Why the Soviet Union, which already had the formidable Su-17 in production, felt the need to build a ground attack version of the MiG-23 Flogger is a headscratcher, but they did, the MiG-27 D, and later J variant. The MiG-23 is today seen as something of a dog as a fighter (as opposed to being a dogfighter) but as a ground attack aircraft, the MiG-27 was… well, not too bad. It carried a decent payload, and relatively decent avionics, including a laser spot tracker and the ability to carry the AS-7 Kerry and AS-14 Kedge guided missiles. It was even built under license in India,which still operates a few. It’s been withdrawn from Russian service.
America is home to three military air forces including the United States Air Force (USAF), United States Naval Air Forces (USN, USMC), and United States Army Aviation (USA). With roots stretching back to the early 20th century, these air arms are well understood by most Americans.But there are a growing number of private air forces in the US and Canada which Americans are overwhelmingly unaware of. Composed of retired military fighter and training aircraft, operated by ex-military pilots, these company-owned fleets provide a surprising range of airborne training services to the US armed forces. Quietly, they’ve been a feature of American military aviation for more than three decades, increasingly integrated but still on the fringe, a contracting force not spoken of freely or often by the Department of Defense (DoD).Business is about to pick up, however. According to the executives who lead the companies in this unique industry, the contract air services (CAS) trade is at a tipping point. “If there was ever a question about the future of the industry, it has been answered,” says Jared Isaacman, CEO of the Florida-based Draken International. “It’s not just a Navy thing anymore. The Air Force, the Marines, the Army – they’re all going to use it and NATO allies are going to use it. We’re past the question mark.”
For the most part, contracting these services out makes a great deal of sense. While the article notes ATAC support to TOPGUN and support for CAS training, there’s another mission set they don’t mention that has long used contractor support.
Area air defense by the surface fleet, that is, Aegis destroyers and cruisers, need targets to practice. While drones work well for live fire exercises, they also need tracking practice. And contractor support can provide that, and has done so for many years.
Uncle Strick over at Free Beacon has some views to express to his pansy Marxist nephew on this day of thanks.
This kid, my nephew, will never admit to being a communist, it’s always this “moderate independent” crap. But his Facebook feed is full of Bernie Sandinista, if you know what I mean, and he recently tweeted some gibberish about riding the bus in Czechoslovakia and identifying as a “human being” instead of what he is, an American. He’s been a “student” at some Ivy League circle jerk for the better part of a decade. I think he’s 29, who the hell even cares? If he’s the future, this country’s digging its own grave and I’m glad I won’t be there when it finally kicks the bucket. When I was his age, I was flying Ranger battalions into Grenada in ’83. I spent Thanksgiving there, and believe me, we didn’t have any damn printouts. We had a war, son…
He’s gonna be all like “you’re just giving ISIS what they want.” I’ll come back at him with something like: “You know, you raise an interesting point there, Brayden. I’ll tell you what, why don’t you invite one of your ISIS pals around the house and we’ll see how much he likes it when I slash his guts out with the turkey knife. You think that’s what he wants? They want us to crush them? Tell me something, how did you feel when your Little League team got mercy-ruled by those country boys in the district finals? Is that what you wanted? Were you just phoning it in for the “participant” trophy?
…When’s the last time you got a blister on those hands? Don’t mention the time you tried eating the vegan hotdog at the WNBA game you made me take you to out of “fairness.” You didn’t even watch the game. You just tweeted about sexism on your iPad. You know, that little computer screen made by Apple, which last I checked was a corporation, Mr. Occupy.
I can understand how he feels. My brother’s oldest, lovely girl that she is, hasn’t seen much of the world outside the upscale Boston suburb she resides in, or a fully-funded semester abroad in Italy. So she is fairly convinced that all the progressive feminist bullsh*t she was taught in college is gospel truth. Because as soon as the discussion involves facts, interest wanes. Thankfully, her other uncle makes me look like a McGovern Democrat. :)
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you are just as groggy and stuffed as I am!
H/T to Fran D!
I was fortunate that I was never actually deployed during Thanksgiving. The closest I came to that was spending Thanksgiving at Graf during gunnery.
In most units, it’s traditional for the battalion and brigade combat team leadership to head to the Dining Facility for the noon meal, which is when they serve the big turkey dinner. Seeing the colonels serving turkey in their dress blues is a bit odd, but hey, tradition. And by serving at the noon meal, they get to go home and have a traditional meal with their families.
And almost universally, they do a very good job of putting out a traditional menu- bird, dressing, gravy, cranberry, and a host of other well known dishes.
As a single troop, it was also quite common for one of my married coworkers to invite me to their home to enjoy another vast meal, a few beers, and football on the television. After all, we take care of our own.
And if you’re deployed, the Army will go to great lengths to make sure you get a real meal.
On behalf of all of us here at XBradTC.com, Best Wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving.