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Point Break

Skunk Works

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I just watched a show on PBS “Blackbird: Legacy of Innovation”. I was sorta peripherally aware of “The Skunk Works”, but had no idea about Kelly Johnson, all of his aircraft designs, and his innovative work/design practices. Fascinating show. Don’t miss it if you get the chance.

https://www.kpbs.org/news/2019/apr/22/blackbird-legacy-innovation/

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This is me sitting in the drivers seat of an SR-71 Blackbird.

1552491080_QBFsittinginanSR-71.thumb.jpg.8d00e92eb07fe635397ec3a45e814fae.jpg

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Obligatory SR-71 speed check:

 

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We could use more Kelly Johnsons.  Amazing guy and it's been awhile so will revisit this weekend.  Thanks for reminding me. 

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My FIL was a tool designer at Lockheed for most of his career, working out of the Burbank plant/ office. In the early 80s he started taking night school classes to try to pick up CAD as the company was transitioning to that and all the young new hires were calling him, his slide rules, battens  and french curves fossils. Well, he was just too old to start from absolute zero with computers and also learn something as complex as CAD, so he finally gave up and retired.

About a year later Lockheed called and asked if he could come back as a job shopper to help the young kids who couldn't reconcile unfair surfaces that the computer frequently generated. They'd never had to loft a shape  on the floor and didn't know how to use a drafting duck and spline. He got a lot of satisfaction over that, especially when the work was out at the Skunk Works. They treated him like a God out there. Unfortunately, he wouldn't talk about what he was working on.

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8 hours ago, Point Break said:

I just watched a show on PBS “Blackbird: Legacy of Innovation”. I was sorta peripherally aware of “The Skunk Works”, but had no idea about Kelly Johnson, all of his aircraft designs, and his innovative work/design practices. Fascinating show. Don’t miss it if you get the chance.

https://www.kpbs.org/news/2019/apr/22/blackbird-legacy-innovation/

Read Ben Rich's book... you'll love the part on the highly volatile fuel they were working on and had stored in Burbank along with how they kept the local FD at bay with "eyes only" need to know clearance stuff from ever getting in and inspecting the premises.  He admits that if the stuff ever sparked up beautiful downtown Burbank wouldn't be so beautiful.

Couple of the guys that worked on the YF117 project are locals and belong to our EAA chapter...

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1 hour ago, d'ranger said:

We could use more Kelly Johnsons.  Amazing guy and it's been awhile so will revisit this weekend.  Thanks for reminding me. 

We already have them.. you and I just don't know about them...  Hell, no one knew who Kelly Johnson was until the first U-2 got shout down...

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This.  

Of course, the money to pay for the programs and these people is part of the evil Mil-Industrial complex and unacceptable misuse of taxpayer funds.  Be careful what you ask for.  Much innovation is happening in the darker sides of the budget.  

Yeah, I know.  Next door but I don't go there anymore.  

 

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I have never objected to research and development as there is always a trickle down (well, mostly) - my problem is when the bean counters get involved like making the F35 a multi platform OSFA debacle. Pushing the envelope = good. Trying to stuff everything in it not so much. 

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2 hours ago, slap said:

Obligatory SR-71 speed check:

I'm surprised it took till post #5. Its a great story!!

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1 hour ago, nacradriver said:

Read Ben Rich's book... you'll love the part on the highly volatile fuel they were working on and had stored in Burbank along with how they kept the local FD at bay with "eyes only" need to know clearance stuff from ever getting in and inspecting the premises.  He admits that if the stuff ever sparked up beautiful downtown Burbank wouldn't be so beautiful.

Couple of the guys that worked on the YF117 project are locals and belong to our EAA chapter...

Thanks for the recommendation....its now on my list.

There were a number of under DOD contract R&D places in our jurisdiction (mostly aerospace) that said "nope.......you're not coming in here for fire inspections or anything else". We pushed back "you can't do that"........turns out they were right.

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So many cool stories about the SR71 - the fuel cost as much as expensive Scotch - like $50/quart and it leaked all over until the plane got hot enough to expand the tank seals. It had an incredibly high flash point - like 1000 degrees or something and put out green flame.

The original start carts used NASCAR Buick nailhead engines which were later changed to Chevy big blocks - the hottest hot rod engines just to start them.

An SR71 came to the Abbotsford air show - '86 IIRC and it made a low pass over the city and out over English Bay - Christ it was loud! It also sounded unlike any other jet I've ever heard - a sizzling, crackling sound, not the usual whine or roar.

Ben Rich's book "Skunkworks" was a very good read - he was Johnson's right hand through the cold war and later took over from him. That was an incredible operation - about as far in the future as it was possible to get at any given time.

What I still find mind boggling is that anyone even thought that plane was possible when they started on it in '59 or '60. At that time the hottest fighters could only squirt to supersonic for short periods yet it was designed to cruise at twice their top speed. only 10 years before the air force was still primarily prop driven. Hell, the Air Force was only 12 years old at the time. And yet they designed it, built it and made it work in only a couple of years. How long have they been trying to make the F35 work? 15 years or something?

They had to develop all the processes for machining and working with Titanium (which they obtained from Russia :D) because no-one knew how to work it at the time.

Amazing stories - America at its best.

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1 hour ago, d'ranger said:

I have never objected to research and development as there is always a trickle down (well, mostly) - my problem is when the bean counters get involved like making the F35 a multi platform OSFA debacle. Pushing the envelope = good. Trying to stuff everything in it not so much. 

While I agree, you have to look at it from the service's side.  Navy, Marines and Air Force need a next generation airplane.  Politically, they have been told they aren't going to get individual airplanes.  For the Marines, V/STOL is a capability they "Have to have".  For the USAF, the additional strength required to bang on and off an aircraft carrier for 20+ years and 6,000 flight hours is a performance trade they don't want/aren't willing to make., etc.  Add in that folks generally agree that the F-35 may well be the "last manned fighter" and each service tries to jam as much into the airplane as they can.   Add in the "let the contractor control the support integration" that was very much in vogue when the contract was let and you get the expensive camel.  

Navy has tried to back out of F-35 several times but been slapped down.  Air Force lost F-22 and sees F-35 enhanced capabilities as a "must have".  Marines have exercised their formidable lobby strength on the Hill to keep their part moving.  LM has been receptive to "requirements growth" far beyond the original intent of an F-16 replacement as it is good for their bottom line.  

I did some tech development for/with the JPO between the cancellation of A-12 and the formal start of F-35 and was a "red team" assessor for the program up until the Boeing or LM down select was made.  The F-35 today is far more capable (and expensive) than it was intended to be and there will be books written one day on how it got there.  Without going down the HJ rabbit hole, there is a lot of "skunk works" style capability in the airplane and it is pretty magic in what it can accomplish.  I do have worries about sustainability and life cycle costs but that ship sailed a long time ago.  

