Thursday, April 11, 2019

Busy, Busy, Busy...


So, I have a new project at work, related to the former one (which the Navy decided to turn off for a while, i.e. cut the funding) but is new-ish. It's stuff I've done before but it's been a while so the learning curve is steep-ish.

Team player that I am (stop laughing) I've been assisting a new hire who's on the same project. He's an experienced guy but he hasn't used this system before, so we're helping each other get up to speed.

De parabel der blinden - Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Yeah, something like that.

So I've been busy, far more busy than is usual, which is okay, it certainly makes the day go by fast. But some of you may have noticed that this might be one of those, "I've got nothing" posts.

And you would be correct.

But I will say this regarding the number of hits and comments on juvat's Monday offering, "Holy Crap." (Come on, you had to see that coming.)

So, just to chum the waters...
Joint Strike Fighter (F-35) - Good thing? Bad thing?
Seems that one belonging to the Japanese went down while on a training mission, terrible news to hear of a pilot going down with his bird, regardless of what aircraft it was. Hopefully they find him, alive and well.

Yes, I know of Lt. Col. Dick Cole (Jimmy Doolittle's co-pilot on the Tokyo Raid) dying, the last one of the men who flew that mission. I'm not ignoring it, but in reality we're losing World War II veterans at a accelerating rate, soon none will be left. That in and of itself is sad, losing the last man from an iconic mission, a mission which boosted American morale at a time when it was sorely needed, is worthy of note. (Apologies for not getting to this sooner.)

View of the after part of the flight deck of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) during the "Doolittle Raid" on 18 April 1942. Visible are eight of 16 U.S. Army Air Force North American B-25B Mitchell bombers and four of Hornet´s Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers. The Gleaves-class destroyer USS Gwin (DD-433) is coming alongside, the light cruiser USS Nashville (CL-43) is visible on the left.
From left: Lt. Henry Potter, navigator; Lt. Col. James Doolittle, pilot; Staff Sgt. Fred Braemer, bombardier; Lt. Richard Cole, co-pilot; and Staff Sgt. Paul Leonard, engineer/gunner.
Lieutenant Colonel Cole, let your comrades know that we remember them and their heroism. Thank you.

Godspeed Sir.



60 comments:

  1. Truly a case of gone but not forgotten!

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    1. True.

      One of my missions in life is to remember, remember those who paid the price for my freedom.

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  2. Fox affiliate had a segment on the local CAF wing that has a B-25, one of their members met the Colonel back in 2017 at Wright-Patterson. That was some kind of mission for those aviators, RIP Lt. Col. Cole. Er.... ah...... five inches yesterday.....one to three today.........one to two tonight......... several sections of Inter-state shut down because of winds/no visibility......spring?!?

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    1. I've been following that storm from back here in the mild Northeast, you lot are getting pounded.

      Reminds me of when I bought a VW Jetta back in 1983 out in Denver. Picked up the car in mid-April, couple days later we had a big snowstorm. Mother Nature is fickle and will try to kill you when you're not looking.

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    2. During the big push westward, one year a severe blizzard hit the western states, in June!!!! So, well, can you hear the glaciers moving yet?

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    3. Can you say Maunder Minimum?

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    4. A bit breezy yesterday with a high of 92. Made for a bit of sweat on the brow as I sat outside smoking some ribs whilst sipping a cold one. But rest assured, My fine Northern Tier friends I was thinking of you through the whole ordeal. Offering it up for Lent, as it were.
      Today it's a much more temperate 75 out. I believe I shall shortly return to the front porch and read a book, and, perchance, imbibe another of those cold ones.
      Just sayin'

      Oh, yeah, and I'll be waiting with bated breath for the rejoinders I'm sure you'll be posting round about August.

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    5. Good to know that you're "taking one for the team" down there in sunny Texas.

      92°? Much humidity?

      And yes, we non-retired types are jealous.

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  3. Good luck with your new-ish project. I know you'll enjoy (if that is the right word) the new challenge.

    I know there is a sentiment, especially in the senior population (like a lot of the readers here), that the current generation has fewer 'hero types' than in generations past. I am not sure if that is really the case or not, I am hoping not. But I do know that groups like the Doolittle Raiders had the 'hero gene' in spades - almost the military version of, "Hey y'all, hold my beer and watch this!!" tempered with training and discipline. RIP, LTC. Cole. (Anniversary of the raid is coming up in a week - 77 years, if my math is correct)

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    1. Thanks Tom, it's been fun so far.

      Having kids in the military and having friends with kids in the military, I know that there are heroes out there. As I like to say, "The kids are alright."

