Sunday, September 28, 2008

Guest Blog Post - W. Allen Morris

JCOC-Report #5 (Joint Civilian Orientation Conference)

Yesterday was a Looong, but good Day! I'm even getting used to "reporting with baggage at 5:30AM"!

By 8:30AM we had flown 3 hours, arriving at Mildenhall Royal Air Force & US Air Force Base.

They put me back in the Cockpit of the C-17 Globemaster III Transport,
and it's beginning to feel quite comfortable...I just LOVE the smell of Jet Fuel in the Morning! (0;

Forgive the pilot in me, but I am so impressed with the versatility & performance of this plane which can cruise for 13 hours at 450kts, carry an M1 Tank or 3 helicopters (often it's Air Force One Helo!) or 200 para troopers and land in 2,500' on a dirt my little PC-12!!! Incredible!!

I now know that heaven for a pilot is a Full Day Indoctrination at a US Air Force Base! But the Air Force does one heck of a lot more than fly planes!

As soon as we landed they initiated a simulated assault by the USAF Special Tactical Squadron (STS) to take and capture a hostile major airport. As the STS Paratroopers dropped from the sky, an infiltration team arrived on ATVs/motorcycles with electronic gear to orchestrate the Air Assault, orchestrating:
- F-16 Strike Eagles delivering Laser & GPS guided Smart Bombs
- A-10 Warthogs w 20mm cannon attacks against enemy vehicles
- a Tactical Assault Landing (read VERY steep approach!) of a C-130 to load up & evacuate all personnel & vehicles!
- an F-15 squadron in low level formation with their KC-135 Refueling Tanker

Then on to a broad-view briefing of the Far Reaching Activities of our Air Force European Command by Major General James Hunt, USAF, Director Air & Space Operations Europe... Which has also included Africa!

I furthered my love affair with the F-15, climbing all over, on top of & under & inside with her pilots! They even let me fly the F-16 360 simulator against surface to Air Missile Attacks!! I tried to escape from the group to take up residence in the Simulator Center... But they found me!! (0;

#1. USAF has transported 55,500 patients out of Iraq & Afghanistan!

#2. Our Air Force trains & helps emerging nations: Romania, Bulgaria,
Georgia, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine... and provided troop transport for
African Nation Peacekeepers (not US soldiers) in Darfur, who did not have transport capabilities!

#3. Our fleet of A-10s & F-16s are avg 35 & 25 years old!!! Older than the pilots who fly them!

Big smile on my face today!! (0;

More tomorrow,

PS. The STS has the BEST Hi-Tech Toys!!

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