 

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IB - I understand and agree with you, and you nailed it in the 3rd sentence: politically - our Congress Critters have to pork it out to keep their districts happy and the right people making money.  There is a reason the US spends many times more than anyone else.  The F35 is indeed amazing but it's like the horse developed by the blind guys so ends up looking like a camel.  my .02 (and trying to keep it out of PA). We could and should do better. 

edit: My memory is foggy but it seems this is not the first time it's happened with fighters. 

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IB......do you judge each service's desire for a plane with specific characteristics as unnecessary? Curious what your assessment on that is. From a laypersons perspective, each service's missions continue to be different (although they certainly seem to be getting closer and closer functionally) so the request for mission capable aircraft seems reasonable. In our desire to streamline the procurement process are we screwing the pooch? Of course this is the same people who brought us the Littoral Combat Ship..............

What say you?

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7 minutes ago, d'ranger said:

IB - I understand and agree with you, and you nailed it in the 3rd sentence: politically - our Congress Critters have to pork it out to keep their districts happy and the right people making money.  There is a reason the US spends many times more than anyone else.  The F35 is indeed amazing but it's like the horse developed by the blind guys so ends up looking like a camel.  my .02 (and trying to keep it out of PA). We could and should do better. 

edit: My memory is foggy but it seems this is not the first time it's happened with fighters. 

Well, the F-14 (which I flew) came about because the "directed" Navy version of the F-111 was going to be too big and heavy for the carriers but eth Navy F-4 and A-7's had a long and successful history with the USAF.  We can make Navy aircraft work for shore based air forces (lots of FMS F/A-18s prove that pretty well) but retrofitting  a lightweight ground based aircraft for hasn't been done in the last 75 years....

Economies of scale make "one aircraft for all" very attractive.  The problem is the technical trades to get there compromise performance to some level.  If you tell me I have to plan on keeping the airplane for 30 years, I want the best i can get today with lots of room for future growth.  

Since weapon systems and avionics are the larger part of the life cycle costs, I have been a proponent of building aircraft with 2,500-3,000 hour service life (about 10 years at peacetime utilization) instead of 6,000 hours with extensions to 7,500 and doing a single "mid life" system upgrade and then moving on with a new airframe for the next round.  Would keep the industrial base for development healthier and provide for a steady production of aircraft over time.  The 10-15 years to develop and then fly it for 30 more approach means we make the successful bidder rich and starve the losers and force ourselves to keep upgrading what quickly becomes old tech for that 30 years.  

 

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

 

They had to develop all the processes for machining and working with Titanium (which they obtained from Russia :D) because no-one knew how to work it at the time.

Amazing stories - America at its best.

Sloop, I heard that the military had to assemble a large network of 'shell' corporations through which they even started trying to acquire from the Russians in order to not 'tip off' them that they were attempting such an ambitious project such as the Blackbird. As they began to amass the Russian Ti some strategists and logistics types in the Russian military eventually took note of the increasing volume and brought their concerns to the upper brass of the Russian military and politicians. The Big Brass had been thrilled with the profits that the Ti sales were generating and didn't suspect that the Americans could be smart enough to create something that could be a national threat to them. One of the top ministers apparently told a big meeting over just what the Americans might be doing with all that Titanium, "What? It is not like they are going to build an airplane...!"

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38 minutes ago, Innocent Bystander said:

folks generally agree that the F-35 may well be the "last manned fighter"

That was the rationale for killing the Avro Arrow - "Interceptors are an obsolete concept - missiles are the future".

That was 60 years ago.

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12 minutes ago, Rasputin22 said:

Sloop, I heard that the military had to assemble a large network of 'shell' corporations through which they even started trying to acquire from the Russians in order to not 'tip off' them that they were attempting such an ambitious project such as the Blackbird. As they began to amass the Russian Ti some strategists and logistics types in the Russian military eventually took note of the increasing volume and brought their concerns to the upper brass of the Russian military and politicians. The Big Brass had been thrilled with the profits that the Ti sales were generating and didn't suspect that the Americans could be smart enough to create something that could be a national threat to them. One of the top ministers apparently told a big meeting over just what the Americans might be doing with all that Titanium, "What? It is not like they are going to build an airplane...!"

As a capper, Rich said they got the fundamental math for stealth from an obscure Russian scientific paper. :D

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21 minutes ago, Innocent Bystander said:

I have been a proponent of building aircraft with 2,500-3,000 hour service life (about 10 years at peacetime utilization)

And here I thought a Cessna 172 with 18,000 hours on the tach was a high time airframe...   gezzzzz!!!!  :lol:

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

So many cool stories about the SR71 - the fuel cost as much as expensive Scotch - like $50/quart and it leaked all over until the plane got hot enough to expand the tank seals. It had an incredibly high flash point - like 1000 degrees or something and put out green flame.

The original start carts used NASCAR Buick nailhead engines which were later changed to Chevy big blocks - the hottest hot rod engines just to start them.

An SR71 came to the Abbotsford air show - '86 IIRC and it made a low pass over the city and out over English Bay - Christ it was loud! It also sounded unlike any other jet I've ever heard - a sizzling, crackling sound, not the usual whine or roar.

Ben Rich's book "Skunkworks" was a very good read - he was Johnson's right hand through the cold war and later took over from him. That was an incredible operation - about as far in the future as it was possible to get at any given time.

What I still find mind boggling is that anyone even thought that plane was possible when they started on it in '59 or '60. At that time the hottest fighters could only squirt to supersonic for short periods yet it was designed to cruise at twice their top speed. only 10 years before the air force was still primarily prop driven. Hell, the Air Force was only 12 years old at the time. And yet they designed it, built it and made it work in only a couple of years. How long have they been trying to make the F35 work? 15 years or something?

They had to develop all the processes for machining and working with Titanium (which they obtained from Russia :D) because no-one knew how to work it at the time.

Amazing stories - America at its best.

I think the scotch comparison was for the engine lubricants not the fuel, I'm pretty sure I heard/read somewhere that JP-7 costs like 6-7 bucks a gallon. I could be wrong but I remember that from somewhere.

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Maybe now if other aircraft use it but it had to be specially formulated back then - the fuel was unique to the SR71.

But I wasn't there.

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54 minutes ago, nacradriver said:
1 hour ago, Innocent Bystander said:

I have been a proponent of building aircraft with 2,500-3,000 hour service life (about 10 years at peacetime utilization)

And here I thought a Cessna 172 with 18,000 hours on the tach was a high time airframe...   gezzzzz!!!!  :lol:

Well, Plow horse or thoroughbred?  Some horses run closer to the edge.   

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1 hour ago, Point Break said:

IB......do you judge each service's desire for a plane with specific characteristics as unnecessary? Curious what your assessment on that is. From a laypersons perspective, each service's missions continue to be different (although they certainly seem to be getting closer and closer functionally) so the request for mission capable aircraft seems reasonable. In our desire to streamline the procurement process are we screwing the pooch? Of course this is the same people who brought us the Littoral Combat Ship..............

What say you?

PB  Tough question. 

Each service has somewhat different requirements.  USAF, with 12,000' runways and nice scarves, tends to bias more toward cutting edge aerodynamic performance.  Navy tends to go with tougher airplane with the attendant weight costs.  Marines try to focus on an all around "utility infielder" with specific basing characteristics (V/Stol doesn't need much runway and can operate from smaller ships/austere sites closer to the front.

