Tag: navy

2 V 2: A-7 Corsairs vs. F-106 Delta Darts

 

The first part of the title “2 V 2” is shorthand for an air-to-air engagement (air combat maneuvering) involving two aircraft against two other (presumably enemy) aircraft.  But a pilot or aviation enthusiast familiar with the iconic F‑106 Delta Dart might be puzzled by the rest of the title.  The Corsair II is a capable but unspectacular plow horse in comparison to the Delta Dart, one of the fastest fighter-interceptors ever built! Who in their right mind would conduct air-to-air training involving such grossly mismatched aircraft?

Fun facts: The supersonic F‑106 was introduced in 1956 to foil Soviet Strategic Bomber attacks. It could fly 1,500 mph. (Mach 2.3) and cruise supersonically for 500 miles! By the late ’80s, they were mostly flown by Air National Guard squadrons. They had air-to-air radar and missiles designed to knock down an inbound Soviet Bear bomber outside of visual range. Their main vulnerability was poor rearward visibility for the pilot, and a slower roll at low speed than the Corsair.

The A-7E Corsair II was introduced in 1967. It was a subsonic light bomber with better technology than its contemporaries including an inertial navigation system and weapons control computer plus a HUD (heads-up-display). Its specialty was accurate (in the right hands) urban removal and breaking things. The under-powered Corsair usually carried one Sidewinder missile for self-defense. Air-to-air “dogfighting” was its weakest capability. Even its M61 Vulcan six‑barrel Gatling gun was optimized for air-to-ground strafing rather than against aircraft. It did have slightly better rearward visibility than the F-106 due to the shape of the canopy. (This would become important later in the day…) So it was an exciting surprise when our squadron Operations officer found an Air National Guard (ANG) unit willing to train with us.

Railguns Fried, Fizzle Before the Fourth of July

 

U.S. Navy image of railgun prototype firing

Military.com reports the Navy has finally ended the railgun program. What caught my eye was a reference to other services’ abandoned futuristic weapons. What each had in common was strong support over many years from the military-industrial complex: a uniformed proponent, Congressional support, and defense contractors. I started my military career in the 1980s just as the Sergeant York air defense gun system collapsed under spectacularly bad testing results, so can sympathize.

My Silken Letdown

 

There are two ways a Navy Carrier pilot can log one less carrier landing than take-off.  The first is called the “fly-off”.  When the squadron returns from a deployment, all the aircraft must be flown from the aircraft carrier back to their home base.  If you’re senior enough, you get to fly one of them.  On the scheduled day and time the squadron families gather at the hangar to await the planes’ arrival.  All the aircraft that are able to fly are launched.  Everyone joins up in formation and then the Squadron Commander leads the whole group of 10 or 12 aircraft back to the home airfield.  For East Coast A-7E Corsairs from the 1970s to the 1990s, that airfield was Cecil Field Naval Air Station (NAS) in Jacksonville, Florida.

Navy A-7E Corsairs In Formation

It’s all good martinis today! Jim and Greg welcome the Senate parliamentarian making life much tougher for Senate Democrats and the Biden agenda. They also cheer the mysterious sinking of one of Iran’s largest naval ships. And they are glad to see COVID number continue to drop weeks after the CDC ended mask mandates for vaccinated people.

US Military’s ‘Extremist Briefing’: An Inside Take

 

My daughter is active-duty Air Force and she is currently deployed overseas. She works in a direct mission career field which requires a top-secret clearance. Her work schedule on deployment is much more intense than it is when she is stateside. She works with all sorts of people: ages 19-50, all races, all genders, officers, NCOs, and enlisted. Her field is highly technical and competencies are more important in some aspects than how many stripes you may have. Her unit was tapped for the required “Extremist Briefing” recently and this is her report.

There was about 90 personnel in attendance. The briefing was two hours in length, despite their tight mission schedule. The briefing room required masks and chairs were positioned two feet apart. The briefing started with a video on the big screen with speeches from the SecDef, a four-star, the Chief MstSgt of the USAF, Commander of Air Combat Command, and on down the command structure until the video featured my daughter’s immediate command. She said that the way it drilled down to a face she knows made it feel very personal. The talking heads kept using the term “extremists” and “extremism” but the terms were not specifically defined, and that the terms were used very generally. (Kind of a “we all know it when we see it” kind of way). She said the video was creepy and made her feel uncomfortable. As a “Hunger Games” book fan in middle school, she said that she felt like it was a scene out of a Hunger Games book where the “Capital District” was telling everyone in other districts what the reality was, but that the ones out of touch with reality were on the screen.

