Mike Kilo Eighty-Twos Away!

Hello, all! I have some exciting news. Last week I was placed in the bombardier position aboard a flight. This was the first time I had been in the bombardier seat since B-52 school, aka, my first real bombardier mission!

In the bomber flying community, a bombardier is known as a radar navigator. In the old days of the BUFF, you were just a navigator for a couple years, telling the plane where to go and meeting timing requirements for the jet (not showing up late or early). Then, you would take a six-month course to upgrade to radar navigator, who is in charge of all the weapons on the jet, and employing them safely and accurately. It’s a big responsibility. Fast forward to today, and the program to certify you as a navigator also certifies you in the other seat as radar.

Needless to say, when I had spent the entire mission planning day working on navigator paperwork, my crew asked if I was going to ride radar nav on a mission with a semi-rare load of twenty-seven gravity bombs. This means I’d be checking each weapon in the bomb bay on the ground to ensure the fuzes are set correctly and each weapon is suitable for the mission. Long story short, my target was a patch of scorched earth in a military operations area in Utah. That particular ground didn’t stand a chance! During our 10+ hour sortie, I employed every five-hundred pound weapon correctly and without any technical hiccups. What a relief!

In other news, Larry is on temporary duty in Shreveport, LA. He is going to a three week intelligence officer course about the B-52 and world nuclear politics. I’ve been so busy at work, but have found time to do a few projects around the house, including painting the beautiful 1900’s door and base trim back to a white. The previous owners painted the trim the same mauve color as the wall, which makes me ponder the point of having accent trim in the first place if you are just going to paint it the same as the wall behind it. Poor taste! Additionally, I ordered some light and socket plates from the very extraordinary House of Antique Hardware. My industrial art deco media room is almost complete! I just need to find some book cases.

Lastly, I went to a 1980s-themed going away party for my squadron commander. I have to admit, humbly, that I had the most authentic hair. I didn’t pay a dime for my outfit, as it was all from the “high school memories box”. Devin channeled Tom Cruise in Risky Business. I’m glad fashion has simmered a little bit since that decade! The new squadron commander, Lt Col Billings, is not unfamiliar to Devin and I. We were voluntold to help a jet unload copious amounts of luggage from a deployment to Guam. We were chatting with a woman and her two children on the bus before they arrived; it turns out they were the commander’s family. Additionally, he received word from his wife that I have a design degree and I have been commissioned to redesign the squadron bar/rec area. Lastly, our nicknames “Barbie & Ken” have made it all the way out to Guam somehow. So, the new commander is quite familiar with Devin and I. New job, new squadron, new commander. That’s to way to be.

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