That said, Strike Fighters have a lot of  common mission sets.  If you want to trade off the last 2-3% of performance and the austere basing, a Navy airplane makes a pretty good all around jet.  If you want air superiority for the future and judge that by aero performance, it's not a good USAF trade.  If you give up austere field capability, then you can support that mission with a Navy or USAF spec airplane.  

My personal thoughts (and My USMC friends will hate me for this) is that we need shore based and sea based aircraft for our National Command Authority and Congressionally driven forward strategy and missions.  Austere basing (V/STOL is a great concept but a critical review of how we have been fighting wars would have you question that utility and the associated costs.  Politically, if you take away austere basing, why have marine tactical aviation at all? 

I think the commonality for F-35 was oversold and we pretty quickly dissolved that to 3 unique variants with a lot of common weapons system components and some significant powerplant, cockpit, actuator, etc capabilities that make the F-35 a family of 3 unique aircraft.  that's about as close as I think you can get but it hasn't come cheap in development or sustainment costs.  If you really look at sustainment costs, the mind exploding numbers are for a lot of airplanes for a lot of years and bleeding edge tech does cost a lot to maintain. Still a huge number.  If they build the numbers folks say they want, the unit prices will be pretty comparable to the F/A 18, an upgraded F-15, the Euro fighter (if you can actually find out what they really cost) and a good bit lower than the  F-22.  Other options around the world are really second tier but those are good enough for some missions.  

Anyway, work to do before the weekend.  You retired guys carry on.....

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3 hours ago, d'ranger said:

I have never objected to research and development as there is always a trickle down (well, mostly) - my problem is when the bean counters get involved like making the F35 a multi platform OSFA debacle. Pushing the envelope = good. Trying to stuff everything in it not so much. 

Or trying to build and deploy enough of them to win a two-front war with several other major powers at once.

The fact that we can design and build such a heinously complex mo-fo is good, and to fly it and work the bugs out will make the next one better. All part of the plan, good so far.

When we bankrupt the country to equip a military that is not fighting a war, when said military is lacking in housing health care, and promised GI benefits, so that the guys in the boardrooms of the contractors can buy private islands, that's wrong. And our Founding Fathers would rightly think we are idiots to put up with it.

-DSK

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1 hour ago, Innocent Bystander said:

Well, Plow horse or thoroughbred?  Some horses run closer to the edge.   

With the B-52, some of the grand children of the original flight crews are flying those planes....  but then again, we don't see those "biguns" doing displacement rolls, wingovers, yo-yo, etc.   How many hours did Fat Albert fly before retirement..... 30,000....  I think the taxpayers got their monies worth on that one... 

 

 

 

 

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52 minutes ago, nacradriver said:

With the B-52, some of the grand children of the original flight crews are flying those planes.... 

Last I heard the Buffies will be closing in on 100 years old when they are finally completely retired.

100 years!

They're already pushing 70.

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20 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:
1 hour ago, nacradriver said:

With the B-52, some of the grand children of the original flight crews are flying those planes.... 

Last I heard the Buffies will be closing in on 100 years old when they are finally completely retired.

100 years!

They're already pushing 70.

Re-engined a couple of times, multiple avionics upgrades and plenty of airframe rework.  I suspect a few are like "my grandfather's ax".  They were designed and build for a low level, radar avoiding penetration of Russian airspace.  That mission is very tough on the airframe and it became untenable as SAMs got even slightly better.  Bomb trucking it from 40,000' is a lot easier on the wings.  

All that said, nobody expected them to be around this long.  Of course, at more than $1B each, it was unaffordable to replace them with B-2's and the BOne was a real dog for a number of years until they got the electronics sorted.  Classic case study of the government trying to be the integrator and every system worked as designed.  They just didn't work together.  By the time they sorted them, the airplane had been shuffled off to the reserves and the B-2 was being designed/built.  

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2 hours ago, Innocent Bystander said:

 USAF, with 12,000' runways and nice scarves, tends to bias more toward cutting edge aerodynamic performance. 

That right there gets my vote for post of the day......................

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The reason the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines bicker amongst themselves is that they don't speak the same language. For instance, Take the simple phrase "secure the building". The Army will post guards around the place. The Navy will turn out the lights and lock the doors. The Marines will kill everybody inside and set up a headquarters. The Air Force will take out a 5 year lease with an option to buy.

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You can now be fined $500.00 dollar for calling an officer a "a-hole". Fifty Dollars For calling him an "a-hole" and $450.00 For disclosing classified information.

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3 hours ago, Innocent Bystander said:

PB  Tough question. 

Each service has somewhat different requirements.  USAF, with 12,000' runways and nice scarves, tends to bias more toward cutting edge aerodynamic performance.  Navy tends to go with tougher airplane with the attendant weight costs.  Marines try to focus on an all around "utility infielder" with specific basing characteristics (V/Stol doesn't need much runway and can operate from smaller ships/austere sites closer to the front.

That said, Strike Fighters have a lot of  common mission sets.  If you want to trade off the last 2-3% of performance and the austere basing, a Navy airplane makes a pretty good all around jet.  If you want air superiority for the future and judge that by aero performance, it's not a good USAF trade.  If you give up austere field capability, then you can support that mission with a Navy or USAF spec airplane.  

My personal thoughts (and My USMC friends will hate me for this) is that we need shore based and sea based aircraft for our National Command Authority and Congressionally driven forward strategy and missions.  Austere basing (V/STOL is a great concept but a critical review of how we have been fighting wars would have you question that utility and the associated costs.  Politically, if you take away austere basing, why have marine tactical aviation at all? 

I think the commonality for F-35 was oversold and we pretty quickly dissolved that to 3 unique variants with a lot of common weapons system components and some significant powerplant, cockpit, actuator, etc capabilities that make the F-35 a family of 3 unique aircraft.  that's about as close as I think you can get but it hasn't come cheap in development or sustainment costs.  If you really look at sustainment costs, the mind exploding numbers are for a lot of airplanes for a lot of years and bleeding edge tech does cost a lot to maintain. Still a huge number.  If they build the numbers folks say they want, the unit prices will be pretty comparable to the F/A 18, an upgraded F-15, the Euro fighter (if you can actually find out what they really cost) and a good bit lower than the  F-22.  Other options around the world are really second tier but those are good enough for some missions.  

Anyway, work to do before the weekend.  You retired guys carry on.....

IB,  all well said.  The Bolded para is what I've been saying for years as well.  AS much as I love my Marine brothers, I think the need for a V/STOL aircraft is mostly gone.  That was pretty much Cold War planning to operate off of small sections of the Autoban in Germany or operate off of small beach heads after an amphib invasion.  I just don't see that coming into play much anymore.  But of course the USMC would counter with a "What if" we had to go into Taiwan or Korea because the Chinese have shut off any access to our longer range bases.  There's always the "What if" scenario, but I think the ROI for a V/STOL F-35 is pretty low.  

