Friday, January 8, 2010

American Pride: MH47G Chinook and Dillon Aero

Happy New Year, my friends. This week, I had the extraordinary opportunity to check out a couple of Dillon Aero M134 miniguns… which happened to be fitted to my buddy's MH-47G Chinook! They flew into town earlier this week and have been using our little humble neighborhood airport as, let's say, Forward Operating Base ONPOINTFIREARMS. ;) Anyway, the whole experience got me pretty frothed up. Helicopters have this effect on me. And it got me thinking…

In WW2, both of my grandfathers fought in the Corps-- my Grandpa (father's side) at Guadalcanal in the Marine Corps, and my Gramps (mom's side) in the Army Air Corps (before it was the Air Force) as a tail/belly gunner. After the war, Gramps worked at Grumman on Long Island, NY for 35 years-- installing the control lines and "gizmos" in our beloved F-14 Tomcat. He also worked on NASA's Lunar Module. When I would visit my grandparents in NY, Gramps would drive us out to a tiny Grumman runway the company built in back for its employees to fly radio controlled aircraft from. I was always fascinated with flight. Remember when you could go meet the pilot of your commercial airplane and he would give you a set of plastic Delta pilot wings and let you sit at the controls? Well, those days on long gun, but they live our collective spirit. American aviation is the FIRE!

The point I am so longwindedly trying to make is that I am filled with a great sense of pride when I get next to one of these machines and meet the men and women who fly, jump out of, service, build, and design them. My Gramps instilled that pride in me. There's a reason why America is the greatest country in the world-- and its quite simple: we're much greater than the sum of our individual parts. We have consistently stepped up with great innovation and tremendous courage to do what needs to be done. Look at the Chinook or the Blackhawk or the F22 Raptor. Be proud. That's yours. That's Made in the USA. Who else is going to do it? It's not Germany or Japan-- and it's sure as hell not China. My grandfathers would've used more colorful language in the last sentence, but you get the picture!

Take the Dillon Aero M134 minigun and Barrett M82A1, for example. Both were designed by great American innovators and have made an incredible impact on the battlefield in favor of the US and its allies. Ronnie Barrett is a modern John Moses Browning. When the flight crew was showing me how they use and maintain the Dillon M134, I was amazed by the engineering-- just like I was the first time I field stripped a Barrett M82-- or a Colt 1911. I get the same feeling when I'm next to an M1A1 Abrams or the new Stryker-- or in the Chinook, Osprey, or Blackhawk. Pride.

I'm proud of my buddies who fly, crew, and service the MH-47G Chinook that visited us this week. They're badass American heroes-- and very humble and professional. But I can say that about them because they wouldn't say it about themselves. So, we not only make the best fixed and rotary winged aircraft in the world-- we make the best pilots and crew. These guys were amazing. Every one of them knows every inch of that bird-- inside and out. Check out the pictures I took during our two day visit with the guys:

Day 1 Photos

Day 2 Photos

Be proud, my friends. Americans made this. And I always find it odd and contradictory that our enemies hate us for this innovation. They want us to go back to the dark ages and be ruled by clerics-- while at the same time they use Dell Computers and surf our Internet. Don't get me wrong… I have NO PROBLEM with sending them back to the dark ages! Copy that!? ;)

America is the shining light of the world and its Earthly protector. May God bless her.

That's the sermon for today, folks. Have a good 'un!

-- Evan

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