Friday, September 21, 2007

Not Your Father's Air Force...But It IS His Plane.

The caption to the pic above reads:
Retired Maj. Gen. Doug Pearson (left) and Capt. Todd Pearson joke around Sept. 13, 2007 prior to Captain Pearson taking off on the Celestial Eagle remembrance flight at Homestead ARB, Fla. Captain Pearson is a 390th Fighter Squadron pilot from Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. General Pearson flew the exact same F-15 Eagle, now assigned to the Florida Air National Guard 125th Fighter Wing, 22 years ago on the Celestial Eagle flight.
Full article here (pdf). And just how old is that F-15? It flew its maiden flight on Veterans Day in 1977. And it’s still a front-line fighter, at 30 years of age.
This happens all too often these days…sons flying the very same aircraft their father flew. As a matter of fact, nearly every single B-52 is older than the men who fly them, bar none. And the age of the USAF fleet is a problem. A serious, serious problem.
September 21, 2007— The Air Force’s attempts to fund replacement of its aged aircraft fleet by cutting personnel is failing, and if Congress and the White House don’t provide an infusion of cash soon, the service will no longer be able to win wars, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne declared.
Wynne, speaking at a Washington think tank Sept. 19, said that the service’s stay-within-its-topline bootstrap approach isn’t arresting the aging aircraft problem, and the inventory age is still rising, from 23.9 years today to 26.5 years by 2012.
The Air Force’s older fighters aren’t up to defeating a modern air defense system or modern foreign fighters, Wynne said, and in a fight with Venezuela or Iran, such aircraft would probably be shot down.
“No [USAF] fourth-generation fighter would be allowed into war over Tehran or over Caracas, once they buy what the Russians are selling them,” Wynne said. He noted that as far back as 1999, only stealthy B-2s and F-117s were actually allowed to overfly the murderous air defenses around Belgrade in operation Allied Force, and foreign air defense systems have improved dramatically since then.
As I said: A serious issue.
Shelly has a fun meme going on over at her place. The objective is to put together a sequence of three songs that constitute a “play list (set)” for a radio station, and the theme is “parts of the body I’m attracted to.” After about 30 minutes of thought (and yes, it did hurt…the thinking bit), I came up with the following:
  1. “Going Down” – Jeff Beck Group. An old, obscure, full-tilt boogie number wherein the singer tells us he’s “got my head out the window and my big feets on the ground…” Sample here. (OK, it’s a stretch, this one. I’m attracted to neither feet nor heads…generally. But it’s such a great song and it does reference body parts.)
  2. “Behind Blue Eyes” – The Who. No explanation needed.
  3. “So Alive” – Love and Rockets. “Your legs are long and oh so strong…” Sample here, in case you’ve forgotten.
I’ll be checking in over at Shelly’s every so often to see what others have come up with. This is the sort of meme I like.
I’m still procrastinating, still looking for motivation. And that should be sorta obvious from the timestamp on this post. I think I need to change my routine, which is to say “post first, surf later.” My list of daily reads is getting to the point where it’s nearly unmanageable. But: it’s time well-spent. I cannot, for the life of me, imagine a day without reading the thoughts of my Blog-Buddies. But that's not the problem. The problem is meeting my self-imposed posting deadline. Residual Type-A behavior. It never goes away, really.
Today’s Pic: A blast from the recent past. SN1 (that's his bike in the foreground) and I taking a break in Walden, CO just before The Ride From Hell began to earn it’s name. Up until this point it was all sweetness and light…almost literally. And then it got ugly. Real ugly.
May, this year.


  1. Ok Buck I loved your play set it was awesome, but me being better at verbal communication then writing(I know what am I doing blogging) you don't have to do body parts your theme can be anything or any list of songs. I just choose body parts. Although it will be cool to see what others come up with...How did you do the sample play on comments???

  2. I'm surprised that the love and rockets song was on your playlist. Didn't think people your age had heard of that song. LOL! I was in high school, myself.

    Any rain out your way last night? Or was it just dusty with all the going ons in your backyard at the rodeo arena?

  3. "still looking for motivation"

    Well I think you found motivation just fine. I enjoyed the various parts of this post. :)

    "I cannot, for the life of me, imagine a day without reading the thoughts of my Blog-Buddies."

    I must be such a disappointment lately, having not been posting any. LOL!

  4. Shelly: I'll give you a new list shortly. I just came in from an early afternoon beer and cigar...during which time I gave some thought to the subject at hand.

    Jenny: We got LOTS of rain last evening. And we still have the puddles to prove it, LOL!

    Re: "Didn't think people your age had heard of that song." One thing that has always amazed me about people's taste in music is that most folks seem to get "stuck" in a given time period...most often their high school daze...uh...days. Others, and they are a distinct minority, seem to keep up with the times. Just WHY this is I dunno. Maybe it's the fact that most people simply don't have time to keep up, once they "grow up," what with families, jobs, etc.

    Laurie: I will admit that I've missed your posts of late. But. there's life to consider and I KNOW you have a full, if not overflowing, plate.

  5. Don't know about those trips across the west with Crotch Rockets Buck....don't ride much anymore, unless I can borrow one...but I'll stick with the Kaw 900s, and my old Yamaha, and you could sit up and save your back.

  6. Buck...finished up reading "The Ride from Hell"....reminds me of my trip with 4 other guys the summer I got out(72) when we headed to Wyoming in August...and thought it would be warm all the way from Ohio to there...mistake...we live and learn.

    Also, I drive RVs(Large Motor Homes) for delivery all winter....I may look you up on my way west to one of my AZ, CA, or Vegas dealers.


  7. Buck, how is it that we manage to remember those bike trips from Hell the best?

    I am not going to repeat what that 'Word Verification' thingie wants me to type in now. Some perv set up those algorithms, that is all I have to say on the matter.

  8. Pat says: ...Yamaha, and you could sit up and save your back.

    Even though Buck's (SN1) bike looks like a typical crotch rocket, the seating position is standard, and your back is saved (check the handlebars...). I rode it for about 50 miles or so and if truth be told, I like his bike better than the 'Zuki (in most respects). And the 'Zuki has a standard seating position, as well. She's very comfortable.

    I LOVE the old XS-650s! I should be clear...the standards, not the Specials. I've never been into choppers, except as "works of art." If money were no object, I wouldn't mind having something like this . Or this...pretty, like a Norvin...but there's the BACK thing, again!

    Another "ride from Hell" I may write about someday was from Klamath Falls, OR to Lompoc, CA on a friend's XS-650 back around 1974 or so. Lotsa rain, no rain gear, temps in the mid-40s. I had hypothermia when I arrived at my destination...NO kidding. I was lucky I didn't die...for REAL... on that ride.

    If you take I-40 on your RV delivery trips out west Pat, maybe we could meet in's only about an hour plus a lil bit from me!

    Lin: Pain makes for lasting memories. But I DO remember the BEST of my rides, though. And I wrote about one of '

  9. On my way west, I usually stop at Sayre, OK on my second night(unless it a RED run, and I need to deliver fast)...then across I-40 where I wind up at the RT 66 Casino outside the Big fall(08) we have our VSPA Sky Cop Reunion at meeting up for a cold one is always a possibility between now and then, if the good Lord is willing....


Just be polite... that's all I ask.