I still think there would be a place for Marine Tacair - but from the standpoint of flying off traditional CVNs but Primarily in CAS support of Marines on the ground while the Navy concentrated more on the CAP, OCA/DCA and Strike-Fighter missions.  Much like the A-10 was the CAS specialist while the Lawndarts and Mud Eagles did the longer range strike stuff in the USAF.  

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47 minutes ago, Point Break said:
3 hours ago, Innocent Bystander said:

 USAF, with 12,000' runways and nice scarves, tends to bias more toward cutting edge aerodynamic performance. 

That right there gets my vote for post of the day......................

Hey, I resent that remark!  I landed on plenty of 8-10K foot runways and I didn't always have to wear my scarf.  :lol:

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21 minutes ago, Rasputin22 said:

Image result for air force scarf

I was in that SQ and I still have that scarf buried in my storage closet somewhere.  

BTW - the whole scarf thing in the USAF has really gone out of vogue.  I don't think they wear them anymore.  But back when that was a required uniform item to wear every day except Fridays, what a PITA it was.  I hate, hate hated them!!!

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38 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Hey, I resent that remark!  I landed on plenty of 8-10K foot runways and I didn't always have to wear my scarf.  :lol:

I was in that SQ and I still have that scarf buried in my storage closet somewhere.  

BTW - the whole scarf thing in the USAF has really gone out of vogue.  I don't think they wear them anymore.  But back when that was a required uniform item to wear every day except Fridays, what a PITA it was.  I hate, hate hated them!!!

How about  8 to 10 FOOT runways  :lol:

 

 

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Just now, Rasputin22 said:

Lets try it this way Nacra

 

Thanks

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6 hours ago, d'ranger said:

IB - I understand and agree with you, and you nailed it in the 3rd sentence: politically - our Congress Critters have to pork it out to keep their districts happy and the right people making money.  There is a reason the US spends many times more than anyone else.  The F35 is indeed amazing but it's like the horse developed by the blind guys so ends up looking like a camel.  my .02 (and trying to keep it out of PA). We could and should do better. 

edit: My memory is foggy but it seems this is not the first time it's happened with fighters. 

Health care spending works like this too.  I've been there.  I have a sense that >90% of all US government spending is about sending $$ to the home district.  Maybe that explains why the USCG vessel documentation center is in West Virginia.  They do a fine job by me so it's not a criticism of the people.  But it is as if they located the National Hurricane Center in Anchorage...

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Imagine what a separate Space Force would add to the F-35.:P  Maybe phasers and photon torpedo capability.  

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1 hour ago, NaptimeAgain said:

  But it is as if they located the National Hurricane Center in Anchorage...

Actually this makes perfect sense....  work with me here... where is the least likely place a hurricane would hit?  With all the data linking, satellite, and remote communications why not...   Where does it say you have to right in the middle of it to know what is going on these days...  emphasis on these days, not 1960 something... when it was first started.

1 hour ago, NaptimeAgain said:

Imagine what a separate Space Force would add to the F-35.:P  Maybe phasers and photon torpedo capability.  

 I am sure one of the daily F-35 threads on PA would love to hear from you on this... :blink:

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47 minutes ago, nacradriver said:

Actually this makes perfect sense....  work with me here... where is the least likely place a hurricane would hit?  With all the data linking, satellite, and remote communications why not...   Where does it say you have to right in the middle of it to know what is going on these days...  emphasis on these days, not 1960 something... when it was first started.

 I am sure one of the daily F-35 threads on PA would love to hear from you on this... :blink:

I get it, like maybe put the US Embassy to France in Berlin, so if anything happens in Paris the US Embassy to France will be able to render assistance to Paris.:D

Saw a V-22 Osprey "flying" low altitude over Annapolis a couple days ago.  No clue why they'd think that's a good place to go, not a lot of room for an uncontrolled touch down.  Unless the Marines decided to storm the academy stadium and remove "Navy" from the facility's signage.

As to the F-35, I'm old enough to remember the cost and performance kerfuffles with the F111 and a few other 60s projects.  Deja vu.

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20 minutes ago, NaptimeAgain said:

As to the F-35, I'm old enough to remember the cost and performance kerfuffles with the F111 and a few other 60s projects.  Deja vu.

Wonder if Muammar Gaddafi thought the same thing about the F-111  ;)

I was at Martin Field the day the YF117 crashed... 

 

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I think the front fell off? Hope pilot was ok, announcer seemed pretty casual, like no big deal folks, the show must go on.

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On 7/12/2019 at 3:09 PM, Point Break said:

Skunk Works

Skunk-1-Marijuana-Strain-Review.jpg

 

certainly does ..........................

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9 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

IB,  all well said.  The Bolded para is what I've been saying for years as well.  AS much as I love my Marine brothers, I think the need for a V/STOL aircraft is mostly gone.  That was pretty much Cold War planning to operate off of small sections of the Autoban in Germany or operate off of small beach heads after an amphib invasion.  I just don't see that coming into play much anymore.  But of course the USMC would counter with a "What if" we had to go into Taiwan or Korea because the Chinese have shut off any access to our longer range bases.  There's always the "What if" scenario, but I think the ROI for a V/STOL F-35 is pretty low.  

I still think there would be a place for Marine Tacair - but from the standpoint of flying off traditional CVNs but Primarily in CAS support of Marines on the ground while the Navy concentrated more on the CAP, OCA/DCA and Strike-Fighter missions.  Much like the A-10 was the CAS specialist while the Lawndarts and Mud Eagles did the longer range strike stuff in the USAF.  

Like anyone that was in the military, I have a lot of respect for the USMC.  I did have to deal with a batshit crazy Marine while on call on a Sunday afrternoon in Japan, but that's another story.  Having expressed my respect for the Jarheads, I truly believe we can do without them and save a lot of money (OK, their budget is small comapred to the other military branches, but it's still a lot of money.)  When was the last time the US launced a large scale amphibious landing?  How likely is there to be another one?  Why do the Marines, Navy, Army and Air Force all have expensive aircraft?  It isn't just the Marines that need to go, the Army needs to abandon the airborne units as well.  Talk about an anachronism.

In my opinion, in today's military with the ever increasing combining of services, joint bases, etc., it's time to send the Corps packing.  I know the outcry would be horrendous, think of tradition!  The shores of Montezuma, Belleau Wood!!, the frozen Chosin!!!!  I think the Marines although very competent and well trained are an anachronism, and a drain on resources.  They bet their budget to procure the Osprey and they got a very expensive, complicated aircraft that doesn't really add much to the fight all things considered.  The Marines limp along trying to stay relevant and often improvise and make do due to budget limitations.  In today's world the other services can take over any Marine Corps missions that are relevant to the modern, and future combat environment.

The world and warfare have changed dramitically since the end of WWII and it is time for the militay to stop consuming so much money, sometimes, as in the case of the Marines, "because we've always done this".  

