The Pinchettes!

Kate and Sarah, known the world round as Pinchette #1 and Pinchette #2.  Facebook told me this photo was from 8 years ago which sounds about right. Sarah (r) was headed off to a school dance (in her senior year at HS) and I nabbed this shot of the two of them.

Nowadays, Sarah is in the Fairfax County, VA Police Academy working on being a cop and Kate is on the edge of 30, a solid employee with a contracting company near Ft Belvoir making sure defense threat reduction folks can travel around the world without problems.

So very proud of these two. Very proud. 

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The Hangardeck Podcast

That aviation podcast I did a few weeks ago is out now.  Pitchlock Pete Bruno from The Hanagrdeck Podcast and I sat down for a telephone chat about the F-14, fighter squadron life, a bit about my Dad and a few other things.  You’ll likely be underwhelmed with the thing (!) but hopefully you may get a bit of mirth, entertainment, and the occasional nugget of aviation lore.

The link is here

F-14D RIO cockpit. 1992. This incidentally, is the last Tomcat ever built, BUNO 164604, “D Ship” number 37.  She now sits just inside the Naval Air Station Oceana’s Air Power Park.  She spent her entire flying career with the test and evaluation folks at NAS Pt Mugu in California so has the unique point of having never had an aircraft carrier catapult shot or arrested landing. For a navy fighter jet, that IS unique.



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Goods and Others

In the sometimes wild and woolly world of Naval Aviation, the verbiage of the business can sometimes get interesting.

You’ve all heard of the phrase “goods and bads”, denoting the, well, good things about something and the, well, bad things.  Somebody somewhere sometime came to the conclusion that “bad” was too negative of a descriptor for something so they decided the word “others” better fit the lexicon.  “Others” is a take on the idea that nothing is inherently *bad*, per se, as long as you can learn from it.  It might not be “good”, but it doesn’t have to be “bad” –  its “other than good.”  A “learn-from-your-mistake” kind of thing.  Ok.  Whatever.

Which led to this patch that came out a number of years ago, riffing on the Tomcat-Hornet rivalry, the soon-then-to-occur retirement of the Tomcat (destined for dry, desert storage and museums all over the country) and the impending coronation of the F.A-18 Hornet as the “One Plane To Rule Them All” – fighter, strike, electronic warfare, tanker, no-doubt soon-to-be COD, ASW, SAR, yadda x 3.

So, I give you, Goods…and Others!

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The Hangardeck

I met up on Facebook recently with Pete Bruno who runs the great aviation site The Hngardeck  

One thing led to another and I sent him one of my photobooks.  He enjoyed it and asked if I could come on his Hangardeck podcast to talk about the book and what it was like flying in the F-14.  We met up via phone this afternoon and spent a good hour talking about all sorts of things, aviation related.

The link should be available this evening and I’ll post it here when it goes live.

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D.C. City Councilman Trayon White Makes Troubling Remarks at Holocaust Museum | National Review

THIS is a very clear – crystal clear – reason why I cannot *wait* to get out of this area. Away from Washington DC.  These sorts of people…”politicians”…make up who runs DC and they keep getting elected and re-elected.  From Marion Barry to this clown to all the others who don’t have clue 1 about governing or really, about common sense or about the rule of law, I was fed up years ago.  This place, as beautiful as it can be with the history and  the monuments and the parks and everything else, is a cesspool of corruption and stupidity.

The Washington, D.C. city councilman who told his social media followers that Jewish people control weather made a number of troubling remarks during a tour of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum he…

While examining a picture of a girl walking through a crowd surrounded by German soldiers while wearing a sign that read “I am a German girl and allowed myself to be defiled by a Jew,” White asked the tour guide, “are they protecting her.”

“No,” the guide said. “They’re marching her through.”

“Marching through is protecting,” White responded.

“I think they’re humiliating her,” the guide rebutted.

Once White departed, a member of his staff suggested that a picture of the Warsaw ghetto resembled “a gated community.”

