USAF

F-35 Deploys to RAF Lakenheath

F-35 Deploys to RAF Lakenheath

The F35's come from the 34th Fighter Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Their commanderLt Col George Watkins, had this to say about the deployment to RAF Lakenheath:

"It's teamwork between us and the local population of the base here, as they're standing up their own F-35 squadrons here [...] so they can get some lesson's learned"

The deployment was planned months in advance according to the statement released by the Department of Defense, but the timing does come as international politics throughout the entire world are tense.

Understanding RADAR and "Stealth" Aircraft

Understanding RADAR and "Stealth" Aircraft

You have no doubt heard of the F-35 or F-22 and wondered why these aircraft are so damn expensive, and why they are so controversial.  I can't seek to answer those questions for you, but I can help to explain the academics behind fifth generation aircraft and their low observable (or "stealth") technology.

Low observable technology is important for several reasons, not least of which is the simple fact that you cannot shoot what you do not know exists.  Hollywood movies like to highlight the importance of "heat seeking missiles" (professionally known as "infrared (IR) missiles"), but most modern warfare is conducted now beyond visual range and relies heavily on radar guided missiles.  These are an impressive jump in technology, but they do rely heavily on your ability to detect the target on your radar.

More likely than not, the existence of fifth generation aircraft is signaling the start of a new arms race in which the four major super powers (European Union, United States, Russia, and China) are modernizing their air forces to ensure their pilots are able to fly longer and strike further against any adversary they may encounter.  This recent push to modernize is likely an attempt for those powers to retain their competitive edge in a global deterrent based strategy similar to that of the Cold War. However, unlike the Cold War, these weapons can be used and exported without fearing for their direct contribution to humanity's destruction

Remembering OTS

Remembering OTS

If you and I are close on social media, or real life, you probably knew that I took two and a half months off this year to attend Officer Training School (OTS) in order to pursue my commission in the Air National Guard.  The whole endeavor was fairly intense, so blogging about it in its entirety would be virtually impossible, but I want to highlight a few aspects that I think will be worth remembering throughout the rest of my career.

Mature Atheism, Military Service, and Cookies

Mature Atheism, Military Service, and Cookies

As an Atheist Airmen, I do not sacrifice for the betterment of society with the belief that I'll be rewarded in the next life.  I do so knowing that, if I am called upon to sacrifice, it is not a matter of divine providence, but of personal choice. This doesn't make me heroic, but it certainly doesn't make me villainous to simply want that distinction recognized and respected. Every service member is more than their military service; we are first and foremost American citizens who deserve the same respect and rights in which our civilian counterparts are afforded.

Rather than thank us for our service (a hollow gesture), take a moment to recognize that we're a person outside of that uniform.  A person with whom you may disagree on a great many things; a person who may be a novelist, an atheist, or an engineer. Do not typecast us into a group of people deserving "hero cookies," but understand that our military service, like your day job, is mostly office politics and paperwork; it's fairly rare that we do anything "heroic."