Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Plane Pr0n and Other Stuff

Occasional Reader Ron C. sends along a rather cool video put together by Jeremy Blaney at Vance AFB in Oklahoma...

The Toby Keith song has become sort of an unofficial anthem at many military events; I've heard it more than once at various ceremonies and gatherings out at Cannon Airplane Patch.  It DOES make a nice soundtrack for the above, doesn't it?


In other Air Force news... there's this from today's AFA Daily Report:
Odyssey Dawn Units Identified: The Air Force has identified units that participated in the attacks against Libyan military targets in the opening salvos of Operation Odyssey Dawn this past weekend. In addition to B-2 stealth bombers from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Mo., the Air Force sent F-15Es from the 492nd Fighter Squadron and 494th FS at RAF Lakenheath, Britain, as well as F-16CJs from the 480th FS at Spangdahlem AB, Germany. The B-2s struck combat aircraft shelters at Ghardabiya Airfield in Libya, and, based on post-strike photos that the Pentagon displayed, precisely hit them. The F-15Es and F-16CJs attacked ground forces loyal to Libyan ruler Muammar Gadhafi that were advancing on opposition forces in Benghazi and threatening civilians. KC-135s of the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, Britain, refueled the strike aircraft en route to an unnamed forward air base. C-130Js from the 37th Airlift Squadron at Ramstein AB, Germany, moved ground equipment and personnel to the forward base, as did theater-based C-17s. Pentagon officials also said EC-130 Commando Solo psychological operations aircraft participated. The Pennsylvania Air National Guard's 193rd Special Operations Wing in Middletown operates these aircraft. (Ramstein release) (See also our initial coverage)
Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue... and a few of our closest friends.  It surprised me to read that the US was responsible for taking out that tank convoy outside of Benghazi; initial reports speculated it was the French who did that.


Yesterday's news item about a certain USAF Major General generated an interesting e-mail thread between YrHmblScrb and a few of my Occasional Correspondents.  About which... there's this in the "let me be perfectly clear" department: 
Just generally (heh) speaking... the concept of women Air Force generals or Navy admirals doesn't bother me at all, either, if they have suitable experience, and by that I mean combat experience.  Flying fighters, for instance.  Bombers, even.  Or driving ships into harm's way and having had weapons-release authority.  But a cursory look at Gen. Woodward's biography shows stuff like "protocol chief" and "deputy (DEPUTY!) director of colonel matters," whatever the hell THAT means.  I'll cop to the squadron and wing command slots, even if those were "just" tankers... coz the flying gas-station guys are an integral part o' each and every OpPlan.

OTOH... I KNOW there are chicks out there who have spent a good amount of time with their asses strapped into A-10s, F-15s, and F-16s... the point bein' why not
them?  I smell a lot o' politics here... just sayin'.
Which, of course, is my amplification on the point I was tryin' to make in yesterday's post.  So just don't be callin' me a male chauvinist pig, mmmkay?  It all boils down to "Who are ya gonna believe?  Me or your lyin' eyes?"

(Photo credit: Official USAF photo from MGen Woodward's bio page)


  1. Did someone call you a male chauvinist pig? Not I.

    I agree with you. Being an Admiral of a military unit is not the same as being an "Administrator" in my office. I work with women who were, frankly, promoted because of politics or quotas, but those women don't hold lives in their hands.

    Don't get me started on "women's lib". I was big on that until it came back and bit me...

  2. Did someone call you a male chauvinist pig? Not I.

    That was just in case, Red. You're not the Lone Ranger where the feminist thang is concerned, either. I know more than a few women who say things to the effect of "what WAS I thinkin'?" That said, I also know some who still buy into it... and those types are right-ROYAL-PITAs.

  3. We had women in my POW training class. We had a class of about 120 people, including 10 women. Everyone graduated except one enlisted man who was determined to be too emotional (i.e., PTSD in-place).

    The physical part of POW training, as in real life, is getting captured. Obviously, these are the people you just bombed, and they may take offense to that.

    Suffice to say, they did take offense, and thus began Phase I of the training which was to beat the sh*t out of us and take all your clothes away. No simulated stuff there. Blood was produced (or I forgot to duck).

