[meteorite-list] ED fix - My last post

From: James Beauchamp <falcon99_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Jul 2013 18:09:32 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <1373072972.41462.YahooMailClassic_at_web181405.mail.ne1.yahoo.com>

Ah, FWS (Fighter Weapon Schools). Always a good show. Seriously, the day of a pilot is filled with a LOT of stuff to do and not enough time, fuel, or airspace to do it all.

Pretty much the entire state of Nevada is one big MOA. They can work any altitude from 0' AGL to the top of Class A airspace in many of them. Low Altitude IFR routes are also everywhere, which is probably what your guy was flying (You can look it up on any sectional). Those usually have assigned upper altitude limits up until the exit point, which are filed for entry into Class A at specific times. Combat training, weapon and aeronautical flight tests, and training are the common activities.

They practice combat entry and exits on most runs. Aircrew have to have so many LL (Low Level) per quarter (or month depending on the service) to remain mission qualified, and even more to keep a combat edge. Plus it's a frikkin adrenaline rush!

ATC has a very busy job keeping the alert and restricted areas clear for the protection of GA pilots, the military pilots, and of course, the public's safety. The last thing you want are the flaming remains of a B-1 raining down onto a town (or on your rock hunting party), alight with 250,000 lbs of JP-8.

The really cool stuff is at the weapon schools. They fly various scenarios against other trainees. Many different functions go at each other. Each side practices various techniques - offensive, defensive, counter, counter-counter, and so on. A huge chess game at 0.9 mach!

You'll have bombers trying to penetrate airspace patrolled by their fighter buddies. If they see them, the bombers give chase using additional techniques. (remember, fighters have limited fuel). Fighters will try and counter those techniques with their own.

A-10's have assigned ground targets to try and hit, trying to avoid fighters and ISR coverage on the way.

Combat airlift guys (usually C-17's and C-130's) also try to penetrate the airspace to get simulated supplies to troops behind the lines or deliver cargo from one MOB to another. Same game of cat and mouse, counter, counter-counter. Low level (like 50 feet at 300 knots!!) until you hit the IP, pop up, green light, release, back down because everyone now knows you're there, and you need to exit QUICKLY. Back down you go at thousands of ft per minute, rolling out right before smacking in the dirt. Sh**, now you've got to find your way back out without getting "killed".

Combat Rescue sometimes gets into the game simulating extraction of a downed pilot, trying to stay out of view of ISR resources (AWACS, GCSS radars, etc..), also avoiding the fighters (Do you see a 'busyness' pattern here?). Round the ridgelines they go as fast as possible. up, down, around, no time to puke.... Gotta hit the LZ because a beer might be riding on this one. His buddy from ROTC might have given him a ration of crap prior to kickoff, so pride is on the line!

Air refuelers work to keep the fighters gassed up so they can chase everyone else, all the while trying to avoid the 'aggressors'.

You have everyone and their dog getting into the game at large exercises like Red Flag. It's like an aviation version of a stones concert at the Nellis airfield parking area.

B-1's, B-52's, F-16's, KC-135's, E-3's, EA-6's, A-10's, even an occasional B-2 come to play.

So, I'll depart the conversation saying that if you indeed saw what you describe, it was a moment that should be cherished. A feat of engineering and human performance pushed to extreme limits. If these guys take a few seconds out of all this bat-sh** craziness going on over Nevada to say "hello" with a wing-rock or a high-speed circle, you were treated to a seriously awesome gift. There's a reason women swoon. Guys in fighter jets are pherimone rags because well, they do this for a living.

Hell yeah I would show off.

And be comforted that serious restrictions are always placed on military operations regarding civilians. Unless directed by a state authority, under Title-32 authorization for National Guard assets and resources, and after SERIOUS legal review, posse Comitatus is serious business. A wing commander risks serious ramifications allowing even a remote perception that PC is violated. Careers have been ended for even the impression of such.

So, bottom line, trust me when I say they really aren't concerned about people walking around hunting rocks, or whatever it is they are doing. They could be cooking meth for all they care. They have sh** to do.

Even if they were, say you wandered in an alert area where bombs are being dropped, they call off the runs and go to the next task while the Sheriff deputies come to get you. (You will have some major explaining to do why you ignored all the "Active Impact Area - stay the f*** out" signs).

The most fun time of my military career was spent with these folks. Next time, give the pilot a salute and see what they do. If they see you, they will give you one back!

I am jealous of your experience!

Received on Fri 05 Jul 2013 09:09:32 PM PDT

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