Tag Archives: F-16 Falcon Fighter

CIA: “Show time!” Angels: “Show time!”

The lead picture is from actual footage out of one of the windows of Air Force 1. POTUS was being accompanied by multiple F-16s on September 11, 2001. They were there to protect him.

I can’t even count the times I’ve seen such accompaniment from my own window in a commercial jetliner. Most incidents were on the Stateside termination of transatlantic flights. I’m guessing that this accompaniment was not for the protection of anyone inside, but rather to practice being in place for the downing of a commercial airliner if it suddenly itself became weaponized. A common exercise for the fighter pilots, surely. Some examples:

  • Chicago – O’Hare International Airport: With fuel mostly depleted after such an extra-long flight, we were, instead, put in a rather weird holding pattern. The pilot was punctuating the ticking of the clock with apologies. Five minutes, fifteen, thirty, thirty five… Passengers were getting a bit agitated. The weather wasn’t good. That was the excuse. Until the pilot started expressing some distress about running out of fuel, and that the tower knew that, but would not, not, not give permission to land. I think the pilot brought the fuel thing up like three times. I love flying, so I thought it was all good, especially because of the airshow outside, F-16s to the sides of the plane. Cool! It was stunning to me – I’m so naive – that no one could care less about the cool F-16s. The other passengers were too agitated with the flight attendants who were trying to keep people calm by proffering hope for getting to any connecting flights. These were the days of “mere” highjacking instead of the blowing up of planes or running them into buildings. The F-16 on my side of the plane (the left side) pulled away. Momentarily, another took its place. Just practice, surely. We landed. My connecting flight was to the Wold–Chamberlain Field of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. We were diverted mid-flight to what looked to be a small-town airstrip somewhere in a pasture in nowheresville, Wisconsin. After a long delay, everyone was hauled out onto the tarmac. All the luggage came off. Dogs arrived with a multitude of law enforcement… Inside the plane, outside the plane, with the luggage, with us… nothing. That was a fad for some years in my experience anyway. Again and again. Then it was back on the plane. Just training, surely. Great!
  • JFK International Airport: I’ve elsewhere told the story about my involvement when terrorists threatened to blow up a transatlantic flight half way to JFK. I’ll spare you. Needless to say, this was another occasion for accompaniment of a commercial airliner with F-16s. They weren’t there for practice, however. They were waiting for a go-ahead to down the plane if need be. We did land, only to taxi out as far away from the airport as possible, almost in the water of the Atlantic, to be met by a multitude of emergency vehicles and then a storming of the plane by special operators.

I remember the details of these incidents of accompaniment more than the details of others as there were more concomitant circumstances that were… special.

Dad used to train in fighter pilots at Andrews just south of DC as they were putting him through JAG law training at Georgetown University. But how do you train in pilots to down commercial airliners full of innocent American citizens? What’s going through the pilots’ minds and hearts and souls? Unimaginable. But that’s why you train. But the question is always, immediately, Is this just an exercise? And then you hear, No. It’s not. … … … as your heart about stops and then about breaks your ribs pounding so hard.

Analogy: We’re all each of us in crazy changing circumstances every day that are permitted or provided by our Lord who is the Lord of History. He sees all. Our angels see all. We’re expected to be faithful in whatever circumstances, to do what we need to do, whether this means anything from going to heaven when called, promptly, with enthusiasm, or “to protect and serve” as is said. And all in between. Do we think, however, that maybe our circumstances aren’t quite so dramatic, and therefore our faithfulness isn’t really a big deal in those small circumstances, so that – Hey! – we can be politically correct or “get along to get along” or not witness to the goodness and kindness and truth and honesty and integrity that our Lord demands of us every second of every hour of every day?

Here’s the deal: It might be faithfulness in that tiny circumstance that will especially touch the heart and soul of someone and have them turn to the Lord and be on their way to heaven. And that epic saving of a soul is incomparably more dramatic than anything whatsoever that could possibly happen to us in this world. The salvation of souls is about eternity. It’s the small things that are going to draw people in, goodness and kindness and truth and honesty and integrity, always, always, and everywhere, everywhere.

1 Comment

Filed under Angels, Intelligence Community, Terrorism

F-16 Fighting Falcon over the parish. Thanks to USAF. Note to militias.

img_20180507_1557434041589512210.jpg

You see it immediately, don’t you, above: Look! Up in the sky! What’s out of place? If you draw a line between the two light poles sticking above the tree line, you’ll see it midway between the two. About 5 seconds earlier he was over my parish.

He screamed directly in front of me. But, I didn’t see him. Wasn’t looking for him. I heard him, but only after he had passed by quite a long distance. Then I looked. But he was already almost gone. Let’s zoom in, but, know that had you been the enemy, you would never have seen or heard him. In the mountains here, there is no such thing as situational awareness for this.

Note to the dozens of militias in the area who think they can take on the U.S. Military: are you out of your minds? Are you, like, that ignorant? I’m all pro-second amendment, but, I mean, grow up. And if you say that the U.S. Military can’t be used against the citizenry of these United States, know that you wouldn’t qualify, being that you will have become enemy combatants. /// End of rant.

img_20180507_155743404~2721785471..jpg

That, my friends, in the picture above, is an F-16 Fighting Falcon on its 45th year originally produced by General Dynamics, now also by Lockheed Martin and others around the world.

  • Max speed: 1,500 mph
  • Range: 2,622 mi

He’s just barely high enough to hit safely the branches of the trees instead of the tree trunks when topping the highest ridges. My dad used to do this kind of thing with an old fighter attack Corsair, ripping the shingles off our house and the houses of our city back in the early 1960s. I would run outside jumping up and down, running, waving, I see times haven’t changed so much at all.

Am I seeing things? Is that a bit of red on its tail? Let’s zoom in:

img_20180507_155742820~220184076..jpg

I think so. And only one attack fighter has that silhouette these days. So, here’s a stock photo below (looks like during a takeoff as if it were a landing the wheels would already be fully down):

161213-f-ni989-1111535230779.jpg

In honor of the Tuskegee Airmen. // And then HERE.

Flying at top speed from its home in Alabama to Western North Carolina would take only 9 minutes. 229 miles. I’m guessing they like to practice zipping through the crazy mountain terrain. From here to Mount Mitchell we have the highest, craziest mountains in eastern North America. I’m guessing this is radar evasion practice. This was done a while back late at night with what I’m guessing was a proof-of-concept flight with a C-5 Galaxy with the intention of getting it back into service. It was accompanied by what seemed to be varying fighters, one I clearly saw being an F-18. They were really low-flying, like just 300 feet up or so. Insane. Awesome. Really, really, really loud.

Let me take the opportunity to thank everyone in our military and our military families. Thanks for what you have done and continue to do. Thanks for giving us all an example for us to strive to follow.

1 Comment

Filed under Military