      Not all of 'em, I know, but the Greatest Generation had their share of miscreants, traitors, and slackers as well. Those serving today are just as good as their grandsires.

      We've been blessed as a Nation to have the quality rise to the top in time of crisis, not sure how long that can continue with some of the treasonous bastards in our society actively working to destroy that society. We need to stay wary and ready.

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    2. Are they finally putting a real gun on the upside-down ship? Are they? Huh? Are they???????????? Please, please, please, pu-leeeeeeeze!!!!!

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    3. Oh, it has a gun. It's just that the bullets are way too expensive, so they aren't buying any more.

      Uh, make each shot count?

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    4. I did say real gun, not some weirdo stuff. It should have been designed to use all existing and proposed NATO 155mm projectiles and all the fun ones the Army and the Marines have.

      Instead, we have the naval version of those weird electronic trigger .22 caliber pistols they use in the Olympics that are about as 'normal' a gun as a million dollar Ferrari is a family car...

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    5. As soon as I hit publish I realized that yes indeed peccavi.

      The original plan was for a normal, actual, 155 mm type gun, navalized etc., etc. Then some dumbass boffin went all techie and that's how you get a gun that can only fire really expensive rounds, which are really just funny looking missiles.

      They were warned...

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    6. When you visit ROK Navy vessels they all have a tattoo on them. "One shot, One kill" So there could be enough ammo left to hit every ship in the world's navies, once.

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  4. Hey AFSarge;

    Yes we are lessened but time goes on. We are having the Vietnam era veterans also passing at an accelerated rate, and I am getting notifications that my fellow Desert Storm vets also are passing. It is the truth of our existence. I did "borrow" your pics for a blogpost and I will give credit where due :D As far as heroes of the new generations, I saw a writeup where the Marine 1SG during the battle of Fallujah where he refused to leave on a stretcher, he was carrying a Beretta and a Kbar had massive wounds from the battle. Sure there are a lot of slackers, but enough step forward to give me hope for the new generation.

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    1. I'm with you there MrG. I remember that Marine, "Oorah!"

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  5. I hold that the “Joint Strike Fighter” was a flawed concept from the start, wherein a bunch of people looked at the procurement debacle of the F-111 and went “but that was 30 years ago, we’re so much smarter now, this time we’ll do it right!”

    Unfortunately I also think we’re much too far down the road to kill the concept now. I think that the F-35 has a lot of promise and will mature into a very capable fighter-bomber over the next twenty years, but I also hope that between this and the Zumwalt mess we can nail the coffin shut on the continuous procurement approach to massive hardware projects.

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    1. Yes, yes, and yes.

      Too many people with stars in their eyes over gee-whiz (unproven) tech who think that the sky's the limit on taxpayer dollars. The concept won't be killed as it is starting to yield some fruit. But LCS, that should be killed ASAP.

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    2. Attention to sanity would be nice in the mil-procurement system. I think juvat can toss some comments into this hat. I think juvat has tossed some comments, often after the pin's been pulled, into this hat...

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    3. Sanity? Mil-procurement system? Not possible in the same sentence. Especially when Billy Jeff and the Clinton Mafia was in charge. When was that? Oh yeah, while the F-35 was being spec'd and designed. I did not have that project in my flock of things to move money to and fro (Thank You, Jesus! and that's neither blasphemy or satire, but heartfelt gratitude.) I do know that my counterpart was taking money from the "current year" budget to pay for things demanded by politicians (read you know who and his wife) and pushing that aspect of the project into the Out Years. (Broadside had a cartoon a while ago about the "Out Years" being the DOD's version of "wishful thinking". Lo and behold, we are harvesting the whirlwind.
      Oh and by the way, I think a similar thing happened to the Wright Flyer, so nothing's changed.
      But thanks guys, for reminding me. Today's porch reading break will now mandate a second cold one. (Funded with Sarge's current year budget, of course. I'll replace it with something in the "Out Years", when you finally make it down here.)

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    4. Beans - Heretic!! Sanity, mil-procurement, same sentence. What juvat said.

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    5. juvat - I used to think all of those procurement horror stories were just that, horror stories.

      Now that I am in the defense industry, I see the stories were underplayed, it's way worse than I thought.

      Someone has to pay for all the meetings, business travel, and expenses of those who do nothing but go to meetings and make insane demands on the poor engineers. Oh yes, and lie to the gubmint, but it's okay, the gubmint wants, no, demands, that they be lied to. Dilbert isn't just a comin strip, nope, it's freaking reality.

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    6. OBTW! that cartoon is here.

      JIC http://broadside.navytimes.com/2019/03/04/broadside-week-of-march-4-2019/

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    7. The link works, a brilliant cartoon!

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    8. The people got their hate on for Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz but I was working at SPAWAR in uniform when the Deputy SECDEF put out an order cancelling the DOD5000 because he was finally going to write one that made sense. Alas, 9/11 happened the next day and that piece of utter crap came back to rule acquisitions forever because DoD is only capable of focusing the lidless eye on one enemy at a time. I'm sure Sam and Frodo found the same effect when they invaded Mordor.

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  6. The Crossroads Baker shot sure did provide some amazing images, though...

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    1. Somewhere in that shot is the ex-German, now USS Prinz Eugen. And too many other fine ships. :(

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    2. Yup, as is USS Saratoga (CV-3). She's just to the left of the arrow denoting my fictional location.

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    3. Was it here? I saw recently that Prinz Eugene or one of them is still on a beach somewhere in the Pacific after the tests. The USN just drained its remaining fuel tanks.

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    4. The Eugen was towed to Kwajalein Atoll and moored off Kwajalein, in preparation for repair and then return to the next round of tests but was deemed unrepairable.

      She started sinking and was supposed to be beached on Carlos Island(Enubuj in Marshallese) west of Kwajalein (island) but she capsized and and rolled, sinking bow down and upside down, with her stern (and props) sticking up.

      One propeller was salvaged and taken to Germany as a memorial. The ship itself, only minimally radioactive at the most, is a somewhat popular dive spot for divers from Kwaj (island.)

      I touched her hull several times between 1970 and 1973. My older middle brother got stun by a sea wasp off of her stern (fortunately not the deadly deadly one, just the painful version.)

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    5. How cool is that? And I'm glad it merely painful? Still, the option, not attractive at all.

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    6. I read, I learn.

      I had no ideer...

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  7. I read Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo when I was a kid.
    I was impressed, but remembered little until much later, when I read some personal accounts.

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    1. The aftermath wasn't pretty for some of the crews.

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  8. Speaking of WW II veterans, let us not forget the lady in Windsor castle.

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    1. Most excellent point WSF, the Queen did her bit.

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    2. Many people of German ancestry served valiantly against the NAZI scourge...

      (Just like tossing digs at the ex-Sax-Coberg-Gothas... :)

      (Okay, I'm weird that way...)

      (As if you haven't noticed...)

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  9. Okay, the F-35.

    Well, other than too many teething pains (we'll get to the perspective in that in a moment) the USAF seems to like their -A model (with the gun.) The USMC seems to like theirs, though there are still lots of issues with the whole system. The USN is still really working on their -C model, which seems to be a bit of a turd. And seriously, the -B and -C without an internal gun? Did no-one learn from Vietnam? WTF?

    Okay, so lets look at teething issues.

    The A-10 was introduced with lots of hype and joy, only to get soundly beaten like a red-headed stepchild (shades of the A-10 fight starting around 2009 to retire it) by old fart airline pilots flying NatGuard A-7s, which were old school and out of production at the beginning of the A-10 era. No one now can, without sounding like a politician, lobbyist, Pentagon-wonk, seriously say the A-10 sucks, can they?

    Then there's the F-22. Seriously dangerous aircraft. Except for the 10 years of issues and problems and....

    The F-16? The Lawn Dart herself? Um....

    The Aardvark? The F-111, one of the finest long-range strike aircraft built, eventually. Such a good aircraft that the Navy soundly turned their back on it.

    Speaking of the Navy, remember how lackluster the F-18 rollout was, no matter how much advertising was pushed on us about it. Sure, now the Plastic Bug and it's SuperBug descendant are fine aircraft, but can anyone say "Cost Overrun" and "Underperforming" and other negative buzz-phrases without thinking about this fine aircraft?

    And the Marines? Have you ever read up on the development and deployment of the Harrier? Any sane person would have flushed that flying turd down the drain. Pilot killer. Maintenance nightmare. Yet... dang-it, a really nice aircraft, finally, though still a pilot killer to the end.

    And... underperforming describes the whole first generation of... the Tomcat. Yep, the F-14 was a bid of a dog until the re-engine and wing update program made it one of the best. And how many Phoenix were fired in anger?

    And the F-4 did not exactly spring out of Zeus' head fully perfected either. Many bits of teething problems, integration issues and, oh, yeah, they finally added a gun to later models...

    Then there's the modern father of the modern major boondoggle. The M2/M3 Bradley. They even made a movie about the horrid performance and horrid procurement system involved in what we were told was a piece of garbage. Which is actually a really nice scout and personnel vehicle besides its development history.

    The F-35 is liked by Israel and Japan. Both countries are very serious about flying and fighting their aircraft. Yes, in its infancy it is a maintenance nightmare as component integration are a nightmare, the supply chain sucks, and every politician and lobbyist has their fingers in the system pie, screwing up everything. Give it a chance.

    My only real issue with the F-35 is... "Lightning II"? For a short range, single engine fighter-bomber? The original Lighting was a twin engine long range interceptor/air superiority fighter. The long range and extra engine that gave it the ability to thrive in both the Med and Italian operations, ending up flying from southern Italy to fly escort all the way into deepest Germany, and in the Pacific.

    The F-35 can fly and fight.

    Which is much better than the Zumwalt (have anyone heard anything positive about this ship?) and of course the epitomy of protected penta-programs, the LCS.

    Give the stupid plane a chance. And give the B and C an internal gun, dangit.

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    1. Nice analysis and summary Beans. I would bet lots of money that the pilots won't call it the "Lightning II." After all, the A-10 is officially the "Thunderbolt II," right? She's the Wart Hog to those who know and love her.

      Concur on the LCS, I have to recuse myself on Zumwalt, for various reasons.

      Anyone remember the brouhaha over the main gun on the Abrams? I do.

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    2. Which gun? The Brit 105mm that was undersized when the M1 came out, or the 120mm Rheinmetal gun because it's a Kraut gun?

      Or are you referring to the depleted uranium ammo it fires? (Much like the flak that the Bradley got over it's 25mm DU rounds.)

      Or the total boondoggle of a firing system that has yet to be beat?

      Or that it wasn't an autoloader (even though the manually loaded gun can shoot as fast or faster than many autoloaders mounted in tanks today?)

      Well, wouldn't want to get on the business side of either a 105mm or 120mm armed Abrams.

      And, unlike most or all of the Soviet/Russian wondertanks, or any of the Leopards, the Abrams is still the top tank of the world, proven in combat. (Though I don't want to cross the Poles in their Leopards, or the South Koreans in their home-brewed tanks.)

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    3. I was thinking of the Rheinmetal gun for it's "Not Invented Here" aspects. A damned fine cannon which has proven itself in combat.

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    4. Reportedly, the F-35 has acquired the nickname “Panther” among Air Force pilots.

      https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/20914/the-f-35-has-a-new-nickname-given-to-it-by-the-usafs-most-elite-pilots

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    5. A better name by far, thanks for the link Aaron.

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    6. Well, in relation to the 120mm gun, the 105mm was a licensed copy of the Brit's Royal Ordnance L7 105mm gun. So, exactly, never understood the vapors over gun other than we bought them originally from the Germans while building the equipment to make our own licensed copy, except why did it take so long to arm it with the 120mm? Hmmmm??? Especially since the 120mm gun was a logical development from the failed joint US-German MBT70.

      As to "Panther," well, good name for a stealthy killer. Seems apropos considering the grudging respect it is winning from most people.

      Still haven't found anyone actually advocating the LCS program, other than as targets in Sink-X exercises...

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    7. Yes, excellent fate for the LCS, with all of the LCS acolytes on board watching the incoming bombs, missiles, and torpedoes.

      Now that's wishful thinking!

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    8. I think you could sink one using a Red Ryder BB Gun. Okay, maybe a Daisy Powerline...

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  10. "...a bid of a dog..." And how much does a dog bid?

    OGF Quandt

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    1. "Two Alsatians, we have a bid of two Alsatians"

      "A bid of three American Staffordshire Terriers from the gentleman in the back with the mink coat, gold chains and fuzzy fedora..."

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  11. Once again I lost a brilliant comment; this time totally my own fault.

    So I shall just write...

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

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    1. Bummer.

      You're welcome, Paul.

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    2. Ha, it happened to someone else. Had a brilliant multi-part comment all ready to go and it just disappeared. So it took me a little while to recreate the F-35 part as seen above.

      Google-Blogger is being weird today.

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    3. No. As I wrote, this one was entirely due to my own fumble fingers. Google-Blogger may be being weird today, but I don't believe that it played any role in the loss of perhaps the most awesome comment that there ever was. ( And, as it was lost, no one can prove otherwise. )

      Paul

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    4. Beans - I once wrote a brilliant post which would have had publishers, producers, and royalty demanding I take their money, then Blogger ate it.

      No, wait, I just dreamt that. But yes, Google-Blogger can be a fickle bitch at times.

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    5. I too have fumble-fingered a brilliant comment into the wisps of memory by fat-fingering my keyboard. We suck it up, we rub some dirt on it, and we press on.

      Or something...

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)