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View Diary: Gulf War Diaries - Command Decision (42 comments)

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  •  No doubt the NVA was more motivated (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, subtropolis, ER Doc

    than their Iraqi counterparts overall, but I would think the gap would shrink once you get up to the level of fighter pilot. They didn't have Kurdish draftees flying MiG-29's.

    You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

    by Eric Stratton on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:39:11 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  It's not so much motivation as aptitude (9+ / 0-)

      I trained Saudi and Kuwaiti pilots when I was a T-38 instructor.

      A lot of these guys are chosen based on political connections or social status.

      To be a pilot in the Saudi Air Force you had to come from one of the "right" families. Doesn't mean you had any aptitude for learning to fly. Their government would actually pay for extra training just to get them through the program.

      Then there's the matter of how much training you actually get at your fighter unit. Flight time costs money. A guy who flies a Mirage F1 maybe 10 hours a month isn't going to be very proficient. He'll be able to take off and land without killing himself and not a whole lot else.

      Iraqi fighter pilots didn't get to train very often and they were limited in the kind of training they did. They did very little night or low-level training, and those were my bread and butter.

      Even the Russians didn't get nearly as many training hours a month as a US pilot.

      In exercises I've penetrated airspace defended by F-16s. If I could get down in the terrain I'd have a good chance of scraping an Iraqi MiG jockey off on a rock.

      Doesn't mean I'd want to test that theory. My job was to put bombs on target. Anything else was a distraction.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:59:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sucked I won't argue with. (0+ / 0-)

        You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

        by Eric Stratton on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:39:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I recently read much the same about Syria (0+ / 0-)

        Reports from defectors are that all pilots save for Allawites are grounded. (Because, of course, the regime is concerned that they'll defect.) And many of the Allawite pilots are there because of connections, and aren't necessarily very good at it.

        All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

        by subtropolis on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:42:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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