Important Things Still Overlooked

f-15s%20over%20idaho.jpgThese are F-15 fighter jets, the backbone of America's air defense system since we sent most of the F-16s to Iraq and don't have that many F-22 Raptors to patrol the vast airspace of the United States. Or, rather, they would be the backbone of our nation's air defense system if the Air Force hadn't had to ground 450+ of them after they discovered "possible fleet-wide airworthiness problems" while investigating a November crash. Whoops!

Until they get more planes that don't tend to just randomly fall apart in the air, the Vermont Air National Guard is covering all of New England; the Minnesota ANG is filling in for Hawai'i; the Illinois ANG is covering Louisiana; and California is staffing the Portland outpost and thereby covering the entire West Coast. Well, not the entire West Coast because the Canadians have been covering our asses in Alaska.

Which, as it turns out, has sorta been more of a problem than they thought it would since it we non-DOD American-types were about the only people that didn't know our airspace was unprotected. The Russians (like something out of Top Gun) have been flying "training missions" over Alaska a bunch just to fuck with us and we've been relying on the goddamn Canadians to chase them off. The Iceman cannot be pleased with this development.

But, really, we're fine because untold millions of people continue to remove their shoes and submit their toothpaste for inspection by low-paid TSA contractors and what better airspace protection could one hope for that that?

F-15 grounding strains U.S. air defenses [Yahoo News]


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