Green Machine: Air Force officials last week signed four memoranda of understanding with the governor of
If you followed the link to the July 25th press release, you’ll note that two of the four memoranda of understanding are between USAF and the city of
2. An agreement with Air Force, Southwest Biomass Cooperative, city of
4. An agreement between Air Force, city of
I’m tempted to ask the rhetorical question… “Where were the P-Ville City Fathers when all this was going down?” But I won’t.
The agreements did not include any details of proposed projects nor outline any financing options. Those would be developed later, as part of business plans that are due in four months, officials said.
That’s from the Clovis News-Journal. As usual, the devil’s in the details. But, that said, the renewable energy projects are great good things. And Lord knows we DO have us some diary waste that could be put to some use other than offending my nostrils as I motor by the many diaries in the area.
Oh… and have I ever mentioned we have a lil bit of wind in these parts? I have? Nevermind…
Yet another Daily Report item…
Rethinking UAV Operations: Gen. Norton Schwartz, nominee to be the next Air Force Chief of Staff, said last week he would "quickly" make a decision whether the Air Force will continue its policy that pilots of unmanned aerial vehicles--the larger sized platforms that perform at medium and high altitudes and carry weapons--must be rated officers. "It may well be that a blend of rated and non-rated operators makes the most sense," he told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee in the written responses to the panel's advance questions for his July 22 confirmation hearing. The Air Force has both non-rated and rated personnel flying its diverse family of UAVs, depending on the platform. Small-sized UAVs that operate at the local level are flown by non-rated airmen. However, USAF's stance to date has been that larger multi-mission, theater-level UAVs, such as the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper, are complex systems that often involve real-time command and control and time-sensitive decision-making for the delivery of ordnance under demanding battlefield conditions. "Qualified rated pilots generally have the training and experience that is crucial to the success of this effort," Schwartz said. Further, aircraft like the Predator, Reaper, and RQ-4 Global Hawk fly in and through airspace that requires positive control of the assets based on FAA and ICAO rules. Those rules require an instrument-qualified pilot, Schwartz noted, adding that he would assess the arguments before rendering his choice. USAF has cited the availability of trained pilots as a limiting factor in accelerating the fielding of UAV assets. That said, it is still surging additional assets to support operations in
Part of the continuing debate over UAV pilots is the fact the Army uses enlisted pilots for their UAVs and the Air Force most certainly does not. I found the term “non-rated airmen” to be an interesting sort of dodge, in that USAF often uses the generic term “airmen” to describe both enlisted and officers as a group, much the way the Army uses “soldiers.” I can see USAF’s point about conforming to FAA/ICAO airspace rules when it comes to platforms like the Global Hawk and to a lesser extent, Reaper and Predator. The increase in the numbers of these platforms and their sharing airspace with commercial aircraft, particularly in the
This is a very interesting subject… in some quarters, at least.
(UAV operator console image from Protobox.com)
So… it was a year yesterday when I put that lil “Visitors by Country” widget at the bottom of my sidebar, and it remains my favorite. That ain’t sayin’ a whole helluva lot, though, seeing as how I have exactly two widgets… the McCain vid and the Neocounter. But…as of just before last evening we had 31,847 visitors from 137 countries. Or, visitors from places where I didn’t know there were places. I’ve had great good fun looking up the origins of some of the more esoteric places (like: Brunei Darussalam. Or Burkina Faso.), seeing as how I’m something of a geography nut. And yeah, I’d heard of
And finally… your crass sexist exploitation moment of the day:
Guinness makes some GREAT ads, nu? (It’s a one minute vid, for those on dial-up.)