US Armed Services

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Q and A

Name the US General

And if you can’t, you should reassess whether or not you should be reading this blog.

And where (which continent) is he standing?


Name the Army 


Name the Aircraft


The answers to the “name the (insert here) is at the bottom


Bonus points: Do you see pasta in this picture?


How do you feel?

About magazines stacked this way for a quick re-load?

About single point slings?

One issue with single point slings doesn’t concern her- they tend to hit you in the dick. Another concern with single point slings…the barrel can run into the dirt. A double could pull that up a bit. Still sexy… just more practical.


Know your enemy


US Air Force News

And for you haters, no, the US Air Force hasn’t been absorbed into the US Space Force (yet).

In a strong show of bipartisanship, the Senate Armed Services Committee lapproved its version of the National Defense Authorization Act with a 25-2 vote. It must still earn full Senate approval and weather a House-Senate conference before it becomes law, BUT this version of the NDAA has made four big moves that will improve Air Force capacity, capability, and posture for years to come.

More fifth-generation fighters.

The Air Force budget has grown by more than 30 percent over the last four years. The lion’s share of that has gone toward developing future weapons and a digital communications infrastructure, all the while hoping that Congress would fund additional combat platforms for the service. For those of you unfamiliar with the USAF budgeting process, this is how they work – they spend their money on personnel, upgraded housing, computers and new weapons and THEN ask Congress if they can have aircraft to go with it. The strategy is paying off, at least in part, with the Senate bill. It authorizes the Air Force to procure 12 additional F-35As and to take possession of six more F-35As formerly bound for Turkey. When combined with the 48 fighters proposed in the president’s budget, the FY21 NDAA will add 65  fighters to the Air Force TO&E.

386 operational squadrons is the new minimum. Two years ago, the Secretary of the Air Force and Air Force Chief of Staff unveiled “The Air Force We Need.” The study revealed that the service needed to grow from 312 to 386 operational squadrons to meet the demands of the 2018 National Defense Strategy. Among the “missing” squadrons were seven additional fighter squadrons, five additional bomber squadrons, and 14 additional tanker squadrons needed just to handle a peer-level fight with China or Russia. Ok, that’s bull-hit, but they want more planes for their pilots.

The move to establish the number of squadrons that USAF asked for effectively thwarts the service’s stated intent to retire 17 B-1 bombers, 44 A-10 fighters, 16 KC-10 and 13 KC-135 tankers in fiscal 2021. If the Air Force is unable to save money by divesting those platforms and receives no additional funding to sustain them, it will have to reallocate funds from other areas like Research, Development, Test, & Evaluation to make its budget work.

Today, the active duty Air Force has 32 fighter squadrons. Ten are based in the Pacific; six are in Europe, and there is not a single fifth-generation F-35A squadron among them. You might ask where the F-35A’s were sent.

The Senate committee bill forbids the Air Force to remove F-15C air superiority fighters currently based in Europe, and encourages the Air Force to base F-35As in the Indo-Pacific region to deter, or immediately respond, to a hostile move in the region. So, the COMING WAR WITH CHINA.

To emphasize the need to prepare for a war with a peer competitor, the NDAA requires the Defense Secretary to recommend a minimum number of bombers that would give the Air Force the long-range, penetrating strike force it would need to hold the heartland of a peer adversary like China at risk.


Name the GeneralAnswer

LTGEN George S. Patton, US Army, North Africa, after getting his third star.

Name the ArmyAnswer

French Army gun crew with their Canon de 12 La Hitte Mle1859 – a rifled 26-pounder – c.1870 in the Franco-Prussian war6

Name the Aircraft – Answer

C-46 Commando

Bonus Point – Answer

There is no pasta in the picture.

34 thoughts on “US Armed Services

  1. I missed the French army question. But isn’t French and army an oxymoron?

    My dad was a paratrooper in the 101st – I imagine he jumped out of a C-46.

    1. The French Army question was a bit of a curve ball.

      I did some jumps with 2REP on Corsica some years ago and have interacted with the French intelligence service and with the French Army and they’re professional, and competent. I put them on par with the British, who I hold in high regard. Each nation’s service reflects national values and priorities. Post WW1, the French field a good army, poorly led, and we know how that ended. World War 1 did the same thing to Britain as well, lots of young men died. It depopulated whole towns and regions. The Germans suffered as well. When WW2 came long some nations were more prepared than others. The US did very poorly in the early days of the Pacific War, but it bounced back. The Japanese were shocked at their losses on Guadalcanal. They did well against the US Navy in those waters too – until they didn’t. I know that you’re poking the French and they deserve it, but today, they’re pretty good.

      The C-47’s were much better known and are much better known today. I don’t know what the difference was in terms of numbers produced.

    2. Without looking it up, I think that your Dad most likely jumped from a C-47. A hearty ” Airborne ” to your Dad.

      Paul L. Quandt

        1. Most C-46s were used in the China-Burma-India theater, or CBI, to fly supplies over the Hump of the Himalayas. The -46 had better performance at high altitude and in colder weather than the -47.

