Your Weekly Lex, For Strength

Ohhh. Good.


Place this in the category of: “Probably too good to be true, but worth sharing nevertheless”




The correspondent who sent it my way said that it represents what it appears to: A HUD camera freeze from of an FA-18 of some flavor in a “position of advantage” over a USAF F-22 Raptor.
Little things. Like gunning an Air Force guy in his high tech gear. They just mean so much.
You have to understand this about fighter combat: Killing someone with a missile? Just business. Killing him with a gun? Now that’s personal. How can that be, you ask? Dead is dead, right?
Wrong. If you get shot with a missile, you got beat. You get gunned, you’ve been owned. A missile has a guidance loop, a processor, a logic board – it can be defeated. A 20mm round is brutally insensate, a mere bludgeon, with high explosive incendiary effects to go along with its kinetics. You cannot argue with it, you cannot decoy it, you cannot, once fairly beaten down, get out of its way.
Which somehow puts me in mind of as story from when I was stationed over in Japan. The USAF had a F-15 Eagle squadron in Kadena working “with” another USAF F-16 squadron in Korea. Now, much as there existed a good-natured rivalry between the FA-18 community in the US Navy, and their F-14 counterparts, so also did a rivalry exist between F-15 pilots and F-16 jocks. Except you could probably leave out the “good natured” part. Because in the Navy, anyway, after a moment or two’s reflection, one brand of pilot would actually cross the street to piss on the other, if in fact he was on fire.
Because of the service.
Less so in the USAF, was my strong impression. It all came from the hauteur with which the Eagle drivers, accustomed to raining long-range death from way high above viewed the mud-moving Viper pilots, no use at all in a stand-up fight, but given to pretensions. The F-16 guys on the other hand, were all too accustomed to seeing beat-down F-15s in the HUD cameras with the gun pipper on them to give much more than the back of their hand to the self-regard demonstrated by “Ego” pilots. They went at each other hammer and tongs. And that was just in the O’Club.
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