drilling ban] sets the stage for OPEC to do what we are doing in our own country, and that is effectively limiting supplies."
John Lowe, executive vice president of ConocoPhillips, said Congress should enact a balanced energy policy. In addition to lifting the drilling ban, such a policy could include measures to encourage alternative energy sources, remove the ethanol tariff, promote energy conservation, cut regulations around refining.
"We must work together to find a real solution," said Lowe. "U.S. oil companies should be viewed not as scapegoats, but as assets."
The executives also named several things that Congress should not do, first among them being a hike in taxes or an undoing of the mergers of the late 1990s.
"Americans need companies that can effectively compete for access to new resources," said Peter Robertson, vice chairman of Chevron. "Punitive measures that weakened us in the face of international competition are the wrong measures."
The executives also frowned on a recently passed House bill giving the Justice Department the power to sue OPEC, saying it would have little effect in boosting production

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Navy Viking Strays over Venezuelan Island

(Caracas, Venezuela) A U.S. Navy S-3B Viking aircraft strayed into Venezuelan airspace over the weekend, prompting a strong denunciation by Hugo Chavez's government. According to State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, the breach of airspace was inadvertent.
"While conducting a counternarcotics mission in international airspace, the pilot realized that a navigation error had occurred," Mr. McCormack said.

"He contacted a Venezuelan tower to report the error, stating that he would immediately return to international airspace. The exchange was polite and professional."
Not so, said Venezuelan Defense Minister Gustavo Rangel. It was deliberate and another link in a chain of provocations toward Venezuela, said Rangel. Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro has summoned U.S. Ambassador Patrick Duddy to provide an explanation.

The S-3B Viking incident occurred around the Venezuelan island of La Orchila and another island about 80 miles off the coast. The island of La Orchila has a military base and Hugo Chavez's presidential retreat.

The breach of airspace also occurred concurrent with an alleged incursion of Colombian troops about 500 yards into Venezuela on Friday. Both occurrences play into Hugo Chavez's accusations that the U.S. and Colombia are colluding to invade Venezuela.

Interestingly, Defense Minister Rangel remarked that violations of Venezuelan airspace likely happened before but nobody knew because they didn't have the equipment to detect violations. Now they do.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Syria's Covert Nuclear Reactor

An interesting video released by the government a few moths ago detailing the covert reactor that was destroyed by the Israeli Air Force last fall. I wonder what San Fran Nan thought about her buddies in Damascus after the raid and the release of the updated information?

Obama, Trade With Cuba Not Columbia

Only in the twisted world of a Marxist can one say like Obama did in 2004
"I think it's time for us to end the embargo with Cuba... It's time for us to acknowledge that that particular policy has failed."

But he will throw one of our staunchest allies under the bus, Columbia. as he said back on April 8, 2008

"I will oppose the Colombia Free Trade Agreement if President Bush insists on sending it to Congress because the violence against unions in Colombia would make a mockery of the very labor protections that we have insisted be included in these kinds of agreements."

Only folks from the loony left can justify these statements.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Quote Of The Day

God Bless Chesty Puller

Pic Of The Day

A good shot of an F-15E Strike Eagle getting ready to taxi on a combat sortie over Iraq.
(Photo USAF)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Joe Lieberman Gets It

Senator Lieberman gets it again today with his comments on the Presidents speech to the Israeli Knesset.
“President Bush got it exactly right today when he warned about the threat of Iran and its terrorist proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah. It is imperative that we reject the flawed and na├»ve thinking that denies or dismisses the words of extremists and terrorists when they shout “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” and that holds that—if only we were to sit down and negotiate with these killers—they would cease to threaten us. It is critical to our national security that our commander-in-chief is able to distinguish between America’s friends and America’s enemies, and not confuse the two.”

Of Course the left went crazy from Obama, to Biden and San Fran Nan. I guess when the President talked about people who want to appease without actually naming anyone hit a raw nerve with the Deafeatocrats.