A side story about airborne forces.  In Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, the Vicenza, Italy based 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) did a 'combat jump' into northern Iraq.  It was a rare chance to get the coveted star over their parachute wing emblem signifying a combat jump, a rare event nowadays.  Their mission was to secure a remote airfield.  Well, weeks before a Special Forces team captured the airfield with minimal resistance.  So on the appointed day, the C-141s streamed in carrying the sky warriors.  With the brigade commander in the lead, they jumped out of the planes and landed in the drop zone.  I had an image of some bearded SOF guys sitting around the airfield in lawn chairs with cold beers and smoking cigars, critiquing the 173rd's performance.  Because airborne forces, by their nature are light infantry, the Air Force had to fly in 3 M1 tanks (on 3 C5A aircraft) to support the paratroopers.  While unloading the tanks, two of them promptly broke down.  If that operation was conducted against a well defended air field it would have quickly turned into a fiasco.  Of course the planners knew this and the entire jump was staged with minimal risk, to look good and validate the existence of the airborne concept.  There was absolutely no tactical reason for the dog and pony show given that the SOF guys had secured the airfield already.  Airborne forces (except small SOF units) in todays military are absolutely useless and ineffective.  It is well beyond the time to put them out to pasture along with the Marine Corps, tradition be damned.  Just my 2 cents.

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6 hours ago, d'ranger said:

I think the front fell off? Hope pilot was ok, announcer seemed pretty casual, like no big deal folks, the show must go on.

Aileron fell off, IIRC. Amazing that it could even fly. Shit of an airplane but proof that with d

fast enough flight control computers you could turn the Russian equations ind something resembling an airplane.

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6 hours ago, Ed Lada said:

Like anyone that was in the military, I have a lot of respect for the USMC.  I did have to deal with a batshit crazy Marine while on call on a Sunday afrternoon in Japan, but that's another story.  Having expressed my respect for the Jarheads, I truly believe we can do without them and save a lot of money (OK, their budget is small comapred to the other military branches, but it's still a lot of money.)  When was the last time the US launced a large scale amphibious landing?  How likely is there to be another one?  Why do the Marines, Navy, Army and Air Force all have expensive aircraft?  It isn't just the Marines that need to go, the Army needs to abandon the airborne units as well.  Talk about an anachronism.

In my opinion, in today's military with the ever increasing combining of services, joint bases, etc., it's time to send the Corps packing.  I know the outcry would be horrendous, think of tradition!  The shores of Montezuma, Belleau Wood!!, the frozen Chosin!!!!  I think the Marines although very competent and well trained are an anachronism, and a drain on resources.  They bet their budget to procure the Osprey and they got a very expensive, complicated aircraft that doesn't really add much to the fight all things considered.  The Marines limp along trying to stay relevant and often improvise and make do due to budget limitations.  In today's world the other services can take over any Marine Corps missions that are relevant to the modern, and future combat environment.

The world and warfare have changed dramitically since the end of WWII and it is time for the militay to stop consuming so much money, sometimes, as in the case of the Marines, "because we've always done this".  

 

I don't completely agree with this.  I wouldn't say ALL of the USMC or all of Army aviation is an anachronism.  And just because we haven't done a major amphib assault in a long time doesn't mean it won't ever happen or be needed.  I think Taiwan or some other Asian island someplace might be a perfect example.  Yes, its unlikely.  But Never say never.  The question always is:  Is the cost of maintaining that capability worth small chance of ever needing it.  

At the beginning of vietnam, in the day and age of "modern" jets and missiles - we didn't think we would ever need a gun in a fighter aircraft again.  We learned that lesson the hard way......

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1 hour ago, Shootist Jeff said:

I don't completely agree with this.  I wouldn't say ALL of the USMC or all of Army aviation is an anachronism.  And just because we haven't done a major amphib assault in a long time doesn't mean it won't ever happen or be needed.  I think Taiwan or some other Asian island someplace might be a perfect example.  Yes, its unlikely.  But Never say never.  The question always is:  Is the cost of maintaining that capability worth small chance of ever needing it.  

At the beginning of vietnam, in the day and age of "modern" jets and missiles - we didn't think we would ever need a gun in a fighter aircraft again.  We learned that lesson the hard way......

When  I said the Army needs to give up the airborne units, I mean parachutists, not aviation assets.  Helicopters are still quite relevant to the Army mission.

I think the likelihood of a major amphibious operation is not worth the cost of maintaining the USMC.  The Navy can certainly provide sailors to secure their ships.  No doubt bars and nightclubs around the  world will suffer, but such is life.  I doubt the Marines will go away anytime soon, if ever, but if they are serious about cutting defense spending, that would be a good start.  

As to your last point, we spent years and years and billions of dollars building a huge armored force to confront the Soviets in Europe.   Other than some rather mismatched armor battles in the two Iraq wars, they have never truly proved their mettle.  Hard to drive tanks up and down the Afghan mountains, just as the jungles of Viet Nam proved to be a difficult place for heavy armor as well. 

The American military can be awful hidebound, reluctant to change, slaves to tradition and many other faults.  In spite of those things they can also perform quite well when necessary.  

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9 hours ago, Ed Lada said:

Like anyone that was in the military, I have a lot of respect for the USMC.  I did have to deal with a batshit crazy Marine while on call on a Sunday afrternoon in Japan, but that's another story.  Having expressed my respect for the Jarheads, I truly believe we can do without them and save a lot of money (OK, their budget is small comapred to the other military branches, but it's still a lot of money.)  When was the last time the US launced a large scale amphibious landing?  How likely is there to be another one?  Why do the Marines, Navy, Army and Air Force all have expensive aircraft?  It isn't just the Marines that need to go, the Army needs to abandon the airborne units as well.  Talk about an anachronism.

In my opinion, in today's military with the ever increasing combining of services, joint bases, etc., it's time to send the Corps packing.  I know the outcry would be horrendous, think of tradition!  The shores of Montezuma, Belleau Wood!!, the frozen Chosin!!!!  I think the Marines although very competent and well trained are an anachronism, and a drain on resources.  They bet their budget to procure the Osprey and they got a very expensive, complicated aircraft that doesn't really add much to the fight all things considered.  The Marines limp along trying to stay relevant and often improvise and make do due to budget limitations.  In today's world the other services can take over any Marine Corps missions that are relevant to the modern, and future combat environment.

The world and warfare have changed dramitically since the end of WWII and it is time for the militay to stop consuming so much money, sometimes, as in the case of the Marines, "because we've always done this".  

A side story about airborne forces.  In Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, the Vicenza, Italy based 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) did a 'combat jump' into northern Iraq.  It was a rare chance to get the coveted star over their parachute wing emblem signifying a combat jump, a rare event nowadays.  Their mission was to secure a remote airfield.  Well, weeks before a Special Forces team captured the airfield with minimal resistance.  So on the appointed day, the C-141s streamed in carrying the sky warriors.  With the brigade commander in the lead, they jumped out of the planes and landed in the drop zone.  I had an image of some bearded SOF guys sitting around the airfield in lawn chairs with cold beers and smoking cigars, critiquing the 173rd's performance.  Because airborne forces, by their nature are light infantry, the Air Force had to fly in 3 M1 tanks (on 3 C5A aircraft) to support the paratroopers.  While unloading the tanks, two of them promptly broke down.  If that operation was conducted against a well defended air field it would have quickly turned into a fiasco.  Of course the planners knew this and the entire jump was staged with minimal risk, to look good and validate the existence of the airborne concept.  There was absolutely no tactical reason for the dog and pony show given that the SOF guys had secured the airfield already.  Airborne forces (except small SOF units) in todays military are absolutely useless and ineffective.  It is well beyond the time to put them out to pasture along with the Marine Corps, tradition be damned.  Just my 2 cents.

