The F-104 Starfighter in U.S. Navy Markings

Both the USAF and the US NAVY throughout the years have tested different types of aircraft that we not originally developed for their branch. The “NAVY F-104″ is surely one of those very interesting trials. It was project that nearly came to fruition in the late 1950′s was the incorporation of the F-104 into U.S. Navy service. The Navy felt the need to have a defensive fighter with a high speed capability, and one of the fastest aircraft was the U.S. Air Force F-104 Satrfigher, a considerably higher performing aircraft than the Navy F3H Demons which were soon to be phased out of front line service.

via The F-104 Starfighter in U.S. Navy Markings.

Well, what do you know. Learn something new every day.

WW1 Bomber Wings Found in Garage

PRESS RELEASE-The unique remains of a First World War Handley Page O/400 bomber aircraft have been saved by a team from the RAF Museum.Members of the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre at the RAF Museum Cosford, have succeeded in rescuing a number of wing sections from a 95 year old bi-plane bomber which had been used to support a garage roof in Connah’s Quay, Flintshire. The 25 foot long wooden wing sections included four examples of the lower starboard wing and one lower port wing.

via WW1 Bomber Wings Found in Garage.

Dang it. The only thing I ever find in my garage is spiders.

The Medals of Honor on Letterman

I gave up watching Letterman pretty much about the time I gave up keggers in college. So I guess I missed these two (separate) interviews Dave did with Medal of Honor recipients SSG Ty Carter and SSG Clinton Romesha.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ptt5gRt1bM&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C94XgJIFkSA&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

Some Holiday Cheer from The People’s Cube!

moskvich_lede
Because, well, they fight Weak Liberalism with Strong Communism.   Makes one want to jump in the Moskvich 408 and head to Chelyabinsk for a state-approved low-carbon emission Ural Mountain ski vacation and holiday celebration of government benevolence.  Take it away, Cube!
The Twelve Days of ObamaCare
(A non-sectarian holiday carol.)

On the first day of ObamaCare, Dear Leader gave to me
A website that crashed constantly!

On the second day of ObamaCare, Dear Leader gave to me
Two weeks of typing and
A website that crashed constantly!

On the third day of ObamaCare, Dear Leader gave to me
Three times the premium,
Two weeks of typing and
A website that crashed constantly!

On the fourth day of ObamaCare, Dear Leader gave to me
Four times the deductible,
Three times the premium,
Two weeks of typing and
A website that crashed constantly!

On the fifth day of ObamaCare, Dear Leader gave to me
Five cancelled policies!
Four times the deductible,
Three times the premium,
Two weeks of typing and
A website that crashed constantly!

On the sixth day of ObamaCare, Dear Leader gave to me
Six unneeded coverages,
Five cancelled policies,
Four times the deductible,
Three times the premium,
Two weeks of typing and
A website that crashed constantly!

On the seventh day of ObamaCare, Dear Leader gave to me
Seven scammers to hack me,
Six unneeded coverages,
Five cancelled policies,
Four times the deductible,
Three times the premium,
Two weeks of typing and
A website that crashed constantly!

On the eighth day of ObamaCare, Dear Leader gave to me
Eight phone reps dithering,
Seven scammers to hack me,
Six unneeded coverages,
Five cancelled policies,
Four times the deductible,
Three times the premium,
Two weeks of typing and
A website that crashed constantly!

On the ninth day of ObamaCare, Dear Leader gave to me
Nine journ0lists bloviating,
Eight phone reps dithering,
Seven scammers to hack me,
Six unneeded coverages,
Five cancelled policies,
Four times the deductible,
Three times the premium,
Two weeks of typing and
A website that crashed constantly!

On the tenth day of ObamaCare, Dear Leader gave to me
Ten dems a-dodging,
Nine journ0lists bloviating,
Eight phone reps dithering,
Seven scammers to hack me,
Six unneeded coverages,
Five cancelled policies,
Four times the deductible,
Three times the premium,
Two weeks of typing and
A website that crashed constantly!

On the eleventh day of ObamaCare, Dear Leader gave to me
Eleven million regulations,
Ten dem pols a-dodging,
Nine journ0lists a-bloviating,
Eight phone reps dithering,
Seven scammers to hack me,
Six unneeded coverages,
Five cancelled policies,
Four times the deductible,
Three times the premium,
Two weeks of typing and
A website that crashed constantly!

On the twelfth day of ObamaCare, Dear Leader gave to me
Twelve thousand excuses,
Eleven million regulations,
Ten dems a-dodging,
Nine journ0lists bloviating,
Eight phone reps dithering,
Seven scammers to hack me,
Six unneeded coverages,
Five cancelled policies,
Four times the deductible,
Three times the premium,
Two weeks of typing and
A website that crashed constantly!

Naval Aviation Squadrons- A very brief primer

Since Spill dropped some jargon in his post on patches, I figured I’d better give a quick rundown on some squadron stuff.

