Wednesday Links

So, instead of working hard to finish I post I’ve been chipping away at, I spent yesterday playing flight simulator. Sorry.  (If you must know, FSX/Acceleration, along with JustFlight’s Traffic X and Cargo Pilot, and their superb C-130 add-on).


Jules Crittenden’s blog may have gone silent, but his reading list is still there. I’ve read quite a few books on the list, mostly those concerning World War II, but there’s no way I’ll ever get around to reading them all.  But if you’re looking either for suggestions for something to read, or on a specific time or place of battle, chances are good you’ll find something of interest.


Instead of Reagan’s “Trust but verify,” this falls under “Don’t trust, doubly verify, and just presume they’re gonna try to screw you.”


I haven’t written a lot about the current war in Afghanistan lately. Mostly because it is so depressing. I think we’ve squandered a chance at victory, and the last three years have been spent trumpeting a time based exit, rather than a conditions based exit. That meant that any tactical success on the battlefield was overridden by the strategic problem that our enemies have known that all they had to do was keep the pot simmering for a while, waiting for their chance. War News Updates, as always, gives us a daily roundup of links of interest on Afghanistan.  Me? I’m rapidly reverting to my 9/12/01 thought that we should just nuke it from orbit- it’s the only way to be sure.


The Air Force has finally cleared the F-35A to begin flying at the 33rd Wing. The cadre can now make local flights, begin training itself, and establishing the syllabus for new students.  The JSF program has been something of a disaster, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Having said that, I think the F-35A will be a pretty good airplane, with capabilities well beyond the F-16 it is intended to replace.  And other than a lack of an internal gun, the C model probably will do OK. My concern has always been with the STOVL B model. Unfortunately, that STOVL requirement drove so much of the entire design philosophy that it has imposed compromises on the more conventional variants. That and a lamentably tendency to gold-plate what was originally supposed to be an austere “semi-stealthy” low cost airplane has driven the program and unit costs through the roof.


Overall, I think the vastly increased ability of our troops to maintain contact with loved ones at home via email, phone, and Skype is a good thing. But not an unalloyed good.


This is why we can’t have nice things.


To save the planet from Global Warming, we must nuke Iran. And a few other troublemakers!


I’ve been in this meeting.


I’m guessing this is a wireless variant of the TOW. Not bad for a 40 year old weapon system. There’s probably not a lot of need to reach out and touch someone at about 7000 meters, but the improved flight time is a good deal.


A sad day for the Coasties. Three missing from the loss of a helicopter in Mobile Bay.  Brave men and women, those Coasties. As an aside, the entire H-65 program has always been something of a disaster, with decades of engine problems. Why they didn’t dump all the Dolphins, and go to an all H-60 fleet is a wonder.


We started with a clear day here, but clouds are rolling in. Hopefully it will be a bit warmer today than yesterday. Yes, I know, whining about highs in the 50s is a sign of weakness, but I’ve become acclimated to warm (but not hot) weather. Sox hated the cold yesterday as much as I did. Don’t you care about kittens!?

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2 responses to “Wednesday Links

  1. I’m thinking the new TOW has an improved motor, so less time sitting exposed after fire. The increased range maybe was a bonus of the higher velocity on the missile.

    I got a couple nice shots at gunnery, I’ll set up a flicker thing and send you the link.

  2. I agree on the 7 Klick range of TOW. shorter flight time is a good thing, though.

    I’ve been in those meetings too.

    Agree on the UH 60 for the Coasties as well. If not, the UH-72 would be a good choice, but I think the good ol’ Blackhawk would be the best choice overall.

    I’m not going to get started on the Super Tucano and the AF. The less said about the AF, the better. Unless it’s legislation putting most of them back under the Army, then I’m all for it.