Protecting Bitter and Sebastian on Vacation


I came across this video today about the Hawaii Air National Guard. They will be transitioning soon to the F-22 Raptor from the F-15 Eagle. Since Bitter and Sebastian are vacationing in Hawaii, I thought it would be nice to recognize one of the units protecting them (and the rest of Hawaii).

7 thoughts on “Protecting Bitter and Sebastian on Vacation”

  1. How many billions of dollars of tax money has the USG and the state of Hawaii wasted on fighter jets? And who exactly are Bitter and Sebastian being protected from? China (you must be kidding me)? Russia (because they are bored from suppressing domestic insurgencies)? Venezuela? Cuba? Who is the bogeyman?

  2. It is a lot of capital to be placed in the guard. From what I gather they are currently operational Air Force fighters being transferred to the Guard as part of the procurement deal, as the Guard gets a few F-22s from what’s left.

    I am surprised, however, they get any Raptors when so many States are fighting just to replace their F-16s. And it does seem a strange way to allocate new equipment, especially when there are only a few Raptors to go around.

  3. @Nick: The Hawaii ANG has needs for jets unique to their location; I would guess that they are using F-15s and now the F-22 rather than single-engine aircraft for the same reason the Navy doesn’t buy single-engine aircraft; lose all power over land and have to punch out, you’ve got a problem on the way down, but you’re on solid ground once you’ve landed. Over the ocean, not so much.

    @Thane: A lot of people scoffed at the thought of Japan attacking the US in the 30’s. Others made up fanciful tales about the Yellow Peril. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. At the very least, military defense is a constitutionally-defined role of the Federal government. The Dept of Ed can and should hold a bake sale for funding…

  4. @Ian,
    Is there a bogeyman that can be identified? Is the bogey-list all the countries I mentioned and then some? Even if the list is every country on earth minus those whose native population is pacified I still think that fighter jets are about the worst “protective” military asset around. They didn’t do didly to prevent 9/11.
    I agree that military defense is a listed constitutional power but if neither you nor I can pick out a country that has the capacity and interest to attack the US with fighter jets why does the US purchase and maintain fighter jets?
    The only countries on earth that could possibly be identified as hostile to “the West” are North Korea and Iran. Neither Russia nor China seem to be concerned about North Korea. Iran talks a lot and like most other countries that can afford it wants to develop nuclear weapons but unless somebody attacks them first why would they detonate a nuclear weapon if they don’t need to? Pakistan hasn’t. India hasn’t. Israel hasn’t. Nobody but the US has.
    I think that no country with nuclear weapons is going to be attacked by any weapon that fighter jets can “defend” against. No country without nuclear weapons that I am aware of is likely to attack the US because it could be obliterated by a nuclear counterstrike.

  5. Fighter jets are useful in more than counter-fighter roles. And if you believe that China is not a potential threat to the US, I don’t think I can take you seriously. We’re certainly an active threat (in our role as guarantor of Taiwan’s and Phillipnes’ security) to the PRC.

    And it’s not like we built these things specifically to defend Hawaii and only to defend Hawaii. Or were you suggesting there is no role at all for manned single-seat high-performance aircraft? If so, again, I can’t take you seriously. Drones are great against enemies with no serious EW or ASAT capabilities. Not so much against a foe who can jam the local control links and/or interdict the satellite support system necessary to connect the pilots to the drones.

  6. Any one of the G-20 countries is a potential threat to the US but just because another country could attack the US doesn’t mean it is likely to. If the US was attacked by China it would stop paying China’s investment in US Treasury bonds. The US government and the US at large is an investment and revenue source for the Chinese government, not a target.

    While protecting Taiwan and the Philippines are conceivable reasons to use fighter jets, those countries are not the United States. If Taiwan needs more fighter jets (beyond the 200 or so they already have) let them buy more. The same goes for the Philippines.

    I don’t deny that there are tasks for which fighter jets are well suited to filling. You have not identified a type of attack for which US fighter jets are well suited to defend against. Unless and until the Chinese government or Al-Qaeda establishes military bases in Mexico or Canada I don’t see the need out there.

    9/11 was the best example of an attack that US fighter jets could have defended against but failed to. You and I both know that US aircraft transportation companies are at best 10% more likely to prevent another 9/11. More than likely they are only 1% better off to prevent such a scenario.

    Were the pilots that flew Bitter and Sebastian to Hawaii armed? The truthful answer is that it isn’t likely.

    I don’t deny the existence of evil in the world. What evil there is should be countered effectively with the very best tools available. Foolish and wasteful spending on ineffective and costly tools such as fighter jets do not protect me (well) nor you nor Bitter nor Sebastian.

    Fighter jets are the military equivalent to domestic SWAT teams. Like SWAT teams they are rarely needed, costly to equip and maintain and more often than not will arrive after they are needed.

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