Airplanes in the Navy are organized in squadrons. Squadrons are the smallest organization in NavAir that have airplanes, pilots, maintenance and admin all in one command. They’re normally commanded by a Commander (CDR, or 0-5). Squadrons normally operate only one type of aircraft, and vary in size depending on the type they operate. They can be as small as four planes, or a single squadron might have a dozen. 

A squadron has both an alphanumeric designation, and a nickname. The alphanumeric designation is assigned by the Navy, but somewhat surprisingly, the CO has (theoretically) the authority to change the name.  In fact, the name isn’t really official. The politically correct, post-Tailhook scandal Navy did exert authority to cause one squadron to change it’s name from The Playboys, however.

The alphanumeric designation tells you two things about the squadron.  Here’s a typical designation.

VFA-94

“V” tells us the squadron flies fixed wing, heavier-than-air aircraft (in the days of blimps, lighter-than-air squadrons used designations starting with “Z”). Helicopter squadrons begin with “H.”

“FA” tells us the squadron is a “fighter/attack” squadron, or more properaly, a Strike Fighter squadron. In the days before the F/A-18 Hornet, there were fighter squadrons (VF) and attack squadrons (VA). Other squadron types typical aboard a carrier air wing include:

VFA- Strike Fighter squadrons- today’s carrier air wing typically has four VFA’s, two with older F/A-18C Hornets, one with F/A-18E single seat SuperHornets, and one with two seat F/A-18F SuperHornets.

VAQ- Electronic Attack squadron- usually a four jet squadron flying either the older EA-6B Prowler, or the newer EF-18G Growler.

VAW- Airborne Early Warning- four plane flying the E-2C Hawkeye.

HSC- Helicopter Sea Combat- the utility version of the MH-60S

HSM- Helicopter Maritime Strike- The anti-sub version of the MH-60R.

VRC- typically, a two-plane detachment of the C-2A Greyhound.

Mind you, there’s a bunch of other types of squadrons throughout the Navy. And we haven’t even addressed the Marines, who use the same system with a few tweaks.

And someday, maybe we’ll look at squadron names, and answer the question
“How did the Navy come to have a fighter squadron named ‘The Pukin’ Dogs?’”

VFP-63 Patches

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I’ve got an extensive collection of patches, mostly VF patches. As I’ve learned more about the history of NAVAIR, I’ve come to appreciate that colorful history reflected in patches.

Here are pics of some I’ve seen from VFP-63. VFP-63 was established in 1962 and did a WESTPAC deployment in July I that year. They made numerous deployments to WESTPAC and Vietnam till disestablishment in June of 1982. They operated the RF-8 Crusader and were known as “The Eyes of The Fleet.”

Here are some patches from -63s various deployments. Warning, some of these are pretty salty but that’s what makes them interesting 🙂

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Thanksgiving

The “3 M’s” of morale  every commander needs to pay close attention to are:

  1. Mail
  2. Money
  3. Meals

Especially during Thanksgiving, a good hot meal is the least a commander can provide to his troops.

Imagine yourself stationed at a platoon or company sized outpost in the hinterlands of Afghanistan. In my era, most of my meals would have been MREs, with maybe one hot meal delivered in Mermite cans daily from the battalion trains in the Brigade Support Area.

But the Army in the past decade, with Brigade Combat Teams covering enormous geographical regions, centralized cooking simply isn’t practical. And for many outposts, the delivery options are either a risky ground convoy, or an expensive aerial resupply by helicopter. So many units at outposts have been augmented with a mess team to provide hot prepared meals on site. Larger outposts that have power generation may have a Containerized Kitchen as well as adequate refrigeration. Smaller, platoon sized outposts are unlikely to have such luxuries, but still often have a cook assigned.

The normal ration for these outposts is the Unitized Group Ration, or UGR. In fact, the UGR is really three separate rations.

UGR-A has perishable and semi-perishable foods, and requires an actual kitchen to prepare.

The UGR-H&S (Heat & Serve) is canned foods that simply need to be warmed prior to serving.  The Company Level Field Feeding Kitchen is well suited for this ration.

http://tentsshelters.tpub.com/TM-10-7360-209-13P/img/TM-10-7360-209-13P_13_1.jpg

The UGR-E is designed for even more austere environments. It contains everything for a hot meal, and the ration trays are self heating! Not only that, but a special turkey holiday meal menu is available.

[scribd id=187167255 key=key-n5746vi9jan8kmk2hmn mode=scroll]

Here’s a little bit on how the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) assembles UGRs.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDo4RERPBYQ]

As you sit down with friends and family today to give thanks for all the blessings in your life, take a moment to remember those Americans deployed world wide, and especially in Afghanistan, who will not be surrounded by family, but by their brothers in arms.

George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation.

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday that acknowledges continued Divine Providence that makes this Nation great.

“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor — and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me ‘to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.'”

“Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be — That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks — for His kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation — for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of His Providence which we experienced in the tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed — for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted — for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which He hath been pleased to confer upon us.

“And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions — to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually — to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed — to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn [sic] kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord — To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease [sic] of science among them and us — and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best. — Given under my hand at the City of New York, the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.”

I wish all of our readers and their families a blessed Thanksgiving