RANGER AGAINST WAR: Down and Dirty <

Monday, April 21, 2008

Down and Dirty

There is no doubt in my mind when history was written,
the final page will say: 'Victory was achieved by the

United States of America for the good of the world

George W. Bush, to Gen. Petraeus

President Bush is speaking in the tantalizing past tense here, like some kind of modern-day Nostradamus. Perhaps he doesn't really know something we don't, but simply chose the wrong verb tense. Happens even to the best of us.

Take a look at this ROVER JTAC system -- a small computerized laptop radio and all the goodies. And what does the Air Force do with this high-tech contraption? That's right, sets its all down in the dirt. Somehow that seems contraindicated for a piece of equipment with such refined tolerances.

The caption reads:

"Joint terminal attack controller Master Sgt. Chris Thompson communicates via a remotely operated video enhancement receiver recently in Southwest Asia. The ROVER, a small laptop with an external antenna, allows the JTAC to see from the eyes of the pilot, ensuring minimal collateral damage (Lifting the Fog of War.)

Of course, ROVER can only "see" if it is fully operational. Now, you can put a Ranger in the dirt and he will function just fine.

But that is not the way to treat a computerized attack control system.

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Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i remember and old bill mauldin cartoon. it pictured a young pilot, with a shocked and worried look on his face as he read a report that said guided missles render piloted aircraft obsolete.

mauldin's classic dogfaces, willie and joe were there. dirty, slovenly and unshaven. joe, or willie, i'm not sure, has a reassuring hand on the flyboy's shoulder and he says

don't worry mac. i been obsolete for hunnerts a years.

Monday, April 21, 2008 at 11:50:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

the crux of the problem is that both of us ARE ACTUALLY OBSOLETE.! jim

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 9:05:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Fixer said...

I tell ya, I'd rather lug that around than the GPS and comm gear we had 30 years ago.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 6:33:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


It is ironic you mention the Mauldin cartoon. It is on my desktop, and I was considering using it. Hmmm...great minds think alike.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 8:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

fixer, thats my point exactly. We carried a kyk38 and a prc77 and being dumb infantry types we protected them in rucksacks.
Maybe the Air Force should watch the history channel or read RAW. jim

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 12:22:00 PM GMT-5  

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