Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fighters Anthology

Now that I've been home I realized that the one thing I'm missing from my computer is a good combat flight sim. At school we've got a pretty decent flight sim computer set up with a throttle quadrant and rudder pedals and that has CFS 3 loaded on, as well as Falcon 4.0. It also has Microsoft FS 2004 and FSX. Unfortunately my computer has no flight sim software at all. The last flight sim I had was a pretty old one from Janes/EA called Fighters Anthology. It was a compilation game combining USNF 97, ATF Gold, and ATF Nato Fighters. It had flyable versions of every military fighter or strike aircraft of the past 40 years, ranging from the MiG-17 and F-104 to the JSF (unfortunately modeled as the X-32...ugly as sin), even including aircraft like the B-52 or AC-130. While somewhat generic (understandable given the fact that it had flyable models of over 100 aircraft) it was still pretty cool to be able to fly F-15s, A-10s, B-52s, and Su-35s all in the same game. The game had 6 playable campaigns: Vietnam '72, where you are a carrier pilot taking part in Linebacker I; Ukraine '97 where you are a strike fighter pilot on the U.S.S. Eisenhower in the Black Sea responding to a Russian invasion of the Ukraine after a coup; Egypt '98, where you are a pilot assigned to a U.N. intervention force dealing with a civil war in Egypt between Islamic fundamentalists who have gained control of half of the military and the country's government; Kuril Islands '98, where you are a Marine Harrier pilot helping to take back the Kuril Islands from a Russian invasion; Vladivostok '05, where you are a pilot in the USAF helping to defend western Russia from a Chinese invasion, and Baltics '09 where you a member of a NATO force responding to a Russian invasion of the Baltic states. The game also had a quick mission creator where you could specify the type and numbers of friendly and enemy aircraft, the map, air defenses, and ground targets. It was quite fun to go up against several low class fighters like MiG-21s in a F-22, fly in a B-52 against an entire fleet of ships and attack them all with Harpoons, or saddle up in a Su-24 and undertake a low altitude attack against a USN CVBG.

Of course, you're probably wondering what brought up this lovely trip down memory lane. I was on YouTube the other night and found some videos of the intro sequences to this game. One is a super-cheesy air battle, while the other two have some good file footage of Naval aircraft and operations set to some pretty rockin' music. First, the cheesy air battle from FA:

Next, the intro to USNF 97, bundled with FA:

Last, the intro to the Vietnam campaign:

The campaigns had some pretty fun missions...I think my favorite campaign as a whole would be Ukraine. One memorable mission was rescuing the Il-96 flying Boris Yeltsin's ass out of the country from MiG-31s in an F-14; the only way to be successful was to go into full burner as soon as you got the rescue call and launch your AIM-54s from max range, otherwise the Foxhounds would splash the airliner before you could nail them. Another was the mission to take out a nuclear power plant north of Kiev. The only listed targets for the mission were a couple of power relays, but having several SLAM-ERs left over, I decided I'd attack the plant itself just for giggles...bad idea. Missiles impact and mission failed comes up. I had to think about it for a second until I realized I had just caused the second Chernobyl. Oops. I think my all time favorite would have to be the series of missions operating against a Russian battle group centered on a Kiev-class carrier. Over the period of missions in a Hornet you attack the various escorts, including a several Krivak frigates, some Sovremenny destroyers, eventually going after its Kirov escort, and finally destroying the carrier itself.

Another very cool mission occurred in the Vladivostok campaign where a B-2 went down in enemy territory relatively intact. You were called upon to fly to the heavily defended airbase deep in enemy territory to destroy the bomber. I was always able to penetrate the Chinese air defenses outside the perimeter of the base, but once I got to the base the short range AAA and SAMs always got me...the best I could manage was a quick strafing run to destroy the B-2 followed by an ejection right before my aircraft disintegrated.

Anyway, no real reason for posting this other than this game is what I spent a large chunk of my 11-15 year old phase doing.

Yet another reason to join the Air Force

Now with 50% more threesomes!

No, seriously...I'm not making this up:
"SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany — A Spangdahlem-based airman was sentenced Monday to four months confinement for her part in a sexual act with two other airmen.

Airman 1st Class Ashley N. Rains pleaded guilty at a court-martial to two indecent acts charges.

She had faced rape and sodomy charges but admitted to the lesser charges as part of a plea deal.


The alcohol-induced menage a trois on Sept. 24 in Bitburg included a male airman and a female staff sergeant.

But both prosecution and defense lawyers debated whether it was consensual among the three.

Rains and Airman Christopher D. Hicks are the only airmen charged in the incident because the Air Force lawyers said the staff sergeant was too drunk to give consent.

Air Force prosecutor Capt. Mike Felsen said the staff sergeant “appeared drunk” and slipped “in and out of consciousness” while Rains and Hicks performed sexual acts with her.