  2. Boy did I mess up that test… I saw the blue jackets & the muzzle loading cannon & guessed the civil war, I thought the twin engine plane was a DC3 but I did get the bonus question!

    The passports.. I had to guess they were Saudi. The jet fuel was a hint… a handful of Saudis took out the WTC in NY, damaged the Pentagon and murdered a plane full of people in Pennsylvania….so we invaded Iraq & Afghanistan.

    1. The RAG HEADS have US Passports…

      The bonus question was the only one that really counted. Well done.

  3. 3 out of 4. I missed the French army. I knew #1 without seeing the picture. I had an uncle who was 3rd Army. He would have followed him to Moscow and back.

  4. Missed the one on the French Army. I, too, assumed it was the U.S. CWI.

    They made approx 3,200 C-46 Commandos, and about 10,000 C-47 Skytrains, not counting civilian versions. There was a C-47, still in revenue service, based out of LGB. I used to see it several times a week making it’s run to Catalina Island.

    Pasta? What pasta……?

    1. Thanks for a number count regarding production. I flew as a passenger in C-47’s before – a long time ago.

  5. Of course there’s pasta in the picture. She’s setting you up for a
    Lady and The Tramp scenario.

    >He would have followed [Patton] to Moscow and back.
    Doubtless one of the many ways in which Patton was “problematic”. I wonder if Patton would have gotten stars were he a contemporary Army officer.

    1. If Patton were alive today we’d follow him to Congress as a large, armed hoard and we’d eject almost all of them.

      Lady and the Tramp is out of favor today as being sexist (possibly racist too).

  6. I got #1 and #3. Like Rob I thought #2 was a civil war thing. For #4 my answer was “what pasta.”
    I don’t stack magazines and I prefer a 2 point sling.

    1. Sometimes I stack mags. Usually not. I have both 1 and 2 point slings, depends on the weapon.

  7. Missed the French Army as well.
    Don’t care for the stacked mags. Too heavy and too bulky. My initial loadout is a single 20 rounder, backed by 30 rounders.
    I use a standard issue OD cotton M1/M14 sling. It’s what I’m used to, what I trained with, and can be used as a belt, a cargo strap. and a tourniquet.
    Bonus question–Dat’sa one a-spicey meat-a-ball.

    1. I too favor 20 round mags. It’s just tradition for me with an AR. However in some weapons, I go with the higher capacity magazines. It’s a matter of balance and need in the load out. I think that you need flexibility. This and that to come up with the balance of what you need. Sometimes it means blowing a whole paycheck here or there though.

  8. My late father, a CBI vet was a C-46 fan. Up to three times the cargo capacity of a C-47, able to climb higher (clearing the Himalayas), and handled primitive fields better, it was so overworked in the theater it was referred to as a flying coffin. He flew as a cargo kicker often and said, in his opinion, it was the best plane for the job. Better maintenance would have helped. The CBI was low on the totem pole for material.

    1. They flew the hump a lot and kept the war alive. They are unsung heroes to a great extent.

  9. Patton was easy. French was a wag, based on the red Kepi. C46, every aviation nut knows that. What pasta?
    guns- I think the same thing has afflicted firearms , that has afflicted every other avocation/profession in a wealthy society- it does not matter what the subject is, there are a host of widgets and accessories and fancy “gotta have it” stuff that are largely flim-flam to get the rookies to part with their money, when a skilled pro would say, “here, just do this.” Usually with a foot of para cord and some duct tape. Knowing what you are doing is something no gadget will ever replace.

    1. Union artillery also wore red kepis and baggy red trousers..

      I use a lot of duct tape and paracord, but there are some accessories that make sense. A lot comes with familiarizing yourself with the weapon you shoot, and not being afraid to experiment with making things more comfortable and quieter when you move through brush.

  10. Got them all. Most of the C-46s went to CBI to fly the hump. Others were used on ‘long haul’ missions to Africa. The Air Farce has been pulling that BS for years!

    1. Yes, the USAF has an extensive track record. I just wanted to reassure everyone that they hadn’t changed.

      1. The USAF track record is perfect. Every plane we sent up has eventually come back down.

        Up until recently we were also the only branch of service that sent our officers out to fight in the wars. That changed just before I retired.

  11. Patton in North Africa was easy.

    The Frogs? Could have been one of the Zoave units of the Union Army, though the gun was decidedly not Union, so… since the Zoaves were based on Frogs, thus… Frenchies.

    The Commando is an interesting plane, as said above, higher capacity, better handling at altitude and in cold weather, and overall a very interesting plane. On the tv show “Life Below” about nutters living on the edge in Alaska, one of the locations, an airstrip at the top of the state, regularly gets refueled and resupplied by a Commando. Once saw a C-54. And as was said, the Commandos got beat to death in the CBI.

    I saw both woman and pasta. I have an expansive mind, I can handle two concepts at once.