After the video and some PowerPoint slides (can you have a briefing in the military without PP slides?), my daughter said they were broken up into smaller groups and a “facilitator” (another military person) then asked questions of the group members such as “Tell me about a time in your military career that you saw or experienced extremism.” The groups were told that the facilitators were required to write down their responses and would be sending them back into the SecDef. One group member tried to pin down the facilitator about what did they mean by “extremism?” (Still no clear definition.) One group member, a black airman, stated that he may have experienced a couple of jerks during his AF career who were racist, but when were they going to be asked about the thousand other incidents of his colleagues going out of their way to support him professionally and personally? Another group member wondered why they were not talking about extremism in the context of Antifa and Portland. Another black female airman said that the AF was a melting pot and, although she came from an all-black neighborhood, she had met and worked with great people of all walks of life. No one in the group offered any examples of “extremism” despite the lack of definition.

Butch O’Hare: The History of the WWII War Hero and First Naval Recipient of the Medal of Honor

 

Edward “Butch” O’Hare was the Navy’s first flying ace, a World War II hero whose name would have been commonly known at the time, but has sadly faded out of view for most Americans. With severely limited ammunition supplies, he was able to shoot down five Japanese bombers, which is how he became the first Naval recipient of the Medal of Honor during the Second World War

But this was not his only brush with world history: His father, known around Chicago as “Easy Eddie,” was Al Capone’s high-powered attorney. Easy Eddie was so prized by Capone that he wasn’t just paid a handsome salary – he was also kept in the lap of luxury in a house the size of an entire Chicago city block filled with servants. 

Easy Eddie lavished the young Butch with gifts. But he was also concerned with his education and moral upbringing – the latter of which changed Easy Eddie’s entire life, when he ultimately decided to testify against Capone in open court. Needless to say, this didn’t end well for Eddie Senior: His life ended in a hail of bullets on the streets of Chicago. 

Member Post

 

  Nine years ago yesterday, Captain Carroll LeFon…known to the blogosphere as Neptunus Lex…was killed in a combat training accident.  This is an appropriate time for those who followed Lex to remember, and hopefully for some who did not know of him to be introduced to his exceptional writing. Preview Open

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Robinson’s Rescues

 

This is about a World War II Navy Chaplain, Charles Robinson, who helped free the first Allied POWs in Japan. I’m posting this on Ricochet partly because I was irritated by the recently discovered comments by the Democrat candidate Raphael Warnock in the Georgia special election for Senate, who orated from the pulpit that people cannot serve the military and God. I didn’t find this to be true during my Navy career, whether one was serving as a Chaplain or just an adherent of a religion. Some of the people I respected the most were men of the cloth and I still value their friendship and the time we served together.

The essay is unrelated to the politics of the moment, so if you’d like a break from news about the election, the essay is safe to read. I doubt any of you have heard about Father Robinson, but his story is one that is worthy of sharing and, I believe, undercuts the narrative that Reverend Warnock peddles. Father Robinson pursued studies in theology that led him to become a Jesuit Priest almost 100 years ago, and he went overseas to Japan for his first posting. What he learned while in Japan ended up helping hundreds of prisoners of war in the Tokyo area who had been tortured or were starving at the end of the war.

The full essay is based on a research project for a history class I completed earlier this year. The professor described how Father Robinson had accomplished a mission of mercy for the Jesuits at the Jesuit Sophia University in Tokyo, and due to my Navy background, she suggested I research it for the term paper. My research determined that he had done a lot more of consequence before his rescue mission to Sophia. At the war’s end, he was stationed onboard the Battleship USS Missouri (BB-63), which arrived at the entrance to Tokyo Bay a few days before it would host the surrender ceremony on 2 September 1945. Of the tens of thousands of sailors who came to Tokyo Bay and were present for the surrender ceremony, Father Robinson had a skill that ended up being critical for rescuing hundreds of prisoners of war (POW) languishing in Japan’s numerous POW camps. He used his knowledge and abilities with distinction, in ways that helped smooth the process of quickly freeing the first group of POWs and saving other lives.

