What a great day for an airshow! I spent most of the afternoon at Elmendorf AFB, taking in the Arctic Thunder 2002 event. It was notibly different from past years. The emphasis this time wasn't on 'bigger, better, faster, louder'. Instead, it was a demonstration of our military technology, and how it is deployed in the current war. I stood in the bomb bay of a B-52 (better known as the BUFF--Big, Ugly, Fat Fucker), and listened to a weapons officer talk about how JDAM weapons can be navigated into caves, the kill radius of an 500 pound iron bomb (300 yards), etc. There was also an interesting demonstration of a special forces deployment, where rangers and artillery were inserted and extracted on helicopters, replenshed by aerial drops from a C-130 cargo, and recieved tactical cover by F-16's. Overall, very neat. I appreciate that they took the time to teach me something, instead of just showing off.
Also interesting were the security arrangements. Rather than trying to drive onto base, you could park your car at the Northway Mall, show your ID to an MP (and possibly be searched), then board a bus to the exhibition. The gates were still open to civilian traffic, but this was much more convenient. 10:23:10 PM Add a comment