The US military continues to struggle with the changing social mores and perceptions on gender – so much so that it frequently contradicts its own message.
That struggle hasn’t been helped by President Biden’s Executive Order that reversed the Executive Order by President Trump banning people who identified as transgender from serving in the military. While the decision has now been made, how to actually make that happen remains up in the air. The military already has a problem trying to say both genders are equal yet not; adding a third gender option only adds fuel to the seeming dumpster fire that passes as attempted policymaking.
Some recent points of interest: Read more
US Air Force Capt Hunter Barnhill is an instructor pilot with the 37th FTS in Columbus, Mississippi. Last year, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor:
[Barnhill] went to the flight doctor who sent him to Baptist Memorial Hospital for a MRI where the doctors found a brain tumor…
The intense nature of the surgery caused him to suffer from post-operative Supplementary Motor Area Syndrome.
SMA hit hard, rendering him unable to speak and paralyzed his right side. He participated in physical and speech therapy for three months and worked to gain his abilities to sit up, walk, run and speak as he had done only weeks ago.
While shocking and traumatic, the notable theme throughout the official Air Force article is the role of Barnhill’s faith, and the impact it had on both him and those around him: Read more
Ed Brayton is a prolific and progressive atheistic blogger who is also a longtime ally of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and his research assistant, Chris Rodda. Unlike Rodda, Brayton occasionally shows a rare streak of principle and holds his own ideologues to the same standards he demands of the “right wing fundamentalists” he so often mocks. Still, like Rodda and Weinstein, he is often blind to the traits he shares with those he ridicules.
On Monday, Brayton wrote a blog at the pay-per-click Patheos entitled “Cruz Shows He Has No Clue About the Military” in which he mocks presidential candidate and US Senator Ted Cruz for his statement saying of ISIS “we will carpet bomb them into oblivion.” Speaking to Cruz, Brayton says:
Do you or do you not know what carpet bombing is? He makes clear that he does not.
Brayton quotes Cruz waxing political in pivoting to Operation Desert Storm and the military draw down that has occurred since then: Read more
The US Air Force will reportedly ship perfectly good F-16s to the desert — and potentially slow down the F-35 program — if it is forced to keep the A-10 beyond the date it wants it retired:
The House Armed Services Committee inserted $683 million into the 2016 defense bill to stop the Air Force from retiring the A-10 Warthog.
However, Air Force leaders said the service will have to mothball F-16s and delay the deployment of the F-35 in response to the move by the committee.
The HASC logic basically says the Air Force needs the A-10 right now, as Read more
In a relatively rare occurrence for the big bomber, the US Air Force un-mothballed a 50-year-old B-52 from the storage base in Tucson, AZ, and flew it to Barksdale AFB:
The 53-year-old Stratofortress, tail number 61-1007, nicknamed the “Ghost Rider” had been in storage at the desert in the care of [AMARG] since 2008…Ghost Rider, after upgrades, will become the first B-52 to return to duty from the Boneyard.
The plane was reportedly revived to replace Read more
The Associated Press penned a piece saying the US Air Force has been saddled by an aging fleet of aircraft thanks to “past inattention” and a “lack of urgency.”
For decades, the U.S. Air Force has grown accustomed to such superlatives as unrivaled and unbeatable. These days, some of its key combat aircraft are being described with terms like geriatric, or decrepit.
The article then details some of the aircraft the Air Force is flying, including the KC-135, B-52, and U-2 (1950s), and F-15, F-16, and A-10 (1970s). Modern era Read more
The Air Force Times reports on comments from troops in Afghanistan that the restrictions on airstrikes over the past year have emboldened the adversary. While the mere sight of B-52 contrails was once enough to send the enemy scurrying, they now often ignore armed fighters directly overhead.
The Taliban no longer run and hide when they see a fighter jet overhead, brazenness that airmen attribute to the nearly year-old directive to limit close-air support.
[JTACs] and fighter pilots report that insurgents are encouraging Read more