The picture above is the poster of the movie The Dictator. Note the huge ribbons bar! It is a homage to the countless dictators who shamelessly pinned ribbon bars on their uniform as proof of their bravery which we all know are fake of course. Nonetheless the ribbons on the poster reminded me of a particular officer who has since retired. He had almost that many ribbons!
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Reminds me of a few famous quotes:
“A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.” – Napoleon.
“A man does not have himself killed for a half-pence a day or for a petty distinction.
You must speak to the soul in order to electrify him.” – Napoleon.
“..the object of presenting medals, stars and ribbons is to give pride and pleasure to those who have deserved them.” – Winston Churchill.
“The number of medals on an officer’s breast varies in inverse proportion to the square of the distance of his duties from the front line.” – Charles Edward Montague.
“I never liked being called the ‘most decorated’ soldier. There were so many guys who should have gotten medals and never did – guys who were killed.” – Audie Murphy.
On another topic…
An interesting thought occurred to me this morning regarding our MRCA plans…
Considering the program delays and rising costs of the F-35, perhaps a purchase and lease arrangement could be negotiated with the Australians whereby we purchase 24 F/A-18Fs, with financial assistance from Australia (and/or the US), and then lease them to the Australians until the F-35s are in service. At present the earliest that Australia will get any production F-35s is 2017. However, considering the delays, costs and difficulties of getting the aircraft in to full service, I expect that date to be pushed back considerably (2020?). Further, considering that Boeing would likely be able to deliver 24 F/A-18Fs before then, which could easily be integrated into the RAAF, I believe the Australians might go for the idea. What would we lose? If the F-35s arrive on-time, the Australians could simply terminate the lease early (of course finances would have to all be worked out so that we don’t get screwed). If the F-35s are late, the Australians can fill the gap with the leased F/A-18Fs. And of course, in the unlikely case that the F-35s are cancelled by the Australians, they can simply purchase the F/A-18Fs outright. The details would all have to be worked out, but if we proposed the idea to the Australians, I’ve got a feeling that they might jump at the chance for some “fighter insurance”.
Sounds like a good idea but considering they have more funds than us shouldn’t the initial outlay be borne by them instead, and we simply tag the deal to purchase the older E/Fs for a good discount?
I forgot to add that it might be a golden opportunity for us to get some very low hour MRCAs in a few years time, at a significant cost savings. Of course, the lease would have to stipulate details on flight-hours, compensation per flight-hour, etc.
In the previous post I meant: “What would we lose?”
See my comments below. Anyhow any more talk about buying Super Hornet for RAAF would have Dr Kopp of AirPower Australia fame livid! As you know he don’t even think the Lightning II suffice! Its Raptor all the way for him!
Dr Kopp must have breathed too much toxic fumes from the Craptor’s oxygen system.
Anyway, the F-35 seem to be shaping up into one expensive turkey that will bankrupt Uncle Sam. It’s only a matter of time before Lockheed does to USA what the arms race did to the Soviet Union.