McDew ’82 Takes Command at TRANSCOM

Congratulations to General Darren McDew ’82, now the commander of TRANSCOM! If I’m not mistaken, that would also make him the senior alumnus now in uniform, would it not? In any case, congrats to you General!

The Last Raid on Japan

Add this to the list of things we ever knew: What did the U.S. do between the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki on 9 August 1945, and the Japanese capitulation on 15 August? Answer: We started bombing the living shit out of them, again. And as it turned out, that last raid, 70 years ago today, with the promise of more to come, might have contributed greatly to the decision to capitulate. Thanks to the Roanoke Times, we have the amazing tale of one pilot who flew on that raid, Dallas Bowman. “Oddly enough, it was Bowman’s first — and […]

The F-35 and the death of Dog-fighting

From Richard Fernandez at the Belmont Club, comes an analysis on the F-35 and future air combat. The controversy surrounding the F-35 is fundamentally an extension of the debate over what a future fighter should be. Recently the aircraft made news when it was officially announced that the airframe couldn’t dogfight worth a damn. The standard riposte is that dogfighting as a form of aerial combat, stopped being relevant a long time ago. Perhaps the best advocate for dogfighting-is-dead point of view isn’t a paper for the F-35 but a paper which argues that air combat is fundamentally changing. Perhaps […]

So Tell Me Again Why the USAF Want to Retire the Warthog?

This says it all on why we need the A-10.

The Civilian Army in Our Midst

Congress authorizes our end strength, and the Services do what they are told.  We haven’t had a strong voiced service Chief in the Army since Shinseki told Rumsfeld you couldn’t invade Iraq with a “whambam thank you ma’am” strategy.  Which is what they attempted to do. . .many issues followed the invasion to be discussed ad nauseum later. But I came across this article in the Wall Street Journal that talks about how the civilian DoD work force has just exploded in support of the military.  Yet our troop numbers are beginning to dwindle, and the guys that wear suits […]

The Return of the Hollow Force

As the youngest of us here on Op-For, I remain in service to Columbia. I signed that dotted line prior to my rat year at VMI, the War in Iraq was at its height, the surge going into full swing and there was an initiative from President Bush Called “Grow the Army.”  “Grow the Army” the Army reached a height of 570,000 Soldiers.  We all thought then, that all of us would be going to war.  Many of us have, yet most of us have not.  I would say we’re both lucky in different ways. There was an officer in […]

If you give a plane a computer

…it will be hacked. From Ars Technica: He stated that he then overwrote code on the airplane’s Thrust Management Computer while aboard a flight. He stated that he successfully commanded the system he had accessed to issue the climb command. He stated that he thereby caused one of the airplane engines to climb resulting in a lateral or sideways movement of the plane during one of these flights. He also stated that he used Vortex software after compromising/exploiting or “hacking” the airplane’s networks. He used the software to monitor traffic from the cockpit system. Or have installation and configuration bugs. […]

Marine Corps IOC ends female integration program

Over the past three years under pressure from Congress to integrate women into the teeth of America’s fighting Force, the Marine Corps at the fore front opened the Infantry Officer Course at MCB Quantico to female volunteers.  The last two volunteers were dropped on 2 APR 15, Day 1 for this iteration of IOC.  Of the 90 men that began that day, 9 were also dropped due to their score on the Combat Endurance Course. Unlike IBOLC at Ft Benning the first day of IOC at MCB Quantico begins with the Combat Endurance Course, just so you know, the “E […]

Why airpower is too important to leave to the Air Force

“In order to act, you must be somewhat insane. A reasonably sensible man is satisfied with thinking.” – Georges Clemenceau I was enjoying the view atop Sandia Mountain last week when I realized Kirtland AFB lay just over the ridge. The thought struck me that Albuquerque is as rough and rustic an environment as any Airman has ever faced, outside of the Combat Controllers, ETAC and PJs. That thought coalesced into the conviction that Air Force leaders have zero experience with the nuts and bolts of combat. Because there is no experience, so-called ‘thought experiments’ and book-learning replaces the uncommon sense of ground […]

The Lightning Strikes Again

I initially believed the reports of the enormous gap in time between the retirement of the A-10 and the Full Operational Capability for Close Air Support to be something from the Duffelblog or the Onion. But the Duffelblog takes national defense a bit more seriously than does our Air Force. “In many ways, it won’t have the some of the capabilities of our current platforms,” Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, head of the service’s Air Combat Command, acknowledged during a briefing with reporters on Friday at the Pentagon. While we’ve been distracted by marines playing with balls, and hazing at El Cid, […]