The President also said in his speech that earlier in the day he and the First Lady visited Masada, the ancient desert fort once the scene of heroic Jewish resistance and defeat in the face of Roman Occupation. A place of special symbolism,"Masada will never fall again."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another Obama Moment

How can you elect a man who has no idea what he is talking about?
The latest from the South Side Kid, Via ABC news online.

“We don't have enough capacity right now to deal with it -- and it's not just the troops," Obama, D-Ill., told a crowd in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Obama posited -- incorrectly -- that Arabic translators deployed in Iraq are needed in Afghanistan -- forgetting, momentarily, that Afghans don't speak Arabic.

"We only have a certain number of them and if they are all in Iraq, then its harder for us to use them in Afghanistan," Obama said.

Maybe if he actually attended a meeting of the committee he allegedly is a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations he might get a clue card. Obama the gift the will keep on giving.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

AF Relearns What It Never Should Have Forgot

What is really sad is when I think back to the early 80’s when I was stationed in CA and SAC was still in charge, we executed the nuclear mission daily and a had a constant stream of realistic exercises. I know that that was during the Cold War but it really makes this story sorry is to realize how far the AF has managed to get away from what was one main missions, deep strategic strike.

BY: Knight Ridder, Military.com05/13/2008After the Air Force mistakenly flew nuclear weapons from North Dakota to Louisiana last year, the U.S. Strategic Command is taking a more active role in making sure nuclear stockpiles are safely stored and maintained, StratCom's commander says. StratCom inspectors now accompany Air Force officials on every nuclear safety and maintenance check, Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton said in an interview. StratCom also is planning live exercises and leading an internal review of its policies and the command's organization to foster a stronger focus on the nuclear deterrent mission -- the historic core of StratCom's predecessor at Offutt Air Force Base, the Strategic Air Command. "What we're doing now, and what we had stopped doing, is sending StratCom headquarters people out to observe the nuclear . . . inspections," said the former astronaut who took command of StratCom in October. "For every inspection that's gone on out there, we've now had headquarters personnel there," Chilton said. Questions about the security of the U.S. nuclear stockpile arose last summer. An Air Force B-52 was inadvertently armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and flown from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., where the missiles were discovered 36 hours later. Among changes the error sparked was more direct StratCom oversight of nuclear safety procedures, Chilton said. The Air Force and Navy are responsible for maintaining and securing the nuclear weapons each service controls on aircraft, in missile silos and aboard submarines. But as the lead agency for the entire U.S. nuclear force, StratCom today is striving to better oversee the individual services' efforts and to create a newly energized focus on that nuclear mission, Chilton said. This fall, StratCom is planning operational exercises that will require nuclear forces -- including planes and command and control centers -- to mobilize as if a nuclear crisis actually were in motion. "We're going to go back to, 'Show me,'" Chilton said. "You're chartered to do this mission, so I'm going to ask you to show me you can do it during the exercise." Since the Cold War ended, StratCom-led nuclear exercises mostly have been simulated, Chilton said. Planners would act as though bombers were preparing to fly, rather than asking those bombers to actually prepare to take off. Now the exercises will be much more realistic. "If you're supposed to load up and take off and meet five tankers and fly for 20 hours, you're going to do that," Chilton said. He said the exercises will serve two purposes: "Not only does it send a strong signal to even the youngest members of our force that what they do is important. It also sends a deterrence signal and a level-of-seriousness signal to the rest of the world that we take this mission seriously and we're prepared to do it." At StratCom headquarters, Chilton's deputy commander, Vice Adm. Carl Mauney, is leading a group that meets quarterly to discuss how StratCom's organization could change to better meet the nuclear mission. Field-level nuclear commanders now report directly to StratCom's senior staff every week, creating a more direct link between the headquarters and the ground-level specialists. In addition to its historic role at the head of U.S. nuclear forces, StratCom has picked up a range of new missions since merging with U.S. Space Command in 2002. Those missions have grown to include cyberwarfare, missile defense, global strike and integration, global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, space and combating weapons of mass destruction.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Thunderbird Aircraft

This may be the Thunderbirds of the future. LoL, Thank you Major MacPherson.

