Tuesday, October 19, 2004

THE MYSTERY OF PTI 961

Just in case anyone gives a rip, Bush was terminated from the Air National Guard with (some sort of) prejudice.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's kind of funny to see this kind of "research" conducted by a people whose military experience usually comes from watching Star Trek episodes.

Think back to when Bush was in the reserves. He had a lot of flight time in the beginning, and then he suddenly slacked off. What happened? Look at the dates. For one thing, our involvement in Vietnam was winding down. At the times under dispute, there was no chance that Bush could be shipped overseas.

Then look at the aircraft he was flying. It was obsolete. They weren't going to send him to Vietnam, nor were they going to send him to Europe. And you can't just take a pilot trained on one aircraft, give him another, and then expect him to fly combat missions. They don't do things that way.

This was a period when the military had too many pilots and was trying to discharge many of them. I wouldn't be surprised if 961's were common around then.

But if there is anything here at all, then at most Bush was slacking off during a time when he had little to do anyway. It's not a good thing, but it doesn't compare to what Kerry did to his comrades.

I'm sure you don't understand that. You probably think the military should applaud Kerry. But if so, then you should encourage the people who think that way to sign up. Somebody will have to, but it won't be anybody I know.

Kendall said...

No rational person can look at Bush's (hswib) Guard service as anything but a way to avoid the draft and avoid combat. It would make sense to survey who else received 961's at the time and thereby determined the types of folks that were Bush's (hswib) peers.

I agree that it does not compare to what Kerry did for his comrades at the time. On the one hand we have someone who supported the war in Vietnam but who was unwilling to fight it. On the other we have someone who volunteered to serve in combat and came back and opposed the senseless war. The former has gotten us into another illegal and senseless war and it will take the latter to get us out.

The military always attracts those who relish the use of deadly force and who seek glory in doing so. But it also includes those who we have asked to do the job of defense for the rest of us. This latter group volunteer to put their lives at risk so that our lives are not. It is our duty to not denigrate that sacrifice by using it frivilously. We owe them that. We should not use it to derive economic or political gain on the world stage. We should be dead certain that their lives will not be put at risk for a mistake. When we have that kind of leadership, service in our military will truly be an honorable pursuit. Without it, we merely exploit our servicemen and women like pawns on a grand chessboard.

Today we are seeing more and more of our military waking up to how they have been misused. And the shame is on us.

Anonymous said...

This wasn't about how Bush entered the service. It was about how he left, and the PTI 961 doesn't necessarily mean what you think it means. Those high school JAG-wannabees are going to have to do better than that.

As for your contention that the military is "waking up", it's clear from the polls that they've been wide awake for a long time. Most of them support Bush --- but I said you wouldn't understand.

Kendall said...

I've said this before in other contexts but when the evidential support for a position erodes over time instead of compounds the position in great risk of being proved false, like Iraqi WMD for example.

In the case of the military support for the Bush (hswib) regime it would be normal to expect an initial high level of support due to simple morale and espirit de corps. And it would be expected that some of that initially high support would erode in the face of adversity since there is always going be a small portion of people who grumble about anything. But what would be an interesting statistic is how support in the military is trending above that universal-grumbler level. I wonder how many have become more dis-illusioned as compared to how many have gone from neutral for Bush (hswib) to positive for Bush (hswib). The news reports seem to show that the negative for Bush (hswib) is growing. If that is indeed the case we need to face up to it rather than pretend it is insignificant. The internals of the polls to which you refer should be illuminating.

Kendall said...

Oh, and another thing. The fact that you even bother to read and comment on this entry tells me that you feel that Bush (hswib) has some vulnerability in this area. What does that tell us?

Anonymous said...

Then look at the aircraft he was flying. It was obsolete. They weren't going to send him to Vietnam, nor were they going to send him to Europe. And you can't just take a pilot trained on one aircraft, give him another, and then expect him to fly combat missions. They don't do things that way.

This was a period when the military had too many pilots and was trying to discharge many of them. I wouldn't be surprised if 961's were common around then.
the plane was not obsolete when Bush stopped flying it.

The 111th FIS continued to fly the F102 through August 1974--months after the end of Bush's military service obligation (and two years and 4 months after Bush quit flying.) In its training capacity, the 111th graduated 27 new F102 pilots in the six months ending with February 1973, and was in the process of training 49 more F102 pilots at that time.

The drawdown in Air Force personnel at the end of the Vietnam War had virtually no impact on the number of F102 pilots available, because the regular Air Force had not deployed ANY F102s in southeast asia after December 1969, and there were only three other units with F102s in 1970. After 1971, there were only 10 F102s deployed by the regular Air Force (in Iceland) and those were phased out in 1973.

In fact, only one Air Force units of any kind eliminated F102s in 1972, and none eliminated F102s in 1973.

In other words, from the time that Bush quit flying to the time he was discharged from TXANG, there was literally NO excess of F102 pilots. Except for two units, those that had them through the end of 1971 did not phase them out until 1974 or 1975.

p. lukasiak

source
http://home.att.net/~jbaugher1/f102_2.html
http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/foi/bush_records/historical_record_147th_fighterintergrp.pdf