Found on Youtube

I don’t know the guy that posted this vid, but the guy that took the film, Dick Schram, was an acquaintance of my parents.


Virgil, check out the ordinance. I’ve never seen ANY other film or video of an A-6 carrying WWII boxtail bombs.

Army One?

So, I mentioned that the President went to Afghanistan. What I missed was a bit of arcane trivia.  Most of you are familiar with Air Force One. But AF1 isn’t really the name of the two modified 747s set aside for his use. It is the call sign of whichever Air Force aircraft that he is aboard. Similarly, whenever the President is aboard on of the VH-3s operated by the Marines, that aircraft bears the call sign “Marine One.”

It’s awfully rare that the President flies on board an operational aircraft, rather than one of the fleet of special mission aircraft. So I was pleased to see that while in Afghanistan, the President hopped a ride on board a helo from the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, allowing that crew to use the rarely invoked call sign “Army One.”

No, I didn’t get to see him.

But I will note that his transit between Kabul and Bagram was not done with USMC helos, but Army ones belonging to 3rd CAB, the “Wings of the Marne.”

So for two short flights, that one lucky bird had the rarely used callsign of “Army One.”

As a historical matter, for a long time, the Army was the agency tasked with operating the President’s helicopter flight.  It wasn’t until the 1970’s that the Marines took over that job.

Bits and pieces

So, the Battle of Kandahar is coming up. The Times has an article about it. Sad, isn’t it, that the best reporting about US troops in Afghanistan often comes from overseas… H/T: WNU

The President went to Afghanistan to visit the troops. Good for him. Whether his meeting with Hamid Karzai was helpful or not, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

No, the USPHS is not going to be Obama’s private army. There’s plenty in the HCR law to criticize- you don’t have to go making up conspiracy theories as well.

Green is the new Red. Is this news to anyone?

If Israel does strike Iran, how is that going to play out?

Smart people don’t trespass at The Castle.

And from Theo, an early iteration of Skyhook:


The Pacific

I caught the first two episodes of HBO’s The Pacific.

I’ve seen a lot of folks that are talking down the show, mostly based on a couple of foolish comments made by Tom Hanks just before the premiere. Me? I’m liking it. I greatly enjoyed, and was deeply moved and influenced by the two main source works that inspired the series, Helmet for My Pillow, by Robert Leckie, and With the Old Breed, by Eugene Sledge.

Some people are arguing that the series has an antiwar slant. Well, duh. The primary campaigns covered, Guadalcanal, Peleliu, and Okinawa, are amongst the most trying battles fought by our nation.  There was a level of savagery in the Pacific that the European theater, for all its wholesale carnage, never achieved. And while our troops weren’t motivated by a genocidal imperative as some might think, it is undeniable that there was a racial component that was almost entirely absent in the European theater. Let’s face it, we were a country that wouldn’t even allow blacks to fight- how do you think our troops felt about the Japanese, who were not only different looking, but culturally almost incomprehensible to us?

Some of you may not have HBO (nor do I) so you can watch it online at CastTV.

Episodes One and Two are already available *, and Episode Three should be available later tonight or early tomorrow.

Looks like they pulled episodes 1 & 2. Hopefully, 3 will still show up later tonight at the link.

Rockin’ in the LMT

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I’m not a big fan of defense powerhouse Lockheed Martin, but I’ll say this, they’re the only major defense contractor I know of that has a house band:


It’s got a catchy beat and you can dance bomb to it.

H/T: The DEW Line

BTW, I wonder if CDR Salamander will notice just how diverse the band is…