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.

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