  Ending the "Marines"?  No effin' way that is anywhere close to Gonna Happen, USA.  America is in LOVE with the Marines. America will not tolerate the ending of the Marines thanks to the most successful self-promotion campaign in US military history*.  It would be easier to get rid of apple pie and the flag than it would be to get rid of the Marines, so fuggedaboutit,, and fuggedaboutit immediately...I beg you...or there will be people in white coats on your doorstep asking you to try on one of their long sleeve jackets for a fitting.

  

Yet...IMO also, the Marines would probably be better off within an organization totally dedicated to infantry than with swabbies, who know beyond all shadow of doubt that the expensive stuff goes into ships first, and high cerebral function is only essential to people who do complicated stuff...such as docking ships.  Even so, our defense doctrine of having ship-based quick reaction land forces means the Army will need to designate regiments for those sorts of equipment which can be carried aboard ships, and it makes no sense for the Army to make ALL their equipment suitable for amphib ops. It's no longer the middle of the 20th century, when Army conducted all the biggest amphib ops of WW2 , and amphib simply meant "arriving in boats".  

 

  So what should the Army call such regiments? Airborne? Nope, that's the same as the guys who don't have that specialization. Rangers? Maybe..but then again how to separate the regiments who specialize in amphib ops? Just "Army"? Nope. We need special designation for top-drawer infantry. There is a big difference between that and the mass-produced run-of-the-mill grunt.

  Idunno..but maybe "Marines" would fit. Yeah...that's the ticket..they should be in Airborne too, just as long as these "Marines" are not forced to waste time in parachute qual. The helicopter did the same thing to both the parachute it did to small landing craft. If PIRs still insisting all infantry be para qual then they are probably wasting time and resources.

 



 

 

*See LeJeune, John A. 

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On 7/12/2019 at 4:07 PM, Rasputin22 said:

The reason the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines bicker amongst themselves is that they don't speak the same language. For instance, Take the simple phrase "secure the building". The Army will post guards around the place. The Navy will turn out the lights and lock the doors. The Marines will kill everybody inside and set up a headquarters. The Air Force will take out a 5 year lease with an option to buy.

That is funny shit.......

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7 hours ago, Mark K said:

  Ending the "Marines"?  No effin' way that is anywhere close to Gonna Happen, USA.  America is in LOVE with the Marines. America will not tolerate the ending of the Marines thanks to the most successful self-promotion campaign in US military history*.  It would be easier to get rid of apple pie and the flag than it would be to get rid of the Marines, so fuggedaboutit,, and fuggedaboutit immediately...I beg you...or there will be people in white coats on your doorstep asking you to try on one of their long sleeve jackets for a fitting.

  

Yet...IMO also, the Marines would probably be better off within an organization totally dedicated to infantry than with swabbies, who know beyond all shadow of doubt that the expensive stuff goes into ships first, and high cerebral function is only essential to people who do complicated stuff...such as docking ships.  Even so, our defense doctrine of having ship-based quick reaction land forces means the Army will need to designate regiments for those sorts of equipment which can be carried aboard ships, and it makes no sense for the Army to make ALL their equipment suitable for amphib ops. It's no longer the middle of the 20th century, when Army conducted all the biggest amphib ops of WW2 , and amphib simply meant "arriving in boats".  

 

  So what should the Army call such regiments? Airborne? Nope, that's the same as the guys who don't have that specialization. Rangers? Maybe..but then again how to separate the regiments who specialize in amphib ops? Just "Army"? Nope. We need special designation for top-drawer infantry. There is a big difference between that and the mass-produced run-of-the-mill grunt.

  Idunno..but maybe "Marines" would fit. Yeah...that's the ticket..they should be in Airborne too, just as long as these "Marines" are not forced to waste time in parachute qual. The helicopter did the same thing to both the parachute it did to small landing craft. If PIRs still insisting all infantry be para qual then they are probably wasting time and resources.

 



 

 

*See LeJeune, John A. 

You need marines. They have a defined role

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise_Talisman_Saber

 

They need their own equipment and planes/pilots.

If anything, if America is going to fight wars like they have in the last 15+years, they need more marines and a smaller army.

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That's what I was thinking.

Lots of Seal Teams instead of conventional blunt instrument armies.

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17 hours ago, Ease the sheet. said:

You need marines. They have a defined role

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise_Talisman_Saber

 

They need their own equipment and planes/pilots.

If anything, if America is going to fight wars like they have in the last 15+years, they need more marines and a smaller army.

No, you need a larger Army. PIR's, Marines, SEALS, DELTA, and whateverthefuk Eric Prince calls himself these days can not be configured for effective garrison duty.

 The war is almost a formality. The real work is in the nation-building.  

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6 hours ago, Mark K said:

No, you need a larger Army. PIR's, Marines, SEALS, DELTA, and whateverthefuk Eric Prince calls himself these days can not be configured for effective garrison duty.

 The war is almost a formality. The real work is in the nation-building.  

Since when has the US had an effective garrison force?

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On 7/12/2019 at 1:09 AM, Point Break said:

I just watched a show on PBS “Blackbird: Legacy of Innovation”. I was sorta peripherally aware of “The Skunk Works”, but had no idea about Kelly Johnson, all of his aircraft designs, and his innovative work/design practices. Fascinating show. Don’t miss it if you get the chance.

https://www.kpbs.org/news/2019/apr/22/blackbird-legacy-innovation/

If you ever get out to the DC area, I'd like to suggest that you visit the Udvar Hazy museum out at Dulles airport.  There's an SR71 on display there, and one of the docents is a former SR71 pilot.  I couldn't believe it when he asked if there were any more questions, and I looked at my watch and we'd been listening to him for an hour.  

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5 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

If you ever get out to the DC area, I'd like to suggest that you visit the Udvar Hazy museum out at Dulles airport.  There's an SR71 on display there, and one of the docents is a former SR71 pilot.  I couldn't believe it when he asked if there were any more questions, and I looked at my watch and we'd been listening to him for an hour.  

Thanks!! Its now on my list. I expect to get to DC for a week or so museum crawl this fall. Been a while since I did that trip. Quite a while.

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On 7/13/2019 at 1:56 PM, Mark K said:

  Ending the "Marines"?  No effin' way that is anywhere close to Gonna Happen, USA.  America is in LOVE with the Marines. America will not tolerate the ending of the Marines thanks to the most successful self-promotion campaign in US military history*.  It would be easier to get rid of apple pie and the flag than it would be to get rid of the Marines, so fuggedaboutit,, and fuggedaboutit immediately...I beg you...or there will be people in white coats on your doorstep asking you to try on one of their long sleeve jackets for a fitting.

