Atlantic: An Air Force Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle flew for the first time across the Atlanticto Southwest Asia, making the 19-hour flight from in NAS Patuxent River . The milestone flight came on Sept. 20 and USAF expected to have the high-altitude RQ-4 fly a 24-hour war on terror mission within hours of arrival in theater. Airmen from the 9th Reconnaissance Wing at Beale AFB, Maryland , joined forces with sailors and Navy contractors, who work with the Navy's maritime version of the Global Hawk, to cut time and save resources. A1C Matthew Miles, an avionics specialist, said, "The Navy has all the supplies that we have, plus contracted support." And, according to Col. George Zaniewski, Air Combat Command's intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance division chief, crossing the Calif. Atlantic"allows us to cut a lot of different stops in a lot of different areas." He expects cooperation to increase between the Air Force and Navy with the Global Hawk. ACC's chief of current operations, Maj. Alan Rabb, believes the impact from this joint effort will "be really huge" and has opened the door to a "different aspect of joint ops." (ACC report by MSgt. Steven Goetsch)
Does this amaze you as much as it amazes me, Gentle Reader? The Global Hawk has flown extreme distances… non-stop… before, but to fly it across the
The photo was taken from the “ACC report” link, above. There are three more hi-res photos at the link, if you’re interested. And the USAF photo I used to illustrate this piece is but 40% the size of the original pic.
Another brief reflection on aging… Are you familiar with that ol’ saying “My get up and go got up and left,” Gentle Reader? I’ve been feeling that way of late. And I sorta understand now, after all these years, the attitude my father had in his old age. Which, of course, bears some ‘splainin’.
During the course of my Air Force career I extended invitations to my father to come visit… especially when I was stationed in
I was stationed at the 2119th Communications Squadron on RAF Uxbridge, in the
That was the point I got the “my traveling days are over” routine. “Regrets,” and all that. I was crushed; the colonel was disappointed. And I didn’t “get it,” at all.
Ah… but I do now. I feel the same way, actually. I’ve mentioned in passing that I let my passport lapse several years ago and have no intention of renewing it. But… this leaves me wondering. Why is it that some people retire and travel… a lot… while others become homebodies? My former in-laws were in the former category, in that they took an international trip each and every summer after they retired, going to Russia (a cool cruise down the Volga), the Far East (China, Japan, Thailand… the list goes on), and a trip to visit TSMP and I while we were in London… every year. The answer as to “why not travel” isn’t financial in all cases, and certainly wasn’t the case with my father… or me, for that matter. It seems like our “get up and go” really DID get up and leave. Perhaps the reason my in-laws traveled a lot in retirement was because they never traveled all that much as young adults, whereas my father and I were truly 20th century migrant workers. In my case, the longest I’d ever lived in one place before my 4oth birthday was three years… in
Still and even… one would think travel would “get in the blood” and the habit would continue on as you age. Such is not the case with me. I’m perfectly content to sit on my ass here on The High Plains of