Yeah, those were just usermods, people just getting overly excited about the upcoming Su-33 release on Monday and faking it. Eagle also have kept quiet about the Harrier release until your return as well @BeachAV8R, so you’re batting 2 for 2.
So in San Juan again. Rumor mill still has us moving to St. Croix permanently soon, but who knows. Then you have other rumors that St. Croix isn’t the safest, but hell, there’s military there and our nurses have been riding in Humvees so I’m sure it is fine. Allegedly the plan is to put everyone on a cruise ship, which showed up in the port yesterday, so that rumor might have some teeth. I have a ticket home tomorrow out of TPA but if I see an opportunity to hop on a C-130 to Columbia or a C-17 to Charleston I might try that. Otherwise I probably have to ride in the back of a Lear to Dobbins and maybe I can get a ride from there. Planning for anything is usually just spinning your wheels for nothing though.
Sounds like quite the adventure, if only the circumstances were less depressing…
Beach, I’ve been to St. Croix a bunch of times for biz, and the most dangerous part is driving on the LHS of the road in the RHS vehicles that populate the island. Let me know if you setup there and I’ll see if I still have contacts to make you feel more homey.
Still sitting in the hotel in San Juan at the moment. Lots of rumors swirling on what is going on, but my time here is probably growing to a close. Having trouble catching a hop back through St. Pete, so one of our pilots worked some contacts and I might have a seat on a DC-8 headed back to Greensboro tomorrow afternoon. All subject to change of course. I got some great pictures today of some hardware moving around San Juan, so I’ll post those up in the coming days…
Wow I was surprised to find out that there are any still flying. Is this the one @BeachAV8R?
That’s the one. I met the crew today and have a seat tomorrow but the Presidential TFR might ruin my plans. Also on standby for a Hawker flight tonight…so a couple irons in the fire…
That’s been the story of our summer in NJ. Different context though, of course. You are a trooper, Beach. Best of luck in getting home soon. We have a nice, cold, damp berth for you ready on the Kruznetzov!
Got on the Challenger last night…
…got the engines started…murmurs of flaps something something, ding, Mr. Mechanic, can you please come forward. Murmur murmur. Shut down, depower, repower. Did it fix it? No such luck. My nurse balked at getting back on. Back to the hotel in San Juan, now waiting on the DC-8…
Rebooting almost always works… Aircraft are just like windows
Well that’s highly frustrating… Hang in there Chris!
Interesting info about the airspace mess.
So nobody thought to put a couple DDGs or CGs off shore the islands? You know, ships with a high-power 360º phased array SPY1 radars, plenty of comms and a bunch of Navy air traffic controllers…it couldn’t have hurt.
I was wondering if any of the amphibs on the way were going to be doing that. I guess not?
Now that you mention it, didn’t we send an entire ARG for Matthew?
In March 2012 I was the J2 for the JTF supporting the JSDF in the wake of the 9.0 earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima NPP melt down. (4 acronyms in one sentence…a record?)
Sendi (RJSS) got slammed by the tsunami - about a third of its runway was still underwater days later (C-130 could still get in). Unfortunately it was the only strip of usable asphalt for miles that was in the devastated area and not in the Fukushima “hot zone”. But no power, radar or comms.
So the USAF deployed a tactical ATC team to Sendi. They blocked off a chunk of airspace and had relief and support traffic smoothly running in about a day. They didn’t have radar but they set up some procedures and worked with the Japanese civil ATC to get flights safely in and out - VFR to IFR and vice versa.
BTW, we couldn’t bring our ships in close - at first too much junk (like whole houses) dragged out to sea by the retreating tsunami. Then the Japanese ships in close started to get “slimed” by wind blown radioactivity…and then we discovered that Fukushima was “leaking” several thousands of gallons of highly radioactive water into the ocean…I’ll let Navynuke99 explain why steaming through radioactive waters is frowned upon.
My point is that there are several military options that are available and, per Mudspike, none are being used. Heck, we even have a couple of acronyms for it - MOOTW and HUMRO.
I’ve seen P-3s with radomes, but they were Customs ones probably to spot any drug runners taking advantage of the radar outage. The military has been very helpful though, setting up a portable control tower with 24 hour comms, and soon a portable ILS. As well, I think it was the Marines who were able to reach the main radar site in the mountains. Things are way better from an ATC and radar perspective than they were when I arrived 12 days ago…
Not to mention my old ship sailing through the plume, and only figuring it out when the air particulate detectors in the propulsion plants started going off, because of the air getting pulled into the reactor ventilation systems. Then they started actually taking radiacs to the helos…
The water situation was much less worrisome than the airborne contamination; dilution is the solution to pollution, and a few million gallons of ocean water kill the zoomies really fast, especially given the density of water and its own radiation attenuation properties.
But I heard that a lot of the crew (outside of Reactor) was terrified of drinking the water aboard for a good while after that.
Water is so freakin cool around a reactor! I’d love to one day have a poke inside a working nuclear facility!