    So I'm being frisked and kicked around, while the Lt next to me is getting her fair share as well. When we were given some of our clothes back for the march to the camp, I said: "Lt, you sure look a lot better naked then you do with clothes on."

    That rib still gives me problems when it is cold weather, even 30 years later. I think she might have cracked it. The instructors didn't hurt me, but she sure did.

    I never saw her again, as she was a new fighter pilot, and I was an enlisted crewdog.

    Women did as well as the men in that environment.

  4. I think she might have cracked it. Anon, I'm surprised all you got off with was a cracked rib! We're a little more tough than we're portrayed as.
    I think the whole point here is that there are some people punted up the ladder who shouldn't be where they're at (male, or female).

  5. Buck, pretty good song and the sentiment is there, but TK is such an arrogant a$$ that I have a real problem with him and his attitude. One of his daughter's schoolmates called them 'white trash with money'. I have to agree with her (he is anyway).

  6. I enjoyed the video. As to women in military leadership roles, I have too many thoughts rolling around. This comment may seem scattered. I'm not big on women in the military, period. Having said that, I also think that politicial promotions run the same for men as they do for women. People get promoted when they shouldn't in all sorts of businesses. Presidents get to make military decisions even when they have had no military experience. For some reason, though, I keep thinking of Margaret Thatcher - I thought she was pretty amazing.

  7. Colonel Dawn Dunlap, CO
    412 Test Wing
    F-15 Combat time.

    LCDR Rebecca (Burt) Hagemann
    Fleet Support Center NW
    NAS Whidbey Island WA
    I had her in my Airframes shope in89-91 at VA-128. In the first group of women to serve at sea in Kitty Hawk. Flight Deck Coordinator, Maintenance Controller, Maintenance Officer.

    Major Carrie Reinhardt
    F-16 Test Pilot
    2000 hours in type including the shit in the Stan and Iraq.
    Launched and recovered many times.

    Not taking sides, just the experiences.

  8. I think it comes down to timing. The decision to allow women to fly in tankers (I believe) came before fighters. She's got the requisite rank for the job, and she's already in the existing org structure. As the CC of 17AF, she inherits the AFRICOM theatre and would naturally be in the running for the CFACC position.
    I was initially surprised it wasn't a Navy Admiral. Usually comes down to who owns the preponderance of the aircraft.
    Your fighter pilot female C or J FACC is coming...just give it time.

  9. Have you seen how hot the squared away young pilots are in the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels? Of both genders? Flight suits are a thing of wonder upon which to gaze when properly filled out.

    About the politics of promotion and whether it actually exists -- well, duh. You've heard of the Pentagon, right?

  10. To tell the truth, Generals are recipients of endless briefings.

    She was probably working the OP PLAN at D-120 and was so bored with it, she probably had an O-6 execute the damned thing on D-Day.

  11. Anon1: That's one of the better war stories I've heard of late!!

    Deb: I had no ideer TK was an asshat, but it doesn't surprise me. Arrogance often accompanies success.

    Lou: I didn't think the comment was scattered at all. You covered a lot o' ground in a few words, and that's a GOOD thing.

    Glenn: As Buck noted below you, those ladies will prolly be wearin' stars before too long.

    Buck: Good points, and thanks for weighing in.

    Moogie: You wouldn't BELIEVE how many distaff pilots have turned my head. OTOH, you prolly WOULD.

    Anon2: Your point is well-taken, too. The staff(s) rarely gets credit.

  12. I remember when the gals were allowed to fly the tankers, because they were "non-combat" aircraft. Like some enemy fighter jock with one missile left ain't gonna hit the tanker instead of the aircraft it was there to refuel.

    Net result: women were put in a position where they could be shot at, but not allowed to fly a plane that could shoot back. The new rules are better.

  13. Yeah, I remember that time period as well, Gordon. And I also thought "WTF?" Is there a juicier target than a tanker? I don't think so...

  14. LCDR Hagemann is retiring this summer. Twenty five years total. I knew her as Becky Burt(maiden name)
    Straight from the lady herself on the retirement.
    One really good A6 Airframer back then.


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