    As to the double mags, always thought that was a great way to get dirt gunked up in the exposed mag. Better would be, in my thought, get either a 50 round KCI or 100 mag Beta, or one of those funky 4 stack mags that are like 60 or 110 that Surefire (metal) or Schmeisser (poly) make. Though that’s me and dealing with purely theoretical as I have no real knowledge of how well any of that works, last farking around with the AR system in college in ROTC popping .22LR in poorly maintained guns in an indoor range. (though I could have spent all day there, just because it was fun, and wouldn’t have minded pulling maintenance on them but noooo…. had to go play in the swamps instead, stupid ROTC…)

    As to the Air Force, well, yeah, they’ve been doing that since they were incorporated. The Mustang pilots were in charge of the fighters, so the Jugs got tossed, even the late model Jugs that were faster, better armed, better ranged than the Mustangs, and the Jug’s engine was much easier to work on and more robust but, noooooo… had to go with the stupid Mustangs. So what did we use Mustangs for in Korea? Ground attack… which the Jug was so far superior it was ridiculous, the only plane better at it was the Douglas Skyraider, but the Spad’s powerplant was just a tad larger than the Jug’s. But still, should have kept the -47s and tossed the -51s…

    Single slings? Works well, again, from what I’ve seen and not personally experienced (though I was doing the purchasing work for our local SWAT team so I got to see them in use) with SBRs and SMGs, not so well with longer rifles. And, yeah, banging your wedding tackle with a hot barrel does sound like a fun time, no…. I think it breaks down to what the operator likes using, and what the mission requires. Single points seem to be for quick action and not long-distance humping, from what I have gathered from what few people actually have done that. Of course, if you’re wearing some crotch armor or a cup, whacking the tallywhacker wouldn’t be that much of an issue. Seriously, if you’re gonna do that type of stuff, armor up your lower region. If fat Beans can wear a cup for 10 hours, so can some of y’all who are so much more tactically cool. Just get the banana-nose cup and a decent cup holder (like a good set of compression shorts, cut’s down on thigh chap, too,) and stay away from the flat base-ball style cup that will make Mr. Happy and the Bald-Headed-Twins go numb quicker than using one of those racing style bike seats. Yes, experience there. Lots of painful experience there. Putting an additional layer of closed-cell foam on top helps cut down some of the impact, too.

    As to never forgetting… I will never forget that the Clintons took lots of money to look the other way, and so did a lot of State Department Brahmas. Much like Obama did during his 8 year reign of terror. I still think the best thing that could happen to the State Department would be to either kill every one of the traitorous bastards or at least do a good old decimation on the place. After arresting and imprisoning all who have gotten suspiciously rich (or their wives or kids or relatives) while working there, before lining up all of those and shooting them and seizing all their assets. No. I have never forgotten how our own government under the control of the Democrats have stabbed us in the back repeatedly in order to line their own pockets.

  12. never stack, just something else to go wrong. no on the single point sling. ever tried to carry a casualty while using that thing? i run a two point side mount run over my neck and being left handed release my firing hand, tuck it up thru the sling and toss the weapon around and down. it lands safely out of the way on my back. i’m right handed with a handgun, so not sure if this would work for all but it works for me. i find rifle to pistol transition in real life exceedingly rare, more often rifle to casualty or rifle to grapple. single points are harder to shuck if the rifle gets hung on something, or somebody. had an opfor grab my rifle as i stupidly led into the building with it. he slung me around by the sling like a rag doll before slamming me face first into the concrete wall. lesson/s learned. breakaway sling, lead with high explosives or cs.

    1. Rifle to pistol immediately almost never happens. I never did it in real life, but practiced at the CQB Center at LaPosta, CA. I am not a fan of the single point, but I use one with a very short carbine, where it works. You’re right, clear the room with a frag, or at the very least, with a flash-bang.

      Some people argue that you end up killing friendlies. I counter that in a combat zone there aren’t any and better them than you. Flash-bangs in a domestic civilian setting. Those same people argue that you need a lot of grenades. The answer is travel heavy. You won’t expend a lot of rifle ammo if you’re clearing with grenades. AND a lot of hajjis end up surrendering before you toss one in when they hear the street being cleared. Take the prisoners and interrogate them.

      1. concur completely with the possible exception of an invasion like ww2 france, where the enemy took over friendly areas. some say they should have resisted to the death. but look at what we put up with now. who are we to judge?….the usual suspects keep touting a u.n. intervention in the u.s. PLEASE, hurry up before i die of old age. i want a grand collection of blue helmets, all with holes in them. i want one of their blue flags in my coffin, so i can wipe my…butt… with it when i get to hell.

        1. There would be a competition for who has the most blue helmets with bullet holes in them…

  13. My wife’s dad followed Patton across North Africa . He went to Sicily Italy, then France and to Germany. Got to be a chaplains assistant outside of Rome because he could play piano and type. Got a bronze star , for saving some big muckety muck, the way he told me the story was he was saving his own life. The big muck was just along for the ride, and somehow managed to keep up.

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