Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Did Someone Say Snark?

Steeljaw Scribe (aka ―sometimes― as “Some Squid”) cherry-picked a couple of movie sequences in a vain attempt to convince the world at large the Navy knows a lil sumthin about airpower. So…he puts up this video of a couple of F9Fs being landed…oh-so-poorly…on the deck of an aircraft carrier and contrasts them with the venerable F-86, shown on a ramp as the credits to “The Hunters” roll. (BTW: those F9Fs were from one of the best war movies of all time, and the source of the famous quote “Where do we get such men?”)

Now the F9F is a pretty airplane, don’t get me wrong. “Pretty,” as far as those lil toy aircraft go. You know, the kind of airplanes that require an industrial strength sling-shot to get airborne most of the time and sporting some sort of vestigial appendage called a “booty-hook.” Or something like that. Anyway, the mere existence of these booty-hook thingies have been known to make grown men get all weepy with remembrance. They have strange powers, those vestigial appendages. But I digress.

The plain (or plane) fact, Gentle Reader, is REAL Men (REAL Women, too) fly BIG-ASS airplanes. Like these:

A single B-52 brings as much force to the party…any party…as an entire squadron of sea-going toy airplanes. And the B-52 has been doing so for well over 50 years Vietnam, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and conflicts yet to come.

It’s a matter of fact, Gentle Reader, that those F9Fs depicted in SJS’ post were in service at the same time as the B-52. Read another way…the service life of those two airframes overlapped, however briefly. The F9F is but a memory. The B-52, on the other hand, is a sterling example of your United States Air Force: firepower and staying power. Your United States Air Force puts both firepower and staying power on target, on demand. World-wide.

For another historical example of famous USAF Big-Ass airplanes, see Mike. And while I’m at it, credit where credit is due: SJS posted a danged good treatise on the BUFF in the near way-back. Which sorta proves the point: even squids know the good stuff when they see it.

Oh…and no offense meant to fighter types, especially the air superiority guys…USAF, USN, or USMC. Someone needs to prep the battle space, and for that the Big Iron guys are eternally grateful.


  1. You made me smile this a.m.

  2. Which is a good thing in MY book! :-)

  3. The B-52, on the other hand, is a sterling example of your United States Air Force: firepower and staying power.

    Which, I suppose, is why it (and all the other BAA's) require electronic warfare support from, oh wait, who is it? Why, I do believe it's a Prowler and let's see -- hmm, looks like a NAVY on it's side...
    So, where's big AF's inventory? oh yeah ...

    Full disclosure - I've always liked the BUFF , especially when they showed up hauling lots of Harpoons to join my air wing WASEX package - which was pretty lethal in and of itself. Fact is though, in the presence of 4th and 5th gen air defense systems the BUFF will continue to be relegated to a standoff mode and only used in direct attack in the absence of a surface to air threat.

    But hey -- back to the Panther deal, how long did the F-86 remain a frontline fighter after Korea as well? Recall too, it was those pesky little blue airplanes (jets and props) that were first on scene in the dark, early days of Korea while the big wings were fiddling around trying to get back into theater.

    It was also those pesky little blue jets with NAVY or MARINES on the side that provided the night fighter escort craved by the big wings as they embarked on night raids in the north (due to the way they were getting shot up by the MiGs in the day)...but I digress :)

    More to follow :X
    - SJS

  4. So, where's big AF's inventory? oh yeah ...

    Actually, those Spark Varks currently sitting in AMARC were danged good at what they did...while they did it. But you did have to bring up that can o' worms that is AEA and SEAD, didn't ya? It's an unfortunate fact of life that budget constraints affect decisions about roles and missions and acquisition priorities...and a lot of those decisions are made at DoD's level, and not at the level of the individual services. There are/were Blue-Suiters that would have preferred retaining an organic AEA capability, but they were over-ruled. And the Navy didn't exactly drag their feet when they were designated as the "joint" provider for the AEA mission, right? But I'm not telling you anything you don't already know... including the fact that you guys have your own set of problems. ;-)

    I'm not saying there isn't a time/place for light attack and/or carrier-based aviation..coz there IS. It's just that it's (a) not the be-all, end-all and (b) when you need a LOT of ordnance put on a target half a world away, chances are the call will go to the guys with the Big-Assed Airplanes. And those BAAs will sometimes require support from that "other" aviation outfit.

    Speaking of support...who provides most of your aerial refueling capability when you're like, away from the boat? Hmmm?

  5. wow - super-cool footage of the B-52, and the White Zombie track is the perfect song for that, imho.

  6. Phlegmmy sez: ...and the White Zombie track is the perfect song for that, imho.

    Ya just gotta love a gal who knows her music! ;-)

    (Full disclosure: I had NO idea who that was...)


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