Hello & Welcome

Welcome to my Blog! Thanks for stopping by. I'll be posting from time to time my adventures in writing and my trials and tribulations in the publishing world, along with anything relevant in regards to current events, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Intelligence community that appears in the press. Please note that anything I post is not reflective or representative of any official position of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Air Force; only my views and opinions as a private citizen.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sleeping with the Expired Nuclear Codes

Agence France-Presse posted an article today about three Air Force technicians at a Minuteman III missile unit at Minot AFB falling asleep while in possession of expired nuclear launch code components in violation of approved procedure on July 12.

The Airmen involved are certainly facing Article 15 punishment from their commander. This kind of incident is not what the Air Force can tolerate. Certainly not after the improper shipment of nuclear weapon components out of the country and the loading of nuclear weapons onto a B-52 without any awareness on the part of the Air Force or the Pentagon. The pattern of inattention to basic procedure and detail with respect to the handling and operations of nuclear weapons simply cannot be tolerated.

For the Three Airmen at Minot: We were all taught two things at basic training: Attention to Detail & Mission First. Pull your heads out my friends. Our nation expects better and you swore an oath you need to uphold. Your 328,598 active duty brothers and sisters in Air Force blue expect better from you, and you have failed them, yourselves, and your nation. Stand tall in front of your commander, take your punishment, and resolve to do better. Eventually, you will regain the respect and trust you've lost with your poor judgment.

The 'Comfort Capsule' Fiasco

On the 18th, the Washington Post ran a story on the Air Force's desire to use of counter-terrorism funds to assist in the purchase and outfitting of 'comfort capsules' for the use of Congressmen, high level DoD officials, and general officers to travel in style to their destinations. Not surprisingly, the New York Times printed an editorial on its web site this morning, rightly decrying this latest example of a lack of integrity in the service.

On the 21st of July, Air Force magazine published a story about the 'comfort capsules' intending to tell what Mr. Paul Harvey would call, "the rest of the story." The article makes the case that the demands of Congress and other VIP level members of our government for the 'expected' level of comfortable transport to a war zone where our troops fight for our country.

The Air Force e-mails the Post article refers to seem to indicate a desire for comfort run amok. Naturally, we all know that rank has its privileges; and no Senator or Congress member would be caught dead traveling the way our soldiers do to the front lines; in cramped, canvas lined or thin cushioned 'economy class' airline seats, often loaded into the transport's cargo bay. Naturally, there are no beds for rest or TVs to entertain the troops on the 14+ hour flight.

Certainly the senior leaders in the military shoulder many burdens, but they would be better served by shouldering the same burden the troops they command must bear. As for the politicians in Congress, they should travel with the troops and gain a better appreciation of the burdens of men and women in uniform, since far too few of our elected representatives have ever served in our military. Then we wouldn't be having a discussion about using counter-terrorism funds for 'comfort capsules.'

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Starting to Blog

Well here it is. My first Blog. I decided to start this blog because I am an aspiring writer (an outgrowth of my belief and advocacy for our Right of Free Speech) and as a place to comment on things I find of interest in the activities of our government and particularly the military, with a focus on the Air Force.

At the outset, I want to say how proud of, and grateful I am to, every soldier, sailor, airman, and marine serving our country at home and abroad. All your fellow citizens are forever in your debt.

I'll also use this Blog from time to time to talk about the writing process, and the whole adventure of writing, publishing, etc. as I experience it as a fledgling writer of fiction.

To all who wander across this blog - Welcome!