  

Yet...IMO also, the Marines would probably be better off within an organization totally dedicated to infantry than with swabbies, who know beyond all shadow of doubt that the expensive stuff goes into ships first, and high cerebral function is only essential to people who do complicated stuff...such as docking ships.  Even so, our defense doctrine of having ship-based quick reaction land forces means the Army will need to designate regiments for those sorts of equipment which can be carried aboard ships, and it makes no sense for the Army to make ALL their equipment suitable for amphib ops. It's no longer the middle of the 20th century, when Army conducted all the biggest amphib ops of WW2 , and amphib simply meant "arriving in boats".  

 

  So what should the Army call such regiments? Airborne? Nope, that's the same as the guys who don't have that specialization. Rangers? Maybe..but then again how to separate the regiments who specialize in amphib ops? Just "Army"? Nope. We need special designation for top-drawer infantry. There is a big difference between that and the mass-produced run-of-the-mill grunt.

  Idunno..but maybe "Marines" would fit. Yeah...that's the ticket..they should be in Airborne too, just as long as these "Marines" are not forced to waste time in parachute qual. The helicopter did the same thing to both the parachute it did to small landing craft. If PIRs still insisting all infantry be para qual then they are probably wasting time and resources.

 



 

 

*See LeJeune, John A. 

I've said many times that we need to combine the services into a single US Defense Force, keeping the "best athlete" for each capability that we want to persist.  Single schoolhouse, logistics, administration, no more intra-service budget fights, and vastly improved inter-operability with a corresponding improvement in our ability to project force forward.  

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9 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

I've said many times that we need to combine the services into a single US Defense Force, keeping the "best athlete" for each capability that we want to persist.  Single schoolhouse, logistics, administration, no more intra-service budget fights, and vastly improved inter-operability with a corresponding improvement in our ability to project force forward.  

You know, I'm not sure much would change. So if you acknowledge the need for certain "specialty" functions, even if the whole thing were combined under one umbrella, each "department" or function would still be competing for a share of the budget dollar. Perhaps you'd save some by needing less "overhead" but I'm not sure even that would pencil out to some significant amount relative to the entire defense budget. Different mission profiles will still need different "schools" once basic training is complete. It might even be more expensive than mission profile driven training from the start. Whether its a different "service" or a different patch within the same "service" for a group of mission specific operators.....it still will require specialty training and equipment/budgets. I think an example is the fairly recent consolidation of special operations under a single command structure SOCOM and JSOC. There does appear to be some advantage to this approach in coordinating mission operators according to mission requirements, especially in the current asymmetrical and urban warfare environment, rather than drop it onto one service in sorta a silo....but that did not require a wholesale merging of the services to accomplish that. In Vietnam we often saw/supported special operations teams that were multiple services/agencies. It was not uncommon to have a mission assembled mix of operators including CIA head upriver.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Special_Operations_Command

Its not a notion I'm strongly committed to, but I suspect the advantages may be overstated.

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Sounds logical but it doesn't work. They tried that here - to the extent of a single uniform - didn't make any difference and it caused its own set of problems.

 

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6 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Sounds logical but it doesn't work. They tried that here - to the extent of a single uniform - didn't make any difference and it caused its own set of problems.

 

If you don't mind the tangent, I'd be interested in hearing what issues arose.  

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“ could I please have a speed check?”

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8 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

If you don't mind the tangent, I'd be interested in hearing what issues arose.  

No real cost benefit and it sort of altered interservice rivalry into interservice resentment. When the Tories were in power they went back to service specific uniforms and it was a big hit with the troops apparently.

It seemed like whichever branch the top guy was from got preferential treatment - but I have no evidence of that, only anecdotal stuff over the years. It appeared to make the military even more bureaucratic as well.

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20 hours ago, Mark K said:

 

 The war is almost a formality. The real work is in the nation-building.  

 

yeah, we  are so good at that.. 

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If you ever get to the Gulf Coast there is a SR-71 in display OUTDOORS in Ft Walton. Guess it is not going to rust but it is bothersome (to me at least) to see goofballs making Sharpie 'Bubba was here' markings in the wheel wells and such. Part of the Air Force Armament Museum which is surprisingly interesting. Only a couple of hour drive from the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola right next door to the Blue Angels homebase so you can get a lot of warplane buzz in just a couple of days. 

    A good look at the SR-71 but forgive the lousy commentary. Guy thinks the wheel well is a bomb bay! Calls the BUFF next door a 'cargo plane'...

 

 

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A Kelly Johnson side story. 

Awhile back I'm reading about the C-130 Hercules and as the story goes when in it's development stage Kelly Johnson was asked to participate in the design. He was shocked at having been asked to participate in a prop driven cargo plane. 

Johnson's designs are history. 

 

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On 7/15/2019 at 4:09 AM, Ease the sheet. said:

Since when has the US had an effective garrison force?

Between May 1945, and the fall of the Soviet Union and the beginning of the 1st war in Iraq in 1991.  In spite of the 'police action' in Korea and the 'conflict' in Viet Nam, the US military managed to help reconstruct a good part of a war torn continent, maintained peace in post WW II western Europe, and held the Soviet Union at bay without starting WW III.  No small feat, that, and Europe would look very different today if it had't happend.  Germany is the economic powerhouse of Europe and the anchor of satability on the continent.  Post 1991, the former Warsaw Pact countries such as Poland, Czech and the Baltic States are developing vibrant economies and improving their standard of living.  Russia is a shadow of it's former self and if they didn't have nukes , they would be mostly irrelevant.  Conflicts in the Balkans, historically a tinder point in European history were resolved without igniting another wider European war.  The EU has opened borders to free exchange of goods and labor and spread prosperity to much of central-eastern Europe.  If the Brits are stupid enough to leave the EU, good riddance to them, they just can't accept their irrelevance in a post Empire world, they can choke on their boiled beef.

The US occupation, and later stabilization of western Europe wasn't always pretty, it wasn't truly altruistic, mistakes were made, but overall it succeeded beyond expectations.  I believe it is one of the crowning accomplishments of the once proud and mighty American nation.

It is truly a tragedy and a dangerous thing that our current President has never read or understood history.  A policy of America first, xenophobia, racism and religious zealotry will destroy decades of difficult, patient work in trying to maintain some modicum of civility and stability in a difficult world.  Being strong in the world involves more than a powerful military and a biligerent, 'my way or the highway' approach to complicated problems.  When your only tool is a hammer, then all of your problems look like nails.

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On 7/15/2019 at 11:13 AM, Rasputin22 said:

 . Only a couple of hour drive from the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola right next door to the Blue Angels home base so you can get a lot of warplane buzz in just a couple of days. 

    

 

 

my dad flew at least 50% of the type of planes in that museum..

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On 7/15/2019 at 12:00 PM, SloopJonB said:

No real cost benefit and it sort of altered interservice rivalry into interservice resentment. When the Tories were in power they went back to service specific uniforms and it was a big hit with the troops apparently.

