IN THE NEWS: Killer garden gnomes; Time wasters; The Space Force 2400; Space Force partners with the UK; What Trump knows about Roswell; Racial bias in grooming standards; Drawdown in Iraq; Moving troops in Germany; The military’s assault on religious liberty; Congress “okays” senior leader promotions; Rogue leaders; New Senior NCOs in the Air Force; COVID19 grounds Thunderbirds; USFK tells GIs to follow beach rules; 40 Mark Strasse; The Ugly American Syndrome; Air Combat Command Chief takes an interest in crashed planes; The Air Force invests in a new old airframe; JAG takes jurisdiction for capital crime; Dead soldier was not AWOL.
In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, what may have begun as peaceful protests against racism quickly turned violent, as riots and looting broke out throughout the city, then rapidly moved across the country. The military was not unaffected by this turmoil, as National Guard troops were called up to keep the peace, military leaders shared their perspectives on race, and the services march down the road of introspection. In this podcast, we discuss the Pentagon’s look at racial inequality in the military; on-base protests at Osan and Camp Humphreys in the USFK; the State Department’s struggle with diversity; the outgoing CMSAF’s hot take on racial injustice and the balanced commentary of the incoming CSAF; and the real numbers we’re dealing with related to racially-motivated killings in the U.S.
The Amazing 25th Episode Podcast Spectacular! Of course, it’s really no different than our regular episodes…okay, so it’s a regular episode, but it’s special because it’s number 25–a podcast milestone! To celebrate #25, we talk about the origin of The Digression Podcast on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. And, as if that wasn’t enough, we share some stories about a favorite topic that has received several mentions throughout our podcasts: Star Trek, the sci-fi series that wouldn’t die! This time it’s more than a mention, as we explore how the series raised social awareness and literally saved lives during the Vietnam war.
The Pentagon “officially” releases three videos of UFOs encountered by US Navy F/A-18 pilots. Although these videos have been in the wild for years, the Department of Defense was always tight-lipped about the whole affair. Not surprising, really. After all, what is a government without secrets, right? So, we take a listen to these encounters and share a bit of insight into the tech involved, as well as a little background into the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which was the latest in a string of UFO investigation organizations funded by the US military. We also share an exclusive first-hand report of a recent UFO sighting, along with intelligent commentary of the exchange between a prominent dentist and the base security personnel.
The “I can’t believe we’re still talking about the damn virus” episode where we discuss: The jump in COVID cases in the military and growing recoveries; The “Fired-up Chief” is on the mend; Vets are dying; New military travel exemptions and no-movement hardships; New York didn’t need Comfort after all; Japan goes American-made, but the Indians go Russian; A Navy without aircraft carriers?; Military cuts MEDIVAC in West Africa and a Public health emergency in Djibouti; Thunderbirds and Blue Angels salute the nation; Apply to the Space Force; An Airman and Marine takes the US back to space; Space Force wants all things “space”; Where’s the new Space Force logo?; Teddy Roosevelt gets a new hospital; The tests are in and now the Teddy is the perfect research lab; Spreading out bombers in the Pacific; Razing the Russians; Researching pilot cancers, but what about the mechs?; Building a digital B1; Russia razzes the Navy; No ROE change for Iranian Gunboats; Nine Inch Nails joins the Army; Too many beds, but that’s okay; VA record sharing (cough*cough); Kicked-off base at Camp Casey; Good luck reforming USAJOBS.
This is the story of Chris, who takes a job hauling a mobile long-range acoustic device from Florida to San Diego which results in a spiraling digression into the hilarious deficiencies of the giant voice system at Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea, with a few stops along the way prompted by a snake, a couple of blown tires, and the Radiator Springs-like hardtop of the southwest. This show is our tribute to USAF Command Post Communication.
Everyday folks probably aren’t too familiar with Bill “Pits” Pitsenbarger, but now, tens of listeners of this podcast will know him and the heroic act that earned him the Air Force Cross and eventually, after a push from some old Viet Nam vets, the Medal of Honor. And for those who don’t listen to our podcast, there’s a movie coming out on October 25 that will tell Pitts’ story, but we’re gonna tell it first!
So, who was Bill Pitsenbarger?
On February 20, 1947, the Kee Bird, a US Army Air Forces B-29 Superfortress, lifted off the runway and into the sky above Ladd Field near Fairbanks, Alaska. It’s Cold War mission was Top Secret, would take them to the North Pole and back, and involved photo-reconnaissance and mapping of the Arctic areas as part of a Strategic Air Command effort to monitor for Soviet activity and develop attack routes over the North Pole. This was the Kee Bird’s seventh mission and it was to be it’s last, as the pilot, Lt Vern Arnett, grew disoriented in a storm over the polar ice pack and turning to the south eventually made an emergency landing on a small frozen lake in northern Greenland. Although Lt Arnett put the B-29 down successfully and with no injuries to his 11-man crew, the plane was badly damaged and would not fly. So, they settled down for what would be a three-day wait for rescue.
In anticipation of State Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz report on possible FISA abuse by the DOJ and FBI, we thought we’d share some of our experiences with the inspection side of the IG during our time in the US Air Force. Jody’s perspective comes from his experiences as an asshole IG inspector with the Air Force Inspection Agency (AFIA), while Chris shares his perspective from the point-of-view of a member of the poor bastard shop chief in the inspected unit. Although Jody’s work was focused in Air Force hospitals and Chris’ worked in operational units launching aircraft, the process of compliance inspections is essentially the same, as is the stupid shit we saw and laughed at…and now we’re sharing it with you!
On the night of Christmas day, December 25, 1980, and into the early morning hours of December 26th, there were massive reports of UFO activity in the Rendlesham Forest area in the southeast of England. The forest is situated between two RAF bases operated by the USAF, Bentwaters and Woodbridge, so a crack team of USAF security forces personnel from Woodbridge were sent into the forest to investigate. They were never heard from again.
That’s not true, but they did report seeing a strange craft aloft a yellow mist. One of the Airmen took pictures of the craft, which had the film not been confiscated by the military would have provided definitive proof of the existence of UFOs. However, the siting and the spacecraft’s landing site was investigated by the local police who did indeed confirm the Airmen’s story.