Photo: Maj. Glen MacPherson, US Air Force

Friday, May 9, 2008

Funny Thing At the Obama Rally

The rally the other day after the new messiahs NC primary victory looked loud and boisterous. I guess it depends more on your camera angle. What a joke, the first shot shows what looks like an overflowing crowd. The next taken from the back of the hall shows reality, a near empty hall.Check out the whole article on

Junkyard Fire

Quite a long day yesterday, I had just put in a twelve hour shift and had driven home cleaned up and got something to eat. I went to bed and about 15 minute later my daughter woke me up to ask if I had heard the fire tucks. I had my pager off so she said I might want to step outside and check the smoke column. I took one look knew it was bad got dressed and drove to the scene of what turned out to be a multiple acre fire in a junkyard with thousands of tires and old cars burning. We’ll 4 hours later we had it contained and out, one injury, one of my friends caught a coupling on his fore head and received some stitches and a few guys who got real dehydrated received IV fluids from the great Paramedics from New Hanover Regional Center. Hat tip to the Paramedics another great job setting up rehabilitation and taking care of all of us paid and volunteer firemen. Just another typical day for a station that makes 1400 plus calls a year.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Quote Of The Day

"Political correctness is tyranny with manners" - Charlton Heston

JDAM On A Taliban Position

More Taliban sent to meet their final judgment. You can almost feel the shockwave like the British patrol that is filming.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Stephen King Should Stick to Writing

Lately whenever leftist loser from congress or Hollywood talks trash about are Armed Forces, much like Stephen King said the other day in the Library of Congress
Kings quote: I don't want to sound like an ad, a public service ad on TV, but the fact is if you can read, you can walk into a job later on. If you don't, then you've got, the Army, Iraq, I don't know, something like that. It's, it's not as bright. So, that's my little commercial for that.

I think of Rudyard Kipling’s poem.


Went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

GOREBOT Over The Edge Again

Al Gore once again is out spouting lies and B.S about global warming on the tail of the tragedy that has occurred with huge loss of life due to the Category 3 Cyclone that slammed into Myanmar. Gore is a despicable human being for doing this, one of his quotes was “ And as we’re talking today, Terry, the death count in Myanmar from the cyclone that hit there yesterday has been rising from 15,000 to way on up there to much higher numbers now being speculated,” Gore said. “And last year a catastrophic storm from last fall hit Bangladesh. The year before, the strongest cyclone in more than 50 years hit China – and we’re seeing consequences that scientists have long predicted might be associated with continued global warming.” Gore claimed global warming is forcing ocean temperatures to rise, which is causing storms, including cyclones and hurricanes, to intensify.

It’s the last part that is truly laughable. NOAA global 3000 ocean buoys have shown a slight cooling not warming since their deployment in 2003 and that temperatures according to satellites (MSU UAH) and the Hadley Center agree with cooling back to at least 2002. Check out the chart, like I said despicable conduct by a former US Vice President, What he should be doing is condemning the Junta in charge who apparently gave no early warning to their populace even though the Indian government says that that they gave two days advance warning. I ask were the outrage in the media. Oh, that’s right they MSM never saw a dictatorship it didn’t like.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Iraq Announces Boeing Deal

The Iraqi government and Boeing has announced the sale of 30 737-800 and option for 10 more and the sale of 10 787 Dreamliners. This deal worth an estimated 2.2 billion dollars is the first step in rebuilding the Iraqi civilian aviation infrastructure.
This is great news and will only contribute to the economic revitalization of Iraq.
(Photos, Boeing)

LM AND SAAB Compete for Norwegian AF Order

Lockheed Martin of the United States and Saab of Sweden have submitted tenders for a planned order by the Norwegian Air Force for 48 combat aircraft, the defense ministry said.
It will be interesting to see how this one ends, will the Norwegians go for the high tech stealthy F-35 or the older generation four Gripen My bet is the F-35 as Norway is a curent F-16 user.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

More Evidence Of Global Warming, Gorebot Unavailable For Comment

A report from the Rapid City Journal on the spring blizzard hitting the area this weekend.

