Category Archives: Fighter Pilot

Second T-38 Crashes

As if a reminder was needed of the danger of the military fighter pilot profession, a T-38 crashed at Sheppard AFB today.  It was the second in 8 days (after a crash at Columbus AFB), and has led the AF to tentatively ground the entire fleet.  The T-38 is the primary jet aircraft used to train future fighter and bomber pilots.

As covered by Fox, CNN, and AF.mil.

T-37s Retired… Sort of.

As announced on AF.mil, Columbus AFB formally retired the final T-37 Tweet that was still supporting Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT).  Still, the Tweet will continue to fly at Sheppard AFB in support of Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT), primarily because the foreign pilots there have not received support from their home countries to transition to the T-6.

A list and short description of aircraft flown during a pilot’s career can be seen here.

Doolittle Raider, Christian Missionary Dies

According to an AF.mil article, Staff Sgt. Jacob DeShazer (the bombardier on the last B-25 in the Doolittle Raid) has died. DeShazer was famous not only for his role in the raid, but also for his post-war activities.  The man who once hated his Japanese enemies with a vitriolic passion would become a Christian in their prison and return to evangelize them.  His story led to the conversion of Captain Mitsuo Fuchida, said to be the flight leader of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Fuchida himself became a missionary in Asia and the United States.

The text of a pamphlet DeShazer wrote, which was widely distributed in Japan after the war, can be seen at the bottom of this website.  His story was also made into a documentary called From Vengeance to Forgiveness.  His story was also chronicled several years ago here.

New Air Force Slogan: “Above All”

According to a press release, the Air Force has replaced its “No one comes close” with “Above all” for its future recruiting efforts.

No word yet on when Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation will sue the Air Force for using the title of a popular evangelical Christian worship song as its new slogan.

(Above All, written by Lenny LeBlanc and Paul Baloche, was popularized by Michael W. Smith’s 2001 Worship CD.  Weinstein’s 2005 lawsuit accusing the Air Force of advancing Christianity was dismissed.  He is currently using a lawsuit against the Army to accuse the Secretary of Defense of allowing the entire American military to become a vehicle for Christianity.)

Iraq in the News

Actually, its not…

As of this posting, a review of both the CNN and Fox websites reveals only a single article related to Iraq (and it was in the health section, on PTSD).  While the bloodshed is by no means over, the significant drop in violence (a good thing) appears to have resulted in a dearth of news reporting.

Gone are the days of up-to-the-minute casualty counts and roadside bomb tallies.  Apparently “good” news doesn’t generate sufficient ratings.

To our men and women “over there:” Keep up the good work.  Some of us are still paying attention.

Dungy’s Colts Receive AF Award

 

The Indianapolis Colts and their Coach Tony Dungy–who made waves this year as the first African American and outspoken Christian to win the Super Bowl–have received the American Spirit Award.  According to the Air Force press release

The American Spirit Award is the Air Force’s highest form of recognition given to civilian organizations for longstanding commitment and support to Air Force recruiting efforts.

Dungy’s book, Quiet Strength (review), was also a bestseller this year. (Photo Credit: USAF)

Veterans’ Day 2007

What started out as Armistice Day nearly 90 years ago continues to be a day in the US that acknowledges the sacrifices of American military veterans.

The Washington Times reports that the VA is asking veterans to wear their medals this Veterans’ Day to

show the world the unity of our support for U.S. armed forces [and] teach the meaning and the value of military service to the children of America.

According to the article, while many have poor opinions of the Global War on Terror, 71% still have a favorably opinion of the US military, with another poll indicating 81% of Americans consider a military career “prestigious.”

Air-Dropped Soccer Balls Offend Afghanis

The Best Intentions… 

According to the International Herald Tribune, the US military apologized for offending Afghani Muslims when it gave them soccer balls that had the Saudi flag on it.  The Saudi flag has the words Allah and Muhammad on it; those names in any form are considered sacred to Muslims.  The thought of kicking those sacred names was apparently offensive.

Soccer (or football, outside the US), is wildly popular in most other parts of the world, and has even been a source of national pride in an otherwise sometimes fractious Iraq.

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