It seemed like whichever branch the top guy was from got preferential treatment - but I have no evidence of that, only anecdotal stuff over the years. It appeared to make the military even more bureaucratic as well.

We have 4 bases in a 50 mile radius (another just closed but still has military establishments) not counting USCG or National Guard and each firkin one of them has a firkin golf course that isn't open to the public (I don't play golf).  I think there is room for some consolidation and cost savings.

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10 minutes ago, bridhb said:

We have 4 bases in a 50 mile radius (another just closed but still has military establishments) not counting USCG or National Guard and each firkin one of them has a firkin golf course that isn't open to the public (I don't play golf).  I think there is room for some consolidation and cost savings.

Why should the unwashed masses be allowed on military bases to play golf?

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1 hour ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Why should the unwashed masses be allowed on military bases to play golf?

They pay for them......

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4 minutes ago, Ease the sheet. said:

They pay for them......

Oh....the old "I pay your salary" argument. I've always loved that one.

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2 hours ago, Point Break said:

Oh....the old "I pay your salary" argument. I've always loved that one.

Suttelltey dose notte worke hearer, if you wantte to macke a pointte, plesae exclaime it.                                :)

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7 hours ago, Point Break said:

Oh....the old "I pay your salary" argument. I've always loved that one.

It doesn't get you a drive of a tank either....

 

"Why should military bases have golf courses?" is probably a more relevant question.

 

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When I was stationed at Camp Zama, Japan, amost half of the post was a golf course.  Americans were allowed to bring Japanese people on the post to play golf.  The US personnel paid very low greens fees.  The Japanese paid much more and they pretty much paid for the upkeep of the course.  Many Japanese people love to golf.

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1 hour ago, Ed Lada said:

When I was stationed at Camp Zama, Japan, amost half of the post was a golf course.  Americans were allowed to bring Japanese people on the post to play golf.  The US personnel paid very low greens fees.  The Japanese paid much more and they pretty much paid for the upkeep of the course.  Many Japanese people love to golf.

Surely it could have been a civilian golf course with an arrangement for subsidising service personnel?

 

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41 minutes ago, Ease the sheet. said:

Surely it could have been a civilian golf course with an arrangement for subsidising service personnel?

 

But that wouldn't be nearly as profitable.  I believe at the time Jpanese golffers paid close to $100.00 for a round of golf at Camp Zama.  And that was a bargain compared to Japanese golf course fees.  In defense of the military, all Morale Wefare and Recreation (MWR) activities are paid for by non-appropriated funds.  That is to say there is no tax-payer money involved.  The military is very particular about keeping appropraited funds (provided by the US federal budget) and non-appropriated funds walled off from each other.   MWR activities are funded by profits from the PX/BX/NEX system and by fees for the activities themselves.  One big MWR money maker in my time in the Army was slot machines in the clubs overseas.  At Zama, between three Army installations in the area, MWR took in more than $20,000 a week gross from the slot machines back in the early '90s.  So anybody playing golf on a US military base isn't being subsidised by tax money.

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8 hours ago, Ease the sheet. said:

It doesn't get you a drive of a tank either....

 

"Why should military bases have golf courses?" is probably a more relevant question.

 

because bored military personnel cause problems...    I remember playing the little par 3 course on Naha AF base , okinawa

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6 hours ago, Ed Lada said:

  Many Japanese people love to golf.

that's a fucking understatement...   friend from hawaii says their golf courses are covered with japanese players as it was cheaper to take vacations to hawaii to play golf than to belong to a golf course in japan..

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On 7/15/2019 at 11:13 AM, Rasputin22 said:

If you ever get to the Gulf Coast there is a SR-71 in display OUTDOORS in Ft Walton. Guess it is not going to rust but it is bothersome (to me at least) to see goofballs making Sharpie 'Bubba was here' markings in the wheel wells and such. Part of the Air Force Armament Museum which is surprisingly interesting. Only a couple of hour drive from the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola right next door to the Blue Angels homebase so you can get a lot of warplane buzz in just a couple of days. 

    A good look at the SR-71 but forgive the lousy commentary. Guy thinks the wheel well is a bomb bay! Calls the BUFF next door a 'cargo plane'...

 

 

I  visited the Palmdale facility a couple of times in the early 90s.  SR71s (apperently gutted) were rowed up outside behind a chainlink fence.

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43 minutes ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

that's a fucking understatement...   friend from hawaii says their golf courses are covered with japanese players as it was cheaper to take vacations to hawaii to play golf than to belong to a golf course in japan..

It was the same for the courses in Pebble Beach back in the 90's..  It was cheaper and faster to get a round at Pebble Beach that it was in Japan...  I seem to remember they didn't have golf clubs as we know them here, but more so a waiting list and high fees that sort of kept the "rif-raf" out with some of the higher end courses... which is just about all of them.

The pro-shops at Pebble Beach even had floor people that were fluent in Japanese.... hard to relate with one girl who was blond hair and blue eyed... but she grew up in Japan and spoke Japanese with an Australian accent..

 

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8 minutes ago, nacradriver said:

It was the same for the courses in Pebble Beach back in the 90's..  It was cheaper and faster to get a round at Pebble Beach that it was in Japan...  I seem to remember they didn't have golf clubs as we know them here, but more so a waiting list and high fees that sort of kept the "rif-raf" out with some of the higher end courses... which is just about all of them.

The pro-shops at Pebble Beach even had floor people that were fluent in Japanese.... hard to relate with one girl who was blond hair and blue eyed... but she grew up in Japan and spoke Japanese with an Australian accent..

 

I flew one time from Yakota Airbase, just west of Tokyo, down to Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station on an Air Force C9A Nightingale (They used the DC9 as a medevac plane, and they had many normal seats as well as space to hang litters).  We basically flew over Honshu, the main island, to the south west as Iwakuni is near Hiroshima.  Japan is mostly mountains and that's about all we could see during the flight but one thing stuck out.  About every 10 minutes, we would fly over a mountain range with the tops of the mountains leveled off and there was a golf course on top of the mountains.  Flat space is at a premium in Japan, probably one of the main reasons golfing there is so expensive.

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11 hours ago, Ed Lada said:

But that wouldn't be nearly as profitable.  I believe at the time Jpanese golffers paid close to $100.00 for a round of golf at Camp Zama.  And that was a bargain compared to Japanese golf course fees.  In defense of the military, all Morale Wefare and Recreation (MWR) activities are paid for by non-appropriated funds.  That is to say there is no tax-payer money involved.  The military is very particular about keeping appropraited funds (provided by the US federal budget) and non-appropriated funds walled off from each other.   MWR activities are funded by profits from the PX/BX/NEX system and by fees for the activities themselves.  One big MWR money maker in my time in the Army was slot machines in the clubs overseas.  At Zama, between three Army installations in the area, MWR took in more than $20,000 a week gross from the slot machines back in the early '90s.  So anybody playing golf on a US military base isn't being subsidised by tax money.

Non appropriated funds?

Just like that, you shoot me down in flames.......

 

 

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