Spring Blizzard of '08 shuts down region
By Journal staff
Rapid City mayor Alan Hanks is telling residents to stay home and be safe today, and authorities in the Northern Hills and Rapid City closed off traffic completely except for emergencies.
“Please, stay off the roads until the weather clears. The wind is still gusting to 50 mph with heavy snow,” he said. “There are very few businesses that are going to open, so take a day off and enjoy it.”
Meanwhile, police said they would cite any motorists who got stuck in the numerous drifts citywide and were traveling on any non-essential business.
Wind gusts in Rapid City were clocked in excess of 65 mph and are expected to continue at least through the morning and likely into the afternoon.
Some city snowplows were already on the roads. The plan is to clear main arteries, major intersections, emergency routes and other hazardous areas.
“We will be working on Rushmore Road, Omaha and Fifth St.,” Hanks said.
Private snow removal contractors out in the snow said the high winds and heavy snow made removal efforts near futile.
Meanwhile, officials in Spearfish, Belle Fourche and Butte County declared snow emergencies. All roads were closed to travel except for emergency vehicles.
At about 6:30 a.m., police were being called to help motorists whose vehicles could not make the steep hill on West Chicago just past its intersection with Deadwood Ave.
Strong winds, heavy snow and zero visibility are expected to continue to pound Rapid City and most of the Black Hills through noon.
Interstate 90 between Wall and the Wyoming border was closed as of 5:30 a.m. today. Interstate snow gates are closed and motorists will not be allowed through, state officials said.
The Highway Patrol is sweeping the stretch of interstate to assist and remove any motorists who are currently on it.
A no travel advisory is in place for the entire Black Hills. Additionally, a no travel advisory is in place for the entire stretch of Highway 85 from the North Dakota border south through the Hills.
Also, Highway 79 from Rapid City south to the Pennington County line is closed.
Cars were reported stalled on Nemo Road near Kings Road. Other vehicles were reported stalled on Highway 44 on the way to Rapid City Regional Airport.
Photo (Deb Holland/Journal staff)

Lt. Col. Michael Brill- 6000 Hours In A Lawn Dart!

Congratulations on a great accomplishment. In a world when most high ranking Air Force officers have less than 2500 flight hours Lt Col Michael Brill the first to pilot to fly three, four and five thousand hours in an F-16 has recently surpassed 6000 flight hours during his 3rd combat tour with the 421st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. There are fighter pilots and then there are political hacks, guess which one wears the stars in the Air Force 90% of the time?

Written on May 3, 2008 – 8:34 pm | by FIDSNS
An US Air Force Reserve pilot deployed in Iraq broke his own world record for hours spent flying the F-16 Fighting Falcon when he surpassed the 6,000-hour milestone on May 2. The photo is :Lt Col Brill touching down.
Lt. Col. Michael Brill, a pilot assigned to 421st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, has been breaking world aviation records since 1993, when he surpassed the world’s first pilot to fly 3,000 hours in the F-16. In August 1998, he became the first pilot to fly 4,000 hours and, in November 2002, he was the first pilot to attain 5,000 hours.” The sustained effort required to spend 6,000 hours flying the F-16 is phenomenal,” said Brig. Gen. Burton M. Field, commander of 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, of which the 421st EFS is a part. “Six thousand hours equates to 250 days in the cockpit — not counting all the time in ground ops before and after the flight. That is an incredible amount of time in a high-G [force], high speed, high-stress arena. Despite the challenges of flying the F-16 almost constantly since 1980, Brill said he wouldn’t have it any other way. “I love to fly. I don’t remember ever wanting to do anything else. There is a communication between me and the machine. Flying an airplane is like being on a roller coaster that you can steer,” said the colonel, who grew up on various Marine Corps bases, but calls Virginia home.
Brill, who is deployed from Hill Air Force Base, likened the evolution of the missions F-16 pilots fly and the development of precision-guided weaponry to the strides that have been made with computer technology over recent decades. Brill has personally experienced these changes while flying nearly 225 combat hours and more than 65 combat sorties. His combat experience includes three tours in support of Operation Northern Watch, two in support of Operation Southern Watch, two in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and one in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In addition, he led the first F-16 strike into Afghanistan following Sept. 11, 2001, a 10-hour mission he described as an “eye-opening experience. The more recent combat missions he has flown since arriving in Iraq in March have been a lot “quieter,” because fewer munitions have needed to be dropped — an indication that the global war on terrorism is being won, the colonel said. In 1990, Brill became an air reserve technician, which basically is a full-time reservist position. He has been assigned to 419th Fighter Wing at Hill since then and is chief of the safety Office.
(U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Julianne Showalter)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