“Yeah, I wouldn’t call it a gated community,” Rabbi Batya Glazer of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, who was accompanying the tour group, said. “More like a prison.”

Source: D.C. City Councilman Trayon White Makes Troubling Remarks at Holocaust Museum | National Review

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RIP Barbara Bush. 1925-2018

She was a Navy wife, albeit for a short time, so there’s no question about her spine of steel.

I have a certain affinity for President 41 and Mrs. Bush.  They were married for 70 years, sticking together through war and peace and everything else that went on in that nearly 3/4 century.  My mom and dad were married for 61 years when Dad passed away last December, again, sticking together through war and peace and everything else that went on from the mid 50s until today.

These two couples, and others, of course, were cut from a different cloth than that of today. A cloth that was finer, better woven, tougher and made with a love and dedication that is rarely seen today.  My respect and admiration for them is endless.

RIP Barbara Bush.

Barbara Bush


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R. Lee Ermey Passes Away

Sad news that military icon R. Lee Ermey passed away this weekend. He was quite the character and one hell of an American patriot.  Safe travels, Gunny!! Thank you for all your wonderful service and what you’ve given us over the years.

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Team Alpha, Vandy 1

Nose Gunner Pat Marsh and me with Vandy 1, NAS Oceana Air Show, 2015ish.

Vandy 1 is a Czech-built L-39 Albatross jet trainer with a paint job honoring the famous “bunny-tailed” Point Mugu VX-09 jet, also called Vandy 1. Fun jet to fly.  Not a whole lot of thrust coming out of that Ivchenko engine, only about 3,900 lbs, but in a jet that only weighs 10,000 lbs, you can still haul the mail and pull 6 gs.

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Air Strikes on Syria

There was a bit of a discussion on my Facebook page on this tonight. The general consensus was it was needed, even considering the potential negatives about the actions.

My comments centered around the belief that if Secretary of Defense Mattis was supportive of this (and I mean more than simply obeying the orders of his Commander in Chief), he had to have had a pretty good grasp and belief in the intelligence that indeed Syria was behind the gas attack on Douma.  He is a very, very smart man, probably the most respected member of the President’s cabinet – hell, the entire administration – and I cannot believe he could be hoodwinked into going along with something like this for any sort of pure political or other non-strategic reasons.  We’ll hear all that from the left, no doubt – that this is a “wag the dog” scenario, that Trump is bombing Syria to get the news off Comey or Mueller or McCabe or Stormy Daniels or whatever.  Ignore those yappy comments.

As far as if it was needed or not, I believe it was and if chemical weapons use by a rogue, dark regime like Syria goes unpunished in any way,  the US might just as well do away  with half our military and invest in red sharpie markers so we can just keep drawing red lines on paper maps that we have no intention of giving a damn about or doing anything over.

The alternative, I fear, if we do nothing  is to cede that entire part of the world to Russia, Iran and the other dark powers in the region.  Israel would be in a world of hurt, the entire region could end up a Russian backyard.  That isn’t some old world/Soviet expansionism/cold-war thinking, but a practical determination of the power Russia has over Syria and Iran.

Nature abhors a vacuum, and if the US and her allies do nothing here, that vacuum created by our non-action will quickly be filled by Russia.  Funny…the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Champ 416

Another shot from my Dad’s collection taken in the mid 1960s while deployed with Attack Squadron 56 off Vietnam.

VA-56’s nickname was the Champions, and the call sign was Champ. This jet, Champ 416, has the name of LTJG Jim Maslowski assigned to it.  Maslowski later went on to be a Blue Angel from 69-72 and rose to the rank of Rear Admiral.  He deployed for 3 additional Vietnam cruises with VA-113 on board ENTERPRISE and RANGER and spent his XO/CO tour with VA-94, the Mighty Shrikes, flying the A-7 Corsair in 1980-82.  He was the commanding officer of the carrier KITTY HAWK (CV-63) from 91-93 and retired on 1 January 2001 after a stellar career.  Well done, RADM Maslowski!

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