Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Broken (albeit cute) Record

Check out the cute tone this USAF AFPN story begins with:
2/4/2008 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- In the year 1962, The Beatles recorded their debut single, "Love Me Do," "The Beverly Hillbillies" premiered on television, a ticket to the movies cost 50 cents and the first RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft rolled off the Boeing assembly line.

Now, nearly a half a century later, The Beatles haven't had a number-one single since the seventies, "The Beverly Hillbillies" can only be seen in reruns, and the average price of a movie ticket has risen to more than eight dollars, but the RC-135 continues its mission, having participated in every armed conflict involving U.S. assets. The RC-135 boasts a record of being continuously deployed for more than 17 years.
That's one way of looking at it. Another would be that the Rivet Joint is just one of a long list of USAF airframes that are ridiculously old and have yet to be replaced. The RJ is one of the worst as, unlike the KC-135 or heavy bomber fleet, there is absolutely no plan to replace it now that the E-10 fell through before it ever even really got started. But sure, let's be proud of our ancient fleet. Not like we have a war to fight or anything.