RAF Pilot Forgets to Lower Gear Crashes $136 Million Fighter Jet

In a classic Oh Sh** moment an RAF pilot on deployment to China Lake did not put down the gear before landing. I don’t know how he managed it, on an F-15 you get a warning horn when the gear is up and you are descending at a specific rate. You can silence the horn, which could lead to a gear up landing. This is probably what happened to this guy. Here is the article from the online Sun. They bring up a gear failure but military aircraft all have an emergency gear deployment system.

Royal Air Force top gun crash-landed a new $136.3 million Typhoon fighter — apparently after forgetting to put the wheels down during a training exercise in California.
The state-of-the-art jet was badly damaged as it skidded along a runway on its belly at 130 mph.
"Everything points to the pilot forgetting to lower the wheels, which does happen from time to time," an RAF insider said.
Another possible cause of the accident is landing gear failure — but none of the other 48 Typhoons in service has been grounded with such a problem.
The top gun and his co-pilot from 17 Squadron climbed unhurt from the 1,500-mph jet. They were taking part in a major war games exercise at China Lake air base in California where aircraft can train with live weapons because of the remote location.
The mangled jet will be brought back to Britain to see if it can be repaired.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Green Beret Awarded The Distinguished Service Cross

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Army News Service, May 1, 2008) - A 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Soldier was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross during a ceremony here Wednesday for valorous actions during Operation Enduring Freedom.

A 20-year veteran, Master Sgt. Brendan O'Connor, formerly a senior medic on a 2nd Battalion, 7th SFG (A) Operational Detachment Alpha, was presented the award while he stood before family, friends, and fellow Soldiers.

"For the men who were with him that day, Master Sergeant O'Connor is a savior," said Adm. Eric T. Olson, commander of United States Special Operations Command, who presented the award to O'Connor.

"For all Americans, he is a hero, and for all members of special operations across the services, he is a source of enormous pride," he said.

O'Connor was instrumental in keeping his team alive during an intense battle with more than 250 Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan on June 22, 2006. While making a temporary stop during a patrol, his team and their attached Afghan National Army soldiers were attacked from all sides with small-arms fire, heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, recoilless rifles and mortars.

During the 17 1/2 hours of sustained combat that followed, O'Connor and his team fought off wave after wave of Taliban attackers from a group of small compounds, fighting for their lives against insurgents who were intent on killing or capturing the beleaguered defenders. Much of the combat was so close that the defenders of the compounds could hear cursing and taunting from the enemies who swarmed the perimeter.

After hearing two Soldiers were wounded at another location, O'Connor removed his body armor and low-crawled under heavy machine gun fire to treat and extract his wounded comrades. O'Connor then carried a wounded Soldier back to a safer area, again passing through intense fire. One teammate commented that as he was crawling, machine gun fire "mowed the grass" around him.

"I don't think that what I did was particularly brave," said O'Connor. "My friend needed help and I had the opportunity to help him, so I did. I think I'm lucky to get this sort of recognition; there are so many other Soldiers who do similarly brave things overseas and are happy with just a pat on the back when they get home."

O'Connor is the second Soldier to be awarded the DSC for actions taken in Operation Enduring Freedom. The first was a 5th Special Forces Group Soldier, Maj. Mark Mitchell in 2003. Before Mitchell there had been none since the Vietnam War. The DSC is the second highest award for valor, surpassed only by the Medal of Honor.