Navy Chief Aaron Siebert joins the show. Originally from Big Sky country, Aaron details his path through the Navy. Starting in San Diego, Aaron eventually made his way to Camp Pendleton with the Marines, to three tours in Iraq. On his third tour, Aaron was wounded from a mortar round, an injury for which he was awarded the Purple Heart.

In a wide-ranging and candid conversation, Aaron talks about his time embedded with the Iraqi Army, dealing with the uncertainty of a sometimes hostile and suspicious population, the round that exploded just a few meters away from him, being read his Last Rites, and the long road to recovery. Even more impressive is what Aaron has done after his military service, working with multiple organizations dedicated to helping veterans deal with PTSD, injury recovery, job training, and all other aspects of reintegrating back into society.

Army Rolling in Homeland Defense

 

This is how we are not Italy. This is part of why we were ranked #1 in the world for pandemic preparedness. As Navy hospital ships prepare to leave their docks, Army field hospital units have been given deployment orders. Ride to the sound of the sirens?

My January of Discontent

 

Navy recruits marching at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, IL.

My best friend and I signed up for the Navy a couple of months before we graduated high school in north Phoenix. After inking the deal, we could choose a date within the next 12 months to begin our adventure. After going back and forth, we chose January 5 as enlistment day.

Member Post

 

Several years ago I had a small gathering of family and friends, and part of our reasons for coming together was to have a brief discussion on why we loved this country. My husband and I were the hosts, and my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, another couple who were friends of ours, and my aunt and uncle attended. […]

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How To Catch a Spy and Enter the Navy for Dummies

 

So if you are trying to boost your resume to realize a lifelong dream of becoming a Navy Intelligence Officer, what would you do? Naveed Jamali did what any bright, bold, and determined American Millennial would do. He became a double-agent for the United States. Wait a minute … back up.

Naveed grew up like any other kid on the block. He loved G.I Joe, his Navy model airplane kits, his toy tanks, and guns. His parents were first-generation Americans, his mother from France and his father from Pakistan. They met at Columbia University, fell in love and married, and opened a book and research center in New York City. Working in his parent’s increasingly successful book business, they grew accustomed to a specific type of regular visitor, Russians under diplomatic cover at the UN.

For 30 years, a regular rotation of supposedly innocent diplomats came in with their lists, asking for specific books, reports, and publications. These visits would be followed up 30 minutes later with a visit from the FBI. The FBI tracked their movements and requests also for 30 years.

Why I Joined the Navy

 

023d609e1cc415731fd5bdaa02c89e83I was a third semester senior at NC State — a physics major. I had applied for graduate school in physics at State and the University of Virginia, but hadn’t received word on acceptance. Later that October, I was sitting outside a classroom waiting for my next class, when I glanced up at a poster on the bulletin board. It showed a picture of a guy looking through a periscope, with words like “Join the Navy” and “Nuclear Power.” It sounded cool to me. I was taking nuclear physics and quantum mechanics at the time, and I thought “This sounds like a job opportunity.” I pulled off one of the tear-away post cards, filled it out, and mailed it in to the local recruiter in Raleigh.

Things happened fast after that. I got a call from the local recruiting office. They wanted to meet me. I drove there one afternoon, met my recruiter — a Navy pilot — and we got down to business. I took some kind of standardized test and had an interview. I must have scored well. A few days later, I was invited to fly to DC for a series of additional tests, and possibly an interview with … Admiral Hyman Rickover, the father of the nuclear navy.

So, I flew up to Washington, did the tests and interviews, and the rest was history — I got accepted into the US Navy’s Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate program. Now, we get to the meat of this post’s title — why did I join in the first place?

What’s Still Great About Sports

 

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 8: The offensive line of the Army Black Knights gets set to snap the ball during a game against the Army Black Knights on December 8, 2012 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Navy won 17-13. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

A contemporary sports fan with a brain surveys the pro and college sports landscapes and is forced to consider, “is this really worth my time, money, and energy?”

Astronomical salaries, lunatic agents, endless analysis, coaches who think they’re Patton, and fans who feel every blown call is a grounds for an appeal to the Supreme Court — it all takes its toll.