Air-Minded: Little Friends & Aerial Refueling

In an earlier Air-Minded post, I wrote about the early days of aerial refueling and the initial development of USAF tanker aircraft and refueling methods. This post is about the USAF jet fighters, interceptors, and attack jets that depend on those tankers to get to where they’re going and back home again. […]

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My Sweetheart’s a Mule in the Mines

I’m continually taken aback by how little I know about my own family, things my sisters all talk about but for whatever reason are revelations to me. […]

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Air-Minded: Tankers … in Spaaace!

The V-2 rocket, with its sleek cigar-shaped body, pointed nose, and swept-back fins, entered the imaginations of people the world over. It lent its iconic shape to the science fiction spaceships of the 1950s and 60s, and still has a firm grip on our dreams. […]

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Transonic Cat Wars

I remember a huge flap at Soesterberg Air Base in the Netherlands when a new guy, one of the first of a wave of evangelical Christian officers from the Air Force Academy (a wave that continues to plague the USAF today), recorded Spielberg’s awful “1941” movie over all the alert shack’s Betamax porn tapes. Funny now, but an existential crisis at the time! […]

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A Violation of Trust

You don’t promote partisan politics or religion on duty or in uniform. The Uniform Code of Military Justice makes that perfectly clear. […]

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Air-Minded: Training for the Last One

We should have it so easy, going up against an enemy air force equipped with 1950s technology … even North Korea has more advanced equipment. But you know what they say: we always train to fight the last war we had (and in this case I feel like we’re still training for Vietnam). […]

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Tuesday Bag o’ Callsigns (Updated 2/5/18)

That leaves Marine One, the callsign used by USMC helicopter crews flying the current president to and from the White House. This is the point of highest danger on my tour, because I refuse to say that president’s name. “Current president” is as close as I come; I have to carefully engage my tongue to my brain lest I blurt out “President Individual One” or something worse. […]

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Air-Minded: Air Museum Update

I’m in … I’ll do my best to make it work, but will it still be fun? That remains to be seen. It’s a good thing I love old planes and learning new things, is all I have to say for now. […]

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