"I've never been more honored, but this medal belongs to my whole team," said O'Connor.

"Every member was watching out for the other, inspiring each other, and for some, sacrificing for each other. We all fought hard, and it could just as easily be any one of them standing up here getting it pinned on; every one of them is a hero," he said.

Second T-38C Down In A Week

A second fatal crash of a T38C this week happened yesterday out of Sheppard AFB, TX

5/1/2008 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFPN) -- Air Education and Training Command officials suspended flights of T-38C Talon aircraft May 1 following a fatal crash at Sheppard AFB, Texas.

The crash was the second in two weeks involving a T-38, following an April 23 accident in which two pilots were killed when their T-38 crashed at Columbus AFB, Miss.

General William R. Looney III, AETC commander, directed the stand-down.

"We have no evidence that these incidents are related," General Looney said. "But until we have a more complete understanding of the causes of both accidents, it's prudent to stand down the T-38's."

The causes of both crashes are under investigation.

The Air Force has approximately 500 T-38 aircraft in its inventory. The T-38 is used in AETC to prepare student pilots for future training in fighter and bomber aircraft.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Air marshals grounded in list mix-ups

This is the same government that if the left gets in wants to run your healthcare. Or for that matter the government that can’t get it act together so we can drill and refine our own oil resources. What a bunch of maroons.

April 30, 2008

By Audrey Hudson - False identifications based on a terrorist no-fly list have for years prevented some federal air marshals from boarding flights they are assigned to protect, according to officials with the agency, which is finally taking steps to address the problem.

Federal Air Marshals (FAMs) familiar with the situation say the mix-ups, in which marshals are mistaken for terrorism suspects who share the same names, have gone on for years — just as they have for thousands of members of the traveling public.

One air marshal said it has been "a major problem, where guys are denied boarding by the airline."

"In some cases, planes have departed without any coverage because the airline employees were adamant they would not fly," said the air marshal, who asked not to be named because the job requires anonymity. "I've seen guys actually being denied boarding."
A second air marshal said one agent "has been getting harassed for six years because his exact name is on the no-fly list."
Earlier this month, the agency issued a new Security Directive (SD) "to address those situations where air carriers deny FAMs boarding based on 'no-fly list' names matches." The memo was issued April 23 from the assistant director of the office of flight operations. Gregory Alter, spokesman for the Federal Air Marshal Service, said the new directive "mitigates any misidentification concerns by empowering airlines to quickly clear an air marshal's status after positively identifying their law-enforcement status." "In rare instances, air marshals, like all travelers, are occasionally misidentified as being on a watch because of name or personal identifier similarities to individuals actually on the lists," Mr. Alter said.
The air marshal service does not release how many agents are employed and declined to specify the number of agents whose names are similar to those of wanted or suspected terrorists. The new procedures are classified as "sensitive security information" and address both domestic and international check-in procedures.

"FAMs may encounter situations where this SD has not yet reached every air carrier customer service representative (CSR)," the memo said. "If a FAM is denied boarding based on 'no fly list' issues, FAMS should request to speak to an air carrier supervisory CSR. If the air carrier continues to deny the FAM a boarding pass, FAMS should contact [their supervisor] as soon as possible for assistance," the memo said. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said this week that one major air carrier reports roughly 9,000 false positive hits on the watch list every day.

The Terrorist Screening Center announced April 10 it will automatically review nearly 500,000 names on its watch list that are frequently matched during airport screenings and other law-enforcement encounters with the general public, and remove those names that don't belong to actual suspects. Additionally, Mr. Chertoff announced Monday that each airline can now create a system of limited biographical data including a passenger's date of birth to clear up watch list misidentifications. "Hassles due to misidentification and the resulting necessity to stand in line to check in at the ticket counter is consistently among the deepest and most valid complaints of the traveling public," Mr. Chertoff said.
"Thousands of passengers are inconvenienced each day, and this change should provide a way to eliminate the vast majority of these situations. This is good for travelers and for security, because as we make the checkpoint environment calmer, it becomes easier to spot individuals with hostile intent," Mr. Chertoff said.