Friday, April 15, 2011

Fun -n - Games with the Air Force

Ok, I am back. And why not come back having fun at the expense of the Boys-n-Blue, the USAF. A crew from the 411th Aircraft Maintenance Unit (an F-22 unit) beat out all commers for the highly prized "Weapons Loader" competition held at Edwards AFB. This 3-Man Person Crew from the 411 Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU) beat out all other competitors for the distinction of best Wewpons Loaders for the First Quarter of 2011. There is a long and drawn out history of quickly and safely loading aircraft with the weapons of war. An important skill and a competiton started before the Korean war during the very infantancy of the USAF. More here. What’s so funny You say? Well, when you read what these guys were actually doing you too will be saying “WTF” and I am not talking about winning the Future either. Look, way back when this competion started there was a huge need to quickly reload aircraft with the munitions necessary to prosecute a war. We are talking about dozens of bombs, rockets and even a few missiles were part of the war load on the old workload aircraft in the way back. Your FB-111s, F-4’s, B-66, B-58’s and the F-100 series of aircraft, these things could carry some iron. The competition described in the above dispatch from Edwards AFB was for each 3-person crew to load a single AIM-120 missile onto their target aircraft.. One, 1, uno, a single missile. And I am talking it was actually hauled around and held up to the aircraft using a spotting dolly, a self propelled one at that. In my day you loaded bombs the old fashion way, with a friggin hernia bar! Picture taken from website. I amsuspecting this is a test load because of the Civilians doing the loading and the lack of markings on the weapons shapes. The Yellow bar they are gripping is the hernia bar and it is used to help load the store to the aircraft rack. On the really heavy stuff we would put a harnia bar out the back end of the bomb too and get several more knuckle draggers to lift the shape to the rack.

LIKE THIS: Oh and that is not the birghtest part of this, seems there were only TWO crews available for the competiton. The F-22 crew that won it all here and a Crew from the F-35 JSF Aircraft Maintenance Unit. All the other possible participants (F-15, F-16, B-1, and B-2s) well they were all busy, something about having to put aircraft in COMBAT, you know, out fighting 3 air wars all at once.

Yeah, you can keep that fancy and expensive F-22 here in CONUS fighting for prime space and per diem money at Air Shows while the rest of Air Combat Command is out you know, in COMBAT. And you can keep your SORRY ASS excuse for why the most formidable fighter known to mankind is sitting this one out. Hell, the B-1 and B-2 crews are flying from CONUS to Libia and back. Why not simply put some F-22's in Italy? Who knows, I am sure there is some lame ass reason for needing specialized basing and maintenance on site to keep it here. Good deal on that at some where over $400 Million bucks an airframe.

Oh, its good to be back. By the way, my dearly and most recently departed Father was in the Air Force and my SN1 serves today with the Indiania Air National Guard. But still, easy pickens!!

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Monday, April 4, 2011

My Father is Gone

Sorry to have gone silent for so long here about. My Father passed away on the 27th, ravaged by Cancer for more than a year he was stubborn to the end but had wasted away to nothing like the Giant of a Man of my Youth. He and my Mother were the center of the Taylor universe. Some of us had orbits that were close at hand (my Sisters and their Kids) and others such as me (me alone in all truthfulness as I am the only family member that lives outside of the Rio Grande valley) the orbit was much greater however no less important in the gravity they imposed on us all. I am quite simply, lost. I was prepared for this, warned in the end that the time was near. My Father refused to talk to either me or his older sister for mainly the acknowledgement that each conversation was his last. I will cherish my last visit back in December last year and how well he was doing. He was brought back from the brink by the Sisters tending and minding to him for almost a year. There was always at least one of the Sisters in his company. A true feat and measure of their Love. Dad, as he was known to me was 78 years old when he passed; joining my Mother where ever it is one goes at the end. Together they had 7 Children, 18 Grand Children and 15 Great Grand Children. They did a superlative job on all of us, each independent and driven. Each successful and doing well with values embedded in us by two of the finest parents anyone could ask for. Dad was put to his final rest in the National Military Cemetery in Santa Fe. He has a corner lot that looks out over the Sangre de Christo Mountains. A fine spot not too far from the shoulder of the road I was born on. I weep still and its been a week. How will I make it from here. BT: Jimmy T sends.