I have been accused of forgetting the Air Force in these blog posts. You’re half right. While I didn’t mention them, I certainly haven’t forgotten them. They just haven’t come up yet. I will say that an AC-130 Specter Gunship, or an A-10, are two of my personal favorites. More than once, crews of these fine aircraft have personally provided me great comfort in some pretty tight places. I have also worked with PJs, Forward Air Controllers, and several of their transport wings. In each case, I’ve had the honor of watching their work up close and personal, and I have nothing but great things to say about them. I got to jump out of the C-130, and C-141B. I’ve had so many rides in C-5A and C-17 aircraft that my butt will fit quite well into their seats. Nope, I’ve not forgotten them, I just haven’t had as much time living with them. I recall in Central America, they were the guys on the other side of the runway. We were in “C huts” all equipped with a metal roof and plywood sides you pulled up to get fresh air. The Air Force, on the other hand, were in fancy “blow up” inflatable shelters equipped with central air conditioning. Needless to say, we didn’t have much contact with one another, since we were clearly in the “low rent” district. Still, when you’re up to your butt in alligators, and the boss is screaming “Drain the damn swamp”, the sound of that air support from the A-10 or the AC-130 can be more comforting than anything you can imagine. ~ Michael S. Pauley
Michael S. Pauley is a Navy brat and an old soldier who served in all three components of the United States Army. Living in Lexington, South Carolina, Michael is now a practicing attorney and member of the United States Naval Institute and the American Legion, Post 154, Tybee Island, Georgia.