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August 13, 2006


Major Carrales

We really need to be eady for when we do "darken the slies." Good intensive training and refreshers.

The mission, when it comes, may be massive.


Darken the skies? Excellent.

I'm picturing an armada of blue/white/red single-engine Cessnas at 1000AGL, combing the desert and blasting "Ride of the Valkyries" over external speakers.

(And I'll leave alone the ground arm of our border activities, lest the "Spaceballs" reference take traction...)

Is the cavalry Stetson approved for wear with the blue DFUs yet? Cause we may need those. And surfers. We definitely need surfers....

Right Seater

I can appreciate your desire for CAP to have more involvement in these missions verses the UAVs, but do you realistically see CAP being able to compete with the UAV's abilities. First of all, I think it is completely unrealistic to believe that there are enough CAP aircraft AND qualified aircrews to compete with a technology that can stay aloft for up to 60 hours without landing or refueling. Secondly, CAP has so few aircraft that are equipped with the SDIS aerial reconnaissance equipment to be considered a viable option. Lastly, the UAV's have night capabilities that we will never have. Although I do not believe that the UAV's are the total answer to the surveillance issues on the border and they pose a safety risk to other aircraft, I believe that the UAV’s and CAP can peacefully coexist in a multi-layered approach to aerial reconnaissance along our nations borders.

Major Carrales

Right Seater,

It is my opinion that those that "think big" accomplish big things.

UAV’s and CAP MUST peacefully coexist in a multi-layered approach to aerial reconnaissance.

CAP by DAY, UAV's by night. It is best to put all elements into play when a mission is to be accomplished.

Jim Quinn

As far as the border missions go, I find it hard to believe that we'd be reimbursed in a timely manner for hotel, meals, and more importantly--FUEL--for many of us to be able to participate in the missions.

I don't know about other wings, but we don't have credit cards or debit cards at our disposal in TXWG, and missions lasting days at a time could cost many hundreds of dollars, and though I've been in TXWG for 12 years now, I have yet to see ANY reimbursement for REDCAP missions for hotel or meals. I've heard that we're supposed to be reimbursed on AF assigned missions, but I personally have never seen any per diem.

Logistics will be a major obstacle in this mission, and I have a feeling that they'll run out of crews long before they run out of missions. I'm flexible enough with my time to be able to serve as an MP, but unfortunately my wallet won't hold up to the demands of such missions.

Comments, please? These are just my opinions, of course. I'd love to fly the missions--left seat, right seat, or back seat. What do other wings do to take care of their aircrews?

Just Jim

Right Seater

CAWG has had a CD program for many years now and participants are reimbursed for fuel and given a flat rate reimbursement for food and hotels. It works out okay if you don’t mind waiting 30-60 days for your reimbursement. If we were to launch a regular number of sorties along the border for an extended period of time, something would need to be done to streamline the process. CAWG launches mission on the weekends but finding crews for weekday flights would be a challenge. Bottom line is that although it would be nice to fly more of these missions on the border, I don’t know if we can realistically meet the demand with our current resources.


But if it is so easy for an operator to shut down an engine and almost kill people in the resulting crash, then there is no benefit to UAVs.

Major Carrales

These missions would have to be designed in another manner than the "business as usual" approaches.

It seems that these migth better be handled by some REGION LEVEL OFFICE/COMMITTEE made up of the Wings involved. Special regulations for extended missions migth be a good idea.

Maybe an "upfront" budget, "in the field billeting" (yes, if you want to fly you may have to sacrifice the HILTON for a cot in a tent), front lines logistics and nutrition and the desire to do it.

I know RED CROSS volunteers that stay in impact zones under conditions that would try anyone's dedication...

Many like to fly...and good for them, but we are also in the service of our nation. Maybe we might have to set aside comfort to accomplish the mission.

This is food for it up.


I would love to be able to provide my time to perform our missions like this one. The only thing is that we have always been on a pay upfront and get paid back later status. I know that in some cases I have had hundreds of dollars floating out there awaiting reimbursement. I, for one, think that with the number of new missions we are tasked with, CAP needs to take a closer look at how we do things. We didn't create the missions but we are there to do them. Therefore the burden of logistics should be on the corporation and not the member. I would have to think that they would be more able to float money than the member who is missing work and away from home. The rest of the Government acgencies have been doing it for years and have had very few problems with it. As long as you have checks and balances in place, there should be no problem. Could you imagine if the gaurd troops that are being used on the border or anywhere, were given orders and then told to get there on there own and support themselves until after the mission was accomplished? Where would we be?

The other item would be to be paid for our time. I am not talking about a lot of money, but at least minumum wage. Something that would allow us to still have some income for a longer mission such as the Katrina relief we provided. I feel strongly that if we had this program we would be looking at less turnover in members and possibly have more applications for new members. It would still be inexpensive for the agency that requests our help and we would have a better turnout of experienced members. I know it would be a lot to ask to make this work, however it would be good for our ever growing mission support and our members. Lets get rid of the Come And Pay mentality.


[quote]But if it is so easy for an operator to shut down an engine and almost kill people in the resulting crash, then there is no benefit to UAVs.

Posted by: Spaceman3750 | August 15, 2006 at 23:50[/quote]

I am currently going the Ground Control Station Maintenance course for the Predator UAV.

How many times has a Cessna crashed because the pilot/Observer put the fuel selector to off or the empty tank?

Pilot Error and bad system design do not totally invalidate a weapons system.

We learn from our mistakes and move on.

What I don't understand is why this hatred from UAV's?

Yes, we need to be sure they are safe and we need to work out ways to ensure that everyone gets to use the sky-ways.

But as someone pointed cannot have a C182 on station for 12+ hour. You cannot get the same support you can get in a UAV environment.

The Sensor Operator in the right seat feeds the data to a large number of people who use this data immediately. If you ever get out to Nellis look me up and I will try to get you schedule for the unclassified Predator 101 briefing.

The a cool toys that will and do save lives everyday.

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