Sep 08 2008

Would you do something this partisan at your mother’s 60th birthday bash?

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This month marks the 61st anniversary of the U.S. Air Force as a separate air service. (Happy birthday, Airmen!) Looking at their website, we see they selected … um, no unit at all for their monthly “heritage highlights.” Darn.

A ranking officer chose to highlight the heritage of a NON-flying unit for USAF's giant 60th anniversary celebration

A ranking officer chose to highlight the heritage of a NON-flying unit for USAF's giant 60th anniversary celebration

USAF’s home page used to highlight the exploits of legendary units like, say, the Tuskegee Wing. Each month they’d highlight a different unit, but this feature disappeared in the past eleven months.

Still, their decision to highlight “no unit” seems a better choice than last year’s pick. As part of USAF’s giant sixtieth birthday bash, they aimed a spotlight at (ta da!) the 67th Network Warfare Wing. Yes, folks, this unit epitomized USAF’s six decades as a separate air service — an intelligence outfit that hasn’t possessed an aircraft since 1993 and wasn’t even designated as a cyberspace unit in the 1990s.

Don’t underestimate the hullabaloo of USAF’s sixtieth anniversary, folks. They tasked a one-star general to manage the year-long festivities, beginning with President Bush’s dedication of a new Air Force Memorial. The flyboys went all-out with newspaper commentaries, TV commercials, artwork, heritage videos, ballroom events, you name it…

…Yet the Air Force also harbors a deep political fetish for cyberspace. They prostituted their own history last year in a cancerous quest to defend DoD’s networks. They want to protect cyberspace so badly that their website touted the heritage of a NON‑flying unit for their all-important sixtieth anniversary.

Can you imagine doing something this partisan at, say, your mother’s sixtieth birthday bash? “Mom, we poured over the many photographs of you as a child, a wife, a mother, and a business­woman. We selected the one moment in time that sums up the very essence of your life and we turned it into a huge framed poster. Ta da! It’s a picture of you stuffing envelopes for the McGovern campaign in 1972…”

Can you imagine doing some­thing this partisan at your mother’s 60th birth­day bash?

So! A decision like this doesn’t just happen, you know — a ranking officer had to ratify this baby. Who, exactly, approved a non‑flying unit to exemplify USAF’s legacy on their big six-oh anniversary?

Wouldn’t you like to know the name of the ranking officer who picked a non‑flying unit over the legendary squadrons that prowled the First World War? Wouldn’t you like to know why he or she ignored flying units with Medal of Honor recipients in World War II and the Korean War? Wouldn’t you like to know the criteria a ranking Air Force officer used to ignore flying units decorated in the Berlin Airlift?

And wouldn’t you like to see this partisan officer get force shaped?

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