Felsen argued the staff sergeant, who did not testify during the trial, was vulnerable and Rains and Hicks took advantage of her.

But Rains’ defense attorney, Capt. Matthew King, called the incident a situation involving three consenting adults with “various degrees of intoxication.”

King argued that Rains shouldn’t go to jail for what amounts to a drunken threesome.

“Does she really have to go to jail for this?” he asked."

Good question. It does seem kind of silly to have someone go to jail for four months for a threesome. Not that I'm really surprised...the USAF likes to regulate/ban/punish anything that is remotely fun. Still, the only way this should be an issue was if there was a superior/subordinate relationship involved...and if that was the case, the SSgt should be getting hit even harder than the junior Airmen.

But that's not happening. So either the SSgt is getting off, or there was no superior/subordinate relationship and I have to question why the severe punishment.

In any case..."Join the Air Force, do two chicks at the same time."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

License Plates (part II)

Before it was USNF4J. Apparently there's also a E2CNFO floating around out there somewhere. The other day I was driving along in a work truck when I saw a sticker on the back of a car that caught my eye. The sticker?

The license plate on the car?

Habu 67.

Corridor Three

The last post ended on a bit of a down's something to lift your spirits. (h/t: Outlaw 13)
"10:30 hours (local EST), Friday, 11 May 2007: Third Corridor, Second Floor, The Pentagon:

It is 110 yards from the “E” ring to the “A” ring of the Pentagon. This section of the Pentagon is newly renovated; the floors shine, the hallway is broad, and the lighting is bright. At this instant the entire length of the corridor is packed with officers, a few sergeants and some civilians, all crammed tightly three and four deep against the walls. There are thousands here. This hallway, more than any other, is the “Army” hallway. The G3 offices line one side, G2 the other, G8 is around the corner. All Army. Moderate conversations flow in a low buzz. Friends who may not have seen each other for a few weeks, or a few years, spot each other, cross the way and renew. Everyone shifts to ensure an open path remains down the center. The air conditioning system was not designed for this press of bodies in this area. The temperature is rising already. Nobody cares.

10:36 hours (local EST):

The clapping starts at the E-Ring."
Read the rest. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Cool article from AF Link about Gary Sinise and the work he does for the troops with his "Lieutenant Dan Band."
"Filming "CSI: NY" keeps Mr. Sinise busy limiting his opportunity to go on a tour and visit with troops.

"Sometimes, I wish I could do more because I'm on "CSI: NY" six months out of the year and I can't make overseas tours during the season. But I'll get out on a plane Saturday morning and fly out to a base and play a concert Saturday night then fly home on Sunday," he said. "It's just a way that I can continue to participate in trying to help support the troops while I'm still trying to do my job, working and be a dad.""

(Emphasis mine.) Look at that again. Work all week then get on a plane to fly out during your weekend, your time off, to entertain the troops. Nice to see an entertainer who actually gets it. Next thing you know there might be a Democrat who gets it...speaking of which...

(CMH winner) Bob Kerrey:
"American liberals need to face these truths: The demand for self-government was and remains strong in Iraq despite all our mistakes and the violent efforts of al Qaeda, Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias to disrupt it. Al Qaeda in particular has targeted for abduction and murder those who are essential to a functioning democracy: school teachers, aid workers, private contractors working to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure, police officers and anyone who cooperates with the Iraqi government. Much of Iraq's middle class has fled the country in fear.

With these facts on the scales, what does your conscience tell you to do? If the answer is nothing, that it is not our responsibility or that this is all about oil, then no wonder today we Democrats are not trusted with the reins of power. American lawmakers who are watching public opinion tell them to move away from Iraq as quickly as possible should remember this: Concessions will not work with either al Qaeda or other foreign fighters who will not rest until they have killed or driven into exile the last remaining Iraqi who favors democracy."

I disagree with former Sen. Kerrey on many most things. However, one thing we can agree on is that victory for the U.S. is better than defeat. It's a sad reflection on our political culture when this point is even in question. Once upon a time politics stopped at the water's edge. Debate health care, social security, taxes, budgets, pork, abortion, etc. with your opposition to your heart's content, but when it came to foreign policy you were an American first and a politician second. People from different parties may disagree on how best to prosecute the war, but they should at least believe in victory as an end goal.

Something is very wrong with this country.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Armed Forces Day (A day early)

Hope all you who are serving or have a loved one serving have a good weekend...on this weekend, for once, it's all about you. In order of seniority...

And saving the best for last...

As for me, I'll be spending the weekend in Iowa shooting a fully automatic version of one of these...

Rock 'n' Roll!!!

Catch ya on Sunday or Monday.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Best. Spirit Video. Ever

"Oh yeah? Well your mom...hasn't even been around for fifty years."


