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A welcome return of the ‘Awesome Squad!’

August 4, 2013
By WES BURNS - Copy Editor (wburns@timesrepublican.com) , Times-Republican

A long time ago (read: January 6, 2013) I wrote a blog post about how the United States Air Force utilizes high performance Camaros to assist U2 spy planes land.

Of course I don't have to tell you this since I'm sure every single one of my beloved readers of "A Nation Burns" read my blog "A Stranger's Opinion" ... right?

The research for such a groundbreaking blog post was arduous; first I?had to find the U2 story on another website, then reflect upon it, and finally write about the story while using my own personal style/avoiding plagiarism laws.

Article Video

Thankfully I survived the process.

Camaros are a strange thing to find in the military budget, right? Tanks? Sure; but not a lot of sports cars.

And there is only one group within our government who thinks the idea of screaming down a desolate airstrip in a sports car while being chased by a multimillion dollar spy plane is a proper use of taxpayer funds: Awesome Squad.

Does "Awesome Squad" exist in any official capacity? Of course not. A group of dedicated engineers, officers and pilots determined to spend countless millions on only the most 'awesome' of endeavors couldn't be subject to something as pedestrian as "Congressional oversight" or "common sense."

Yeah, laugh all you want. Two months ago we all thought that NSA spying program was too ridiculous to be real either.

Well it seems that "Awesome Squad" has decided to take a break from ... I don't know, making a motorcycle that runs on Red Bull? ... and once again turned their awesome attention to military matters.

The question: In the 21st century how does one defend a populated area, in this case Washington D.C., from an incoming missile attack?

Currently we use a series of fighter planes buzzing around the city at all hours of the night. I'm sure this has angered more than one Congressman trying to get his/her daily 14 hours of sleep before filibustering the renewal of the "don't kill puppies" act of 1965.

Also - this is incredibly expensive. By the time our airforce pilot gets into the air, gets over his protected area, shuts off his microphone so no one can hear him listening to Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone," then lands he's spent more money than you make in a year.

Expensive? Conventional? "Top Gun" references? This looks like a job for Awesome Squad!

And what was Awesome Squad's answer to this costly problem? Blimps.

Yes, blimps; endorser of tires, icon of sporting events and the setting for the final confrontation in "The Rocketeer," blimps have taken hold of the American psyche ... then let it go about 80 years ago.

That was before Awesome Squad got ahold of them.

Now known by the unintelligible military name Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System (JLENS ... don't ask where the other letters went) the new blimps carry what I'm sure is about 400 bachelor degrees worth of radar equipment, greatly increasing the amount of time a city or fleet has to respond to an incoming threat.

So instead of occasionally seeing a fleeting glimpse of a fighter jet the residents of D.C. will now be treated to a sky full of Paul Revere blimps, standing (floating?) watch over our nation's capital, ready to sound the alarm at a moment's notice?

Even with what I'm sure were purely accidental cost savings, this has Awesome Squad's finger prints all over it.

Still not convinced of the existence of our nation's preeminent agents of Super Science? Try this: open up your favorite web browser and head on over to the Times-Republican website, if you aren't already there. Find this column (meta!), click the Youtube link, and crank up the volume!

The video, ostensibly from defense contractor Raytheon, explains the JLENS system in the only way possible: Moody voice-overs, 80s style synthesizers and crazy laser graphics!

Now, if that's not awesome, I don't know what is.

 
 

 

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