The Wood Shed

You never know what you're going to find in the pile.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Iran Requests Direct Flights to US

Unbelievable but apparently true. AirWise News published this story on the 26th. The words escape me..... The only appropriate response that comes to mind is: "Sure, one-way only - inbound from USS Flattop."

Ahmadinejad is without a doubt the most dangerous nut-job on the planet.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

War on Terror or Holy War?

Depends which side you're on. Most Americans view the war in Iraq and the war on terror as something new. What we are facing is a spread or escalation of jihad. This is not a new phenomenon. It has been active for centuries. As Americans we need to get educated so that we can properly identify and defend against this threat. How many Americans are aware that Osama bin Laden declared war against America back in 1998? "We -- with God's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it."

Below is part of a comment I posted in response to The Officers' Club:

We have to know our enemy in order to hold any hope of defeating him. To that end I'm currently reading Walid Phares' "Future Jihad". It's a real eye-opener of an education. This war that we are engaged in has been going on for centuries and as such will not simply go away of its own accord. The only peaceful solution to this global conflict according to the radicals' doctrine is for us all to convert to their corrupted version of Islam. Not interested, thanks. But knowing the enemy's goal unmasks Osama's latest "truce offering" for what it truly is: he wants a breather to regroup. He will then take up the Jihad again once he is ready and conditions are in his favor. For any who doubt that I suggest you educate yourselves - Phares' book is a good place to start.

If you haven't been reading the OC, start!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

New Navy Stealth System

(Jan. 15, 2006) – The amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) shown operating in dense fog in the Atlantic Ocean. Iwo Jima is currently underway conducting exercises in preparation for an upcoming deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Lithographer Seaman Apprentice Bryant Kurowski (RELEASED)

Very unique image. Alas it's just mother nature up to her old tricks!

Monday, January 16, 2006

In Honor of the T-39 Crew

We lost another crew last week.

Not a space shuttle crew or even a frontline crew in Iraq but we, the nation, lost four more. Two student navigators, an instructor, and a retired military contract pilot went down in a Navy T-39 Sabreliner over a remote area in Georgia. Unfortunately there were no survivors. The members of the crew were all attached to Training Squadron 86 out of Pensacola, Florida, which is responsible for the intermediate and advanced training of both Navy and Air Force navigators. Based on press reports the jet was last heard from just prior to entering a military low-level training route. For some reason it never reached the "target". The accident is still under investigation.

The jet was on a "routine training mission". But anything can go terribly wrong and it happens quickly in the low-level environment. It may have been training but lives were still at stake. Granted there was nobody on the ground shooting back but the crew was training to visually navigate to a target. The goal was to develop that critical skill and eventually put it to use in a tactical aircraft with live weapons. That goal implies a defended target and all the risk associated with going "feet dry" over enemy territory.

Every time our young men and women strap into an aircraft they risk their lives so that the rest of us don't have to. It's a dangerous business. Every aviator that flies for our country knows this. They hope and pray that a combination of skill and luck will get them through each mission but it doesn't always work out that way. They accept this as part of the job. They don't do it for the money unlike many of the very people they serve. They fly for the honor, for the satisfaction of being a part of something greater than themselves.

Regardless of our political or ideological beliefs let's take a moment to honor these four individuals that made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf - not just their country's. Killed in the service of their grateful nation on January 10, 2006:

CDR Dave Roark, USN (Retired), Contract Pilot, 68, Pensacola, FL
LT Jason S. Manse, USN, 30, Canton, OH
ENS Elizabeth Bonn, USN, 23, Wilkes-Barre, PA
1LT Jason W. Davis, USAF, 28, Vista, CA

We lost fathers, sons, and daughters. We lost brothers, sisters, and husbands. We lost friends and fellow aviators. We lost priceless knowledge, experience, and an irreplaceable chunk of the future. The only possible consolation is the knowledge that these four left us doing what they loved to do.