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

FT Moment of the Day

...comes to you via Noonan over at OPFOR. He's discussing the recent decision by Marine Commandant Gen. Conway to lower the drinking age for overseas Marines on liberty and Marines at official events from 21 to 18 (great idea, IMHO). As a counter-point, he offers up the nannyism of the USAF, where, as you should all know, we have a Culture of Responsible Choices. His example from FT of this nannyism is where we pick up the story...
"I remember at Air Force field training, a kind of lame ROTC boot camp and an absolutely magnificent waste of time for a VMI man, Cadet Ten pct. asked this forehead slapper: "Sir are Catholics authorized to consume the ceremonial wine used in the celebration of the Eucharist?" The captain had to go confer with a council of other officers to decide as to whether or not Catholic cadets could freely practice their religion. Yes, we're that lame sometimes."
I would say un-frickin'-believable, but I totally believe that something that retarded could happen in today's Air Force. This is the Air Force that thinks giving you a motorcycle safety briefing gives you magical powers to avoid dying on your motorcycle. More importantly, this is the Air Force that holds your supervisor accountable if that magic somehow fails and you are injured/die while riding said motorcycle.

I thought there was a war on, but I guess I mistook it for the latest briefing on how to safely get out of bed in the morning.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Nuts and Bolts of Blogging

Buck has a post from last Friday asking how one blogs. Since I haven't been blogging period, I figured this would be as good a reason as any to get started again. First off, let me give excuses for my absence. The week before last was finals week. 'Nuff said. This previous week meant the start of the summer landscaping job. All well and good, but in a five day week I worked 57 hours, including one 14 hour day. A typical day is get up around 0630, do 11-12 hours at work, come home at 1830ish to change into BDU trousers and combat boots to go work out for an hour (getting ready for FT), then eat dinner, at which point it is already usually past 2000, possibly pushing 2100. Bed sounds awful nice an hour or two after dinner. Not much time in there for blogging.

Anyway, my blogging habit is something along these lines...

1. Sit down to computer and open up RSS Feedreader. Check all the blogs I have on there - somewhere between 20 and 25 different feeds that are regularly updated and that I regularly read. All the usual MilBlogs, some libertarian/classical liberal themed ones, and a few pol-mil strategy blogs. Check 10-15 other blogs that don't have feeds.

2. Create the massive tabbed Firefox window of doom. I'm notorious among my friends for leaving having a Firefox window open with 20+ tabs. I rarely turn off my computer, but I often only am able to sit down for 10-15 minutes at a time. If something strikes my eye while I'm perusing my feeds and/or another blog, I'll open it in a new tab. Unfortunately, if I get pulled away, which often happens, the tab can sit there for an extremely long period of time, to be superseded by other tabs, especially when the interesting piece is of considerable length. Anyway, step two is put your junk in the box create the massive tabbed Firefox window of doom.

3. If I come across something quick, like a humorous video or joke or snark, something that doesn't require much explanation or a large post, I'll dash something off right quick while I'm still perusing.

4. Once I'm done doing my reading, I usually have 2-3 large topics that I've seen that I'd like to write on that day. I should clarify at this point, I do have two blogs, so libertarian/classical liberal themed stuff usually goes over at The Liberty Papers, while everything else goes here. The process remains the same, however. So I have the 2-3 large topics. I'll get started writing on one of these, usually in the blogger window (broadband wireless is my friend). When step 4 actually happens is when I get up a good long post on pol-mil strategy or the future of the USAF or something of that nature.

5. Unfortunately, step 4 happens rarely. What usually happens is I'm reading Chap or Lex or the CDR and think, "Wow, I could really expand upon X. I should do that." Then I get distracted doing something else and completely forget about/otherwise don't do the post on X for a couple of days, at which point I've moved on to something else. I guess you could call it blogger ADD. That's my one biggest weakness. I rarely take the time to fully develop long thought out posts. Unfortunately, that's the kind of post I prefer. You see the inherent problem here.

Anyway, there's another kind of blogging that I'll be doing this summer...Field Training blogging! Here's a taste...

FT Blogging:
- 0425ish: *dreaming* ...girlfriend, COIN strategy, funny YouTube videos, plane pr0n...
-0430: REVEILLE!!!!!
-0430:15: #$&%#!@ FT...$*#&@*!@#^!!!

Oh, it's gonna be a great time.

COIN, Robin Williams style

Adrian Cronauer: [impersonating an Intelligence Officer] We've realized that we're having a very difficult time finding the enemy. It isn't easy to find a Vietnamese Iraqi man named "Charlie" "Haji." They're all named Nguyen Mohammed, or Tran Abdul, or...

Adrian Cronauer: [as himself] Well, how are you going about it?

Adrian Cronauer: [as Intel Officer] Well, we walk up to someone and say, 'Are you the enemy? And, if they say yes, then we shoot them."

If it were only that simple...