Check In

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
Hey all,

Checking-in from northern Iraq. Finally got a couple hours of down time and an available computer together to allow me a little time to post here.

First off, the whole care-pack operation: Can't give enough thanks for everyone's contribution; it's more appreciated than any of you will ever know. Not fun being away from home over the holidays, and your thoughts, thanks, and kind offerings definately went far and above anything anyone's done so far for us here. Hope each and every one of you had a good holiday time, and are looking forward to the new year.

The flying here is interesting. WX-wise, Kirkuk AB temp and dew point seemingly hover close to each other all the time. Hence, one second, it'll be better than 5K/5, then 10 minutes later, be less than 100-1/4. Really makes one who's done most of their IFR time in AZ have to work. Higher-level WX makes tanking a pain in the butt at times, with thunderstorms prevelant and more St Elmo's fire than I've ever seen before....even more concerning when seeing it while tanking. Combine that with low-illum lately from a lack of moon, and NVG-ops become a challenge. Have had to go missed on PARs here, something I've yet had to do in my career, especially when PARs go lower on mins than ILS, generally speaking. Is nice, though, to be able to shoot a missed, climb to the nearby tanker track, fill up, and be able to do it all over again, less the one time when the tanker had a sour boom.....

Mission here is primarily to support ongoing ground operations in theatre. Anything from convoy escort to CAS on demand is what we do, along with some of the other assets in and around theatre. Often goes from boring as heck, to fast and furious in no time....back and forth. Key is simply being ready for all contingencies and being able to retain maximum flexibility; qualities necessary when showing up to a ground battle in progress, frequencies jammed with comm, and needing to quickly un-• the situation at hand, figure out who is who on the ground, who's shooting where, and take care of the necessary business, while avoiding getting your own a$$ shot off.

Again all, more thanks than I, and everyone else here, can ever give for making our lives here a little easier. If anyone wants to get some time in the A-10 sim at DM, or otherwise get a tour of the jet, I'm more than game for doing that for my remaining time there.

Regards,

MikeD
 

Hootie

Old Skool
Merry Christmas Mike!

I enjoyed the update, glad you could get away for a while.
Keep kickin @ss! Come home safe.

Nathan
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
Merry Christmas Mike!

I enjoyed the update, glad you could get away for a while.
Keep kickin @ss! Come home safe.

Nathan

[/ QUOTE ]

Appreciate the words, Nate. And Merry Christmas to you and Dan (519 AT)!

Mike
 

aloft

New Member
Hey Mike--

Thanks for the update, hope your holidays are as well as can be expected!

Your sacrifices aren't going unappreciated! Be safe and remember: speed is life! (oh, wait...not for hog drivers--it's all about titanium and systems redundancy
)
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
Hey Mike--

Your sacrifices aren't going unappreciated! Be safe and remember: speed is life! (oh, wait...not for hog drivers--it's all about titanium and systems redundancy
)

[/ QUOTE ]

Aloft,

Thanks for the good words! Here's a story for you, and one your AF friend may appreciate. Couple of other pilots got tasked to check-in with a Ground FAC to dump some Mk-82s. The 82s on the lead A-10 were actually fuzed incorrectly, but on the first pass, the pilot came off dry for a switch-error. GFAC clears him in again. He drops one bomb and it duds. Comes in again, and GFAC clears him in. Drops second bomb and it dud. Finally, the frustrated GFAC says over the radio "HogXX, go ahead and safe 'em up [safe up weapons], cleared to depart to the south; I got some F-16s inbound....."

Ouch. As if that isn't bad enough, the F-16 flight leader who is now on frequency, immediately comes back with "....yeah....and you can be sure that WE'LL at least be mission effective......"

Ouch #2. Just glad it wasn't me involved!
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Mike, that's where you add in the line about "ascot-wearing pretty boys"!
BSEG!
 

aloft

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
the F-16 flight leader who is now on frequency, immediately comes back with "....yeah....and you can be sure that WE'LL at least be mission effective......"

[/ QUOTE ]Yeah...real professional, that. Bummer for your bomb loaders, the FAC's comments were kind of a diss on them.

You see the pics of the stinkbug painted "air-superiority gray"? You might not end up a night fighter after all....
 

Maximilian_Jenius

Super User
Well MikeD thanks for the updates. I hope that you and your unit truly enjoyed all the gifts that you recieved from the Jetcareers family.

Hope that you got to read Everett/gay_pilot18 and I's e-mail.

I sadly was born and raised in TUS so when you get back I will be more then happy to take you up on your offer to take a tour of the A-10.

I was at the last aviation days @ DM the last time the Thunderbirds were there.

I was surprised at how big the A-10 is in person they look so small from the air when there just 100 ft. above you.

And if you want to take me up in two seat trainer I have no problem with that either.



Matthew
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]

You see the pics of the stinkbug painted "air-superiority gray"? You might not end up a night fighter after all....

[/ QUOTE ]

Oddly enough, it seems the AF is doing what it can to keep the 117 around. It's had a tough time getting funding as of late due to it's few numbers, first generation technology, and single mission. Guys I've chatted with say the F/A-22 may replace it, since the F-22 now has an "A" designation; and that the 117 isn't optimized for day anyway, unlike the F/A-22, which should be fully day/night.

Who knows? Might get to fly the 117 to the boneyard.
 

Kato

Well-Known Member
Happy Holidays Mike! and thanks for the update - It's always good to hear from you. Take care and be safe while kicking some @ss!

Kato
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
Happy Holidays Mike! and thanks for the update - It's always good to hear from you. Take care and be safe while kicking some @ss!

Kato

[/ QUOTE ]

Gentlemen, all well wishes are much appreciated!

MD
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
MikeD, isn't it like 4:15 a.m. there? Starting the new day early or ending yesterday late?

BTW, thanks for checking in. I'm sure we're not tops on your priority list right now, but we appreciate the updates and contact from ya.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
MikeD, isn't it like 4:15 a.m. there? Starting the new day early or ending yesterday late?

BTW, thanks for checking in. I'm sure we're not tops on your priority list right now, but we appreciate the updates and contact from ya.

[/ QUOTE ]

Correct! We're GMT+3 here and I'm a night pilot, so just finishing my day (night) here.

You guys are always tops on my list when it comes to getting away from the insanity of the military day!

MD
 
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